Wondering how to improve performance on that rowing machine at your gym? If so, then who better to give some tips than the U.S. Men's Eight Olympic Rowing team. We visited the team two weeks ago in Princeton, NJ, where it was finishing up its last two days of training in nearly 100-degree heat before heading off to London. Besides enlisting photographer John Loomis to document the last day of the team's stateside practice in this series of Web-exclusive photos (with additional outtakes of our interviews with the athletes), we also asked each member of the Men's Eight for a few tips on rowing better, both on the indoor rowing machine (also known as an ergometer, or "erg"), and on the water. (Loomis also took pictures of seat 2's Grant James demonstrating most of the tips in the erg room at the Princeton Boat House.) Launch Gallery >>
Vary it up.
Rowing out on a beautiful lake in Princeton, NJ or Eton Dorney, where the London 2012 Olympics rowing events are taking place, is one thing, but how do you stay interested staring at the wall on a rowing machine? "Erging is a lot like running on a treadmill – it's boring," says Giuseppe Lanzone (pictured in seat 5, on the left), a former football player and rowing machine veteran, having grown up competing at Crash-B while he was a high schooler in McLean, Virginia. Even though Lanzone says you only need to do it for 30 or 40 minutes to burn 900 calories, it can get tedious. "You have to vary it up with short-term goals instead of just a straight 5K," says the University of Washington grad of a distance that would take around 18 minutes. "We'll sometimes do 10 minutes at 20 [strokes per minute, or spm], five minutes at a 22, and come down to a 20, into an 18, into a 22, and so on."
Credit: Photograph by John Loomis