5 Steps I took to improve at indoor rowing

Okay let’s first up get the facts right. Rowing outside whether professionally or just for an adventure is never easy. With the winds gushing on your face and the ever changing currents being prepared and well trained is important and the best way to prep is on an indoor rowing machine and preferably on a Concept 2 Model D Rowing machine as these tend to be stable, durable and yet affordable, thus perfect choices for newbies.

But neither are these rowers simple. So before your struggle on it turns into serious injuries here’s what you need to do to improve at it.

Don’t avoid other exercises

Lots of rowers tend to stick only to the rowing machine. Yes you’re a rower but rowing alone won’t make you stronger or better.  So if you haven’t yet, it’s time to hit the weight room.

Your glutes, calf need to generate tons of power while pushing and workouts such as squats, leg press etc. help with exactly that. For better strokes you’ll need stronger shoulders, chest etc. for which I would suggest workouts like bench press, shoulder press, bicep curl.

weight training

Let your legs do the work

While a lot of trainers will tell you rowing is all about hand movement but truth be told it’s not the case. It’s your legs that tend to do most of the hard work. Newbies tend to put in too much effort into the pulling but instead focus should be on utilizing the glutes to generate the power.

Remember rowing is a push movement rather than a pulling one and you’ll only get better with practice. Here’s the right rowing technique.

Take it easy

I hardly find people rowing right be it any kind of fitness center and one the most common mistakes I have noticed is that people pull too far and do it too fast. This leads to incomplete strokes so next time take it easy. For an effective and accurate stroke keep your movement slow.

This way you’ll need to generate more power thus engaging more muscle fiber and it will ultimately correct your form and technique too.


Switch to other endurance workouts

My only biggest issue with indoor rowing is that it tends to get really boring irrespective of how motivated you are and this is why I suggest people to keep mixing it up. Cycling, running or even skiing are few other sports I love and keep the boredom away.

Cross-training is a proven exercise routine and will help you stay fit by challenging your body at different levels and will keep you refreshed both physically and mentally.

Tag a friend along

Peer pressure can at times get the best out of you and having a friend row better than you is exactly the motivation you need to take it up a notch. Competitive teammates, friends etc. can help you improve focus and drive you to achieve you goals.

5 Things you should do when buying a used bike

For a fun, adventurous, relaxing and yet effective way of fitness I would recommend cycling but if you’re unwilling to spend huge on your new road bike the best alternative is to buy a second hand bike but buying such bikes can be a tricky affair.

Although second hand a bike still should last you roughly 4-5 years and beyond with proper maintenance and checks so before you end up purchasing a potato here are 5 things you should check out in a used bike. Remember you’re looking for a used not an abused bike.

Be specific

There are plenty of different bikes such as road bikes, mountain bikes etc. and knowing your preferred type will not only save you time but make the search process easy. Once you know your type, pick 2-3 models and get all the specs and info such as the size etc.

You can check out sites such as eBay or Craigslist. Also compare the prices on these sites with prices provided by other dealers to ensure you get the best possible deal.

Analyse the frame well

Well since it’s a used bike the odd scratch or chip is acceptable but avoid any bike that has big dents or cracks on the frame or tubes. These dents and cracks are usually found below the lower bracket. The minor dent and paint work is cheap and thus acceptable.

Keep in mind that carbon frames are usually harder and also more expensive to repair as compared to aluminium or other metallic frames so be smart and choose wisely.


See seller reviews

Sites like amazon and eBay have a seller review section. Always opt for a seller with lots of positive reviews. Also ensure that there is a return policy in place in case of faulty or damaged parts or frame.

Sites such as craigslist etc. do not have a review section and thus can be risky. In such cases I would recommend you get in touch with the seller and check out the bike personally.

Check the tires

Since the tires are going to endure a lot of the wear and tear it’s important to pay attention to detail. Buying new tires, forks and drivetrain will require $1000-$2000 thus avoid any bike with these faulty parts. The same amount would get you a brand new bike.

In case you’re not sure take the bike to a nearby shop and get these parts checked or have an expert friend tag along with you for the extra help.


Run a maintenance check

Once you’ve made the purchase head over to a local bike shop or run a maintenance check yourself. Get the old worn out saddle and pedal clip and grips replaced.

If needed also get the bike repainted for a new look. Get the rims and tires replaced too. New parts can easily be found for less than $200-$300. Get the best deals and you’ll have a bike as good as new.

Vegans guide for a fat free diet

Few questions I often get asked by most vegans is what are the best vegan foods for a protein rich diet/ fat free diet and if they will need to turn into meat eaters for it? The answer is simple.

Protein is basically amino acids and while there are about 20 types of it, we require only 9 of these from our food as our body cannot generate these by itself and each of these can be found in different vegan items so for a fat free and nutritional vegan diet switch to these foods today.


Well if you ever were in Japan and were served soba noodles then not it’s actually buckwheat and while its name might suggest, it isn’t really wheat but more like rhubarb.

Other countries tend to integrate its crumbles into flour which acts a great base for fat free pancakes etc. and is known to better blood circulation in the body, regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. You can use it in noodles, toast them, add them to soup, chili etc.




Here’s an interesting fact about quinoa, its nutritional value is so high NASA aims to cultivate it on its space ships. This couscous look alike is packed with loads of fiber, magnesium, manganese and iron.

So time to skip the fat rich rice as your dinner staple and switch to quinoa. Quinoa’s versatility means you can also use to make muffins, cookies and cakes etc. My favorite quinoa recipe is the quinoa chocolate cake. Check it out below.



One of the oldest recipes in the book is the Seitan. It was first cooked almost 1000’s of years back as a meat replacement for the monks and is prepared by combining wheat protein (gluten) with various herbs and spices etc. and letting it simmer in water.

This will integrate the essential amino acids. Below is a basic recipe to get you started. You can further add it to fajitas, stir fry it with red chili sauce etc.



Rice and beans

If you’re on a tight budget and yet seek yummy food look no further than a bowl of well cooked rice and beans. Beans contain high amount of lysine whereas rice is a rich source of methionine and when put together you’ll have a dish as rich in protein as chicken.

It’s the easiest post workout dish since it’s packed with proteins and carbs. You can further add some lentils or chickpeas to further spike up the protein content.

rice beans


While quite a lot of people are allergic to mycoprotein for those who aren’t it’s a delight and was produced in order to curb the food shortage across the globe.

It’s produced by fungus in vats which is dried and combined with egg albumen and is used as a meat replacement in many European countries.  Quorn has switched to an egg free base making its lasagna, samosas etc. perfect recipes for vegans too.