For 40 years Dr. Fred "Fritz" Hagerman has been one of the preeminent physiologists working with rowers. I invited him to interview for a Rowing Science posting when we were looking at the Lance Armstrong as a Rower question. Dr. Hagerman was kind enough to accept, although a busy summer prevented him from weighing in when were were looking at the topic. Yesterday he was kind enough to send in his responses.
[RS]: Dr. Hagerman's responses to my first several questions do not fit neatly within the interview format. I had essentially asked him about his research background and what he is studying today.
A colleague of mine at the U. Georgia and I just published a comparative study of elite rowers and patients who have had spinal cord injuries. An interesting comparison of two extremes recently appearing in Med Sci Sports; I am still very active in research.
Recently tested men invited to the national team camp in Princeton and I have recently developed VO2max predictive values for Concept 2
obtained for 2K times for both elite and non rowers; I believe they appear on Concept 2's web site; also will be conducting an obesity-Type 2 diabetes study involving rowing ergometer testing and training and nutrition intervention with county school second graders beginning in Jan, 07 with Concept 2 as one of the funders.
As you know the rate of childhood obesity has increased to epidemic levels in the US and we live in a highly deprived economic region of Appalachia where obesity for all age levels is a real problem.
[RS] As you know we have been posing the question - what if Lance Armstrong, and his reported ability to hold 500 W on a bike for more than 30 minutes, were to take on rowing. Technique aside - how do you think he would do?
[FH]: I believe Lance Armstrong, with his aerobic capacity and leg power,would make an excellent lightweight rower however, now that the drug problems have surfaced again for cycling I am not sure any of those guys are clean including Armstrong at some point when he was competing.
[RS]: Are there any exciting directions for rowing physiology in the near future?
[FH] : Although we have done some bio-telemetry of a number of physiological responses during actual rowing, we now have excellent
portable equipment to do radio telemetry on the water even at distances of within 2000 m of our target subjects.
[RS] What do you feel is the state of Sport Science in rowing today? - many of our readers seem to feel that it is vastly underused by some nations - the US and Canada in particular
[FH]: Because rowing is so much more popular in Europe and in NZ and Australia, European countries and the Antipodes probably put more effort into using
science for help and also because I have been concentrating on rowing for the last 40 years in the US perhaps other exercise physiologists have thought just leave the rowing work to Fritz!
[RS]: Is there anything that you would like to share with athletes and coaches that you feel is overlooked typically?
[FH]: I have had such a great relationship with US Rowing , especially the coaches, and with Concept 2 over the years. My professional and personal experiences
through rowing have been beyond my wildest dreams.