Indoor rowing has been my main form of “real” exercise in the last few years. After using the rowers in gyms for a few years, I purchased a Concept2 Model D (pictured on the right) in 2005. Since then, I’ve rowed more than 7 million metres, though the log card tells me it is less than this distance—this is because some sessions were unrecorded, e.g., when I forgot to bring my log card to the gym. I didn’t bother recording my rowing metres before purchasing the Model D.
Unfortunately, work and injury have kept me relatively sedentary in the last few months, and I’ve put on excess weight during this period. I’ll be stepping on the scale in the next couple of days to find out exactly how much I weigh and therefore how much I need to lose to return to a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 24.5 or 25.
The most practical way for me to lose weight is to get back to regular rowing, say, 45-minute sessions, at a pace of 2:10–2:15 minutes per 500 metres, five times a week. It helps that I have a rowing machine at home because I have the flexibility of rowing at any time of the day, either very early in the morning or late in the evening (both of which may not be possible at an external gym). It is also fortunate that I have no plans to leave town (for business or pleasure) for extended periods of time in the next three months. So, barring unforeseen circumstances, I should be able to work myself back into a regular rowing programme while avoiding (high-calorie) hotel food.
Because I am quite deconditioned, I decided to row short distances in the initial stages of this “get fit” program and gradually increase the amount of rowing as I become fitter. I started rowing about 2500 metres sporadically in early July, but in anticipation of writing this post, I willed myself to hop onto the rower on each of the last three days, despite finishing work quite late in the evening.
The thought of displaying my rowing log on this blog does appear to have a motivating effect. Therefore, in the interest of getting fitter, being accountable to myself, and hopefully achieving bragging rights in a few months, I’ll make my indoor rowing log publicly visible. Here’s the link to view my rowing metres. In addition, I’ll be adding notes such as the rowing damper level if it was different to the usual 4.5 and my weight, which I’ll measure at weekly intervals using the same scale.
Rowing offers a good whole-body workout. In case you’re wondering what muscles are used in indoor rowing, the illustrations below give an idea even if you ignore the fancy muscle names.