FIRST OFF, WHAT IS ROW’D ROYALTY?
An online indoor rowing competition. Each week for 4 weeks, a rowing workout for the Concept 2 Erg is announced. Competitors have 4 days to complete the workout and submit their scores online with a picture of the monitor. At the end of 4 weeks the Kings & Queens of the rowers are crowned. Cash prizes are awarded to the top 3 male & female rowers in both the Open Division and for Age Group & Team winners.
It’s really good! “Cardio machines” in gyms are misunderstood and mostly underused to their full effect. The Concept 2 rowing machine is the leader with this underuse. The boat simulator that was created for elite athletes to help training when off the water is so commonly found in gyms all over the world where mostly you will see gym goers sliding up and down trying to complete distance, time or calories. Please forgive me for being such an indoor rowing nerd but there is so much more to moving through the motions than is often seen.
The “Erg” as it is more commonly known, to be used optimally, requires skill and technique and once mastered will allow you to reach capabilities and pain tolerance that you did not know you possessed. I promise you I don’t say that lightly either. The first time I had the skill to really let rip I honestly thought I was going to die in my quest to go sub 7 minutes for a 2,000 metres. I went sub 7! Oh and less importantly I survived.
Here is the write up for our fantastic group this year:
Row’d Royalty 2022
Hey everyone. A message from me today to say a big well done to you all for competing in this gruelling competition and for sticking at something that required a lot of energy and focus over the last 4 weeks.
Once again this quirky little sport of ours has allowed us to tap into our inner most reserves and to realise that we are capable of achieving more than we thought we ever could. The C2, endurance and sport in general is great for that.
In the most challenging and busy category of them all you came a very respectable 33rd from 210 athletes. For such an outstanding athlete as yourself, coming in that place shows the quality of the opposition. Well played young man and as always, thank you for keeping me young, hungry and focussed.
I love that you were involved with this and the courage you showed by jumping straight in at the deep end after only being with us a week goes a long way to predicting your future not only in this game but in all matters of sport and fitness and indeed your life. I’m looking forward to watching you progress.
Well I must say I’m glad this competition is over so I can enjoy mealtimes at home free from analysing every athlete in your category’s race performances. You have been intense. Intense, however, is a compliment of the highest order and you have brought all that focus and energy into each performance ensuring you finished in a very worthy 8th place and were highest British female in your category. You are strong in this sport. Please keep it up.
You are the master tactician of the group and I always pay close attention to your messages which are full of worthy advice for everybody. What I particularly admire about you is you are a first on the team sheet for every single competition this team is involved in and by going head-to-head with Stephen you have been crucial in keeping the old guard young. Many more to come sir.
You have excelled yourself. At the start of this race programme, you literally had no idea of what you were doing but as each week and race has gone by, you have become more experienced and learned a lot about your own capabilities and limits. Your one quality above all else is that you fear no pain. You will run through brick walls to give your very best performance and it never goes unnoticed.
It took some effort to convince you get involved with Row’d Royalty but I’m certainly glad you did, and I know you will be too. Your debut performance in an endurance stage race saw you develop what potential I knew you had from day one in our gym. You have a talent and gift for aerobic sports and over the last four weeks we’ve all seen that develop. The main thing from now on is to believe in yourself. The rewards will follow.
What an athlete you are. Energy levels unmatched by any of us and you shy away from nothing. Since you got heavily involved with our endurance sports and challenges you have improved no end and you are snapping at the heels of the greats because of it. To come 13th in a category of 120 is a very good effort and to come 5th out of 45 in your very competitive age group is extremely close to medalling. Well done, Kris. Outstanding work.
How we are all loving the change in you over the last couple of months. You’ve realised what it takes to achieve what you want and you’re taking every opportunity to do it. Row’d Royalty and competing at a serious level in sport is not something you are familiar with, but you jumped into this without fear and took on every challenge with full force. You quickly figured out race strategies along the way and completing the eight races is a real credit to your endeavours.
The Lone Ranger. Since we introduced you to our strange sport you’ve got through all the training and all the races completely on your own in your home gym. A lot of credit is due here because we’ve found the support of others close by has helped to motivate. Being away from us though, you have still been very much involved every day with words of advice and support for the rest of the team. What has been of note is the continued training once competitions are over. We appreciate that. You are getting better at this game, particularly the shorter more powerful efforts and I’m looking forward to racing in the same category as you next time.
Speaking of competing on your own, you above all others have dealt with European travel every week and performed half of your race efforts on battered machines in Amsterdam. I can’t praise you enough here because all that travelling is tiring and makes it difficult to establish a routine. You know your long-term goals though and you know that we have to break the year up with different challenges to keep us on track and this one you took on in order to get some early year fitness in. Indoor rowing, although you hate it at times is an activity that will keep you in a good way for a long time to come. Well played Neill. You’ve gotten through yet another race series and that is commendable.
I am so proud of what you do in all this sport and fitness game. You, more than a lot of others, have high demands. Two young kids, a husband, a busy home and social life and a challenging full-time job don’t make high intensity sport easy in any way. The efforts you’ve gone through to get your races done have been noticed by us all and let’s not forget the going out of your way to help others get theirs done too. This has been a good series for you and unfortunately because of illness you missed the last race and that cost you placings, but you have the great satisfaction of hitting a 2k PB mid race in your 3rd event. That is special! Well played Sarah. There is a good rest of the year ahead for you.
Where would we all be without you? You are incredibly supportive and encouraging to every single person that has not only gotten involved with indoor rowing but joined our Team Training group in general. You are a real key player. Because of that and because of the huge amount of physical effort you put into your life I’m so happy to see that this race series has delivered good results for you. Above all other races, you have shot up the rankings in this one more than any other and I feel proud to only have a few placings between us in our age category. Not just that, you have come way up the field against every other athlete across all ages. You’re coming strong here Stephen and I’m excited about what lies ahead.
You always jump in for everything Terry and that’s what’s impressive about this race series. Quite humorous how it was clear from the start you weren’t up for it (largely because of your back) but it is in your very nature to have a go at whatever this Team decides to do and that’s what we all love about you. What is nice to see in recent efforts is you are learning to control your speed and not going off too fast anymore. When the next event comes around you will do better overall because of this control.
Without question, the best part of your approach towards competition is exactly what approach to competition should be. The desire to win. In this race series you have surprised me because I did not think you would do as well as you have. You came 2nd in your age group but even better finished 4th out of 129 overall which is mightily impressive. Make no mistake you are in a golden period right now and you have the potential to kick on to great heights. It’s going to mean a lot of uncomfortable work ahead, but you have it in you. For now, though Vicky, I congratulate you on an outstanding Row’d Royalty tournament. It’s a joy to have you in the team.
I’d go as far to say that you are the most loved member of this group of rowing and fitness enthusiasts. At every opportunity you attend our gym, quite often twice a day, and you have nothing but help and kindness for everyone here. The most pleasing part about your gym game right now is the lifting of weights. You are getting stronger every session. We both know we’ve got our issues when it comes to consistency with rowing but when we sat side by side in the 3rd race you showed you could deliver. That was the best race you’ve done where it was very close between us and I was proud to race with you. Good effort as always Wayne and I know you’ll be looking forward to the next Row Series.
A huge well done to our very own leader, motivator, and world champion. 1st in the world in his age category and 9th overall out of 120 is a phenomenal achievement and to be admired. It is often said that the best way to lead is by example and Paul gives us this in abundance. Still as strong an athlete at 50 as he was in his 20’s, he shows us all that getting older is not to be feared. Paul showed consistency in the competition as ever, with the threat of Andy’s youth pushing him to perform at the highest level, as well as the new contender Kris snapping at his heels. Well done Paul – We salute you and thank you for driving us to get to places we didn’t know that we could go. (by CP & The Team
BACK TO ROW’D ROYALTY….
When people join our Team Training group I nearly always try to steer them into competing in sport; anything, it doesn’t matter what. Sport and competition are incredible for seeing progression because once pride and places are up for grabs, work load ramps up and people get serious – often very serious! The desire to win and place high overrides previous thoughts such as “I want to look good in jeans.”
Note here: this is part of the reason I urge people to compete. If you try your hardest to do well in sport then as a by product, guess what happens? Yes, you look good in jeans!
Because the rowing machines are accessible to everyone, Concept2 racing means participation in this individual sport is something we can all do together without the field splitting up. What I mean by this is, in a long running race or training group for example, once the gun goes off you’re usually on your own. With Erg training and racing, you have company and although conversation halts during effort, the feeling of someone next to you doing the same work makes it very much shared pain.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR FITNESS QUICKLY….
Another special thing happens with this type of racing. People who may be shy of publicly pushing themselves physically (think road running, field, racquet and team sports)will do so more because everybody from the elite to the novice is sat on a machine and to any watching eyes all are equal. The numbers on the screen will tell you and you alone what is actually happening and it’s very good this way because if more than one attempt at a race is attempted, you can and mostly will try a lot harder second time around. This is an excellent way to build fitness too as for general gym workouts people mainly go on these types of machines and repeat the same workout at the same intensity.
NOTE HERE: INTENSITY IS THE KEY TO FITNESS, NOT DURATION! READ THAT AGAIN.
Surprisingly, what is a very individual sport that can be performed alone at home (a lot of us own rowing machines as well as using the ones in our gym) becomes an incredibly tight bonding team sport because of the competition that is involved and all the discussion around tactics and placings. The talk has been of nothing else this last 4 weeks!
The training needed which is more frequent than racing is also a shared event. Either in the gym, or over live video, we can get together at the same time and perform tasks which can be very hard to do alone. Number chasing for speed and distance seems to be less painful if done together and this is where it can top a dust gathering Peloton bike because although those are “kind of shared” classes, here you can do it with real humans that are local to you.
So that’s a snapshot of indoor rowing racing and what is involved.
WHO’S IT FOR?
Literally anyone can have a go and it’s more popular than you may think which is evident when you look at the amount of people from around the world we were recently up against.
So….come and have a row! Come and have a free few sessions – try an engine day or come and have some 1-2-1 personal training in the gym and see how you get on. What usually happens is that most people are always so much better after a bit of technique coaching than they ever thought that they could be!