Get Fit to Row - a rowing club in Harrogate
Get Fit to Row - a rowing club in Harrogate

Get Fit to Row – a rowing club in Harrogate

17 December 2020

Get fit to row is a new idea by Phil Argent, Phil moved to Harrogate 5-years ago.

He has rowed for 30 years, rowed at Henley a number of times, coached elite level athletes, been a club captain, a business owner and a fitness fan and rowing head for many years.

Phil said:

Build a boat club from the engine room out, which is a very different way of doing things. Most rowing clubs would bring people into a club by doing the water technical thing first and then fitness, but this is the wrong way.

The idea of Get Fit to Row was first trialled at 2 rowing clubs in London, Auriol Kensington in Hammersmith during 2012 London Olympics year and the year after at Quintin Boat Club in Chiswick. The idea was to get as many people the opportunity to get “involved in rowing”. Its a great sport but can be hard to access unless you have done some rowing before, the old catch 22, never done it, hard to get into. Hard to get into, no one does it.


The concept of Get Fit To (GFT)

Get Fit To …. As a business concept can be applied to many different sports, its all about getting physically and mental fit for the sport that you want to take on. Its delivered and driven by people who really love and understand the sport and who have a passion to take people as far as they want to. But anyone can try.

Phil has trainered and coached people off the street for over 10 years in London, coached at Auriol Kensijngtoin and Quition Boat club, with some time at Thames rowing too. In the past he has coached people from Get fit to all the way to taking part in Henley royal regatta.

At the London games, 2012, at Airiol Kensington he had over 100 people interested in rowing and they all came through get fit to row in that season, most went on to row with the main squads.

Throughout his career he has coached all age groups from junior to veterans, with most of my time with the main senior rowing squads, both men and women.

There is rowing going on throughout York. Both Universities have rowing clubs – the idea of Get fit to row is it helps put members into rowing clubs and make them money.


Phil said:

Get Fit To Row is a fitness program, which is also personally coached so its more like a PT session than a session where someone shouts at you as you try your best.

I’ve always wanted to do something more dynamic with rowing as its a sport more people should give a try, but most rowing clubs make very little income and therefore have to restrict the number of new members they take in, with Get Fit To Row it has little impact on the running of the club and a fleet of boats but does bring people together.

One you have “heard a boat sing” when you have raced with a crew who have pushed themselves to the limit and won, you will never forget the bond.

I believe that a new way of introducing rowing to people is due, British rowing is broken, and needs someone to show a guiding light to doing new things new ways. I’m up for that challenge!


About  Get Fit To Row

  • It’s all about starting with fitness and then introducing technical skills.
  • There are a number of different session, HITT session, longer Rytum session and power sessions plus group challenges and various race events throughout the year, plus the idea of friendly indoor racing against other rowing clubs.
  • A normal program starts with an 8 week – 2 session per week – 1 hour
  • Days will be programmed and it is expected that 100% of session are attended.
  • Cost is £180 per person for the 8 weeks.





What rowing does and my aim of Get Fit To Row is to help people on a number of levels

  • Get fit – and flexible
  • Get a better understanding of how they can achieve their goals.
  • Get a feel for rowing and a rowing coach.
  • Make people commit to something new, help them learn.
  • Be part of a tribe
  • Support a community

Phil said:

Rowing is a sport that I love, I love simple, and I think someone once said to me to be competed at anything you need to do 10,000 hors of training. Well I think with rowing to win at the Olymipics you have to have some some million plus strokes for each and every stroke you take in a race. Which would be something like 228m strokes!

So you have to get bored of what your doing to then become very aware of the performance of ever stroke.

Getting fit is hard, and I believe there is more to getting fit that just the act of training, there are so many different reasons not to do this or that and its very easy to lose time with distractions likesocial media and on demand.

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