Rowing Plan Feedback
This has been my 1st time every committing to a rowing plan so I’ve got nothing to compare it to but I must say – I’m impressed! We’re all so different in this team – both on the personal level and on the rowing level but the way you guys made the rowing program allows us to be individuals and makes us improve our rowing skills if we really want to. I can’t say it’s been easy but I’ve loved every single minute of it and I’ll miss it greatly after week 6 is done. It’s been a pleasure and an honour being part of this team. Hopefully I’ll join a FM rowing plan again soon. With all my heart – THANK YOU!
Pleased there was a basic foundation that was similar to Plan 1 so I had the confidence that I could complete the tasks but also pleased there was enough difference to still be challenging week by week. The Core element is still related to the gearing and it is easy to see how the power and pace at the low end is translating into faster times at the higher end. Everyone is posting PB’s and achieving great results. I have enough confidence in the Plan that I will do whatever I am told to do without any hesitation. I know now that the Sessions are doable, within my scope but they will push me. I will need to work but if I am prepared to do that work, then I will get the result.
Great plan, great follow up to Plan 1 and a series of training I would recommend to anyone from beginner and novice to experienced and expert. All can benefit, and all can learn.
So, finally finished week 6 today, and feeling like it’s been a hell of a journey, it’s been equal parts fun, pain, and a sense of accomplishment as each hurdle is cleared. It’s not been easy but with focus it clearly delivers the goods, and if it was easy it would not have been achieving the results that it has. I’ve now signed up for another six weeks which I think should say all that needs to about my overall opinion.
This Plan has been nothing short of life changing from a training perspective for me. It has given me drive, determination and the willingness to learn new skills. Not only that, and with the power from one leg only, I am finding that I am, again for me, surprising myself with some of my efforts. I believe with further training I can become quite proficient (on my own levels) in this. I have no desire to be a competition erg-er. My competition is with myself and Sam’s coaching and guidance has provided me with the knowledge, confidence and the platform to move forward consistently with my training on the erg. The only thing I would say that needs some thought is that not all on the programme have the knowledge of the machines that most have so some ‘notes for the complete novice’ should be be added… For example the change in display screens and how to do this! Perhaps add screens shots in the notes for guidance as Sam did for me over messenger. This is minor detail that will only make this amazing programme even better from a novice perspective. Well done to Sam, Fitness Matters and anyone who is involved in this. Future programmes should be charged for!! And I am in by the way!!!! – Harvey
Truly enjoyed Sam’s six week Indoor rowing Training Program – Full Plan. I’d been erging for a while without direction, racking up meters, but nothing to show for it. Sam’s program gave me solid, achievable targets for which to strive. I can honestly say it is the first erg training program I have stuck with and completed. I did not get bored, and the support and feedback from Sam and other participants was awesome, uplifting and educational. I like the fact that the program started with two test rows – a 2K and 10K so that workout pacing had a purpose and made sense. Having just completed the program, I am excited to test each distance again and see how much I have improved. I also achieved some personal milestones during the course of the training. The one for which I am most proud is averaging Sub 1:40 pace on a set of three 750 meter intervals. That was a huge mental barrier for me to break through. The other positive is that I have battled a chronic back injury of the last six years, which until the start of this program I aggravated regularly causing up to month-long absences from my rowing machine. This cycle of feeling as though I was continually starting over was making me seriously consider giving up the sport. This program with it’s steady goals and progress kept me within my abilities and enabled me to avoid injury, unlike other programs I’ve attempted. I look forward to participating in his next program. Steven Richie
I am not new to rowing but am new to following such a progressive structured programme. The results of Sam’s 6 week programme are clearly evident, with me covering distances at certain s/m that I didn’t dream possible before. I cannot thank Sam enough for the guidance shown, as he has not only improved my confidence & times on the rowing machine.. I’ve also been educated along the way. Would highly recommend any programme supplied by Sam Blythe. Darren Owen
Working with Sam is inspirational – and perspiratonal too! Richard C
Simply the best rowing focused training anyone could ask for. Feel stronger and fitter, lost weight and improved times superbly over just six weeks. Being online has added extra interest as community rowers battling the same session each week pushing each other. Just want more of it. Jason Harris
Absolutely superb. Commitment from Sam was phenomenal, commented on every session. Programme was challenging and pushed to the limits at the same time as being achievable and realistic. The best six weeks training I’ve ever undertaken and I hope I can build from here. Patrick Bell
Awesome. I really benefited from the emphasis on gear development. Focusing on proper split drops per rate change made me more focused and present and the workouts flew by. I am far more confident in my ability to test these pieces. Not trying to smash low rate sessions took some time to wrap my head around but I became consciously aware of how this does not carry over to high rate as the sessions progressed in volume and I could no longer produce the desired split drops for rate change. Overall, really changed my perspective on training. – Max
Very, very good programme. Really enjoyed it. – Kim
Thank you Sam for the opportunity for me to participated in this program !!! I feel so much faster!!! It was great to be pushed by you and everybody in this group!! You got me hooked in the rate ladders. Kevin James
After several years in the wilderness, bumbling along getting reasonably fit and then stopping for considerable lengths of time, I have found a new lease of life. Sam’s plan has got me doing workouts that I never thought I would be able to do. Low rate rowing with relative gearing is all new to me. I am one of the slowest, and have to admit that each session has been a challenge, but I survived and now want more. The support and comments from others helps a lot. Posting results means you cannot shirk. Thanks Sam.
This program has been fantastic. Having only been back on the erg for about 6 weeks and a little over 300K meters after twenty years off prior to the start of this program, I knew I would improve, but I had no idea I would be able to improve so much or so quickly. I appreciated how everything was geared off our own abilities and not a set standard. That gave me the confidence to try the full program even with my low level of fitness going into it. I loved the mix of honest feedback and encouragement. Being able to do this alongside others who also are willing to give feedback and encouragement was also very motivating. If you want a better written promo piece to let others know how great this is, just let me know. I would be more than happy to write one. Kirsten
Coming to the end of the 6 week trial full programme and after indoor rowing pretty much consistently since 2004 I can honestly say this has been the most motivating 6 weeks in all those years.
Thank you Sam for all your time, effort and support in putting this programme together and helping along the way.
The closed group forum for posting results and feedback is a great way of ensuring everyone gets the workouts done and helps with the motivation.
I for one have struggled with getting the results at higher stroke rates which may be evident in achieving around a 1:46 pace for a 30’r20 workout a few years ago but still only able to get a 2k PB of 6:22.2 around the same time.
I have spent many years enjoying the low stroke rate workouts so I’m finding your gearing system the perfect way to help me get out of that rut and get used to trying to increase my pace proportionally to the higher stroke rates.
A few observations along the way for me are that I guess as with running or track events, different rowers are better at different distances and I know I’m more suited to mid and longer distances rows. I can match some of the guys for the 10k based sessions but they are much faster than me on the 2k based ones which is a shame for me as there aren’t many longer distance competitions.
The other thing is just how important the pre programme 10k tt time is to the programme and even more so than the 2k tt where we are allowed to push on from target paces during these sessions. The 10k pace based sessions are very rigid throughout the programme and although I did give it my all on the time trial, the longer sessions on the first few weeks felt fairly comfortable for me, but then I guess maybe training isn’t always about pushing yourself really hard every session (or is it). However this did really help me to adapt to your gearing system so lots of positives have come out of all these sessions for me.
Hope this feedback helps and thanks once again Sam. Really appreciated. Warren
I started Sam’s 6 week program not knowing what to expect but soon found it very rewarding as well as challenging.
The sessions were well thought out and varied nicely. I have made more progress in the last 6 weeks than I had in the 3-4 months before the program started.
Also I’d like to thank Sam for putting this plan together and somehow finding the time to help coach and support so many rowers over this last 6 weeks as manage his own busy schedule. Jason
First thanks for your hard work in setting up and running this plan/ trial.
I choose to do the lite program as this fitted in with time constraints.
The overall structure suited me, as I think I benefitted from a more stroke based, time guided program, along with the varing stroke rate ladder. It seemed to concentrate the mind more and I felt at the end I had worked hard.
(I have been doing a program that gave a wide stroke rate and pace window. Eg 20/24 s/r between 2.00/2.08)
I have never rated at 18s/r so I found this a particular challenge to start with but I think I can see where it’s going.
Another major benefit was the continual encouragement from fellow participants, whom I never met, but the sense of community is a big plus.
Thanks again and looking forward see what difference it’s made to overall times. Neil
Great course on the whole, and 4 sessions a week was the ideal amount.
Some sessions did seem a bit slow, due to (poor) free rate 10k time.
The most important thing I have learnt from the programme so far, which I wasn’t aware of before, is my base rowing stroke – previously I would ‘pull harder’ to up the split, rather than rate up. Ian
The 6 week indoor rowing programme run by Sam has been inspirational. A well planned fitness programme which suits all levels. Week on week I personally have experienced improvements in my rowing style and fitness and I am achieving times I never thought would happen.
The feedback from Sam and others attendees throughout has encouraged me and everyone involved to aspire to greater heights of achievement. I would strongly recommend anyone to complete one of the Fitness Matters indoor rowing programmes. I certainly will b signing up for the next one.
Many thanks Sam and Fitness Matters. Andy
I’d like to having not rowed much in the last 12 months by following the plan Sam has made myself control the erg rather than it control me, it has also made me stronger cycling and swimming. Sion
Unless it was a time trial, I never bothered concentrating when doing pieces 20-60 minutes (probably 75% of my erging.) I just rowed at whatever stroke rate with whatever pace, which was usually around a 2:00 split at 24 SPM. Broke a sweat, but nothing serious, I was just going through the motions. This plan helped me to concentrate on how I was applying pressure at the low end. I feel that has given me a better technical base and a better understanding of the speeds I’m capable of at the lower rates. On the other end of things, I’d schedule intervals for myself like 8×500, but typically stop after 4 or 6 as I was “too tired” to continue. The accountability of the program made me push through to the end and complete the entire workout. To my surprise, the last intervals I usually would have skipped turn out to be my best. That’s a big confidence booster to know I can keep going.
We had the Heart of Texas regatta a few weeks ago which involved a series of 1k races on the water. This was right after doing the best 8 x 500 of my life, so I knew doing 1k on the water would be no sweat after something like that! The boats I was in ended up having the best raw times in each race. We got two golds and also a bronze (due to the age handicap.) I think this program helped give me the confidence to get off the line hard and never let up on the pressure.
Some critical feedback – the first week instructions on how the pace changed at different rates was confusing 🙂 I had to reread the instructions quite a few times before I got that right. The spreadsheets fixed that though, so that’ll be nice to use from the outset. I like the pieces and the program. it felt like the right level of difficulty and variety. The only piece I had any trouble with were the ones that have no breaks, mostly just dealing with profuse sweating, it gets hot and humid here, even in March 🙂
Thanks, this program was most awesome. I look forward to the next. David
I have loved it. I took on the lite version although think the full version would have suited me more as an athlete, time constraints wouldn’t allow. I feel like I have improved my erg scores, whether that translates into a faster 2k or not will be down to my mind, not my body. I think 6 weeks is a minimum length to follow any plan and expect improvements and would like to see a 12 week or longer plan along these lines, which I think would result in greater gains. My favourite part of the programme, having pace and rate dictated on each and every session, I don’t have to think, I just have to do. Worst part of the programme, none that I can think of. Would I do again, absolutely. I have been erging for 12 to 13 years now, have followed most plans in that time, this has been my favourite. Last words for Sam, never met him but know I will at the races, thanks for taking your time out and investing in me, others and the erging world as a whole, you and Fitness Matters have invigorated the sport and I believe are taking it to the next level which it needed after going stale for a few years. Thanks! Andy
Very, very good programme. Really enjoyed it. Kim
It’s a first plan followed by myself..
I’ve enjoyed doing it immensely..
I’ve no complaints whatsoever..
My personal only drawback is 4 sessions. I would personally like 3..
But, I can only praise yourself and the plan has definitely steered my rowing into a better & more exciting place..
Awesome. I really benefited from the emphasis on gear development. Focusing on proper split drops per rate change made me more focused and present and the workouts flew by. I am far more confident in my ability to test these pieces. Not trying to smash low rate sessions took some time to wrap my head around but I became consciously aware of how this does not carry over to high rate as the sessions progressed in volume and I could no longer produce the desired split drops for rate change. Overall, really changed my perspective on training. Max
Awesome program Sam! The gains are practically built in. Massively effective. I started rowing around the first of December made some decent gains by putting in meters, started the Pete plan for a couple weeks then started following your member Wods for a few weeks which are also great and challenging to follow. I was very excited when you offered this program. This program has by far been the best to follow. You have a very deliberate pace plan to follow, It keeps your mind occupied and keeps you improving throughout the duration of the program. This was a very positive experience. Thank you Sam! Matt
As an erger who has primarily trained around the Wolverine Plan for the last three years then an well versed in ‘programmes’. It was set up for me by the legendary Steve Roedde (Canada). We are in a ‘training partner’ group of 3 and trained up to the major UK events – Although Steve ‘homed’ for Crash B. It has delivered us both a ruck of Gold/Hammer medals. By this mode of exchanges via emails it help us create great motivation and healthy rivalry.
Now that the “Sam Programme” has been placed on Facebook it has introduced a totally new dimension and with the expansion of ‘partners’ taken it to a new level. This is the mode of the future and has been really pleasing to see so many lock into a formal plan and then support each other in such a way.
The indoor rowing community can only grow if such continues and the benifits to health and well being are highly significant. Surely there is a succession of interesting articles that could be written up for the Rowing Journals to further promote.?
Thanks most sincerely for keeping an old guy still going!
I have thought of one point I would like to make. The collection of data for Sam is very onerous with a complete mix or reporting by the Plan participants. Some take a photo of their PM while others send in a photo of their RowPro report. Christine produced a spreadsheet that most of us used. Maybe it could be considered to have a reporting sheet, be that a spreadsheet or whatever, that was sent to Sam which would allow him to upload the data easily. The programme is already quite a personal load on Sam. Anything to help with the data collection burden would I am sure be beneficial.
I am not new to rowing but am new to following such a progressive structured programme. The results of Sam’s 6 week programme are clearly evident, with me covering distances at certain s/m that I didn’t dream possible before. I cannot thank Sam enough for the guidance shown, as he has not only improved my confidence & times on the rowing machine.. I’ve also been educated along the way.
Would highly reccomend any programme supplied by Sam Blythe.
This Plan has been nothing short of life changing from a training perspective for me. It has given me drive, determination and the willingness to learn new skills. Not only that, and with the power from one leg only, I am finding that I am, again for me, surprising myself with some of my efforts. I believe with further training I can become quite proficient (on my own levels) in this. I have no desire to be a competition erg-er. My competition is with myself and Sam’s coaching and guidance has provided me with the knowledge, confidence and the platform to move forward consistently with my training on the erg. The only thing I would say that needs some thought is that not all on the programme have the knowledge of the machines that most have so some ‘notes for the complete novice’ should be be added… For example the change in display screens and how to do this! Perhaps add screens shots in the notes for guidance as Sam did for me over messenger. This is minor detail that will only make this amazing programme even better from a novice perspective. Well done to Sam, Fitness Matters and anyone who is involved in this. Future programmes should be charged for!! And I am in by the way!!!!
As I said before I thoroughly enjoyed the program and I’m very pleased with the results. If I’d change one thing I would like to know more about the purpose of the sessions. The “why”.
I participated in the Fitness Matters Indoor Rowing Program. I found the program well organised and structured appropriately. It was very motivating to train with others. I like the fact that rowers of different performance levels could take part. Without the program I would not have rowed as often, as hard or as fast as I did. Please accept my sincere thanks for a successfully run training program!
Have been really enjoying the programme. I feel more motivated than I have done in ages. The variety has kept my interest up and it’s great to be part of a group. Thanks Sam. Loving it 🙂
This program has really helped me fall back in love with rowing again after being in a void for a number of years. It also taught me the basics of rowing again and going through the gears in training. I had reverted to low rate training and that is not the key to going faster. The program has given me the ability to row more than 10k again without giving up or putting the handle down. Thanks VERY much for giving me the chance to be on this 6 week course Sam.
Great programming with structure and purpose in each session.
You explained the aims and theory behind the method and kept us all on the right track with constant feedback. This allowed us to truly get benefit from the gearing system.
The volume for me was just right as I felt good, tired but not over trained (under rested).
Thanks so much for this 6 week learning experience and progress.
This year has seen a massive breakthrough for my Indoor Rowing achievements. I joined Team FM in September 2015 and have since set PB’s for HM, Hour, 10K, 30 mins, 30 R20, 5K, 1K after nearly 10 years at this sport!! Shortly to follow will be the magic 2K after following a structured 6 week programme.
I owe everything to Sam’s input and motivation in reaching this level of performance which I thought was outside my capabilities.
If you want to improve any aspect of your Indoor Rowing performance I would have no hesitation in recommending Sam and Team FM, a sincere thanks for everything you have done for me and the “buzz” you’ve ignited back into this fabulous sport. I’m really looking forward to the future and one day winning the world champs……
He had little rowing noting the rate / pace. I have learned over these six weeks. The full plan is difficult if you do another physical activity. No doubt the plan works.
Sam put together a progressive training plan that built week on week. It was challenging enough to stretch but never enough to feel out of reach. Pace guides and feedback on performances were constructed and timely. The plan included sessions that I’d never have done or entertained without the plan and the guidance. Sam has set-up and fostered an environment of accountability and support in equal measure. I may not always have enjoyed the individual sessions but they’ve all been rewarding and I’ve seen huge progress in my training performances. I would highly recommend the whole programme.
I started this programme looking for results, and i feel 100% that i have got them. Sam has been an excellent teacher and guide throughout this. Praised us if we performed well. But also told us if he thought we was doing something wrong. A lot of thought and preparation has abviously gone into this. So we all owe Sam a massive amount of gratitude for what he has put together for us. This is the sort of programme i would have happily paid to do, because the rewards and benefits are there for all to see, aslong as you put the effort into it, to make it work. So thank you for what you gave given to us. I look forward to being invited to take part in the next installment.
Every bit of this program was the best things I could’ve asked for. Spending my whole life in athletics, this was a true team in every sense. Sam was tremendous in encouraging, reminding, and specific throughout. I have no idea how he was able to keep up. Truly an opportunity I was grateful to have had.
the 6 week plan brought together a bunch of ergers with a huge range of abilities and ambitions, I wasnt sure it could work on such a diverse group.However much to my surprise everybody that stuck to the plan made gains, my own personal gains included much better understanding of gearing and much better PBs.
Sam’s motivational messages and the whole camaraderie of the group kept some of us going through dark times,when If erging solo we may have quit.
I would say with 100% certainty that anybody who sticks to this plan for 6 weeks will see improvement, for me it was a big leap forward,thanks Sam
This is the best thing that I have done for myself in my life. Just for me. I forget about everything when on the rower, and Sam you are my friend now. You really are the best.
Awesome sessions! Helped my rowing tremendously in only 6 weeks! Hoping to take a chunk off my 2k best! Thanks Sam!
I have recently completed Sam’s 6 week programme which has been hugely beneficial to my rowing. His knowledge and passion for indoor rowing is second to none and having his tips and advice along with
Excellent programme which is structured and focused. Throughout Sam has provided construction feedback and guidance. Really glad to have had the opportunity to be a part of it. Thanks – Tony
The format of this trial really suited me well. I respond well to critical feedback and through a carefully thought out plan and direct feedback have driven myself much harder further than I ever could have alone. I would gladly pay a subscription each month to continue with a plan like this and personally believe that would be a viable business model for fitness matters (if it did not reduce their personal training income).
This trial has actually begun to transform my physical well being including general increased lung capacity/ core strength (noticeable day-to-day), noticeable muscular benefits and a general sense of well being.
In addition it has been great being part of a community.
Thank you for my participation in the trial.
Awesome program Sam! The gains are practically built in. Massively effective. I started rowing around the first of December made some decent gains by putting in meters, started the Pete plan for a couple weeks then started following your member Wods for a few weeks which are also great and challenging to follow. I was very excited when you offered this program. This program has by far been the best to follow. You have a very deliberate pace plan to follow, It keeps your mind occupied and keeps you improving throughout the duration of the program. This was a very positive experience. Thank you Sam!
The programme has established a group of like minded, but mixed ability, individuals who do a great job of supporting and cajoling each other each week. Sam has established and excellent set of tasks that are structured and measured rather than simply being back breaking. It appears that all of the group have understood the reasoning behind the tasks and how each task helps in the process of making each individual a better rower. From what I can see every group member is pushing themselves and making great progress. As each week has progressed I have been able to see improvements in my stroke and pace control which has resulted in faster times being achieved on the sprints. My achievement on the programme has exceeded my expectations and I cannot wait to get involved in the follow up. My personal thanks to Sam for his excellent work and setting a great example of work ethic and application. I strongly recommend the programme to one and all regardless of their initial ability, all can benefit.