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Our indoor rowing challenge with GB rower Cameron Buchan

April 06 2022 6 min read

On the 18th June, GB rower Cameron Buchan visited Fitness First Fitness in Bristol to promote our indoor rowing challenge.

The challenge was designed to encourage members to get active using indoor rowing machines, either as part of their workout or — like Cameron — as a personal passion.

There were two versions of the challenge:

- 350m — a sprint designed to push the body to the limit

- 2000m — an endurance test that required measured breathing and controlled energy exertion.

Following the challenge, 8 DW members will now compete in a 350m indoor rowing race at Power8 Sprints, a new sprint-rowing event run by British Rowing on the 22nd July.




Cameron Buchan took some time out of his training to help our DW members improve their technique on the rowing machine for the challenge.

He also took part in a Q&A with the Bristol staff, speaking about his love of rowing, being selected for the GB rowing team senior squad and why he believes the sport will grow in popularity over the next few years.

“My training amounts to about 300k a week,” he said. “Depending on the time of year, I can spend quite a lot of that time on the rowing machine. I wouldn’t recommend that for normal gym members, but the more you do, the more you see improvements.

“Whether you’re going from being a complete beginner and you’re working on your technique or you’ve got your technique but you’re only rowing 5k a week, the rowing machine makes it easy to keep track of what you’re doing and keep progressing that way.”

He also emphasised how useful rowing is for active people that have suffered an injury. “One of the great things about rowing is that it’s a really low-impact exercise. My sister was in the 2012 basketball team, but after she broke her foot, she turned to the rowing machine to stay fit because it provides such a low-impact workout.”

When asked about the stigma surrounding rowing, he was optimistic about what British Rowing was doing to dismantle those views. “Rowing started with Oxford and Cambridge, and you didn’t see a wide range of people in the sport. You look at British Rowing now and it’s way more representative of a diverse group of people… It’s not just upper-class uni students anymore.”


The best 8 rowers that took part in the challenge will be put to the test at the Power8 Sprints on the 22nd July.

The sprints will be held at the annual Bristol Harbour Festival. Eight teams will battle it out on the water, each team a group of top club rowers representing their city: Cambridge, Exeter, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, and — of course — Bristol.

Each team will take to an eight-person boat (simply referred to as an “eight”) and take on an intense 350m sprint at Bristol Harbour.

Want to improve your own rowing? Find out how to perfect your rowing technique here.