Motivation with Technology

Posted: April 24, 2017 in Tech in coaching

Sitting in my dim and dusty man cave is a Concept 2 rowing ergometer. The use of a new app and the wireless capabilities of a new rowing computer have got me using this erg on a much more regular basis and even motivated my daughter to do the same.

Apps like Runkeeper and Strava give us the ability to monitor exercise using the GPS abilities of the phone but this is the first app that I am aware of that allows accurate monitoring on an exercise machine. Instead of using GPS it integrates directly with the rowing computer on the Concept 2 machine.

As a schoolteacher and coach there is always the problem of keeping in touch with members of your teams through the school holidays. These three apps mean that your athletes can train and upload their training sessions to you as a coach or to social media for your whole team to see.

The Live Rowing App is available here. The first challenge is the ability to link your phone to the Concept 2 computer – if the computer is a PM5 you will be able to link your phone straightaway as it has wireless capabilities – to upgrade to this monitor use this link. However, a cheaper solution may well be to use the LiveRowing Connect lead, this will ensure that your iPhone can link directly to the performance monitor on the rowing machine and is a little bit more economic than upgrading your performance monitor. The beauty of this solution is that you can use the lead on any Concept 2 allowing you many more opportunities to use the app.

Once you have linked your phone to the machine the app will then give you the ability to quick start rowing or to use a featured workout. As such rather than entering complicated rest periods onto the machine yourself you are able to use pre-programmed workouts from the app. These include workouts from Concept 2, CrossTeam Challenge and the British and French rowing federations.


Screenshot from the App

As you can see from the screenshot above you are able to choose these workouts and they will go straight to the concept 2 computer ready for you to challenge yourself to complete them. On completion of the workout you are given a very detailed breakdown of your performance, in this case measured against a personal best recorded on the app:


While this gives you the ability to continue self-improvement the competitive aspect of the app is a real motivating aspect for me. The ability to ‘Challenge a Friend’ means you can virtually race against somebody else within the app – my daughter has still not beaten me (she is 14 and scarily close though), at the end of the race we can compare our results:


Certainly there is a constant motivation for my daughter of competing against my times and a real spur for me to keep ahead of her! You are also able to compete against other users of the app – leading to a worldwide competition – the app even maintains a league table of best performances for you to measure yourself against. Given that my daughter is beginning rowing at her school she has been able to share her results with her coach and continues to improve.

For me this app has motivated both of us into regular exercise and has even meant that my rowing machine is not just gathering dust, I really look forward to receiving any feedback from other users throughout NZ and the world- you are welcome to find me in the app as well!



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