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Optimising Your RP3 Before a Workout

The dynamic workout on the RP3 is like no other rowing machine but is your current set up getting the most out of it? Find out how to optimise your RP3 below.


Step 1: Levelling the bar

Everything is free to move on the main bar of an RP3 and part of the skill of using one is keeping your seat still while you row. However, if the bar level is not set you can find yourself stuck at the front or rear of the bar while you row through no fault of your own.

To level the bar, you adjust the height of the rear leg. On the RP3 Model S, this is achieved using the black knob on top of the rear leg to wind it in or out (see right)

On the RP3 Model T, the level is controlled by an air spring. It is foot-operated and works in the same way as a desk chair (see left)


Step 2: Setting Feet Height - Spoiler: shoe size isn't everything!

It is a common miss conception that the height of the feet on a rowing machine are set to correspond with the size of your feet. The height should actually correspond to the length of your shin. The longer your shin the lower your feet should be.

You know you have found the right height when your shins are perfectly verticle when you row - too low results in the tendency to over-compress or overreach and too high results in under-compression and poor posture.

To find the right height, row and use a mirror or friend to keep an eye on your shins. If you find you are over-compressing too easily at the catch then lower the feet and if you struggle to get your shins to verticle with your body over at the catch then lower them.


Step 3: Setting Resistance

Rowing resistance is how heavy the stroke feels while you are rowing and is controlled by a slider on the fan cage on the RP3S or by the slider on the front face of the RP3T. 0 is the lowest and 10 is the highest or heaviest.

To ensure consistent resistance between different machines, RP3 use the "k factor" found as one of the parameters you can display on the RP3 rowing APP (explained in the video). This value varies between roughly 0.7 and 1.2 on the RP3T, and 0.75 and 0.92 on the RP3S.

We Recommend:

If you are new to rowing, we would recommend a mid-range K value of around 0.9. This should be high enough to slow the stroke down a little so you can focus more easily on technique but not so high that its too heavy to row comfortably.

If you are experienced you can use drag variation to develop your ability:

  • Higher resistance values (0.95+) help in making you stronger

  • Lower resistance values (0.8 or lower) help you to develop power as your legs and hips have to be faster and also help you to develop your technique for faster oving boats.

You can also use resistance to replicate a specific boat. Do this by using a resistance that feels right or our general guide of k factors:

  • 1x, 2- high resistance - 0.89-1.1

  • 2x, 4+ mid-high resistance - 0.85-0.9

  • 4- mid resistance - 0.82-0.87

  • 4x, 8+ low resistance - 0.77-0.83


Thanks for reading! Let us know what you'd like to hear more about.

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