Frequently Asked Questions
About Concept2/UCanRow2 Indoor Rowing Instructor Certification

Latest update: Jan. 15, 2020

Who should become a certified rowing instructor?

    • Group exercise instructors
    • Personal trainers
    • Functional fitness coaches and enthusiasts
    • Fitness enthusiasts
    • Home users
    • On-water rowing coaches with indoor rowing programs
    • k-12 teachers
    • Fitness directors
    • Medical fitness trainers
    • Adaptive sports trainers


  • The fundamentals of rowing workouts for group classes and individual rowing sessions – with opportunities to try them yourself!
  • Proper technique and drills for optimal rowing performance – and how to spot and correct common errors
  • Using the rowing machine to reach peak performance faster
  • How on-water rowers and coaches can adapt their experience to the diverse indoor rowing population
  • Maintenance of the Concept2 indoor rowing machine and how to make it last a lifetime

is there an online version of the course so i can skip the in-person training?

Not at this time, but stay tuned! That being said, rowing, and particularly teaching rowing, is a hands-on skill best learned in person.  We keep our courses small so that you get lots of personalized attention and time to practice your rowing skills.  And the day is fun!  Don’t take our word for it, though.  Check out our testimonials page to see what others are saying.

Can home and gym rowers take the course, even if they don’t want to be certified?

Yes!  We get lots of people taking the course who want to learn to be better rowers.  Teaching isn’t necessarily their goal, and that’s fine.  We spend a lot of time during the day helping people dial in their technique, including individual coaching.  Our goal is to have everyone in the room leave rowing better than when they came in.  Here’s a quote from our Testimonials Page one of the gym rowers who took the Basic Course:

“Terry (Smythe, master instructor) helped me feel more confident about my technique and reinforced -big time – how transformative this (rowing machine) tool can be.  I thought I was coming to a coach’s clinic, which isn’t applicable to me, and instead found the perfect trainer for my situation.  It was very informative, confidence boosting, supportive, fun, and encouraging.  Thank you!!!
Ellen Jacob Wraith – Montclair, NJ

Will I be a certified indoor rowing instructor after I take the ONE-Day training?

Not quite, there’s one more step, the home-study portion.  The first part of that is a multiple-choice, open-book take-home exam.  The second part is a brief video of you teaching your learn-to-row class, in whatever way you plan to do that with your students, members or clients.  There are lots of ways to get this done, all of this is explained at the Basic Course and in the manual.  We give you lots of time — 6 months or more — to practice and get comfortable.  We want you to have fun with this!  We’re here to work with you, too, to help you get it done and become our newest, shiniest certified indoor rowing instructor.

what if i don’t want to complete the certification process?

No problem.  You’ll get a Certificate of Participation for the day, .6 ACE CECs (see below), and our undying gratitude for wanting to be a better rower yourself and to help others do the same.

can i get cecs if i take this course?

Yes!  You’ll get .6 CECs from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) for taking the one-day course, and another .3 once you pass the certification.  AFAA will give you 3 CEUs for the Basic Course. You can also submit ACE CECs for continuing education credits with other fitness organizations such as NASM.

How long does the training day last?

The course is a full day, usually 9am until about 5pm, with a lunch break.

How much does it cost?

The course costs US$495 per person, or as low as US$345 with early bird discounts.

Are there any discounts?

Yes, we offer discounts when four or more people register together.

How much actual rowing is there during the day?

That varies greatly by master instructor and the experience and fitness level of each group.  As a general rule though, you can count on doing at least an hour of rowing, probably more, throughout the day, divided up into several workouts.  However, if you have an injury or another issue that prevents you from being able to do every workout you always have the option to observe if needed.


I’m interested in improving my 2k time, is this course for me?

Absolutely.  The focus during the day on perfecting technique will support your 2k training.  In the words of one of our competitive course participants:

“I’ve made HUGE improvements in my rowing following the course! I just had a race in Indianapolis, which I used as a tune-up/test for the CRASH-Bs. I managed to cut 8 seconds off my previous 2k PR, which I set less than 10 weeks ago!  Thanks again – I couldn’t have done it without you!!”
Shea Nangle – Champaign, IL

If you end up wanting more help than what you get during the day, one of our master instructors can work with you on rowing technique coaching as well as help you with a training plan.


I’M AN ON-WATER rowing coach.  Do I still need to take this course?

Yes you do.  On-water rowing is a very different animal from group exercise on the erg.  On-water rowers are often (although not always) good indoor rowers.  What they’re missing oftentimes though, is training in how to use the rowing machine as vehicle for having fun in a group exercise environment.  Indoor rowing, particularly for competitive on-water rowers, is serious business.  It can also be a transition for rowing coaches to understand that indoor rowers don’t necessarily care about ever getting on the water, and certainly don’t view the erg as a mere substitute for the “real thing.”

In group exercise it’s all about bringing the fun on the erg.  Good technique is also critical, don’t get us wrong.  But if you can’t deliver a class that motivates people, makes them feel good and have fun, and gets them the results they’re looking for, you’ll have a hard time succeeding in the indoor environment.


I’ve been erging for-EVah.  Do I still need to take the indoor rowing certification?

Yes.  Rowing for a long time yourself isn’t the same as knowing how to teach other people to row well.  Or being able to identify and correct errors, theirs or yours.  A good amount of the day in our rowing certification is spent on all those things. We also talk about how to put a class together, and let you try various class scenarios.


I live too far away to get to one of your courses.  Like an ocean away.  Is there any other way I can get certified?

In a handful of cases we have been able to help very experienced rowers living far away from our training sites.  Drop us an email at and give us detailed information on your rowing background and how you plan to teach indoor rowing.  Also tell us where you are.  We might be able to work something out.

Are there any courses after this one?

Yes!  We will soon offer our Programming Intensive course.  It’s a deeper dive into how to design indoor rowing classes, including how to work with different populations of exercisers.  That includes weight loss clients, seniors, kids, and more.  Look for it to go online during 2017!  Here is more of what you can learn in the course:

  • Program design and implementation: How-tos and considerations
  • Creating killer workouts and WODs using the Concept2 rower alone and in combination with the SkiErg and other equipment such as kettlebells
  • Teaching tips for diverse populations of exercisers.  Assisting the discovery of the athlete within
  • Sustainability and marketing: Keeping the workouts fresh and your classes full
  • Additional hands-on workouts that you can also take straight back to your facility!

What other questions do you have about indoor rowing certification?  Post them in the comments and we’ll answer ASAP!