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Discussion: erg

in: chitownclark; chitownclark > 2015-10-26

Oct 26, 2015 7:21 PM # 
OK, I have an ignorant question -- why is a stationary rowing machine (and stationary rowing in general) referred to as "erg"? I looked it up, and a definition, from one source, is "the centimeter-gram-second unit of work or energy, equal to the work done by a force of one dyne when its point of application moves through a distance of one centimeter in the direction of the force; 10− 7joule." Other definitions were similar. So it's a unit of work or energy, and I can see that when one workouts out on a stationary rowing machine, he/she is expending energy, but doesn't that happen on a treadmill, or a stationary bike, or an actual bike for that matter? Or pretty much any other exercise?

I know this is commonly used to refer to a rowing machine, so I'm not challenging your use of the term, I'm just genuinely puzzled as to how this term came to be used to be more or less synonymous with rowing machines.
Oct 26, 2015 8:22 PM # 
These machines are commonly called ergometers, or rowing ergometers, because they are calibrated to measure the amount of work performed. Hence, erg. I have not seen that term applied to other machines, like stationary bikes, although I suppose it could be. It is in common usage for rowing machines.
Oct 27, 2015 10:59 AM # 
And half the attraction to this form of exercise, at least for me, is the sophisticated computer they come with...altho none of the many screens offered gives a read-out in actual ergs.

It is like exercising while playing a video game! And afterward, you can post your performance on-line with your private log, which automatically enters your time into the National and World rankings for your 10-year age group.

This discussion thread is closed.