CrossFit Games Open 14.4 Rowing Advice

I’ve gotten some questions on how to approach the rowing portion of CrossFit Games Open workout 14.4:

14 minute AMRAP:

  • Row 60 calories
  • 50 Toes to Bar
  • 40 Wallballs
  • 30 Cleans
  • 20 Muscle Ups

Here’s some key points:

This is a long workout.  You don’t want to absolutely kill yourself on the row as you will have another 100+ reps to go after that.

60 calories is a weird measurement – you should view it as about 90 strokes / 850 meters.

In order to finish in the 3:00-3:30 range, men should strive to keep a >1200 calorie-per-minute pace and women should strive for >1000.  This is of course a generalization – the reality is the rowing piece could take anywhere between 2:15 and 4:00 depending on fitness and technique.

Keep the cadence high – shoot for 30+ strokes per minute.  For a workout of this length you do not want to crank the damper up and row strong and slow, despite the temptation.  The flywheel will slow down too much in between strokes, and this rowing piece is long enough where you will be firmly in the aerobic energy system.  Muscling it will simply shred you for the rest of the workout.  I recommend damper between 4 and 6 for most people, keeping consistent pace at a cadence of 30 strokes per minute.  Close your eyes, count out 80 strokes, then open them and see what you have left to sprint.  That will give you a decent time on the row and will leave you with energy for the rest of the WOD.

As a benchmark, as a masters male I completed the row in 2:16 and logged 180 Rx reps for the WOD (i.e. I made it through the cleans).

Good Luck!

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