My Birthday Present to Me

I'm 38 today. As a present to myself I've bought a Concept 2 rowing machine. Well, actually I've hired it, with a view to buying it. They're not cheap and I want to make sure I get on with it first.

It's in my garage, which, as you may know, makes up the other half of the out-house my office is in, so it's literally next door to where I sit all day every day, making it an easily accessible means of exercise.

2013-01-08 11.57.52

Having a birthday so early in January means I can double it up with my new year resolution. This year I want to get in better shape, with a view to being able to take my top off in public without feeling a sense of shame. Although, it's more about my general health, longevity and well-being. Not just vanity. Honest.

Rowing seems the ideal all over aerobic workout and being able to squeeze it in without leaving the "building" or joining a gym is a bonus.

Another reason to turn to rowing is that it has a low impact on the body. Until now my only means of keeping fit has been running. While I enjoy running and don't plan on stopping, I'm aware that it's having an impact on my (ageing!) body. I also find it hard to get out and run as much as I need to in order to counter-act the amount of crisps I eat and wine I drink. I'm a fair-weather runner and only feel inclined to run on blue sky days, which, in England are few and far between. Typically I run about once or twice a week, which isn't enough. Whenever I do step up the running and go more often my body complains. Hence turning to the rower.

The Concept2 arrived earlier this week and so far I'm loving it. In fact I'm finding it hard to stay off it. My best 2k time so far is a rather embarrassing 8m 20s, which gives me plenty to improve on. My goal is to join the "Sub 7" club.

Are any of you guys indoor rowers?


  1. Happy birthday Jake!

    • avatar
    • Lauri Laanti
    • Fri 11 Jan 2013 05:59 AM

    I'm 39 today. So, happy birthday to both of us! I also coincidentally(?) use a Concept rowing machine at the gym. My new favourite, though, is the cross-trainer (I can use my Xoom while exercising) :)

    • avatar
    • Philip King
    • Fri 11 Jan 2013 06:16 AM

    Happy Birthday chap.

    Great idea, nothing like a good Concept2 workout for emptying the body of everything its got.

    1. that sounds messy.

  2. A repeat wish for a repeat event. :-)

    Have never tried rowing but it looks like it makes those boys on the Olympic teams quite fit. You'll be turning heads at the beach by summer, in one respect or another, with your shirt off I'm sure.

    Best of luck with your new routine, Jake. Keep a chart and watch your fitness increase - that's my favorite part of working out.

    • avatar
    • Dennis
    • Fri 11 Jan 2013 07:20 AM

    Happy Birthday Jake! My birthday is still a couple weeks away(Jan) and as I've said before, I wish 38 were still visible in my rear view mirror. I know it's difficult to get out when the weather leaves a lot to be desired, but a half hour walk a day can be beneficial for trimming up. Hope you enjoy your birthday and your Concept 2!

  3. Happy birthday! My wife's birthday is today also, so it must be a good day!

    Rowing sounds like a great way to stay in shape, plus with it being very low impact, it makes a great way to prevent exercise injuries. Good luck with it, and I look forward to reading more about your progress. Maybe it will convince me to take the plunge...

    • avatar
    • Jaap
    • Fri 11 Jan 2013 09:02 AM

    Happy Rowing Birthday, I am on that one once per week:-)

  4. Hi Jake,

    excellent purchase and a lifetime investment even if you are 38!

    Rowing is a great aerobic exercise and as you say works your upper and lower body. I went for a Water Rower rather than a Concept2 a few years ago. If I was picking today I would go Concept as it is much quieter now.

    In a fitness plan it is important to consider functional strength and your core - rowing or running wont help here. I got into kettlebells in the past 2 years and I would really recommend them to complete your home gym. Check out Steve Cotter on youtube for instructions. I imagine though you will be distracted for a few weeks with your precious. Enjoy!

  5. Happy birthday Jake

    • avatar
    • Phil Warner
    • Fri 11 Jan 2013 05:06 PM

    1500m in 5:54. Something to aim for...

  6. I have an elliptical trainer at the moment and I am considering an indoor rower so will be very interested in how you get on.

    BTW I use http://www.thewallee.com/ to mount my iPad at eye height - for me distraction is the key to keep going ;-)

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 17 Jan 2013 03:20 AM

      Getting on with well so far. Boredom is a factor though. I have the radio on but still get bored. Noticed things like mould on the underneath of the garage roof while rowing (another job for the list!). I might end up watching the iPlayer...

      I would recommend a concept2 though. If not just because of the build quality. You can tell it's built to last.

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