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Go with the row

Fitness tips, Relaxation, Mind and Body
Tedx
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Go with the row

#616527

Postby Tedx » September 22nd, 2023, 11:20 am

So following on from John's excellent running efforts, I tohught I'd expand a bit on my rowing exploits.

I guess a lot of us are pushing on a bit here and most of us look for ways to stay active and some of us may be thinking of finding ways to get active.

...and I've tried them all.

Winter is the problem for me. You can set yourself a goal for the year and it goes well when the weather is nice. Its so easy to lose motivation when it's raining, windy &freezing - even if it's getting in the car to go to the gym.

Walking. Now I do enjoy a good walk in the countryside, or up a hill - even in the wintertime (provided I have the right gear on) and I do try to walk on the beach in the woods or around the town when ever possible...but if I open the front door and it's rubbish outside...then I don't bother.

Running. Nope. There's no way I'm hauling my wheezing carcass around a park with all the sprightly you chicks sniggering at my flailing arms and legs and bright red face. And my knees...oh Jesus.

Cycling. Winter cycling in the UK is generally a poor experience. In Scotland it's truly awful. I've literally been in tears trying to pedal into a Scottish storm knowing I still have 12 miles to go before I get home. I guess its character building. Aye, right.

The gym. Unless you go in the middle of the night, it's always busy in the first 3 months of the year before the part time people get around to canceling their direct debits. I've always said that the people that go to a gym are the people that dont actually need to go to a gym. i.e. posers. Plus you have to actually go there and mix with these freaks. And there's communal changing, which must be brilliant if your a lady but its really quite disturbing if your a bloke. Plus the floor is always wet, the showers are full of pubes and you never really get dry (unless you repurpose the powerful hand dryer in our local gym changing room.....). Then you pass the sweetie machine on your way out and you discover that one Star Bar destroys all your efforts for the day.

Swimming. See above. it's a PITA to actually get to a pool and find an area where some wee shite isn't going to bomb you.....Plus swimming in pish = yuk. And I can swim if I had to, but a 50m length is a long way to go without ingesting much of the pool's contents.....

Indoor cycling at home. Now this has some potential...but it only works your legs.

Indoor treadmills at home. See Running/knees and they're pretty noisy, which is fine if you live in a detached property I guess. And again, it's mostly legs.

There are those indoor skiing/walking things you can get which are pretty good (I've tried one in a gym). So a 'maybe' here.

Indoor rowing. Ok, so It took me a while to figure it out that this was the way forward. It was actually a mate who had bought a machine a couple of years earlier that inspired me to buy one (and the wife mocking my commitment before I had started to strengthen my resolve). My approach in the early days (6 years ago) was to get home from work, immediately strip down to the drawers, jump straight on the machine and get it done. Then you have the rest of the night to relax with a large glass of smugness.

Now my mate's rower (a Concept 2) is in his garage and it's freezing in there, so that's another barrier for me. Not a big one, but I need to remove as many obstacles as possible. So I have one in my living room (a Water rower)

Which ever machine you get, Indoor Rowing is a great exercise. It's been said that it works 85% of your muscles from your legs to your middle to your arms/shoulders/neck/inner ear (probably). And it's cardio as well as strength training. You can vary from long paced out control rows of say an hour to short intense thrashes. Our a combination of the 2. In short, it's pretty much the only exercise you'll ever need to do. And it burns calories like buggery.

Anyway, after 5 and a bit years of it, I realsied I'd never really set myself a target (to be honest it took long enough to get a reasonable technique and a reasonable level of fitness to even think about a target)

After a good 2022 rowing, 2023 saw a step up in my rowing and a target of 100 miles / 161km per month was set on January the 1st. Unlike almost all other exercise, it's easy to smash exercise targets in the wintertime because like any normal human you're actually indoors when it's lashing down and where it's nice to be.....

So there you have it. Buy a rowing machine. Do it now. You won't regret it.

To recap....

......from there, I've built it up, similar to yourself, to row 100 miles a month (161km)

January = 241km
February = 182.9km
March = 186km
April = 165.4km
May = 132.63km
June = 162.2km
July = 180.69km
August = 161.3km
September (so far) = 142.2km

redsturgeon
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Re: Go with the row

#616535

Postby redsturgeon » September 22nd, 2023, 11:38 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiBoT4XSJjM

Like this?

I used to use a concept 2 and I always hated it because I felt knackered when using it, I agree it works the upper body too, to some extent, though most of the power in rowing should come from your legs.

This from British Rowing
Remember: The sequence is key: Legs, body, arms, arms, body, legs. Focus on your legs – 60% of the power is from the legs, 30% body, 10% arms. Maintain good core stability.


I agree though it is a better all round exercise than running and good for you in keeping it up. I have rowed in the Magdelene college eights on the Isis and used their rowing tank in the past and also rowed at the Eton rowing lake at Dorney, so I am a fan.

I supplement the running with dead hanging (surprisingly good exercise), the plank and press ups. And on the days I don't run I still aim to walk at least 10,000 steps.

I cycle as well but only on fine non windy Sunday mornings before 8am to avoid the traffic (so about twice a year :D )

As I think I said before, any moving is better than sitting on the sofa.

Tedx
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Re: Go with the row

#616538

Postby Tedx » September 22nd, 2023, 11:51 am

Ah yes, Mr Spacey did indeed push the Waterrower to worldwide fame.

It was this video that convinced me to buy one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yDU_sohgwA

A female work colleague looked over my shoulder when I was watching the video during my research and made a wierd noise of subtle admiration when she saw Josh thrusting away.

And I thought, 'I want to look like Josh'*

(*I still don't look the same as a competitive rower, but it was an aspiration at the time, ok :D )

I have a similar machine to this one, but with a twin seat rail. Maintainence is pretty straightforward. The retailer sends me water purification tablets for free when I request them. A tablet lasts about 4-6 months and you just pop it in the tank

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Re: Go with the row

#616595

Postby Gerry557 » September 22nd, 2023, 2:46 pm

Indoor cycling does a bit more than just your legs, well if you do it right. Don't give up on running either it's good for maintaining bone density plus number one in zombie apocalypse. :D I suppose a crosstrainer might do arms a bit more.

I think it's good to mix up things unless you are competing competitively and then you are likely to focus on that side of things anyway. For a lot of people doing something you enjoy such as cycling up hills for the views is doing something that many won't see as fitness.

Home equipment is great but space can be an issue. Garages tent to be too hot in summer and too cold in winter, dark and dingy so I can see the attraction in getting a better space that doesn't give you any excuses not to do it except open the door.

Gyms can be great, swap ideas with others etc but ongoings costs and access issues etc. I'm surprised doctors don't prescribe a gym membership or a walk in the part more. :o

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Re: Go with the row

#616628

Postby BigB » September 22nd, 2023, 4:21 pm

Very impressed with 160km pcm - you rowing 5-6k every day or bigger rows on just some days a week?

I do a 4k row about 3 times a week, and it's the only upper body thing I do. I love/hate rowing for several reasons, but one of them is that you can fully unload in just 7-8 minutes if that's your thing, or you can be doing long zone 2 HR stuff for an hour etc...

I also have to ask, do you wear a fitness band/watch, and monitor your resting HR over time?

As alluded to, indoor cycling can be a little more than legs on certain machines. I used a gym wattbike heavily 4 years ago when rehabbing from ruptured achilles, and the machine helps you measure your load between left/right leg, and also the efficiency/shape of your pedal strokes. Those things aside though, you can set up certain indoor bikes to mirror the geometry/setup of your bike and riding indoor for an hour or two you will also be keeping your core/neck/back/arms in some sort of shape - for me certainly, my core/back starts to complain before my legs.

Tedx
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Re: Go with the row

#616635

Postby Tedx » September 22nd, 2023, 5:04 pm

Very impressed with 160km pcm - you rowing 5-6k every day or bigger rows on just some days a week?

Cheers Bri.


At the moment its 5 or 6 days out of 7.

I have several different approaches. My basic segment is a 20 minute straight row and I do twice, sometimes 3 a day (I work from home, so it's generally 7am 12pm and 5pm or just 7&5 oclock if its 2 runs). I only started doing the 7am one in June (I'm normally quite lethargic at that time in the morning..) and now I see it almost as a 'free' session because it's so easy to get done. Saying that, the evening segment is always much stronger.

If it's a single segment day, then I always tack on 10-15 minutes of 'efforts' - i.e. a series of short 500m intense bursts with a 20 seconds or so rest inbetween to 'reset'.

Sometimes I do a straight double segment.

Back in the early months I was rowing for a straight hour (i.e. a triple segment) on a regular basis through the week.

I do a 4k row about 3 times a week, and it's the only upper body thing I do. I love/hate rowing for several reasons, but one of them is that you can fully unload in just 7-8 minutes if that's your thing, or you can be doing long zone 2 HR stuff for an hour etc...

Yes, the 2000m unload. Competition distance and all that. A muderous experience. FWIW I'm (just) under the 8 minutes for 2000m. I have some work to do....

https://youtu.be/MyN9E417AIQ?si=_l649W3Rsi4023o2

https://www.stack.com/a/why-the-2000-me ... r-created/

I also have to ask, do you wear a fitness band/watch, and monitor your resting HR over time?

I do wear my fitbit from time to time (I havent for a while though). I've just logged in to it and the dashboard seems to have changed and a lot of the historical data seems to have disappeared, which is annoying. They probably want me to buy a new one. I'll charge up the device and wear it for a few days and report back

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Re: Go with the row

#616707

Postby redsturgeon » September 23rd, 2023, 8:28 am

Tedx wrote:
I do a 4k row about 3 times a week, and it's the only upper body thing I do. I love/hate rowing for several reasons, but one of them is that you can fully unload in just 7-8 minutes if that's your thing, or you can be doing long zone 2 HR stuff for an hour etc...

Yes, the 2000m unload. Competition distance and all that. A murderous experience. FWIW I'm (just) under the 8 minutes for 2000m. I have some work to do....

https://youtu.be/MyN9E417AIQ?si=_l649W3Rsi4023o2

https://www.stack.com/a/why-the-2000-me ... r-created/



That's probably why I hate the rowing machine. I just used to use the C2 in the gym as a warm up before the weights and it was always a balls out sub 8 minute 2000. ( I was a younger man then it was at least ten years ago).

Perhaps if I tried it for zone 2 stuff it would be better.

John

redsturgeon
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Re: Go with the row

#616711

Postby redsturgeon » September 23rd, 2023, 8:44 am

I've just been measured up our home gym room and I may just be able to squeeze a Concept 2 into the bay window if I move the sofa out (and who really needs a sofa in a gym :D )

Hmmmm.

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Re: Go with the row

#616715

Postby Tedx » September 23rd, 2023, 8:50 am

Right, enough procrastination.

It's time to Go with the Row.

We'll see you on the other side......

Tedx
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Re: Go with the row

#616745

Postby Tedx » September 23rd, 2023, 11:22 am

Well it ended up being a fairly leisurely 12km/57 minute row. The radio was on and playing some good tunes, the breathing was steady and the stroke rate hovered around 26pm.

I didnt intend to row that far, but you tend to drift away and think of other things and before you know it you find yourself stepping up the pace for the last couple of km.

I think I've earned my Star Bar this morning :-)

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Re: Go with the row

#616746

Postby stevensfo » September 23rd, 2023, 11:25 am

redsturgeon wrote:I've just been measured up our home gym room and I may just be able to squeeze a Concept 2 into the bay window if I move the sofa out (and who really needs a sofa in a gym :D )

Hmmmm.


A sofa in the gym? I never thought of that. Brilliant idea.

If I get rid of our rowing machine (which I don't like) and the exercise bike, there may even be room for a minibar and TV as well! ;)

Steve

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Re: Go with the row

#616747

Postby redsturgeon » September 23rd, 2023, 11:30 am

stevensfo wrote:
redsturgeon wrote:I've just been measured up our home gym room and I may just be able to squeeze a Concept 2 into the bay window if I move the sofa out (and who really needs a sofa in a gym :D )

Hmmmm.


A sofa in the gym? I never thought of that. Brilliant idea.

If I get rid of our rowing machine (which I don't like) and the exercise bike, there may even be room for a minibar and TV as well! ;)

Steve


Swapsies? :D

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Re: Go with the row

#618105

Postby Tedx » October 1st, 2023, 10:05 am

Sept. 2023. 100 miles/161km of rowing.
Actual = 174.2km 108.1 miles)

My last row before this morning was on the 25th of September. I had my target by then and my left forearm was feeling quite achy so I decided to have a couple of days off (turned out to be 5!)

I got out walking instead. My town is built on a hill so there are plenty of cardio opportunities there.

6km row this morning, arm feels ok. Let's see what October brings...

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Re: Go with the row

#621829

Postby Tedx » October 20th, 2023, 11:01 am

Slowing inching towards October's 100 miles.

This mornings effort

Image

I've had the Fitbit on for a few weeks now. According to the app, resting heartbeat is between 51 to 55

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Re: Go with the row

#622391

Postby BigB » October 22nd, 2023, 8:14 pm

"resting heartbeat is between 51 to 55"

Nice work!

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Re: Go with the row

#624172

Postby Tedx » October 30th, 2023, 4:17 pm

Ok, that's me for this month at 167.5km. My left forearm is quite painful at times - even when using a mouse at my desktop. So Im giving it a few days rest.

It might mean a busy November though....

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Re: Go with the row

#630246

Postby Tedx » November 27th, 2023, 3:57 pm

November has been a struggle. We were away for the first 3 days of the month and I kinda hit a wall on the 12th. Returned on the 19th leaving myself with 109km to go before the 30th of November. :shock:

As of this morning, I had got that down to 33.5km. Last week was pretty tough going (for me!)....but I am confident I can make it.

The left forearm pain issue seems to stem from using my computer mouse (some sort of Repetitive Strain Injury?). Dr Google suggests that this might be the case ('Mouse Arm')

https://contour-design.co.uk/pages/mous ... n-injuries

...and I guess after decades of mousing, then it might just be the case. There are various suggestions for treating it.....but I've decided that 2 pararcetamol and training myself to use my right hand for the mouse seems to be the way forward. With any luck, the right arm will last as long as I do.

*Using the 'other hand' for the mouse, is really difficult btw. Particularly when copying/pasting or trying to click quickly on checkboxes. I will prevail though......

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Re: Go with the row

#630323

Postby servodude » November 28th, 2023, 12:04 am

Tedx wrote:*Using the 'other hand' for the mouse, is really difficult btw. Particularly when copying/pasting or trying to click quickly on checkboxes. I will prevail though......


It's worth persevering with... you can try flipping the buttons in the settings if that helps.

And not all mouses are equally suited to ambidexterous working; our sinister kid uses a Razor Viper

I run a stable of various rodents at any given time (including vertical and trackball)
- as I find it is the variety that helps avoid pains; too long with any given one and I develop a spasming claw (which means I can only play banjo until it abates)

-sd

roll credits...
razor ambidextrouse mice https://www.razer.com/au-en/pc/gaming-mice/viper-line
MX vertical https://www.logitech.com/en-au/products/mice/mx-vertical-ergonomic-mouse.910-005449.html
Trackball https://www.kensington.com/en-au/p/products/control/trackballs/expert-mouse-wireless-trackball-1/

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Re: Go with the row

#630445

Postby bungeejumper » November 28th, 2023, 4:35 pm

servodude wrote: - as I find it is the variety that helps avoid pains; too long with any given one and I develop a spasming claw

Often caused by not drinking enough beer. Although I'm assured that lesser fluids may be substituted in case of real emergency.
(which means I can only play banjo until it abates)

Steady on, Foggy Mountain Breakdown can stuff you as well. :lol:

BJ

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Re: Go with the row

#632311

Postby Tedx » December 7th, 2023, 1:17 pm

Update: Switch to right handed mouse operation going better than expected. Left arm no where near as painful as it was previously.

November rowing - was a real toil, but managed to get over the line (and have a day off on the 30th!) = 162.3km (100.849 miles)

December rowing. Well the weather has been freezing, so the indoor living has enabled me to get off to a good start - 51.1km for the first 6 days.

It is my intention to get the 100 miles done by the 23rd of December then have the week off.....we shall see.

......then decide what I'm going to do next year.


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