Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Applied Sciences Honours


Faculty of Science and Technology

First Advisor

Andrea Schreiner

Second Advisor

Dr Colin James


The effect of resistance training on the ability to generate force throughout the rowing stroke has to date been unreported. The purpose of this study therefore was to determine the changes that occur in the force profile of the rowing stroke, following low repetition strength (LRS) and high repetition endurance (HRE) resistance training. Eight female and 10 male sub elite heavy weight rowers matched according to gender, strength and anthropometric variables, completed 12 weeks of LRS or HRE resistance training. Pre and post testing was completed to determine changes in bench press and leg press repetition maximum (3RM) strength and strength endurance (repetitions to failure using 75% of 3RM). Changes in the force profile of the rowing stroke were determined by the changes in peak force, work per stroke and total work. All subjects completed a maximal and 3 minute effort biomechanica1 test on an instrumented Concept II rowing ergometer at 2 steps of increasing intensity. Significant difference (p<.05) was recorded in upper and lower body strength, lower body strength endurance and in all except one biomechanical variable in both biomechanical tests. Differences between the groups were only significant in endurance leg press repetitions and the 3 minute efforts work per stroke during the first step. Improvements made in endurance leg press repetitions were significantly greater (+33) for HRE, while changes in bench press strength where significant for LRS (+10.3kg) but not for HRE (+3.7kg). Post hoc and descriptive analyses showed HRE improved consistently more than LRS in all 3 minute biomechanical variables indicating that HRE may be of more benefit for increasing certain biomechanical variables of the simulated rowing stroke than LRS. These findings must however be viewed with caution, as more controlled research is required in the area.