A couple of years ago I bought a Concept2 Model C indoor rowing machine – basically the best there is. I used to use one of these (I think it was a Model B back then) while still in high school when I rowed for the Murray Bridge Rowing Club. I spent a couple of nights a week at a local gym, which happened to be owned by my rowing coach. As a result I ended up spending long periods of time on the rowing machine, being constantly nagged by my coach to do more, do it better, watch my technique, etc. Considering it was a mostly social rowing club, who didn’t take competition all that seriously (although we did actually compete fairly regularly), it was all rather intense. But it did good things for my fitness levels. Of course, moving away from home to start Uni, changed all that for the worse.
Back in late 1999, I bought the Concept2 Model C with the aim of using it for regular exercise. According to the records of the rowing I did (I hooked the computer up to the rowing machine to record the activity) – it got 6 months of very regular use, and then further sporadic use over the next 12 months. Since then it has had occasional use, but I had difficulty staying motivated. After I started working from home and I no longer had to get to the office every day, I found a lack of daily routine made it difficult to make the exercise into a habit.
Rowing is a great exercise – it works most of the major muscle groups, and gives a good cardio workout too. But after a while it just gets boring. I did take the step of buying a small TV to have next to the rowing machine, and have found that does help distract me – the time goes much more quickly when you have something else to concentrate on. I’ve just recently started listening to PodCasts on my iPod while rowing, which is a fantastic way to catch up on some news, while also effectively distracting me enough to make rowing much less boring.
More recently, I bought an upgrade to the monitor on my rowing machine – the PM2+ monitor on the model C is very good, but from what I’d seen of the new PM3 on the model D – it looked far superior – in many ways. Fortunately, it is possible to purhcase a retro-fit kit to adapt the PM3 monitor to the model C rowing machine. What’s more, they also sell the new ergonomic handle from the model D. So I’ve now upgraded my model C into an almost-model-D (basically added PM3 and new handle). About the only difference between what I’ve got and a model D, so I’m told by the people at Concept2, is that the model D’s flywheel enclosure is a bit quieter, and more rust proof, and there’s no capability on the model C to power the PM3 while rowing – so battery life won’t be as good. So really, it’s pretty darn close to a model D rowing machine.
I’m very impressed with the PM3 monitor – it’s a great design, and very easy to use. I’ve got it hooked up to the computer so I can track results more effectively. I do love the new log card function of the PM3 though – you can store results without requiring a computer connection !!. I’ve even got my wife using the rowing machine now too – she has her own profile programmed in so it tracks her results separately to mine.