Rowing machine

Rowing machine.

For this post, the focus here is on one of the many exercise machines currently at WST and how it can benefit your training program. Today, we present to you, the dreaded, Rowing Machine.

Defined, the rowing machine is used to replicate the watercraft rowing to help increase cardio and overall fitness. Just like the rowing you will see at the 2012 London Olympics (

Indoor rowing can be a great calorie burner; can improve your core and it’s an excellent lower body exercise. It’s intense. It’s loud (thank you iPod cranked to 11) and at times, I find myself gasping for air (which means I must be doing it right). But, bad technique can ruin your back so see a trainer before you start.

Now, I have a love/hate relationship with the rowing machine. It’s awesome for cardio and more importantly, it has saved my knees from the crippling effects of the treadmill. For that, I love the rowing machine.

But, it’s brutal. Why is it brutal? Because it uses so many different muscle groups at the same time. Legs, core, arms, shoulders, biceps and triceps and lungs feel it the most when rowing.   

The advantages of the rowing machine are the low impact on the body and how there is little stress on the joints. These are beneficial when it comes to training because that means you can keep on training.

So, if you haven’t tried it, give it a shot. But make sure you have your iPod cranked.

Strength Training vs. Cardio.

Strength Training vs. Cardio.

In this corner, fighting in the blue trunks, Strength Training.
In this corner, fighting in the red trunks, Cardio.

The never ending battle.

Allright, fellas, let’s have a clean fight.

That’s how it is. Strength Training or Cardio. Ultimately, you do what’s right for you and your training regime. But first, let’s look at the tale of the tape here. Both are great exercises. Both make you feel great (well, it depends…). And, both are essential for training. But again, they differ when it comes to what you are training for.

Miriam Nelson, author of “Strong Women Stay Slim” says “You are probably burning more calories when you are actually moving a heavy weight than when you are doing aerobic exercise. But you are taking breaks, so over 30 minutes the actual number of calories burned doing strength training will be less.” (Cardio vs. Weights: The Battle Is Over, by Laura S. Jones, special to The Washington Post).

So, what to do? Well, (A) you could just NOT take breaks but you don’t want to burn yourself out and possibly bonk (bonk describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by sudden fatigue and loss of energy. Wikipedia).

Or (B), if you train, say five days a week, do straight cardio twice and strength training three times. This way you get a good mix of both. This is a good approach if time is of the essence.

But, regular aerobic exercise causes your lungs to process more oxygen with less effort; your heart to pump more blood with fewer beats; and the blood supply directed to your muscles to increase. As a result, by performing cardiovascular exercises, you are increasing your body’s endurance and efficiency.

And what are the results of that? Weight loss, reducing stress, and increased stamina are excellent benefits.

 The wonderful website has this to say about the epic battle – “Strength training is a critical component of any program than emphasizes long-term fat loss,” said Alwyn Cosgrove, co-author of the book “The New Rules of Lifting.” Think of it like this: Muscles are “thirsty” from a metabolic perspective. The more muscle you have, the more fuel you are constantly burning. This is the advantage strength training offers if your goal is to lean out. A treadmill or elliptical trainer is often seen as the quick fix to shed body fat, and they are certainly useful if your goal is to improve cardiovascular health, endurance or simply to burn some extra calories, but strength training is a powerful ally.”

So, who wins? Well, neither. They are both great, they both have excellent benefits and both can help. So, mix it up. Do a little of both and watch your training improve.

Mark Williams comes aboard as Director of Physical Fitness for Jersey United

Jersey United is proud to announce that the partnership with Williams Sport Training and it’s owner will continue and expand in 2012/2013. The upcoming year will see a Fall and Spring fitness program added to the winter program of last year. The program will be mandatory for all ASL players and the U14/U15 players will participate in an 8 week program in the Fall and the U16, U17 and U18 ASL teams will participate in a 6 week program in the Fall.

The program will continue in the winter with all ASL teams receiving one session a week from Williams Sport Training. The program will then continue through the Spring of 2013. The Fall, Winter and Spring programs will be included in the fees for ASL teams.The program will be made available to all Club players for an additional cost.

The program will also test players in certain areas of speed, agility and strength and will include Williams Sport Training’s professional curriculum. Director of Coaching, Dennis Jackson said “this is another benefit to our players to help enhance their development. The program will be very beneficial to all our players and help them improve”. Williams Sport Training owner, Mark Williams added “I have worked with Jersey United for a couple of years and am excited to continue to provide this high level program to their players as they strive to provide the best product available to them. I look forward to working with the players again over the 2012/2013 season”.