It’s time for the rowing race. The competitors position their bodies perfectly in their seats. They tighten their grip on the handles. They eye their competition. They can almost feel the wind on their faces and the lap of the water beneath their feet.
And, the race begins!
But this contest is unique because it’s a virtual race, taking place online.
WaterRower Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of rowers for home and fitness facility use, today introduced We-Row.com, a free, interactive Web site where WaterRower owners can imagine themselves in sculling races on the river, testing their skill against other rowers and tracking their progress, all from the convenience of their own homes.
“The colder temperatures of fall and winter mean a lot of people will be bringing their workouts indoors, but not having the shared energy, motivation and support of workout partners can take its toll, even on dedicated exercisers,” said Dominik Kuprecht, director of sales and marketing, WaterRower. “With We-Row.com, WaterRower users get the best of both worlds. They can exercise in the privacy of their own home, but they still can enjoy the benefits that come from working out with others and maintain their racing skills even during the harshest winter months. The excitement of competition makes it an exhilarating way to exercise — whatever the season.”
Connecting a rowing machine to a PC and racing other rowers while online might sound futuristic, but We-Row.com is just one of the ways that technology is enhancing workouts today. “With the wide availability of training regimens and monitoring software available for iPods, GPS devices and other handheld units, consumers are increasingly using technology to infuse excitement and variety into their fitness activities,” said Kuprecht. “So we expect WaterRower users will welcome the opportunity to use the Internet to race other rowers in head-on competitions.”
After connecting the WaterRower to a PC, users log in at www.we-row.com, create a personal profile based on fitness level, weight, height and lifestyle factors, and complete a 2,000 meter row to set a benchmark fitness level. The Web site uses this information to help set personalized workout goals.
Users can participate in online races, using the Web site to invite others to row against them at specific dates and times, or in individual races where they can set the time, speed and distance and row against a virtual opponent.
Up to five WaterRower users can race at a time. During a race, the user’s PC captures speed, distance, heart rate and other data. This data is stored and continually updated each time users row, allowing them to track their progress and set new goals. Race performance is ranked against other rowers on the site, so exercisers can aim to improve their own personal workouts and measure their progress against fellow rowers.
A discussion forum is available at the We-Row Web site to all users. Online personal training with a rowing expert is $10 per month and includes customized advice and training programs designed to meet specific goals, such as building strength or increasing stamina and endurance.
We-Row.com can be used with all WaterRower machines equipped with S4 monitors, which are standard on all WaterRower units sold since May 2005. For owners of earlier models with the previous-generation S3 monitor, WaterRower offers an upgrade kit ($225) that will enable the equipment to work with We-Row.com.
“Indoor rowing machines have been the unsung heroes of cardio fitness, but more than five million Americans use them,” said Kuprecht. “They work both the upper body and lower body at the same time. They use 84 percent of muscles from the tips of the fingers to the balls of the feet, making them one of the most effective workouts for toning muscles and burning fat. For home exercisers, WaterRower and We-Row.com provide a workout solution that recreates the excitement of sculling on the river with maximum cardio, toning and weight-loss benefits.”
WaterRower designs and manufacturers rowers for home and fitness facility use. The company’s patented WaterFlywheel, which uses water to provide the machine’s resistance, was designed to replicate the feel and natural dynamics of rowing on a river. Water-based resistance allows the exerciser to determine workout intensity by increasing or decreasing effort, similar to other naturally performed cardiovascular activities, such as swimming, outdoor running or ice skating. In addition, unlike resistance-based machines in which the user’s effort is high at the beginning of a stroke and decreases as the resistance is overcome, with the WaterFlywheel, the user’s effort is constant throughout the entire stroke.
Founded in 1988 in Rhode Island by WaterFlywheel inventor John Duke, WaterRower currently has eight operating units worldwide. WaterRower Inc. serves the Americas and Asia and is based in Warren. R.I.
For more information, visit www.waterrower.com.
WaterRower Inc., 560 Metacom Ave., Warren, R.I., 02885, 800-852-2210, 401-247-7742, www.waterrower.com