Filthy, under-maintained rowing machines cost affiliates money and add seconds to workouts.
You’re finishing the 1,000-m row during Jackie and can’t afford to waste time before moving to the thrusters. In a rush to unstrap your feet, you finish your last stroke, release the handle and let it smash into the monitor.
Your affiliate owner might admire your intensity but loathe your carelessness, and if you dismounted the rowing machine with such abandon at Syracuse University in New York, you’d find yourself in the doghouse with the crew.
“If a novice rower let go of the handle like that, everyone around would stop, and eyes would look over with a ‘who did that?’ look. It’s an unacceptable norm in rowing to let the handle snap back against the cage,” explained James Lister, assistant rowing coach of the Syracuse women’s crew.
Worst-case scenario: “Throwing the handle” can damage or break the monitor, the most expensive part of the machine, explained Greg Hammond, a member of the marketing team with Concept2 Inc., manufacturer of rowing products since 1976. Throwing the handle can also ruin the slotted chain swivel—the brass ring—that attaches to the handle and protects the chain.
Releasing the handle recklessly is just one ergometer faux pas Hammond said athletes should avoid. Proper rowing-machine etiquette and maintenance go a long way in saving affiliate owners time and money replacing parts or even entire machines, he added.
“The rowers are probably the most expensive machines you buy as an affiliate owner. It’s important to learn how to take care of them.”