Going Faster: 150 Years of Rowing Research

Dr. Stephen Seiler delves into over a century of research to explore why rowing has gotten faster so consistently.

Dr. Stephen Seiler surveyed 150 years of competitive rowing data to show that, from 1829, rowers have set linear improvements in speed of about 2-3% per decade. Why?

When Dr. Seiler presented his findings at the 2015 Sports Science & Medicine Conference, he argued that the sport of rowing has carefully recruited athletes, and those athletes have simply become taller and heavier over time—and presumably more capable of higher power output.