Welcome To RowAlong - Free Indoor Rowing Workouts for Everyone
IT’S ALL FREE!! Seriously, it’s all free. All of the workouts hosted on YouTube and the Podcast are entirely free. All of the plans you’ll find on here – totally free.
I know there’s a danger sometimes that if something’s free, the perception is that it has no value – but I hope this isn’t how you feel once you get started with my videos.
Continue reading for more info about why I'm making these, or click below to check out the videos on YouTubeWatch RowAlong
RowAlong Indoor Rowing workouts that won't shout at you!
One of the reasons I decided to make my own videos for rowing workouts was because I felt a more friendly approach would work better for me - and hopefully meant it would work for others. From days of going to spin classes in the past when the instructor just threw numbers at me, I thought a friendly, more motivational approach may work.
Why is RowAlong free?
Ok, before I get into a history of how RowAlong got started, I’ll explain.
There are a couple of reasons. Firstly, because I just want to help people. But also because if I was to run this as a business, the whole tone of what I do would change. The moment I start chasing money, I know the videos would be just like the other ones on YouTube – constant calls to like and subscribe, to buy merch, to pay for plans etc.
There are enough channels like that. My niche here is that I’m very relaxed, I’m just your rowing buddy – talking away to you while you RowAlong with me – with tips about technique and motivation in order to keep you going – but never shouting in a bad impression of a bombastic Personal Trainer.
Will RowAlong remain free?
I’ll promise you this – the YouTube videos and podcast will always be free. And I’ll always make my content available there. Where things get slightly more complicated is where they’re wrapped up inside a bigger package.
Take Ergzone for example. They have an “Ergflix” option – which syncs video to their app. But in order to pay for media hosting, they charge a fee. And so as much as I want to keep RowAlong free, if enough people ask for it to be part of Ergflix, then there will need to be a charge for that.
Right now, a lot of my videos are on the Kinomap app – which users pay for (giving them access to their entire app) – but again, it’s the connectivity that you’re paying for. The videos are still free on YouTube.
Other things may come up in the future – but the core will always remain free. After all, I just want to RowAlong with you – I’m not here to make money out of you!
What if I still want to give you some money?
That’s very kind, and it’s something I used to turn down – but two important people spoke to me about this. The first was an online security expert who said that if I didn’t give people an option, there was a chance someone would spoof my account and mislead people into paying. The second – was my Mum. She said that it’s important to give people a way to say thankyou – and that it was rude to turn it down.
Always listen to your mum. So – I have two options. Patreon, and PayPal:
How did RowAlong get here?
Back in 2016/17 I took a Concept2 instructor’s course, mostly to think about how to improve my own stroke, but then I started to look around at what the internet had on offer.
What I noticed was that there was a real gap in the market for people rowing a workout, and then inviting people to do it along with them. There were a few apps that had started to do it, but they were all problematic in my opinion.
Between intructors not talking, or worse, just shouting numbers, or the production team feeling the need to cut to a different view of the machine every 3 seconds, I started to wonder whether there was a place for me to fill that gap.
I started filming myself in a friends Crossfit gym. If you go back far enough on my YouTube channel, you’ll see those videos. A nice setting, but I didn’t quite know the best way to present them. Quite dry if you ask me…
After making a few videos there, the gym was condemned, and I had to find a new location. Between not finding my voice in making these videos, and nowhere to make them, I stopped making them.
The first thing that happened was that I had an accident when sharpening a knife. I won’t go into the gruesome details, but I needed a lot of time for my hand to heal – and even when it had healed from surgery (yuck!) I had a lot of rehab ahead of me.
My physio said I could row, but I couldn’t row with the force I’m used to – so I needed a way to try to back off the intensity.
One way to make the workload easier is to talk while doing it!! I could still row hard, I could still get a great workout, but I also managed to stay at around 75% muscle intensity, as my cardio was overloaded by talking.
My day job is an editor, making TV programmes. And one day, I was doing some green screen work – and it dawned on me that I don’t need to be anywehere. Anywhere can come to me!
So I painted a wall green, and started filming. At first, it was just a bunch of one-off workouts, but as I was able to make these quicker, and play with the format, I became more comfortable with the process, and relaxed into it. This kept going until spring of 2020.
At this point, everyone was at home, on lockdown.
People around the world started to scramble for whatever home gym equipment they could get their hands on – and in a lot of cases, this meant rowing machines.
The viewer and subscriber numbers on my YouTube channel started to grow a lot faster than before – as did the number of emails and requests for types of rows. Including workout plans.
For the next few months, I rowed inside on green screen if it was bad weather (often in Glasgow!) or outside in the sun if the weather allowed. Making a few different plans, from the original 2000m plan to the 5000m plan – and the channel really started to take hold.
Around this time, I changed the name of what I was doing. I had called it “PDP Rowing” – the initials meaning “Push it, don’t Pull it” – but it was so close to another organisation’s mantra, and was clearly a mistake that I’d used it.
And, RowAlong was born. Quite why I didn’t call it RowAlong from the start, especially as I’d always open with “Welcome to another workout to RowAlong to” still baffles me.
Since then, RowAlong has been a constant in my life. Even though my hand healed perfectly, the “Cream” at the top that I had, which led to me winning Gold Medals and breaking World Records didn’t return quite as quickly, and I’m still working on it!!
But with lots of app/kit review and technique videos as well as over 400 totally free workout videos, 7 training plans, and a bunch of ‘fitness’ compilations available for people to RowAlong to, I think that this natural progression to being there to help people improve on the Rowing Machine is perfect for where I’m at right now.
And, as I start a new venture making training videos for the Aviron rowing machine (which will also be on YouTube) there’s a lot of life still in the RowAlong format!
Most of my racing is now done on the HYROX race floor, which is keeping me competitive and in training until I hit the next age category for indoor rowing competitions. And as long as the cream is back, I’ll be back.