Book Review: The Complete Guide to Indoor Rowing


Rob Cree has kindly written a review of the book: The Complete Guide to Indoor Rowing by Charles Simpson and Jim Flood. Here’s what he has to say:

When this book arrived, my first thoughts are that it was as well traveled as I was, having been published in London, printed in China and then sent by carrier pigeon from New Zealand to me in Yorkshire! Second thoughts were that this book could be nothing other than “the complete guide” as it runs to 170 odd pages. In terms of content these pages are split into 10 Chapters which are largely self-contained and cover the whole breadth of indoor rowing from machine development to health benefits, race psychology to how to coach and nutrition to the all-important how to row effectively.  As a result, it is the sort of book that could definitely be used as a reference book by someone who wanted to develop particular knowledge in certain areas.

As an illustration, I could flick the chapters on technique and coaching reasonably quickly… This is not to say that they aren’t any good, quite the opposite… They feature up to date British Rowing Technique explanations and plenty of advice for coaches that could come direct from a UKCC L2 Rowing Coaching course; unsurprising considering that Jim Flood is a tutor and assessor for both indoor and outdoor rowing coaches…. But these chapters are perhaps more for the novice rower who has been bitten by the rowing bug and now wants to know more and the novice coach who wants to develop basic coaching practice and philosophy.

At the other end of the spectrum the chapters on psychology and physiology were ones when I could read more in depth and not think that I was going over material I already knew a reasonable amount about (like Mr Flood, I do some  coaching and I’m also a tutor and an assessor for coaches). I was particularly interested in the different ways in which I could build VO2 max in my athletes and my own aging body…

So the book does definitely offer something to all men or women and as a result it will be an invaluable addition to any rower’s bookshelves. With indoor rowing gaining more and more popularity in schools, within gyms and as a competitive sport in its own right there is definitely a demand for this type of book. Whilst the subject may not be as glamorous as some of the current crop of Olympic Medallist biographies, there is inspiration to be had here, especially from the case examples of different types of people involved in the sport and advice that would help anyone improve their technique and performance on the indoor rower.

Take a look at our Interview with Jim Flood about book.

Buy The Complete Guide to Indoor Rowing from the Rowperfect Shop. Also take a look at our Rowing eBooks to find more by Jim Flood.


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