I received an email yesterday, and as you've probably guessed from the title of this post, it wasn't very complimentary about rowing. The sender reported they had just been given a second-hand rowing machine and after only three days had already grown bored of rowing. They had contacted me to get some ideas of how to spice up their training after spending 20 minutes rowing and getting too bored to continue. Now this really isn't bad for a beginner (as I pointed out to them) and suggested that they could become quite an expert if they continued.
Now this machine turns out to be an almost brand new Concept2! A Model E at that.
I'm sure most of you would be only be too happy to get your hands (and butt) on one of the best rowers out there, but this person didn't appreciate what they'd been given - and also, as it turns out - didn't have a clue about the many different types of sessions possible on an ergo.
But boredom doesn't just relate to rowing. Many buyers of fitness equipment start off with good intentions only to give up due to a lack of imagination - just check out all the 'good as new' exercise bikes, treadmill, cross-trainers and rowers on eBay!
But putting aside the excellent heart rate, time trial and Tabata workouts for now, you can get creative with your training without needing to understand fitness principles - although I do encourage people to find out about the science behind training.
So what can you do to 'spice up' your sessions without having to get out the calculator, heart monitor and spreadsheet?
Here are some of my creative techniques:-
Once you mix up your sessions you'll come up with your own ideas. The above are a few that I've tried, but I still use the more traditional workouts. But if you find your enthusiasm is waning, throw in something different to renew your motivation and remember, you don't have to do everything by the book :0)
Please feel free to share your own creative workouts below.
Roy Palmer is an athletics coach, teacher of The Alexander Technique and a rowing fanatic.