Join a Team for the 2017 Concept2 Fall Team Challenge
August 24, 2017
If you have a Concept2 indoor rower (AKA rowing ergometer, AKA rowing machine) or a SkiErg, you can compete! Even if you just have one at the gym, you can be a global competitor. You can go from pulling hard in a room or at the gym alone to becoming part of a virtual team.
And, if you work hard and drive your team, you can win the respect and approval of your peers and fellow rowers as well as prizes galore (and, if you’re member of an actual–not virtual–club, you might win an erg or a SkiErg.
Concept2 challenges are really very simple: either row as many meters as are required to meet the challenge’s requirement, in the case with the Dog Days of Summer challenge; or, like the upcoming Fall Team Challenge, it’s all about getting as many meters as possible.
In the case of this challenge, you’re contributing all your meters to a pool of meters that help your entire virtual team compete with other virtual teams from around the world.
Some teams have only two members and other have hundreds. There’s no limit to members except you need at least two.
The more the merrier, though the system is fair because, like real rowing competitions, the rankings are sliced and diced depending on how many members are in your boat and what sort of team you have.
Concept2 team challenges come in two flavors: individual challengers and team challenges. We’re just finishing off the 2017 Dog Days of Summer individual challenge right now before we enter into the upcoming 2017 Concept2 Fall Team Challenge, starting September 15th through October 15th of this year.
The upcoming 2017 Concept2 Fall Team Challenge is a virtual team challenge, which means taking up the Concept2 online indoor rowing challenge is as simply as just putting in the meters and logging them onto the Concept2 Logbook.
Participating in the 2017 Fall Team Challenge takes a little more planning. The Fall Team Challenge is a team challenge.
You must belong to a team to participate. If you’re already a registered member of the Log, this is not the same as club affiliation in your profile.
If you have or have access to a Concept2 Indoor Rower but are not a registered as a member, you should sign up immediately and then visit the Joining a Team for more information on how to join a team.
I used to be the captain of Team Grotto which you can find on the log; however, I betrayed and abandoned the team in order to see if I could row with either the Potomac Boat Club, Red Line Rowers, or the Fitness Matters team. But I think this might be the year when the boys and girl in the boat get back into collecting meters and competing for Team Grotto!
Important: Team members need to confirm they intend to take part in each challenge. You do this from the Team page. Here’s some more information about the challenge! Here’s a direct link to the official Concept2 challenge page. Good luck!
My favorite indoor rowing trou shorts just arrived from Concept2
August 8, 2017
I walk at least 12,000 steps-a-day as part of my health regimen. Rowing is for fitness, walking is for health. I wear the same shorts at my treadmill desk while I am at work and on my Concept2 Indoor Rower, AKA The Erg.
I usually wear Drywick or Polypro rowing trou from JL Racing, especially when they’re running cheap from the bargain bin. While they do wick sweat during performance athletics, I do most of my walking and indoor rowing — even my hardest interval training on the erg — in an air-conditioned room so general breathability is more important to me than wicking off sweat.
So, I tried out a pair of rowing shorts that Concept2 offers at its site that’s made of 90% cotton and 10% Lycra. They call them their Cotton Lycra Shorts and they’re priced at only $29/pair. Good value even if they’re not ultimately as durable as my impossible-to-kill JL Athletics rowing trou.
When I received them I fell in love. They feel like a pair of snug boxer briefs but with some padding on the bottom and the support of compression shorts.
They breathe so if I wear them all day long while I am walking, working, swinging the kettlebell, and rowing on my C2 erg, I don’t feel the same sort of crotch rot that often results if you spend too much time in a pair of Drywick or Polypro or Lycra Spandex tights. Nobody likes schweddy balls — or sweaty anything.
So, while the 90/10 cotton/spandex mix of Cotton Lycra Shorts isn’t actually performance fabric, it’s comfortable, soft to the touch and to the body, feels more like underwear than a pair of bike shorts, and still had the padding and compression that rowers and athletes love — I love.
So, when I spent almost an entire workout week wearing and shower-washing and sink washing my C2 Cotton Lycra Shorts, and started to get afraid that these cotton shorts wouldn’t wear as hard or as well as all of my JL Racing rowing trou and unisuits, I ordered two more pair, right away, and they arrived today in the mail via UPS Ground in a little under a week for ordering.
The C2-branded shorts are made by RegattaSport of Canada and are made in Canada, according to the label. They come in XS to XL but they don’t have XXL, though I think they offer XXL if you order rowing trou directly from RegattaSport, though I couldn’t find a cotton/Spandex blend on their site, so who knows.
If you want more information about rowing performance garments and gear in the form of rowing shorts, rowing trou, rowing tights, and rowing unisuits, check out both Why should big, tall, chubby, fluffy, heavyset, and fat athletes wear rowing unisuits and wrestling singlets during their workouts? and My recommendation for indoor rower rowing shorts for erging on the Concept2 — check them out!
Feiyue Tiger Claw shoes are perfect for indoor rowing
August 7, 2017
I love these Tiger Claw martial arts shoes for rowing on the Concept2 erg. I love them for kettlebells too. Even better than Converse All Stars. So minimal and so cheap and so sure-footed. Only $18 online. Such a deal.
When rowing on the Concept2 indoor rower there’s no benefit to having either cushion or heel drop, offset, or ramp angle — they’re zero drop shoes. The same thing can be said when you’re lifting weights, swinging kettlebells, or doing any other sort of bodyweight or functional training. CrossFit shoes are popular, yes, but so are the simple canvas and rubber Converse All-Stars.
I’ve discovered an even better solution: the Tiger Claw Feiyue Martial Arts Shoe. In my size, 47, on Amazon, they’re only $20.89.
They’re really basic: canvas, rubber, and a really tacky, soft compound for the sole. They’re zero drop shoes, which is very appealing for bodyweight and functional athletes where bare feet are the alternative and there’s an appeal to feel as planted into the floor as possible.
The sole is very sticky but it also wears really quickly through if you wear it outside as street shoes; however, if you wear them inside, on the rowing ergometer, or just on the floor or mat, then they last for years.
But even if you wear the hell out of them, without socks, like nature intended, then you can always just get another pair for $18-$21 — or, you can buy a few pair right away and cycle through them. They have them in white and black and also have a high-top version if that’s your preference.
I really like them for rowing on the erg because there’s very little bulk between my foot and the foot hold/food stretcher/foot plate/foot rest while still offering enough heel protection to protect my heel from the plastic heel rest/heel backstrap.
I don’t wear socks so there are three really great things about these shoes:
- the shoes are a single layer of canvas so they breathe really well so sweat dries quickly and easily
- the shoes are simple (they don’t even have a removable insole) so you can throw them in the laundry no problem or wash them in the sink or the dishwasher and keep them smelling nice if and when they get too stinky
- they’re super cheap so when they start stinking enough that your SO, housemate, spouse, or lovers start complaining, you can just order another pair from Amazon
If you want a full review of all the shoes I like for indoor rowing on my Concept2 rowing ergometer, check out Best Erging Shoes for Rowing Indoor Rowers.
My recommendation for indoor rower rowing shorts for erging on the Concept2
July 30, 2017
I’ve put a lot of meters onto my PM5-updated twenty-year-old Model C Concept2. While you can, and should, row in whatever shorts you have on–even pantsless if you own your own erg–there are some better solutions.
Concept2 Cotton Lycra Rowing Shorts
Until a month ago, I was a true blue JL Racing / JL Rowing / JLAthletics rowing trou devotee — until I tried out a pair of the Cotton Lycra Shorts that Concept2 sells on its very own Online Shop.
They’re only $29.00 and they’re cotton. They breathe differently and they’re much more comfortable over the longer-term than are my Polypropylene JLRowing rowing trou, which I always buy out of their Bargain Bin.
That said, I am already fearing that the cotton shorts aren’t as durable as my Polypro JL rowing trou, all of which have survived for years of abuse. Two really old pair have become a little threadbare (I wouldn’t wear them to Yoga, they might be a little too see-through) but I still wear them, and shall until they actually rip through.
I feel like the cotton pair might be less durable–but I am willing to budget to replace them or get more than one pair so that I can distribute the wear and tear on each one over time.
Since these shorts are exclusively indoor rowing trou and I do live alone, and when I wear them out, I also wear a pair of gym shorts, I might be willing to allow these cotton shorts to really get pilled and threadbare and even holey until they just become unwearable to me and not just publicly unwearable–publicly inappropriate, if you know what I mean.
I don’t wear underwear under rowing trou (nobody does) so I wear them as a first layer. Even if I wear a pair of shorts over the trou, I will take them off if I am using these 90% cotton/10% Lycra shorts on the erg or even at Spin class.
But, I always throw the shorts back on as soon as the classes end, not because these shorts are revealing but I am just self-conscious. All the guys who wear rowing trou at the Potomac Boat Club aren’t even the littlest but self-conscious.
Bottom Line: Choose Concept2 Cotton Lycra Shorts for price and comfort
JL Racing Rowing Trou
I have never been able to kill a pair of JL Racing rowing trou no matter how long I have had them or how hard I have used them. I only own Polypropylene JL Racing rowing trou and they have never run or laddered, they have only gotten progressively more threadbare and see-through.
They still work fine and feel even more comfortable to be because they’re looser and more relaxed, but the oldest ones have also lost all of their compression–but I don’t mind that. I have never killed a pair, though I am sure if I had a girlfriend or wife, she might have thrown out the two oldest pair sine I do have newer, less ratty pair–but to me, failure means I can’t use them anymore, and that’s not the case. At $36.95/pair, they’re almost $8 more expensive than the cotton shorts but they’re a whole $16.05 less than the Concept2 Black Polypro/Spandex Rowing Shorts, so they’re a bargain if you compare like to like.
Warning: you don’t have much of a choice when you order from JL Racing’s Bargain Bin. You only get to choose between No White, No Hi-Viz, As Bright as Possible, As Dark as Possible, and Surprise Me! but it’s worth the $16 difference—plus, it’s fun because you don’t know what you’ll get. I might always only order black tights myself, every time, but because I like a deal, I have gotten a lot of crazy patterns in my orders, including zebra stripes and blue snakeskin. I did choose “Surprise Me!” in that case, however. And I, personally, have never found a flaw in any of the Bargain Bin rowing trou orders I have made, myself.
Also, you can get an entire Polypropylene rowing unisuit/rowing singlet for only $32.95 if you shop on JL Racing’s Bargain Bin — and while they didn’t have any spandex rowing shorts right now in the JL Racing Bargain Bin, I would keep checking back because they often do.
Bottom Line: if you like getting the best value and durability over comfort for your money, buy your rowing trow from JL Racing’s Sale Bargain Bin, though even if you need to buy your Polypro rowing trou full price, they’re still cheaper than similar Polypropylene shorts at Concept2.
Why should big, tall, chubby, fluffy, heavyset, and fat athletes wear rowing unisuits and wrestling singlets during their workouts?
July 23, 2017
Because we spend so much time being afraid of our t-shirts flying over our head, exposing our flabby pale flanks, our plumber cracks, or anything that makes us insecure, especially men, who are always pulling down their t-shirts at the gym in the same way someone might constantly and self-consciously adjust a revealing or I’ll fitting bikini or gown.
And nobody wants to see our bellies and butts during floor work and lat pull-downs. And when I’m on a jog, I don’t like feeling my tummy move as I run.
Or, when I’m bicycling or at spin, I don’t have to worry about mooning those around me whenever I wear my wrestling singlet or rowing unisuit, ordered to size, underneath my sweatshirt and t-shirts.
I can feel free to go to 9round and roll all over the floor doing abs and plans and when I do yoga I can try to hit all the Asanas without revealing all sorts of the flesh and skin I’m working hard to shed. It makes such a difference, at least for me. I recommend it.
It also prevents chaffing between thighs and nipples and any other chaffing problems.
Its a little expensive but they last forever, are well made, you can get cheaper ones, and they also act a little bit like Spanx under clothing.
I just received my custom-sewn black XXL rowing unisuit from JLRacing to add to my drawer full of various and sundry JLRowing trou and unisuits.
Why do I order unisuits and not just the rowing trou, which look like bike shorts but don’t extend over the torso into a tank top like the rowing unisuit does.
My weight yo-yos between healthy eating and running, rowing, and lifting and getting obsessed with work and forgetting to put in the miles and getting seduced by a natural addiction to food.
Along the way, I have developed some body dysmorphic disorder and general shyness about my body even during the best of times. While I am shirt-off at the pool and beach, I am very self conscious whenever I am spinning at Biker Barre, doing intensive floor work at 9Round, doing all the mat stuff at RowVigor, or even the belly-baring exercises I do at XSport Express gym.
My solution for all of these embarrassing scenarios is to wear a rowing singlet under my t-shirt and shorts. When I reach up to do my lat-pulldown exercises at the gym, nobody can see my belly, they just see the black lycra of my unisuit.
When I do a sun salutation at Yoga, my t-shirt does reveal my torso if I don’t tuck in, but that’s OK with the unisuit because all anyone sees is the slimming black lycra of the top of what looks exactly like a wrestler’s singlet.
Are you sold yet? Too expensive? Always going to wear it under your clothes? Smaller than XXL and happy to try out XL and smaller? Here are some pro-tips!
Most of the time I order from the cheap seats called the Bargain Unisuits which are $32.95 instead of $48.95 retail for the Original Unisuit: Black but I am currently bigger than usual so I thought I would try the XXL, which JLRacing doesn’t keep on hand. But when you order from the Men’s Bargain Unisuits or the Women’s Bargain Unisuits, you don’t get to choose which uni you get — you need to choose between No White, No Hi-Viz, As Bright as Possible, As Dark as Possible, and Surprise Me! but it’s worth the difference in $16 is worth it — plus, it’s fun, especially if you order the Bargain Tights because whenever I have done that I have gotten loads of crazy patters including zebra stripes and blue snakeskin.
Please Note: since the fabric is made of Drywick and Lycra Spandex it’s slippery. I use a SPIBelt to cinch my shorts to me so they don’t fall down. I use the SPIBelt anyway in order to make sure my smartphone, keys and wallet are always on me so it’s just convenient. So, if you can’t cinch down your overshorts or overpants, find something like a SPIbelt or something else like a nylon strap and buckle to keep your shorts up the way I do.
Join the 2017 Concept2 Dog Days Challenge of Summer Challenge
July 19, 2017
The Dog Days of Summer are almost upon us! August 1–28, 2017! What better time for a Concept2 Challenge?
Complete the Dog Days of Summer challenge by finishing each of the following four distance goals in the timeframes indicated and log them in your online logbook:
- Week 1, Aug. 1–7: 10,000 meters
- Week 2, Aug. 8–14: 20,000 meters
- Week 3, Aug. 15–21: 30,000 meters
- Week 4, Aug. 22–28: 40,000 meters
Distances are cumulative (you don’t have to complete 10,000 meters in one sitting, for instance), and all meters—rowing or skiing, indoors or out—count.
Plus, this year, Concept2 added an optional level for kids and adaptive athletes.
A man’s salon is his castle
July 18, 2017
Does anyone remember Crow Bar? Downtown DC? Epicenter for Couriers and Bikers in the 90s?
There was a handsome Italian-looking dude there who always parked his hardtail Sportster with tall ape-hangers right outside the bar.
Maybe he was the Crow Bar DC bartender or maybe he was at the bar — no he was definitely behind the bar. He was in traditional biker leathers one afternoon as I was nursing a beer at the bar.
Dude was badass cool biker dude and not one of those Corporate Lawyer playing dress-up for Sturgis kind of guys.
A woman came around and tried to pull over his bike and he flew over the bar and was at his bike in a second. She didn’t get the bike over because the ape hanger bars were a little loose (tall for city riding and pulled back for highway rides) and they just gave way when she tugged.
He came back and reported what had happened in that altercation: Italian biker dude owns a high-end Beauty Salon and he had done her hair and charged her full price and the husband had freaked out and they had been harassing him, including calling at all hours and leaving nasty voice mails.
He stopped, looked up, and very seriously and without satire at all, and said:
“A man’s salon is his castle!”
I later discovered that he affected a much much more feminine personality when he worked at his salon.
At DC’s iconic dive bar, Crow Bar, when I was in my 20s, he was the kind of cool badass older brother or uncle you looked up to and admired.
But when I was riding around DC (I was a bike courier) I saw him in his salon and he was prancing around and being very femme.
I’ll never forget that quote. I guess a man’s salon is his castle, indeed.
Sadly, it looks like Crow Bar will never be resurrected here in DC. Memories…
2017 Concept2 Summer Solstice Challenge
June 14, 2017
It’s almost the official beginning of summer here in the Northern hemisphere, and we have a great challenge in store to celebrate. The Summer Solstice Challenge is our way of honoring the longest day of the year.
The challenge is to row or ski 21,000 meters on June 21.
Meters can be completed in several smaller workouts throughout the day or all at once. If completing the meters all at once, you can add 97 meters (for a total of 21,097) and rank it in the Online Rankings as a half-marathon. Learn how to set up a single distance workout on your monitor.
Once you meet the challenge, you will have earned a downloadable certificate of completion and access to special Summer Solstice Challenge items from our third-party fulfillment vendor, Cafe Press.
This is an individual challenge, so you do not need to be on a team to participate. There is no need to sign up for this challenge. Simply enter your June 21 meters in your logbook.