Training when the rowing club is closed – and when there’s nothing in the diary to train for – is a massive challenge. One of the great things about rowing is the accountability. When your name’s on that squad list and you’re committed to a crew session, you can’t just back out because you don’t feel like it.
But now that we’re all thrust into limbo, and our training goals are suddenly as vague as a politician’s promise, it’s easy to find a million excuses not to get sweaty. You washed your hair this morning. Your kit’s in the wash. You’re not a morning person. Or an evening person. Or a lunchtime person. And is that a fever coming on? (hint: it’s probably a hot flush).
Happily, there are lots of people out there who can help us stay fit while we’re in rowing purgatory. I have to say I LOVE a home workout. As a child of the 80s who adored Jane Fonda, I’m always happy to don the legwarmers (of COURSE I have some!) and work out from the comfort of my living room.
There’s a brand new Facebook group called the Stuck at Home Rowing Club which has suggested workouts to do each week plus the chance to make yourself accountable to other rowers. They do mostly assume access to a rowing machine (if you don’t, read on).
Again, if you do have access to a rowing machine, I highly recommend Rowlab – online erg and HIIT sessions with former national rowing champion Lucio Rezende. You can either join in a live streamed class which makes it much more fun, or follow a video in your own time. Either way, it gives you a nice, mixed programme. I followed these classes for about a month a couple of years back and really enjoyed them. They cost $14.99/month and all you need by way of equipment, in addition to an erg, is some way of attaching your phone so you can see the screen and some dumbbells.
If you haven’t got an erg to hand, London rowing studio Rowbots (founded by footballer Gareth Bale), where I had a fantastic session recently (my plans to write it up got pushed aside by floods and plague but I WILL tell you more about them in due course) are currently running [email protected] – strength and conditioning sessions you can do at home, including some live-streamed sessions. Check out their Instagram page, @rowbotslondon – the workouts are on IGTV. If that means nothing to you, don’t panic – there are other ways to keep fit!
YouTube is full of workout sessions for both those with a rowing machine and those without. British Rowing has indoor rowing videos, as does Concept2 (and others). For general home workout sessions without any equipment, try this Sweaty Betty / Barrys Bootcamp one:
Every fitness influencer in the world is suggesting at-home workouts right now, so you should be able to find something out there to your taste. And if it’s accountability you need, let me know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (I’m @girlontheriver on all of them) and I’ll encourage / shout at you, depending on what you need!
So no excuses. Even if you’re washing your hair. Let’s not let the dreaded coronavirus stop us training.