All posts by Craig

7 Ways to Spice Up Your Workout

Lacking motivation often causes people to not reach their weight loss goal. The following are some ways for you to make exercise more enjoyable and successful.

  1. Turn on the radio while you are working out. Music will get you moving. It is natural for people to respond to music. When you feel as though you’re dancing to a great song rather than exercising, your workouts will be much more entertaining. When you listen to music while you are working out, it will be fun, and you will be able to keep going. Incorporating music into your workout routine can make time fly by faster so you exercise for longer.
  2. Working out with a friend is ideal. Your attention will be diverted from the effort of the exercise to the conversation at hand, and your workout will go by much quicker. You will be pleased at how much you will enjoy exercising when you do it with a friend.
  3. Distract yourself, and your workout routine will fly by! One option to consider if you have a video gaming console is fitness-orientated games. There are many types of these games. In a game, you might enjoy a number of things like bowling or steering a boat while working out. Boxing with a virtual opponent will be a riot. Video games can make your workout almost effortless, no matter what type of exercise you prefer.
  4. One of the main things that puts someone off working out is the fact that they are doing it ‘in public’. When you have workout clothes that you feel comfortable wearing, it is a huge boost to your self-image. There are a lot of choices for people of all shapes and sizes. There are also tons of colors and styles. Be fun with your choices in exercise clothing, as it will help you feel great about exercising and yourself! Doing this will make you more likely to stick to your workout plan. Continue reading 7 Ways to Spice Up Your Workout

Dynamic R1 Pro Rower Review

If you are looking for a rower with very strong resistance for your home gym application, then the Dynamic R1 Pro Rower will be of great help to you. There are so many rowers in the fitness industry that one may be confused on which one to try on. Some use water, air, magnet or hydraulic for creating the resistance. In this case, the Dynamic Fitness R1 pro Rower has been designed with a dual resistance system of both air and magnet. This means that you will experience a quieter rowing experience and multiple resistance levels from the electromagnet resistance, and a water-like resistance type from the air resistance.

This rower is of great value for both beginners and experts rowers who are seeking a full body workout. The muscles involved include the legs, shoulder, biceps, triceps, and abdominal muscles, flexor muscles of the fingers, gluteal muscles and the calves.

Specifications

The Dynamic Fitness R1 Pro rower has been built and designed with quality. The seat is made of aluminum to support every size and minimize breakages or falling apart. The handle is attached to a nylon strap while the foot pedals and foot straps are also constructed from a durable material.

The rower is 97” longer, 17.7” wider and 42.6” high and weighs at 83 pounds. The seat is lifted 19.5” off the ground.

Resistance

Dynamic R1 Pro rower is a multi-level resistance system with combination of both air and magnetic resistance. The air resistance system works by pulling the handle and spinning a fan flywheel. Resistance is created when more air is brought into the flywheel causing the spin to be faster. Generally, the faster you row the machine, the more resistance you get. Like the air resistance system, the magnetic resistance works by pulling the handle and spinning the wheel. A magnet is located inside the flywheel that either moves closer or farther away from the flywheel and thereby creating resistance. It does not produce a noise effect like other resistance types. Moreover, the resistance remains constant independent of the rowing speed. There are 16 levels of magnetic resistance that can be adjusted using the multi-control monitor.

Combination of these two resistance systems results in a smooth and strong rowing stroke. Although the air resistance can be a bit noisy, the magnetic resistance is quieter and sets in to reduce on the noise levels as opposed to an ‘air only’ rower. The combined resistance is reasonable in rowing as the user can feel the high-end power of the air and the low-end power of the magnetic.

Assembly and storage

Dynamic R1 Pro RowerDynamic R1 Pro rower is easy to store and assemble. Assembling takes less than an hour but can be a challenge if you have not read through the directions carefully.

When not in use, you can fold your machine and store it to minimize on the space. Folding involves pulling the lock pin, folding the seat rail up and allowing the pin to lock in space. This costs you less than 10 seconds. Folded dimensions are 54” by 18” by 63”

The built-in caster wheels facilitate the mobility and portability of the rower as you move it around for storage.

Multi-control monitor

The monitor is quite user friendly and enables you to monitor and track your workout on every row. The display shows the time, split time, strokes per minute (SPM), distance covered in meters, calories burned, pace, watts, pulse and the resistance level. These data are controlled by 6 buttons identified as: start/stop, up, down, recovery, reset and enter.

The monitor has an adjustable arm to enable you position it in a convenient angle that will make it easier for you to read. It is backlit, and therefore lets you read through the display even when it is dark. The menu lets you effectively manage various features such as presetting workouts, games or language settings.

Some of the monitor’s training options include;

  • Manual mode, that lets you set your own target and achieve it. You can select on distance, calories or time and row till you achieve the target.
  • The race mode lets you compete against the computer basing on distance and split time.
  • User mode, that lets you choose up to 5 different user programs to be stored on the monitor.
  • HRC mode is for selecting a target heart rate to maintain throughout the workout.
  • Profile mode lets you choose up to 12 different profiles based on fitness metrics.
  • Watts mode is for selecting a desired watt level to apply during exercise levels.

Rower capacity

The Dynamic R1 Pro rower weighs at 83 pounds with a capacity of 300lbs. It can actually accommodate anyone with up to 350lbs but much more than that can overburden the machine and probably malfunction. Moreover, both short and as tall as 6.6” people can comfortably fit in this rower and still have some space remaining.

Comfort when rowing

Dynamic R1 Pro RowerThe design of the Dynamic R1 Pro rower ensured that the seat is large enough and it glides on the lightweight aluminum rail. It is very soft, hence minimizes on any pressure to reduce back pain. The seat is 19.5” off the ground to enable people with joint problems to get on or off the rower with ease.

The handle is soft for a comfortable grip with natural hand position all through the workout session. The nylon strap attached to it eliminates any noise resulting from rowing.

The adjustable foot pedals are large enough to accommodate foot widths and shoe sizes.

Pros

  • Anyone who is used to air resistance rowers will find this rower less noisy.
  • The foot pedals are adjustable and can accommodate any shoe size.
  • Easy to set up and assemble
  • Strong resistance from both resistance systems
  • Multi-function monitor
  • Foldable for convenient storage
  • Has a maximum capacity of up to 380lbs.

Cons

  • Although the magnetic resistance system is not noisy, the air resistance system is. Therefore, this rower will produce some noise due to the combination of the two.
  • The monitor has to be powered by an electrical outlet so as to power the magnetic resistance. This means that the rower may be of little value in case the monitor breaks.

Thanks to Daniel for this review. You can find him at The Fitness Crab  in Toronto.

Poor Old Lactic Acid – the Pain is Not His Fault!!

Lactic acid gets some pretty bad press, but it doesn’t exist in the body for more than a few seconds. It is quickly converted into lactate and hydrogen ions and it is these little guys that drop the pH in the muscles making them acidic and painful. This article from World Rowing explains more..

Lactic acid has been cast in the role of nemesis, as the necessary evil to higher athletic performance; not just in rowing, but in many sports over the years. The scientific knowledge, however, has advanced in recent decades and lactic acid seems to play a more complex role than is often assumed.

“First of all,” explains Dr Trent Stellingwerff, lead of Innovation and Research at the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, “we should call what we are measuring lactate and not lactic acid. Within the muscle, 99 per cent of the lactic acid (LaH) separates immediately into lactate (La-) and hydrogen ions (H+). It is the H+ that is the problem.”

“Lactate is both fuel and metabolic waste product,” says Alex Hutchinson, author of the Sweat Science articles for runnersworld.com. “The body has different ways of mobilising its fuel stores and it all depends on when you need the fuel.”

“When you are performing over your V02 max (maximal aerobic capacity),” says Stellingwerff, “you have to draw on anaerobic metabolism to provide the required energy. A 2000m rowing race is done at 98 to 110 per cent of power at V02 max. This is why rowers produce so much lactate.”

“Professional marathoners, by comparison, run at 85-90% of V02 max and would probably never have a lactate measurement over 4 mmol (millimoles),” he says, “but in rowers it can be around 15-18 mmol and sometimes even a bit higher.”

Measuring lactate, however, is an indirect measure, since it is not the lactate itself that causes the acidosis (or drop in pH inside the muscles). The hydrogen ions (H+) produced with the lactate cause the drop in the muscle’s pH. Normal pH in the body is 7.2, but can drop as low as 6.6 if it were to be measured in rowers after a race, according to Stellingwerff. Continue reading Poor Old Lactic Acid – the Pain is Not His Fault!!

The ultimate guide to the rowing machine

These Olympian-approved workouts and techniques are guaranteed to get you in killer shape without killing your back.

YOU MAY HAVE noticed a rowing machine, otherwise known as an ergometer or “erg,” gathering dust in the corner of your neighborhood gym or as Frank and Claire Underwood’s workout of choice in House of Cards. If you’re a CrossFitter, there’s a good chance you’ve probably even used one in a workout before.

There’s also a good chance you’re using it all wrong.

While the rowing machine is an incredibly efficient, full-body workout that allows the athlete to build aerobic endurance and muscular strength at the same time, a lack of proper technique and training is common among gym-goers and can lead to injuries and misuse. So we asked experts from the number one collegiate men’s crew team in the country at the University of California – Berkeley—Head Coach Mike Teti and Associate Head Coach Scott Frandsen—to give you the lowdown on everything you need to know about the rowing machine. Both are Olympic medalists (Teti is both a medalist as an athlete and a coach) who know exactly what it takes, in the gym and on the water, to get in gold medal-winning shape.

In order to get the most out of your time on the rowing machine you should: Continue reading The ultimate guide to the rowing machine

Sunny Health and Fitness Rowing Machine

Amazing value for a magnetic resistance rowing machine at just over $200.

Sunny Health and Fitness are very good at producing good pieces of gym equipment at very reasonable prices. The Magnetic Rowing Machine with Adjustable Resistance by Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-RW5515 is no exception to this trend. If fact, the price is so low, it’s almost silly!

So what about the machine? The assembly is very straightforward and simple and only takes about 20 minutes.

Unlike air baffle rowers such as the Concept 2, the action is extremely quiet making it very suitable for a living room. The only thing that you can really hear is the seat rolling backwards and forwards on the runners and perhaps the occasional grunt of effort by the user!

The performance is similar to many of the other magnetic resistance rowers on the market. There is a knob just underneath the monitor which adjusts the load that can be set to a high enough level to challenge the strongest of men.

Sunny Fitness Magnetic Rower SeatThe seat is fairly comfortable although I prefer to user a rowing machine seat pad. The foot rests are big enough but it is not possible to adjust the position of the straps relative to the feet. I could imagine this being a problem if you have really small feet. I don’t (size 13!!)

In terms of storage, this machine folds away to quite a compact size and can be folded with minimum effort. It’s not as beautiful at the Waterrower which looks like a piece of furniture when put away against a wall, but then it does cost six times as much!

The monitor is not fantastic. It tracks strokes, time, and calories. However, with a good heart rate monitor and a notebook, it is quite easy to measure your improvements. My advice is to set a stroke rate of around 21-25 spm and the resistance to whatever you can sustain for the time period you are training. Keep these settings for ten training sessions and make a note of your average heart rate at the end of each session. If it starts dropping, you are getting the training right. If you are looking for a machine with a fantastic competition level computer, then you need to upgrade to a Concept 2 but this will set you back around $1000.

All in all, the Sunny Health and Fitness rowing machine is terrific value for money and will give you as good a workout as with any other magnetic resistance rower.

It’s currently priced at $205 on Amazon.

 

Compare other rowing machines here.

 

Why runners should be rowers.

This is a great post originally from www.firstdegreefitness-europe.com that struck a chord with me. I used to play a lot of rugby and got into rowing once I had stopped playing regularly. Rugby is an intense sport and as part of my training I did a lot of running and picked up a persistent calf muscle injury which took a lot of rehab. To keep fit I was swimming and cycling but had I known about how intense rowing is, I would most definitely had done this instead and then added it as permanent part of my training.

As a runner I was in need of a workout to help me retain fitness while I rehabbed a foot injury, so I was directed to a rowing machine—commonly referred to as an ergometer or “erg.”
Then I endured one of the most challenging cross-training workouts of my life—for exactly 12 minutes.

Rowing is an invaluable tool for runners. When you learn how to do it right it lights up weaknesses you didn’t know you had. It helps runners and cyclists find power in muscles they hadn’t used before.

Rowing is a potent weapon in an endurance athlete’s cross-training arsenal, or as a replacement for running when injuries surface. It’s no joke. It’s some serious, lung-searing stuff. When an athlete is dealing with a foot or Achilles tendon problem, often the solution lies in replacing running with work on the ergometer. For both continuity and recovery. In place of key running workouts, use indoor rowing.
It’s all about proper technique. If you don’t do it right, it’s not going to work.

While running and rowing are similar in cardiovascular benefits, they differ in the muscular workout they deliver. Erin Cafaro, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist and member of the U.S. rowing squad, said that rowing punishes the body in different ways. “In one continuous motion rowing works legs, core, back and arms,” she said. “It’s a full-body workout.”

One of the chief benefits rowing offers runners is improved posture. “Runners typically have terrible posture, leading to bad form, leading to beating the hell out of yourself.
Proper rowing helps runners develop robust midline stability to help shift running from smaller, weaker muscles such as hip flexors to more powerful muscles in the hips.

Properly performed rowing gives a runner a solid blast of cardio work, works the abs, core and lower back, and even develops flexibility in the hamstrings and calves.

Where should you start? Don’t make the mistake most runners do when they first hit the rowing machine and yank away—not only will you miss out on the primary benefits rowing has to offer, but you also might make things worse.

So, what benefits does rowing offer runners and triathletes?

Rowing machines allow runners to do a non-impact form of endurance training. If you want to be a better runner, your training should focus on running mainly. However, cross-training during non-competitive periods in the year and during recovery blocks throughout the season helps runners stay injury free and mentally fresh. Those are the key benefits of rowing for runners.

Any tips fur runners taking up rowing?

Strongly resist the urge to become a rowing specialist. This is especially true for triathletes, who tend to want to mimic the training done in the specific sub sports of their discipline. For example, very often triathletes fall into the trap of training like Masters swimmers, road cyclists and runners rather than training like a triathlete. The same intensity and inquisitiveness that leads to those miss-steps can also lead a motivated runner or triathlete to use the erg as if he is a crew specialist. This is counterproductive because it can hurt recovery. If you’re really trying to improve on the erg, it’s likely your training load will increase on the erg and will cut into your recovery, leading to decreased volumes of sport-specific training. Both problems can reduce sport-specific performance.

Click here to view original web page at www.firstdegreefitness-europe.com

 

 

http://www.rowing-machine-review.com

Why Indoor Rowing Is Much More Than Just Cardio

The term “cardio” is loosely used to define several activities. It is important to note some cardiovascular activities hold greater weight than others despite being under the same umbrella. Indoor rowing would be one of these activities.

It is one of the more robust activities a person can use to lose weight and get stronger. Let’s take a look at why indoor rowing is more than simple cardio for those creating a meaningful workout program.

What Is Indoor Rowing?

Before looking into dissecting indoor rowing for its benefits, let’s assess what it encompasses.

Indoor rowing is completed with an indoor rowing machine or “indoor rower.” The premise of this machine is to recreate the rowing motion indoors.

An ergometer is attached to the machine to determine how much force is being expended and the artificial distance being covered. This helps shape one’s workout and progress towards established goals. Many gyms and home gyms are now filled with these machines because of how useful they are in losing weight and getting healthier.

Comparable Types Of Cardio

What are some of the comparable types of cardiovascular activities and machines one can use?

Treadmills are not as effective as indoor rowing1) Bicycle
2) Treadmill
3) Stepper

These are the three key cardio machines a person will get to see when heading to a local gym or when buying equipment for a home gym.

These pieces of equipment are fantastic, but it’s important to understand rowing machines are better. The amount of wasted force with these machines is greater than that which an indoor rowing machine will require. With wasted force comes lost potential.

Studies have shown an indoor rowing machine is far greater in getting a whole body workout.

Benefits Of Indoor Rowing

Let’s begin with the advantages of indoor rowing for those who are looking to come to grips about this activity and why it holds merit in the world of cardio. Many people feel this is the ultimate solution and far better than other activities due to these underlying advantages.

1) Whole Body Workout

Indoor Rowing Workout Rocks!
Workout Rocks!

The first benefit comes from usage. A general cardiovascular activity will get the blood pumping and heart racing. This is wonderful, but it’s not ideal when it comes to time expended. With an indoor rowing machine, it’s possible to get the whole body working out at the same time.

The movement requires force and this means the body from head to toe has to be utilized.

With indoor rowing, the body will be put under the pump, and this will extract real value from each minute spent on the machine.

2) Maximizes Muscle Retention

The one thing a lot of cardiovascular workouts tend to hamper involves muscle retention. This is the idea of losing muscle over a period of time. Instead of letting this happen, it’s better to go with a machine designed to retain muscle in the long-term.

The maximization of muscle is one of the key selling points of the indoor rowing machine.

It gets the heart racing, but it also makes sure the body is working in a manner where the muscles don’t start to lessen in mass.

3) Builds Mind-Muscle Connection

The machine does an excellent job of building an in-depth mind-muscle connection. This lets you understand your body better and get more value out of the session.

This is why many prefer indoor rowing over other activities.

It challenges the body to maintain good posture and continue the movement in a safe manner. If a person ignores this, they don’t optimize the movement. It’s a unique activity and one with a lot of value.

4) Reduces Pressure On Joints

The final benefit comes in the form of reduced pressure on the joints. There is no reason to go with a machine such as a treadmill, which can ruin one’s knees from the constant pounding. The low-impact nature of indoor rowing makes it beneficial.

These are the reasons why indoor rowing is more than simple cardio and continues to be a prime option for those wanting high-grade results in this day and age. Working out isn’t about getting up, but also making sure things are doing with a high level of care where quality results are possible.

Best Rowing Machine Training Tips

Rowing for Men

Man with OarMuscle formation and stamina increases with rowing – perfect for men!

Conventional fitness equipment primarily focuses on either the individual parts of the body or specific muscle groups; however, this is not the case with rowing. Rowing is a total body workout, where both cardio and strength are equally trained. Strong resistance at regular short periods will help grow your muscles. Especially the back, arm and leg muscles and the stamina are trained with the help of Rowing. However, training for longer periods improves endurance helping protect you from many diseases that often occur in untrained people of the same age.

Rowing for Women

Rowing workouts tone the individual body parts and burns calories – perfect for every women.

Rowing, not only offers an optimal training for men, but slowly more and more women are also discovering the benefits of rowing for workouts for both muscle strength and aerobic fitness. In contrast to a treadmill or cross-trainer, the rowing machine stresses the whole body. In particular, legs, arms, shoulders, stomach, and the back are functionally trained. Such a strengthening full body workout boosts post training calorie consumption and therefore helps reduce weight.

Motivational Tips

Lose weight & get fit!

Continue reading Best Rowing Machine Training Tips

Rowing Is The New Spinning, Here’s Why

In previous years, spinning was the workout craze. Today, It’s been upgraded to rowing. You don’t want to miss out.

Rowing machines have long been poo-pooed as too much work. However, today, the lowly rowing machine has seen a new surge in popularity. With upgrades in their technology and upgrades in style, the lowly rowing machine has finally found its niche in the exercise world. With water tanks added to give it a more realistic appearance when compared to the real true crewing conditions, the rowing machine is back with a mission. That mission, to give you the rock hard body of the Hollywood icons that you’ve long drooled over. Yes, you too can row your way to a great body all at an affordable cost. Today that lowly rowing machine is the new “spinning” and it’s working wonders on cardio and sculpting bodies. Continue reading Rowing Is The New Spinning, Here’s Why

Watch U.S. Olympians Teach Us Mortals How To Row

At first glance, rowing seems to belong to the well-heeled and faintly evil. In House of Cards the Underwoods stoically row their way into the right fitness level for world domination. The Winklevosses, those large adult twins, rowed big boats at the real Harvard and at the thinly fictionalized Harvard of the The Social Network. Before their time, way back in 1852, Harvard raced Yale in the U.S. first-ever intercollegiate sporting event. Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie built a 262-acre manmade lake in Princeton, New Jersey just so the university’s varsity crew team could have a less crowded place to train.
Continue reading Watch U.S. Olympians Teach Us Mortals How To Row