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Old 07-07-2009, 04:05 AM   #1
Justin Shipley
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1K row challenge

A surfboat crew train at the gym where i work a couple of mornings a week, and one of their drills on the C2s caught my attention;

they row 1000m at precisely 21spm, in perfect unison, damper level 10, going for maximum power each stroke

I tried it myself a few times, and initially it's a bit of a challenge to break the association in your mind between power=faster and slower=gentler, because it's as slow as a wet weekend, but max power

So i gave it as a challenge to pairs and trios of clients- a race with a difference insofar as everyone appears even because of the identical and constant stroke rate, but everyone has the watts display up on the monitor and gives it all they've got every stroke.

The first couple of hun dred metres i have to act as a cox, calling the stroke, but most of 'em settle into it themselves after a while.

And obviously, the one generating the most power most consistently wins!

Try it
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:37 AM   #2
Mat Frankel
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Re: 1K row challenge

That sounds pretty cool. What kind of other workouts does the team do?
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:33 AM   #3
Jason Peacock
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Re: 1K row challenge

This is how we trained in college crew - our stroke rate was 18-22 for the first 6mo of the year, sometimes going up to 24-26 for 'sprints'. At the end of the year during competition season (when we weren't going to get any fitter) we changed the focus, practicing sprints at 28-32 rate to improve form and quickness.

All our timed pieces (1k, 2k, 6k) were done at the low stroke rates, it really teaches you to develop power in your stroke as well as emphasizing technique. Anyone can row at high stroke rate, but then your power and technique usually go to crap.

I like the idea of synchronized strokes to really emphasize the stroke rate, it's a good cue to develop proper technique and power.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:23 AM   #4
Justin Shipley
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Re: 1K row challenge

Jason, not being a rower, i was priming myself for the rowers among you to tell me this is old-hat in rowing circles!

I presume the difference in stroke rate is related to the fact that there are six crew in the boat, which is around 20' long, 6' wide and at least 3' deep, made of timber planking, real old-school, and must weigh 100s of kilos. Each oar is double an average persons' height, and heavy timber as well.

An observation from setting the task to groups of clients-
Those who can blitz a 250m or 500m balls-out sprint, don't often do as well with the 1k as described above; i dunno, maybe it's that inability to divorce decreased stroke rate from decreased power in the brain.

Mat, unfortunately these guys and girls (5 girls, 1 guy) don't respond too well to receiving suggestions outside what they already do.

When in the weights room, it's 20kg Smith machine squats, lat pulldowns, seated rows, and bicep curls and this is after asking me for some advice on supplementary exercises, to which i offered DLs, power cleans, real squats, and pullups.

I guess they know better, because, hey; they're the rowers, not me...
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:51 AM   #5
Andy Gann
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Re: 1K row challenge

We have a rowing club that crossfits at the affiliate I attend. A couple of the crew gave brief rowing seminars a few months ago and it really changed the way we attack rowing.


At the seminar we spent about 10 minutes rowing at around 19 or 20 spm - all in unison pulling really hard and then slowly recovering. The drills there and other techniques really helped me to decrease my spm while increasing power. Now, in metcon type WODs w/ rowing - it isn't as bad to get off the rower and do burpees, etc ...
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