Today I published an article to the Tabata Times Contributor Network on how to prepare for a 2K indoor rowing race from a CrossFitter’s perspective. Comment here for feedback! Thanks to James Bailey of Q-Power, Mike Stanitski of Ever Green Boat Club, Olympian and Coach Xeno Muller, and Steve Macioci of CrossFit Ignite for contributing, and good luck to all the athletes competing at CRASH-Bs this weekend!
As we get into the heart of indoor rowing season, I wanted to highlight three easy ways to check your own technique on the C2.
1. Pump up the volume! You can’t groove in good technique by doing 500m or 1000m as part of your warmup routine. You need to commit to a couple of days in which your goal is to row 10-15K at a decent pressure that makes you breathe as hard as you would in a long chipper like Murph or the Tough Mudder. You have to get tired enough to learn to relax, and you have to row for long enough for your body to find a natural “groove” and work out some of the inefficiencies in your stroke. I guarantee that if you do this a couple of times, it will benefit your sprint performance significantly through technical improvements alone.
2. Row feet out! Undo the straps, put your feet on top of them, and spend some time rowing that way at about half pressure. If you lose your musculoskeletal connection during the stroke, your feet will pop up. This is the #1 way to work out the major faults in your technique. Feedback is immediate, and you might even end up on the ground! You can do feet-out as a drill during your warmup to check yourself before getting into the meat of the WOD.
3. Buy a cheap full-length mirror! You know – the $5 “expendable” kind that you can stick to your kids’ closet door. Lean it against a wall slightly off center in front of the C2 so you can see your entire stroke. I know CrossFit boxes are anti-mirror, but this is not for posing and flexing – it lets you self-coach your technique as if you had a live video feed, and it is the single best coaching tool there is for indoor rowing. Watch the online videos of the world’s best, then watch yourself in the mirror and make corrections.
Good luck to all CrossFitters, indoor rowers, and on-water rowers who are competing in indoor races this month!
<< Feet Out! >>
While I was traveling recently, I tried the Invictus Rowing Club WOD. This is Shane Farmer’s creation – the same driving force behind CrossFit Rowing. This was a late night WOD done around 10 PM after a brutal day, so my splits were not what I would normally expect, but at least I got it done. This is a good one that I would like to re-try when I’m more rested. You can program this using the “Intervals –> Variable” function on the Concept2.
Thanks to Row2K for publishing my rowing hack submission, and giving a shout out to Ever Green Boat Club! I use this hack a lot while traveling. I also find that wearing FiveFingers on the erg not only saves on space in my luggage, but also makes me pay more attention to my finish timing, as they are both more flexible and less forgiving when your technique deteriorates.
I tried this WOD last week…it was a good exercise in rowing with powerful swing at low ratings, trying to keep a consistent split. I did it on a public gym ergo using drag factor to calibrate the resistance to 125. What I found is that while I managed to hit the ratings pretty well during the pieces, the C2 memory function overstate the average rate. In reality, it takes a couple of strokes to hit the correct rating, and I think this skews the memory algorithm on short duration pieces. This was a fun WOD that let me get a great workout in late at night after a grueling day. Thanks Renegade Rowing!
Every Minute On the Minute for 20min
Row :40 On @2k+7 @Following Stroke Rates
(Paddle Light during :20 Off)
Minutes 1-4 @24 s/m
Minutes 5-8 @26 s/m
Minutes 9-12 @28 s/m
Minutes 13-16 @26 s/m
Minutes 17-18 @24 s/m
Minutes 19-20 @22 s/m
- Post Distance and Average Split to Comments
Complete For Time (Alternating Movements) …
5-4-3-2-1 Snatch (95/65 lbs.)
1-2-3-4-5 Lateral Burpees Over the Bar
- Post Time and Load to Comments
3 Power Cleans
- Should Be Touch and Go
- Work Up To Something Challenging
- Post Load to Comments
Todays focus is the Rowing WOD. The goal of the workout is to control both stroke rating and pressure. When the stroke rating is low you’ll have to push harder and take longer on the recovery … more ratio. When the stroke rating comes up it should be easier because you can achieve your…
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The level of fitness required to row for an hour at sub-1:37 is almost incomprehensible. This is a short but incredible video of these guys. To give context to the CrossFitters out there, Eric Murray (in blue) finished the half-marathon test 11 minutes (about 2 miles) faster than Jason Khalipa, who had the fastest time in the Row 2 workout at the CrossFit Games. Note how Hamish Bond (shirtless with heart rate monitor) is using elongated form to maximize stroke length on the Concept2 Model E (different from in the boat). Well done Kiwis – no wonder you are untouchable on the water! I also love the transparency of posting this on the web.