• Thanks for all the replies. All really helpful.

    Think I’m going to hire a concept 2 for a few months to see how I go. My partner is skeptical about me keeping it up (I held my tongue over his cross trainer gathering dust in the spare room).

    Good points raised about technique and warm ups. I’ve only had 5 goes on a machine and the resident gym…[Read more]

  • Can I ask why everyone dislikes the water rowers so much? They are all they have at the gym I currently go to, and when I go and row on an air one now there is so little resistance that I feel like I’m doing nothing!

  • Amy replied to the topic Best rowing machines? in the forum General Banter 4 days, 16 hours ago

    If your serious about doing it and can afford it then definitely a Concept 2, theres a very good reason why you see them and not other companies products in most gyms and leisure centres.

    I looked at all the options and bought the Concept 2 Model E for just over £1K, you can get the Model D for£850 new, the difference is the monitor and i…[Read more]

  • Honestly if you’re going to do it at all seriously (and you can definitely get the bug for it), then go Concept2. The water rowers are ok to a point, but if you are interested in technique and building your strength you will soon find that you end up with water all over the floor and the feel you get from them is different too. There are some…[Read more]

  • Ah ok that’s interesting. So you wouldn’t recommend water one? I was tempted as they are advertised as being quieter.

    I really enjoyed the times I used the machine on holiday. I generally hate all gym equipment as I get bored but having to focus on technique really helps.

  • cat replied to the topic Best rowing machines? in the forum General Banter 4 days, 17 hours ago

    I bought a cheap one from Argos (I think it was £20-30). It wasn’t much more expensive than the ones on Ebay that you’ve probably got to drive miles to collect.

    It works perfectly well and gives good all round exercise. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money as I hadn’t used one before and knew that before long it would be collecting the dust…[Read more]

  • Try renting, or you can often find auctions selling off gym equipment (there’s one near me that does this frequently).

    Water rowers are horrid things – ok if you aren’t taking it too seriously, but pretty useless if you want to do some proper work.

    I would’t recomment getting one of the cheap ones. If you do buy, go for a Concept2 and get some…[Read more]

  • Thank you . That’s a really good idea. I’ll look into that!

  • Fi replied to the topic Best rowing machines? in the forum General Banter 4 days, 17 hours ago

    There are quite a few companies that rent them which might be worthwhile in case you get bored with it. I think they usually give you a discount if you decide to buy.

  • I’m thinking of buying a rowing machine to help maintain fitness.
    Used to be super fit, not so much anymore

    I hate the gym and the nearest decent one is half an hour away anyway.

    Whilst on holiday I tried out all the equipment and I liked rowing. The gym had a concept 2 air rower. These are very expensive!

    Has anybody got any recommendations o…[Read more]

  • alec posted an update 1 month, 4 weeks ago

    Have we reached a tipping point where antibiotic become as useful as a chocolate fire guard?


    • Carefully targeted ABs will continue to a highly effective treatment many serious bacterial infections.

    • “He … picked up the superbug after a sexual encounter with a woman in south-east Asia.”

      Yeah, that’s the story he’s sticking to.

    • Not long ago my life was saved through a course of antibiotics, so I’m towards the view that they serve a useful purpose.

    • Not yet at tipping point but if large swathes of the agricultural sector keep shovelling tens of thousands of tonnes of ABs into the food chain every year, we’ll soon get there.

      When it happens we’ll have a lot more than STI’s and chest infections to worry about. For a start lots of cancer treatments and many types of elective surgery will…[Read more]

    • No, nowhere close and we have lots of possible promising avenues for developing new ones which will need to be used more responsibly. Doing so is economically, politically and technically very difficult but not impossible.

      • It might help if they weren’t freely available without prescription in much of Europe and the rest of the world.

        • I was treated in a Swiss hospital for cuts in the summer. After being patched up, I had the following conversation with the doctor

          Doctor “Do you want antibiotics”

          Me “I don’t think so, do I need them?”

          Doctor “No….ah, your British. Like the Swiss you use antibiotics wisely. The French and Italians always ask”

          • For once (every rule has an exception), the eu could really interfere in a beneficial way. Ban whole herd preventative antibiotic use and make them prescription only in the whole of the eu. Then start applying pressure through the WHO globally. I think we might regret this more than climate change in a few decades.

          • On a related note, I had a work colleague with an infection try to fulfil his (USA issued) prescription in Holland… the Dutch doctor politely explained that the surgical grade antibiotic perscribed was equivalent to a bazooka to kill a butterfly and adjusted the prescription.

            ABs do seem highly overprescribed in some countries.

    • Easy availability is a big problem; you can walk into a pharmacy in Africa and buy one or two tablets. People don’t see why they should buy and finish an entire course, which is a waste of their precious cash.

      Anybody who fears the pharmaceutical industry will not solve the problem has no understanding of the money that’s at stake. An executive…[Read more]

    • Use within farming in southern Europe is off the scale and completely ignored in farm legislation by the eu. The chemical and medical sector are the biggest eu lobbyists though.

      Apart from the fact there is a knock effect to us medically in future resistance, I wouldn’t eat the meat from most European countries.

      • One tonne of amoxicillin would provide over 95,000 courses (note courses, not doses). Conservative estimates currently put the agricultural sector as using over 100,000 tonnes of ABs. The vast majority of this usage isn’t targeted, it’s prophylactic as even very minor infections have a relatively large impact on weight gain in livestock. It’s…[Read more]

    • The economic problem with developing antibiotics is that for there to be a return for a business they have to sell in volume before the patent expires yet no responsible regulator will allow a powerful novel antibiotic to be used for anything but the hardest cases so we need a new model for funding development and extracting value.

      The political…[Read more]

  • strike posted an update 1 month, 4 weeks ago

    Radio 4 was reporting how seriously they are taking the ball tampering in the Australian test match, to the point where the transgressor may not play test cricket again. How does this incident stack up against a blatant dive in the penalty area, or a handball such as Thierry Henry’s, whereby he doesn’t own up to it if it isn’t seen. Ball tampering…[Read more]

    • It’s rife in every sport and in every country. My colleague who lives in Nigeria and with his daughters, plays tennis at state level, says that one of the biggest frustrations for his daughters is that African parents commonly bribe the passport officer to under-declare their child’s age so that his daughter aged 14 ends up playing a girl aged 15…[Read more]

    • Tampering is premeditated and has to be organised. Diving is premeditated in the sense that everybody knows it’s going to happen but not in an organised way like tampering.

      What interests me is the psychology of cheating in professional sport. How do otherwise mainly decent people justify behaviour which deliberately breaks both the spirit but…[Read more]

    • Football people treat cheating as “part and parcel”, whereas cricket sets itself higher standards.

      I’m sure performance enhancing drugs are used routinely in professional football. Nobody gives a shit about that – they barely even get tested.

    • Once money enters the equation fair play and sportsmanship seem to take a back seat.

    • Cheating at sport really does seem strange – but then cheating at anything seems strange to me.

      With regards to “cheating” at sport I do laugh when I’m at a kids cycle race, see all the kids (under 10’s) rolling around the course on top of the range bikes, light as a feather, yet all within the approved guidelines – I do then wonder where it will…[Read more]

    • Perhaps rugby might be a good sport to look at for this, rather than football.

      I don’t think I can explain it very eloquently but I will try (probably because I am no longer familiar with the exact nuances of the rules).

      In rugby, during the game, part of the ‘game’ is to try and take actions that are to your advantage (handling the ball…[Read more]

    • This scandal and another one have had me thinking, a lot, about people and the nature of competition.

      The “other one” erupted on Monday in the Go / Weiqi / Baduk community. In case you don’t know, Go is a mind-sport, an abstract board game, in which players take turns to place stones to surround the area of a square board. The player who…[Read more]

    • I touchingly hope that diving in football may go out of fashion. Messi is a shining example of a player who tries to ride tackles and frequently scores by keeping going when everyone on the pitch stops because they expect him to go down. It was noticeable in the England- Italy match the other night that Sterling twice got back on his feet rather…[Read more]

  • pippy posted an update 2 months, 1 week ago

    Should England go to the Football World Cup in Moscow? I’m generally against using sport as a political football (excuse the pun), but this is different as there is a risk to both footballers and fans. It presents the Russians with too many opportunities to be a least difficult, and much worse is possible. I know that if England, Germany and other…[Read more]

    • Sport as it relates to national teams is inherently political.

      I don’t think England should go to the World Cup, no, if sufficient evidence exists to link Russia to the Skripal killing. Ideally there would be some international unity, but I can’t really see that happening.

      I don’t think the players would be at risk, but the fans would from Russi…[Read more]

    • If Britain boycotts the world cup and no one else does, then if will make Britain look isolated not Russia.

      At the moment no other country is likely to boycott the World Cup, especially since the UK is one of the main routes for dirty money leaving Russia, and three premier league teams are owned by Russians with good links to Putin.

      Putin…[Read more]

      • Indeed. If we want to make any substantial impact on Russia then we need to hit them in the wallet, it seems to be the only thing they understand. Quite why major sports tournaments keep going to countries that are f*cked up is beyond my comprehension…unless bribes are involved.

    • I’m assuming that England will only stay for the group stage before returning home to an enraged media, then the hunt for a new manager can begin.

  • Kelly posted an update 2 months, 3 weeks ago

    Arsenal: Wenger has to be sacked!
    Think I heard Martin Keown saying ‘Wenger is like a defeated boxer in the ring where no one is prepared to throw the towel in for him and he keeps going back for more – someone (Chairperson/owners) needs to give him a way out coz he keeps waiting for the ideal way out, which doesn’t happen’.

    Stadium half empty…[Read more]

    • What would you like to see Arsenal become? Trophies need to be bought these days, not earned and it’s a pretty soulless experience supporting a team that spends circa £300M per year to try and compete at the top level. This still doesn’t guarantee success, either.

      • That’s a pretty good assessment. I’m a Manchester United fan. The Fergie years were great, there is no denying that. Made better for having spirited rivals like Arsenal and Liverpool. And of course there were marquee signings but they felt special and fairly rare. One of the pundits on the radio made the point that £30 million nowadays gets you a…[Read more]

        • I agree entirely. And add to that the disgraceful cheating on the pitch, the bullying of the ref when decisions don’t go their way and the ridiculous earnings. Totally soulless at the moment (apart from the Leicester win) and frustrating to watch. It just feels as though the whole sport is without integrity from the top to the bottom which in…[Read more]

      • Last summer Arsenal made profit in the transfer market. I’d like to see them spend some of their massive wealth on players. They’ve bought too many duffers – so need to sort this out (one of the reasons Wenger has to go). And I’d like to see them playing as if they really meant it – bad management a key factor here (another reason Wenger has to…[Read more]

        • Serious question – how is it bad management re: the playing style?
          It’s brilliant what Wigan did (as a United fan you had me cheering from the rafters). But, you’ll not be bank rolling a bid for Messi anytime soon off the back of a good FA Cup run. It almost (could?) prove where the focus lies. There are trophies and there are trophies – unfortunately.

        • Buying trophies is why football is the new wrestling – it’s entertainment but it’s not sport. Just like you sit there in a Bond film routing for 007 to win, but really he always does. The outcomes are predictable. Can’t see why the average person wastes any time, money or effort on professional football. Plenty of good sport available these…[Read more]

      • Here is an example of money in football.

        We have a world cup being held in Quatar. We hear of human rights violations and workers dying on a regular basis. Its basically the land that time forgot.

        We have a top level manager in Pep Guardiola being held up as a shining light for his support of the Barcalona independence fight wearing his…[Read more]

    • As a neutral I’d say Wenger was brilliant when he arrived and did much to singlehandedly transform the culture of the game but now he seems to have run out of steam and should leave with whatever dignity he has left intact. I feel genuine pity for a guy who has outstayed his time and either won’t or can’t acknowledge that. Contrast it with Alex…[Read more]

    • Wonder who they would get to replace him?

    • Arsenal still a quality side and Wenger a top coach, but every now and again a special team comes along and some City fans have been waiting 50 years for this! Arsenal just been unlucky to get them twice in a week when they look to be finding top form.

      Nothing Wenger could have done I don’t think….C’mon City!!

    • You would think, as a spurs fan, I would be happy at seeing what is happening at Arsenal. I’m not though. Because Arsenal, alongside Spurs and Liverpool should be the models of what modern football clubs are built on. Unfortunately, they are now selling their souls to investors who see millionaires as paupers.

      There are hundreds of different…[Read more]

    • Maybe he’s waiting to be sacked so he can use Ron Atkinson’s old line when he got the bullet at Man U. “I leave as I arrived – fired with enthusiasm”

      • Wenger inherited George Graham’s iron-hard defence plus Dennis Bergkamp. Once these essential parts of the team were retired he had no plan for replacing them. Admittedly he bought into the vision of a new stadium which increased the revenue stream but he has been timid in the transfer market. Apart from Shankly, Paisley and Ferguson every manager…[Read more]

        • It’s fair to say that Wenger, with the honourable exceptions of Campbell and Kosczelny (sp?) has always come up short on defenders but he followed Bergkamp with

          Thierry Henri, Robert Pires, Manu Petit, Patrick Viera, Freddie Ljundberg, Fabregas

          Hardly unproductive signings

        • I couldn’t have said it better myself!

          As an Arsenal fan of a long-time standing, I crave the defensive toughness and counter-attacking speed of the George Graham teams. I feel very disorientated watching Arsenal these days (unlike when I first followed Arsenal seriously in the late 80s). Wenger did do well for his first decade as manager but ran…[Read more]

    • Wenger should have done the sensible thing in a May .and retired.

      and the owners were much too soft when agreeing to let him carry on.

      Arsene either doesn’t have a retirement vineyard to potter around on ,or he stubbornly believes he can produce another team capable of challenging.

      His players don’t do nearly enough. Welbeck was terrible the…[Read more]

    • No! And here’s why:

      A) Wenger is easily the most interesting manager in the Premier League. Even though he is not really likeable I find myself really liking him. Arguably he presided over the most beautiful football ever played in the UK. He is part of the culture of our football – if we lose him we will miss him.

      B) It would be very unwise to…[Read more]

    • What is strange is how stubborn he is.

      His best team was great, but it was hard. Even the flare players like Bergkamp and Henry had that bit of Devil in them. But their Spine was hard, they went out and won the fight then won the game with great soccer.

      For the last decade there has been no spine, no good keeper, no hard center half, no dominant…[Read more]

      • The money players earn is often cited, sometimes lazily, as a reason why that fight or spirit has been lost. Back in the day when your profile dictated earnings, a stellar cup run or a winning team was the zenith upon which you got known and got to dictate somewhat, your worth.

        Now even very average players have image rights, boot deals and…[Read more]

  • jess posted an update 2 months, 4 weeks ago

    Boycott the next World Cup in Qatar? So many people have died building the stadiums, let alone the abuse and neglect of workers and their human rights, yet there is little in the way of public commendation.


    • Various folk from arab nations are the only people keeping the rich in footballer rich. They are bankrolling so many clubs, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you. So don’t expect to hear anything strongly condemning from the FA etc..

      • Exactly. You get situations where Pep Gaurdiola wears a yellow ribbon in support for jailed Catalonian politicians, which is against FA rules… yet is an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup where far more human rights issues are a problem. Then you look at who pays his salary and it all starts to make sense.

        Has football ever been a beacon of…[Read more]

        • “Has football ever been a beacon of integrity, honesty and morality?”

          Perhaps. A long time ago when footballers went back to their day job on a Monday morning and the only merchandise was a home knitted hat or scarf in appropriate colors.

    • I recall the outcry when Russia was awarded this year’s World Cup, people demanding we (The Home Nations teams) boycott that event. All gone quiet now.

      And the next Winter Olympics in China?

    • Why not go the whole way and advocate boycotting visiting, spending money or generally dealing with the offending countries (it isn’t just Qatar)? Abuse, neglect and death of workers happens across the Gulf, yet I haven’t seen many calls for people to stop having sunny beach holidays in Dubai or to stop climbing in Oman.

    • Why focus on the world cup? This is how the construction industry works in most of the world, so why cherry pick the world cup for your concern instead of all construction?

      • The same could be said for the consumerists of the world in general. Why for example do people have such a Hard-on for taking down Oxfam. Yes, obscene things were done to extremely vulnerable people in the name of charity.

        Oxfam, on the whole try their best to do good in the world, but public opinion went for the jugular. Here we have an…[Read more]

  • strike posted an update 3 months ago

    5 medals £28 million spent.. was the winter Olympics worth the money for great Britain?

    • My 50p share has been well spent in keeping me entertained.

    • What is the ‘worth’ of success in international sport of any sort?

      • ella replied 3 months ago

        Tends to make people feel better when a member of the tribe does well against the other tribes, aka foreigners.

    • Isn’t it lottery funded? Therefore thanks to all the gullible fools that paid for lottery tickets, I really enjoyed the games and didn’t pay a penny.

      Joking aside, we only complain that we’re rubbish at everything if we don’t win anything and that we should invest more. We’re not going to compete with serious nations on pluck and great British…[Read more]

    • It seems much cheaper than many other sports e.g. premiership football (and more interesting), the people are not paid masses and inspire whole generations on occasions. If 12.5 million people watched it thats only £2 each. For me the summer olympics are more inspiring than winter, but I think definitely worth it.

    • That money goes into supporting winter sports at different levels. I imagine tens of thousands of people will have benefited from this funding to some extent.

      • In what way? Funding for summer Olympics is very much ring fenced for competitors and then only for those with a realistic chance of being competitive. Unless new facilities have been built which are open to all that £28 million has no legacy.

    • Not really. Basketball is played by more people in inner city’s, the money would be better spent there than on middle class sports for the esoteric few..

      • The ‘whataboutbasketball’ argument in the context of winter Olympic funding has been quite funny.

        • Really?

          I think it’s a fundamental question. If we are spending tax money on sport, do we spend it widely on mass participation to improve the health and wellbeing of a wider population, or do we take the East German approach and focus on high achieving athletes in niche sports, and potential future high achievers for reasons of national pride…[Read more]

        • Not really. That money could be used in inner city areas to promote a grass roots sport which has far more participation than bob sleigh or whizzing down an icey slope on a tea tray.

          It cuts right to the heart of the issue about promoting sport.

        • I don’t think there are any winter sports to roll out to the inner-city masses – maybe ice hockey?

          Otherwise seems a shame to abandon a major international get-together for the sake of £28m – compared to about £20bn we spent hosting the summer olympics.

          Skeleton was good tv

      • If it was spent on Basketball, it would go to the national team and its hangers-on (coaches, managers, physios etc.) rather than grass roots. However those at the top are already exceptionally well paid, as they are performing in the USA and getting megabucks. Do we really want to hand more money to people who are already (or approaching)…[Read more]

        • However I have absolutely no time for spending money on maintaining a small number of middle-class winter sports enthusiasts in the manner in which they’d like to become accustomed.

          And I certainly do not understand why someone born in the USA, who lives in the USA, and only has 1 parent who came from GB but now lives in the USA being funded by…[Read more]

          • I worked with a Winter Olympic sportsman. He spent the winter six months a year living out of the back of a 15 year old van going from event to event. I think his funding covered travel costs, but that was about all.

            • 28+ million pounds – Some cream off a hell of a lot of money. Some people get a good living from what is dished out, but that doesn’t mean everybody does, or even those that deserve/need it do.

              Maybe someone needs to look at who actually gets what. I do know that the number of (questionably needed) people at head office for athletics has…[Read more]

        • @oldgal I think you just about get my point. There are alot of grass roots sports played in the inner city areas of the UK which could seriously be better funded and are played by lots of kids in those areas.Basketball is easily the best example. Lots of kids play it.

          Basket ball s funding in the UK for the Olympics is zero. Basically because the…[Read more]

    • If funding is there to ‘buy’ medals, the Norwegians are 16 times better at it than us …

    • As rule the uk doesn’t have the climate so it has to spend money on it’s winter athletes. The Norwegian budget is half the uks for example. But then generally you can train on your own doorstep there.

  • Kelly posted an update 3 months ago

    Dear Wigan fans, your manager got wound up (going ballistic in the tunnel at the ref and our manager), Aguero got wound up (lashed out at a fan) and some of your fans were a total and utter disgrace. We did provoke your fans, which was wrong, but the reaction was well bad, and carried one once we moved away – ripping stuff up and throwing it at…[Read more]

    • alec replied 3 months ago

      Success can cause arrogance and with that an almost given right to win a football match.

      They are not familiar with loosing. A shame they have forgotten where they have come from.

    • Guardiola. Classy guy…. If any of the ground staff find his dummy, then it’d only be fair to return it.

    • All of this is true. But let’s not be totally blinded by the giant-killing moment.

      Aguero was on the pitch, on his own, surrounded by Wigan fans who should not have been there, with pretty much no protection. Obviously he was coming in for some abuse, taunting and goading and shouldn’t react, but who was making sure he got safely off the pitch?…[Read more]

      • Great result for Wigan but I imagine there will be some kind of penalty for the pitch invasion, which will take the gloss off a tremendous night for them, especially if City complain their players were put at risk.

    • Absolutely disgusting situation for Aguero to be in. To the point it nearly took away the massive feeling of achievement and what football should be about.

      IMO Wigan should be dealt with in the harshest possible manner as this wasn’t just fans cheering and goading Aguero. He could quite easily be in a hospital bed this morning or worse.

      It…[Read more]

      • You seem to know more about the Aguero incident than the rest of us??? Much more than you could possibly have taken from the television pictures.

        • From the telly pictures I saw he was clearly being jostled and antagonized by 3 or 4 wigan supporters. one of the Man City subs or staff was trying to get Aguero out of the way, but one of the Wigan “fans” was repeatedly getting right in his face.

          I dont believe even opposing supporters would have physically assaulted him but what was evident…[Read more]

    • I think Aguero will get a ban, the game has changed, a decade ago a bit of fan/player contact was nothing but it is more serious now. Remember schmeichel rugby tacking turkish fan and dragging him off the pitch.

      But he also pushed/punched him and then kicked out so I think a 1-3 game ban. His reaction was understandable but doubt the FA will see…[Read more]

  • The biggest thing I hate about men is they want to be in control, or think they should be in control.

    @babe Not all men. You’ve obviously met the tossers

    But let’s be blunt – women don’t help themselves sometimes. You don’t have to accept that treatment.

    And women can be just as demanding, controlling and abusive.

    Be a good person, don’t be an…[Read more]

  • The biggest thing I hate about men is they want to be in control, or think they should be in control.
    For what ever reason they think their opinions have more value than a womens and they only like independent women when what they are doing either enhances or does not effect what they do.
    I know of at least four women I know well, where their male…[Read more]

  • My ex partner told me I emasculate men, I was too capable and too independent. What he meant was he was a failed man, he was am alcoholic, who couldnt get his act together to even do the basic stuff, so I renovated the house, I sorted electrics, I built up the business and I coped easily without him for 18 months while he had a cushy contract…[Read more]

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