The Fitness Matters Indoor Rowing Plan is a continuous, fully supported and personalised plan suitable for all ages and abilities. The only basic requirement is an up to date 2km time.

In the Beginning:

Earlier this year you may have noticed we began to offer a series of Concept 2 training plans which were initially offered as a free ‘pilot’ to gauge interest. We then subsequently offered these as charged plans in order to ensure the level of preparation and coaching support could continue. These were designed for those wanting to make gains both in terms of fitness and experience on the Concept 2 rowing machine.

We have now started to reflect on our experience of having offered training in this format, drawing on the experiences we encounter daily through the activity that occurs within the groups we run, the individual contact Sam has with many of our ‘planners’, and the feedback we receive during the closing stages of any plan we offer.

Our plans have historically offered up to 5 x weekly pre planned workouts, pace guidance and coaching input in a mutually supportive group environment. According to the feedback we’ve gained this set up reinforces structure, accountability, variance, and consistency in training whilst also helping participants build confidence and stay motivated. To date, the progress made has been astounding, and in many respects is hard to quantify because actually what we’ve come to learn from feedback is that there’s more to be gained from taking part than reducing numbers on a monitor.

Ultimately our sense is that’s what’s been offered has been very well received. The whole most certainly being greater than the sum of its independent parts…It’s never just about the session programme. The package we’ve developed has been enough to sustain interest at a level neither of us could have imagined when the initial call for 6-8 volunteers to take part in the pilot was put to people via the various Facebook forums.

The Future:

So, given the feedback and the need to think mid to long term about sustainability in terms of participation and quality, we’re looking to evolve. We want to continue to massively reinforce consistency in training and believe that the best way to do this is offer one plan for all, all year round. We are therefore shortly due to launch what will hopefully in the future more fondly become known as the Fitness Matters Plan but in the meantime will more formally be named Concept 2 Rowing Plan by Fitness Matters! A rolling programme that centrally teaches the concept of ‘gearing’ (like all our previous plans) and guides you through its application. Maintaining consistency in training is after all truly only truly achieved if consistency in the application of that training is achieved. The fundamental principle therefore remains the same…make every stroke count, don’t over load OR adopt speed over power as a means to achieve sessional goals that ultimately reinforce bad habits, weaken form or don’t generalise across all session formats. Be consistent.

The main ingredients will also remain the same:

  • Up to 5 sessions a week with pace and rate guides to reinforce gearing as a concept.
  • Regular coaching feedback from Sam Blythe (British Indoor Rowing Champion).
  • Exclusive FB group membership.

The difference from previous plans being:

  • You commit to what you can given your lifestyle, schedules and training goals.
  • The plan never ends…there’s no final week as such.
  • The sessions will be applicable to anyone wanting to improve general fitness, enhance performance across ranking distances or compete at events during race season. The content will follow a format that matches those objectives whilst also being informed by popular events on the calendar. You participate in as much or as little as you like given your goal.
  • There’s no joining fee as with previous plans, instead there’s a monthly payment of £23.50 which will grant ongoing unlimited access to Fitness Matters training.
  • To take part please send a join request to


  • How will this generic plan help me achieve my individual goals?

This plan has been proven to enhance performance across a range of ranked distances due to the unique combination of endurance, speed and power based sessions that comprise a typical FM weekly training plan schedule. The timetable is very much informed by the UK indoor rowing race calendar, but if you have a specific request to train for a particular distance for a time limited period we will be able to help incorporate this into your weekly training.

  • What if my goals change?

If your goals change, feel free to adapt your plan accordingly. You have the flexibility to decide whether to engage in more or less training.

  • Do I have to do all of the sessions?

The plan will provide 5 sessions a week. It is entirely up to you how many sessions you undertake. As with anything, the more consistently you train towards a goal, the more likely you are to achieve it.

  • How much can I vary from the pace guides?

The pace guides are there for a reason. They are central to the concept of ‘gearing’. All sessions will indicate a specific guide in terms of pace based on an initial 2k time. If in doubt stick to the guide. The guide is designed to prevent you overloading your stroke at low rate AND substituting power with speed at higher rates. Both of which are habits that if formed over time are likely to weaken your stroke profile and affect your technique, efficiency and ultimately performance.

  • What if I want time off training?

This plan is designed as a rolling programme, and not every session needs to be completed. If for a time your circumstances or priorities change then feel free to withdraw and rejoin at a later date should you so wish. You will not be charged for the period that you withdraw from participation.

  • Can I do extra training?

As with all previous plans feel free to add additional cross training sessions as you so wish. Be aware however if you’re looking to improve your rowing performance…then it’s rowing you need to be doing most of!

  • What is the difference between the WOD group, the ‘Concept 2 Rowing Plan by Fitness Matters’ and a bespoke Fitness Matters rowing plan?

We offer a range of training options at Fitness Matters:

Our Workout of the Day (WOD) group is a group for people looking to generally improve fitness using the rowing machine (£12 a month).
Comparatively our group plan offers sessions of a similar structure but with more individual coaching input aimed specifically at improving gearing and performance across a wider range of distances.  The session content will also be informed by forthcoming events on the race calendar (£23.50 a month).
If you’re looking for some more detailed individual coaching then the bespoke service offers you tailored sessions around a specific goal taking into account your individual circumstances more closely (Please contact for further information).