Home / News & Events / Get fit and learn to row!

Get fit and learn to row!

Are you ready to get fitter than you have ever been before, try a new sport and make friends for life?

Barnes Bridge Ladies RC will soon be running the next GFAR course, starting Sunday 9 September 2018.

The course is ideal for those interested in getting an introduction to the sport and improving both general and rowing specific fitness. The plan is for you to also have heaps of fun and meet a great group of people. The course is for women 18+.

We aim to get you fit, understand the basic techniques of rowing and give you time on the water – to get a feel for whether rowing is for you. Whether you turn out to be an aspiring Henley-hopeful or just want to mess around in boats a few times a week – this course is a great foundation.

Training is Sunday 11:00 – 13:00 and Tuesday and Wednesday evenings 19:00 – 20:30.

GFAR Course

8 weeks,  3 sessions a week (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday)

Tailored training plan

Cost £200 (approx £8.30 a session)

Sign up now

 The course puts a lot of focus on land training to increase your fitness and endurance, an essential part of learning to row. Rowing is not just about getting in a boat –  there is a strong focus on core stability and flexibility within the sport. This will not only improve your technical ability and power application but also reduces the likelihood of injury. You will have a structured training plan and will be coached on the rowing machine (erg), in the indoor rowing tank and eventually go out on the water with an experienced cox and coach.



Do I need to attend all the sessions?
Yes, within reason. The GFAR course is structured in a way as to give you a real feel for the sport and what would be expected of you if you want to continue rowing after completion.

We all have busy lives and we understand that this sometimes gets in the way. We will be as flexible as we can be, but if you can’t make a water session in the later stages of the course, you must let us know in good time so that we can plan the boats accordingly.

It is difficult to learn a new technique without regular and intensive training so the more training you do the quicker you will learn and retain the learning. We will make progressive changes at each session so the more you attend the less you will miss!

Do I need to be a club member to do the course?
No, there is no need to be a member to attend the course, your course fees give you a temporary membership to the club.

What happens after the course?
Those that have completed and showed the required aptitude and commitment will be invited to join BBLRC into the Novice squad. The Novice squad training is structured similarly to the GFAR course giving you a taste of what to expect as a club member after the course.

Everyone should get something out of the course whether they want to continue rowing with the club or not, we have a range of goals including fitness and meeting new people so even if the sport isn’t for you, you will hopefully have achieved a number of your personal aims.

Once you are invited to join the club you will be asked to sign up as a member for the next rowing year (September to August). You will be given a £50 deduction on annual membership to take into account you have completed the course.

What kit should I wear?
Regular gym wear. The most important thing is that it is fairly tight-fitting as baggy kit can get caught in the runners of the boat. For water sessions, you may also want to bring a waterproof jacket – rowers train even if it’s raining. We suggest lots of thin layers rather than a big layer in colder weather.

Do I need to bring anything or any special equipment?
No, just make sure you have trainers with you for fitness – you can borrow wellies from the club. Please bring a bottle of water for each session.

How long are the sessions?
Sunday sessions are 11:00 to 13:00. Weekday sessions (Tuesday & Wednesdays) are 19:00 to 20:30.

Do I need a level of fitness already?
The aim of the course is to get you fit and ready to row. Most of our participants are of average fitness level, but you will benefit from the course at whatever level you are starting from.

What about age?
The only age restriction we have is that you must be 18 or over to do the course. We have a wide range of ages within the club from those in their early 20s, through to women rowing well into their 70’s. If you are willing to learn and give it a shot, then we will get you on the water!

Do I need to be able to swim?
We ask that all participants can swim at least 100m. If you can not we would require you to wear a life jacket/buoyancy aid on the water.

I’ve rowed before but very rusty – would this course be suitable?
Yes, if you want to get into shape before actively taking up the sport again. The water sessions will give you a chance to brush up on your technique. However, no experience of rowing is assumed – we will start with the basics through land training. If you are experienced it is probably best to get in touch and we can see if there is a better way to get you back into the sport. Experienced members are always welcome to get in touch and have an outing with us.

How quick will I get on the water?
To begin with, you will be coached on the rowing machine (called an ergo or an erg), and in an indoor rowing tank.  Towards the end of the course, you will go out on the water with an experienced cox and coach, and with some more experienced rowers from the club sitting in the boats with you to make sure they are stable. As the group becomes more competent, you will be rowing as a full crew by yourself.

Ready to take on the challenge? Sign up now.

For any other questions regarding the club or the course, contact us.