Hi, I'm Roy Palmer and I'm a teacher of the remarkable mind/body system known as The Alexander Technique. I'm also an athletics coach and have over 25 years experience in competitive sports of some form or other.
I've always been interested in finding new ways to improve performance and fitness, and like to question the long-accepted and conventional advice when it comes to exercise methods - my book, The Peak Performance Zone is the result of ten years research and practical experimentation into performance enhancing techniques. My book is a detailed look at what athletes refer to as The Zone - a paradoxical state where a personal best performance can feel like the easiest thing you've ever done.
I also have to admit to being a gadget freak - which explains why I love home fitness equipment. It's the combination of technology, engineering and some pretty cool designs with the objective of getting you fit that does it for me. But of all the types I prefer rowing machines. As a keen runner I have used treadmills but I prefer to run outside, I find exercise bikes dull, and really can't get into the action used on elliptical trainers. So for me it's the rower because of the flowing motion that works all your major muscle groups and gives one hell of a cardio workout.
But it's the repetitive nature of rowing that interests me. I mentioned earlier my fascination with The Zone and I believe we can enter it by getting absorbed in the moment. The world-renowned expert on The Zone (also know as The Flow) is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He believes the conditions necessary to enter The Zone include being absorbed in a challenging activity that provides instant feedback on your performance - which describes something like interval training on your rower while monitoring your progress on the display :0)
So while you can think of using a rowing machine as a great way to get fit, it's also more than that. Lose yourself in your training and get more than just the physical benefits of the activity.
About this website
When I brought my first rower in 1994 (I can't remember the make) there wasn't anywhere you could go to find information for buyers - this was pre-Amazon days after all. Even four years later when I acquired an ex-gym Concept2, it was still a matter of luck whether you got a good one or not. I just figured if it was good enough for a gym, it was good enough for me.
Yet even now with the thousands of reviews on Amazon, and many other review websites, you still can't be sure about the validity of the information you find. Who are the people posting their opinions? Are experts on these machines? Or do they have an interest in promoting a particular brand? Other sites I came across just seemed to be repeating the basic information from the manufacturer's brochures and websites - no use at all.
So I had the idea of starting this website to help people like myself who wanted honest, unbiased opinions of the machines available on the market. I approached people at gyms, on social media and other fitness forums, and asked if they would be happy to share their views on the models they own and use. And thankfully many were.
I don't send a questionnaire, I just ask them to write down their own views and whether they would recommend it to a friend. I then collate all the views and information to write the reviews you can find on this website. Yes I do earn commissions if you buy via the links to Amazon and other retailers on the review, but I do spend many hours a week researching and obtaining the information I hope you find useful. My objective is to help you find the best rower for your budget, lifestyle and accommodation.
If you want to get fit and stay fit, I believe a rowing machine is one of the best way to do it - but only if you get a model you're going to want to use and with one that won't let you down. I also want you to know how to use the machine and stay motivated to keep using it. So for that reason, I have written a guide available in Kindle and PDF format. It's called 'The Complete Rowing Machine Workout Program' and has workouts that will take you from beginner to elite rower in achievable steps - you can read more about it here.
I hope you find my approach helps you achieve your fitness goals. If you have any questions, or would like to send me your views of your rowing machine, please contact me here.
Roy Palmer MSTAT
Keysoe Bedfordshire MK44 2HL
Tel: +44 1234708777
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