Workout Wednesday – The Middle

I have been rowing for 39 days. The halfway mark is a great time to reflect on my progress so far.

Action Plan Progress:

  • DONE – 8/5 different rowing workouts attempted
  • DONE – 5/5 instructional videos watched
  • DONE – Created a Pinterest inspiration board
  • DONE – Researched the benefits of rowing for improved cardio health
  • DONE – Watched a documentary about rowing
  • 1/2 books read about rowing
  • Attend an indoor rowing class

Grade: C

Lessons LearnedI’ve been trying a lot of different rowing exercises, but every other day I do 10 minutes of interval rowing. This keeps me on track with my habit, but it also allows me recovery time. On days that I am especially sore, I will just do 10 minutes of easy rowing (20-24 strokes per minute). It is important to listen to your body when starting a new exercise regimen. 


Even with easy days built in, I have managed to lose 5 pounds since I started this habit. My heart rate is also trending down which is a great sign and a major reason for tackling this habit!

I’ve also found that when I focus on a healthy habit it helps kickstart the other healthy habits I have cultivated. When I get up early to row, it makes me want to eat a healthy breakfast. I’ve also gotten back into the habit of getting my 10,000 steps every day. Why would I bust my butt rowing and then loaf around all day and not get my steps? 

A support system to keep me accountable has also been very helpful. The Captivated by Curiosity Accountability Group on Facebook has helped me stay motivated for rowing and posting about my progress on this blog.

Rowing is challenging and fun. I haven’t dreaded a workout yet, but there have been a few late nights where I was not at all motivated just determined to get my rowing workout done. I want this habit to stick and I cannot wait to get out on the water are the end of my first 66 days!

If you have any suggestions to help me continue to improve my rowing skills please share them in the comments below!

Book Breakdown: Rowing the Atlantic

Title: Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean
Author: Roz Savage
Genre: Non-fiction/ Memoir
Grade: B

Roz Savage has written 2 books about ocean rowing. I decided to read her account of rowing across the Atlantic since I had just watched a documentary about rowing the Pacific.

I really enjoyed Savage’s account of participating in the Atlantic Rowing Race. I didn’t know this event existed, but my timing was fantastic because I got to follow the end of the 2017 race while reading this book.

It is a journey of self-discovery and reflection. The deepening relationship with her mother was especially touching. I also enjoyed the layout of the book and how she tied the emotions she felt while rowing to different people and events that led her to the middle of the Atlantic.

Rowing across an ocean seems agonizing, and like it or not Savage shares gory details about boils and sores that the documentary I watched glossed over. It’s also very dark in some places which made me wonder why anyone would want to do this to themselves. The challenges she faced toward the end of the race were particularly gut-wrenching. The anticipation of being done mixed with the frustration of yet another obstacle must have made the finish all the sweeter.

The Clouds of Anxiety chapter was my least favorite because it goes into the details of her divorce. Who am I to judge another person’s journey? It is an important part of Savage’s life, so I’m glad that she shared the memories in the book. I also liked that she thanked her ex-husband in the Acknowledgements which made it seem like a happier outcome for all involved.

A short, exciting read that I would recommend to anyone looking to delight in a second-hand adventure.

If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean like this post to be entered into the drawing!

Rowing Right

There are all kinds of wrong ways to row. Since I’m doing a repetitive exercise every day I need to focus on my form so I don’t injure myself. I also researched the benefits of rowing to ensure I key in on the right metrics.

This instructional video posted by Zain Khan does a wonderful job of breaking down the rowing stroke and explaining some of the common mistakes beginners make along with how to correct them. My favorite parts explain how improper technique could lead to specific injuries, and the impact those movements would have on the water.

Watching a variety of videos on proper technique has helped me to feel more confident in my stroke. Every warmup I do starts with the stroke breakdown and an easy row to make sure I’m doing things in the right order. I’m sure taking a rowing class with an instructor will do wonders for my technique, but I want to build up more endurance before I pay for a class.

Improving my cardio health is the main reason I decided to pick up rowing. According to the Mayo Clinic, aerobic exercises can help you lose weight, strengthen your heart, and even help with your mood. Because rowing is low impact I feel like I have made greater strides than when I tried different running programs.

A rowing machine is also a combination machine. It allows you to build muscle while getting in a great cardio workout. Setting the resistance on your rowing machine at 4-6 is supposed to mimic the drag you would experience on the water.

I was intimidated about rowing every day because previously I worked out about once a week, but I haven’t experienced any major issues. I think pacing myself has helped a lot, and I am still seeing progress gains.

Please let me know if there is something I missed in my research. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.

Inspiration & Implementation: Workout Wednesday

Workout inspiration abounds on Pinterest. Below are the top links I have pinned to my Workout Wednesday board that are helping me to build this rowing habit.

1. Rowing Technique

I watched this tutorial video at least 10 times when I first started rowing. It does a wonderful job of breaking down the stroke, which I use as my warm up every day. I really think it is important to focus on technique since it is such a repetitive motion.

2. 14 Rowing Machine Workouts

The great thing about Pinterest is all the infographics! This list of rowing machine workouts pulls together easy to follow workouts. I enjoy the variety it puts into my daily routine, and I have tried a new workout every other day since I started.

3. 5 Big Rowing Machine Benefits

The infographics also provide a lot of information on why rowing is so good for you. I like this article the best because it covers a lot of ground. Rowing is a full body, low impact exercise that is great for cardio. What’s not to love?!

I have also added a number of inspirational quotes and images to my Workout Wednesday board. Staying motivated to workout every day is hard. On the days I find it especially difficult to get on the rowing machine I take time to look up new quotes to get me in the right frame of mind.

I don’t always feel motivated to stick with my habits, so I have taken to saying, “determination over motivation!” I know we’re all trying to stay on track so please share any inspiring words or images in the comments below.