Adventures,  Hiking / Trekking,  Marine,  Mountaineering,  My Blog,  Recovery

Train Effectively on an Indoor Rower : Maximize Your Fitness

By incorporating Indoor Rowing into your training regimen, you can prepare your body for a wide range of Adventurous Activities.

Welcome to my fitness journey, where I explore the transformative power of indoor rowing. Join me as I dive into the numerous benefits that indoor rowing has to offer, providing valuable insights and practical advice to enhance your workouts and overall fitness.

  1. Preparation for Polar Trek (2009):
    • 10,000 meters row in 40-42 minutes on Concept 2000.
    • 60 minutes on the cross trainer.
    • Increased focus on rowing due to a new challenge:
      • Minimum one hour of rowing daily.
      • Twice weekly, two-hour rowing sessions.
      • An hour of cardio on the cross trainer.
    • General workouts with free weights focusing on endurance over bulking.
  1. Preparation for Rowing N. Atlantic (2016):
    • Increased daily rowing sessions to two and three hours on the Concept rowing machine.
  2. Preparation for Kayak Adventures (2018):
    • Rowed 14,000 km per hour on the Ergo rower.
    • Alternated with upper-body strength and stamina exercises.

A Remarkable Achievement : Confidence Booster

  • Incident on 25th March 2019:
    • Scheduled for a CT coronary angiogram.
    • Entered the gym in an angry mood and vented frustration on the rowing machine.
    • Rowed 15,481 meters in 60 minutes, breaking the British indoor rowing record for my age group. (72yrs).
    • Effort witnessed by Karolina Kasprzak and others at Bannatyne Health Club, Hastings.
    • Photographic evidence taken of the rowing machine’s monitor display.


  • Despite the remarkable feat, the lack of official documentation and continuous video shot rendered the record unofficial.
  • The achievement was personally significant, highlighting my exceptional performance even while potentially dealing with a serious heart condition.

On November 29th, I was told I had cancer. My first thought was, “Game over.” Then I thought, “You bloody drama queen.” Finally, I considered, “Me, disabled? Nah.”

The Battle ;Fast forward to February 3rd, 2021 – I had my last chemotherapy session. Walking out of the Judy Beard ward, I proudly rang the “End of Treatment” bell.

The Recovery

Determined to regain my strength and stamina, I started with gentle sessions on my indoor rowing machine. Gradually, I increased the duration and intensity, feeling stronger every day.

My next Challenge

  • August 3rd, 2021: To celebrate six months since my last chemo treatment, I kayaked from Dungeness to Boulogne.
  • October 13th, 2021: I marked another milestone by kayaking back from Boulogne to Dungeness.

My journey is not only a testament of physical endurance but also to the power of the human spirit in overcoming obstacles and pushing beyond perceived limits. This blend of training discipline and unexpected achievement underlines the importance of resilience and determination in the face of challenges.

Benefits of Indoor Rowing

Indoor rowing offers a fantastic full-body workout that improves cardiovascular health, builds muscle strength, and enhances endurance. This exercise engages major muscle groups in both the upper and lower body, including the back, shoulders, arms, abs, and legs. One of the key benefits of indoor rowing is that it’s a low-impact and non-load-bearing exercise, which means it’s gentle on the joints and minimizes the risk of injury. This makes indoor rowing suitable for all fitness levels and safe for people of most ages and abilities.

Personalise Your Workout

Tailor your training with your own customised workout plans for you personal aims. From high-intensity interval training to steady-state endurance sessions, cover various training methods to keep your workouts engaging and effective.

Technique and Form

Learn the proper rowing techniques to maximize efficiency and prevent injury. Ensure you master the correct form, whether you’re rowing for cardio, strength, or endurance.

The Rowing Stroke

The rowing stroke consists of the Drive phase and the Recovery phase. The Drive phase is crucial for generating power, while the Recovery phase is relaxed and controlled; it prepares you for the next drive. . To create an effective rowing stroke, blend these movements into a seamless and smooth flow.

The Catch / Start

  • Arms: Straight.
  • Head: Neutral.
  • Shoulders: Level and relaxed.
  • Upper Body: Leaning forward from the hips with shoulders in front of the hips.
  • Shins: Vertical, or as close to vertical as is comfortable. Shins should not move beyond perpendicular.
  • Heels: May lift slightly as needed.

The Drive Phase

  1. Legs: Start the drive by pressing with your legs.
  2. Upper Body: Swing the back through the vertical position.
  3. Arms: Finally add the arm pull.
  4. Hands: Move in a straight line to and from the flywheel.
  5. Shoulders: Remain low and relaxed.

The Finish

  • Upper Body: Leaning back slightly with good core support.
  • Legs: Extended.
  • Handle: Held lightly below your ribs.
  • Shoulders: Low.
  • Wrists and Grip: Relaxed with flat wrists.

Recovery Phase

  1. Arms: Extend until they straighten.
  2. Upper Body: Lean from the hips towards the flywheel.
  3. Knees: Allow them to bend once your hands have cleared.
  4. Seat: Gradually slide forward on the monorail.
  5. Catch Position: Return to the catch position with relaxed shoulders and vertical shins, ready for the next stroke.

Progress Tracking and Goals

Set and achieve your fitness goals and monitor your performance, track improvements, and stay motivated with personalized feedback and goal-setting strategies. Always with an ‘eye on’ the next of Adventure.

Join Me on This Fitness Journey

Indoor rowing, has proved to me to be more than just a workout; it’s a journey towards a healthier and fitter you. Embrace the benefits, join me in making indoor rowing a key part of your fitness routine.

**I want to tell you more about my extraordinary journey.

Start your fitness transformation today; strive to achieve your health and fitness goals with effective, enjoyable, and give a personal touch to your indoor rowing workouts!

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