Posts Tagged ‘Rowing’

Two “Moment of Awesomeness” posts in one week?! Woot!

(Thanks to my buddy, Birddog, for sending me this one!)

Let me start this post by saying that I am not against letting children play video games. But apparently a lot of kids, and adults (#Fortnite?!), spend a lot of time playing them. I’m talking 2-8 hours PER DAY of video games. I do have a problem with that.

Now, it’s not my place to judge what you do or what you let your kids do. But since this is my blog and I can talk about whatever I want, I’ll tell you the only reason why I care about this at all. Odds are if a human being is spending 20 or more hours in a week playing a video game they are likely not doing other things in that time. The first thing they’re likely avoiding is sleep, and since I don’t sleep nearly as much as I should, in the interest of not sounding like a huge hypocrite, I’m not even going to touch that one!

Another thing that is probably sacrificed at the expense of online domination is exercise. I’m a personal trainer, so if a client were to cancel on me three times in a row because they needed to “complete a few side missions” (more Fortnite talk), I’d be pretty unimpressed. As a kid, it can feel like you’re only cool if you do the same things as all of your friends. If they’re all playing video games, you’ll probably want to as well!

To address this, super dad Jeremy Fielding (who also happens to be an extremely talented and innovate dude), came up with an awesome invention for his kids. He attached a Concept2 Rowing Machine to a generator. The generator was then attached to their video game console. Do they get to play video games? Yep, but only if one of them is rowing to power the system! The capacity on the generator is so low, that if the rower stops for even sixty seconds, the game shuts off. How cool is that?!

The R&B group Blackstreet once said, “You gotta pay to play,” and Jeremy Fielding took those words as gospel! Your kids are getting a work out while they play video games? I’ll allow it. Good work, dad!

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Yes. They can.

End of story.

Bye!

All jokes aside, this post is timely given some members of the audience reading my blog, and some situations I’ve witnessed in my years as a CrossFit coach. A lot of gyms out there have fun monthly challenges to keep their members engaged and strengthen the community. One in particular, which I’ve seen at dozens of gyms all over the world, happens during the second to last month of each calendar year. This event is called… ROW-VEMBER! What is Row-vember? Well, it’s an in-house competition to see who in the gym can row the most meters in the month of November. Sounds fun, right?! Well, it can be! At least, until people take the competition a little bit too seriously.

If read that and thought, “You’re kidding, right? How can someone take a rowing competition too seriously?” I’m SO glad you asked! There was a handful of individuals that were so set on winning, that in many ways, rowing took over their lives for four weeks. They’d show up early to row before class. Stay to row more after class. They’d come in and just row instead of taking class. Sometimes they’d back to the gym a second time during the day just to get in more rowing. Someone even took apart their own personal a rower so it would fit in the car to take with them on vacation! Now hopefully the picture is getting painted a little bit clearer as to how things went down.

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A few years ago, Crazy Castro had the CrossFit Games athletes complete a HALF MARATHON Row… that’s 21,000 meters. In a row. Insane! What happened next? Well, like every other year after the CrossFit Games are over, people all over the world tried to do the same workouts on their own… “Just to see how they’d do compared to the fittest people on earth.” I know several people who called up some friends one day, went to the gym, put a movie on the TV, and rowed for over 90 minutes straight, just to say they did it. I get it. (Well, just like I know people pay money to do Ironman distance triathlons, doesn’t mean I want to do one myself. You do you, just know it’s not my jam!)

So we’ve talked about a crazy CrossFit event where athletes rowed for over an hour. And we’ve discussed people going to the gym all the time just to row and taking rowers on vacation with them to not fall behind in random competitions. Now, to drive home my point of just how bad it got, put those two groups together. There were a handful of people rowing 20,000+ meters nearly every day!! And if they missed a day, they’d make it up before or after!! That is insaaaaaaaaane to me. I’ve been in this CrossFit game for nearly a decade, and I’ve never even rowed a 10k!

I understand some people just like long and slow cardio. I also get how completing long distances in the form of several shorter interval repeats can make it more manageable. But what my brain doesn’t process is why when you’re 23 days into a month, and your sleep is suffering, focus is off, hands are calloused, butt and lower back are wrecked, and energy is down… you’d keep going just because there are seven days left in the month! But they did. That is a situation where, in my brain, the competition got way too intense. If you’re pushing yourself to the point of adrenal fatigue over pride and a $50 gift card, I think your priorities should shift a little bit. Realize that we want to take care of our bodies through the work we put in at the gym, not destroy them!

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I thought of this story because at one of the gyms where I currently work, they’re completing a challenge each month to complete 2018 reps of a different movement. January was burpees, and I think there were about a half-dozen members who completed them all! This month, it’s Calories on a bike or rower. Since I didn’t hop in last month on the burpee game, I figured as a coach I would hop in a lead by example to encourage others to participate. After a few days of rowing a bit and writing my score on the board, I realized that a few of us started to get a little bit competitive with each other. The first few days it was fun, and then I was reminded of the folks I saw a few years ago.

Let this be my official declaration to those of you who are in the friendly game with me:

I just want us to have fun. If you ever feel like you’re impacting your work, social/personal life, or health and stress levels just by trying to row more, let me know. I will gladly step back and bow out of the game! 

I say that kind of in jest, but still pretty serious. For me, I find rowing or biking a little more than I usually would to be a great way to burn off a few extra calories. It’s low impact, I can do it on my own, and at my convenience. So, while my goal is to “#BeLessFat” and allow myself to drink another beer or two on the weekends without feeling guilty, I know that some people get wayyyy too into the competitive spirit. Don’t allow me to fuel an unhealthy fire. I want to make your life better, not worse! Besides, at the current gymour competition isn’t even for most meters, it’s just to see if people can hit 2,018 in the month. Every meter above 2,018 is just icing on the cake! I’ll back out in a heartbeat if I need to, though.

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If you can keep it all in perspective, though, game on. Today I rowed an extra 4,000 meters at a comfortable pace while watching a live video of my favorite Dj, and my heart rate was low the entire time. It was just some nice active recovery, and it felt awesome!

While I’ll be the first to admit that I’m really competitive, I rarely let that get in the way of my own health. Sadly, though, I know a lot of people who can’t safely make that distinction. Did rowing alone lead to adrenal fatigue? Of course not. But putting  one’s body through that much unnecessary stress for that many days in a row, certainly didn’t help! Story one was about a competition that went awry. Story two is about a challenge to hit 2,018 meters. The point is, saying, “It’s not a competition,” is great, but we all know that to some people… everything is a competition! If all else fails and your brain won’t let your body stop pushing, remember that it’s only a game. And none of it matters. Train smart, friends.

Traditionally on this blog, the Moment of Awesomeness posts include some sort of Extreme Sports video. Today’s post does not.

Even though this post won’t focus on those who voluntarily jump off of a perfectly good mountain, or people who just hate being safe with two feet on the ground, it will still focus on people who I think are brave and worthy of recognition!

This past Saturday I had a pretty busy day:
– Alarm goes off at 7:30am

– Make and eat breakfast, clean my place a little bit, head out the door

– 8:40am- Arrive to gym #1 where some friends were throwing down at a local Indoor Rowing competition

– 10:00am-Leave competition, head to gym #2 for CPR and First Aid Recertification

– 11:00am-1:00pm – Play with a really creepy mask, and feel more confident helping people if the situations ever arise where they need it!

– 1:30pm- Drive to gym #3 to cheer on friends competing in a CrossFit Competition

-3:30pm- Grab lunch w competing friends and celebrate their huge accomplishment

Row, Row, Row Your Boat:

Peter and Scott were good at rowing. Peter and Scott wanted to get even better at rowing. Peter and Scott did just that. After committing to sign up for an Indoor Rowing competition, my friends approached me about getting in better shape for their respective races.

I bet Peter could pull a 1:25 for a 500m row in his sleep. The dude has rowed a 1:21.8 for crying out loud! In my head,that is insanely fast. He didn’t want to race that distance, however. He wanted to step outside of his comfort zone and race the 2,000m distance, a pretty significant jump in distance for a sprinter like myself. Scott comes from a history of cycling. So, while he’s no stranger to racing or “endurance” events, rowing for sport, however, was a new concept for him. When these two approached me about getting them on a 12-week program in preparation for race day, I was stoked! Few things make me happier than watching athletes push themselves just for the sake of pushing themselves!

After nearly 3 months of row-dedicated workouts and time on the erg, we were so happy to see that BOTH of them PR’d in their respective distances! Peter (aka Birddog) rowed a 6:43 for his 2k, and Scott rowed a 1:28.3 in his 500m. Stoked for you guys!

The Rowers together!

Rowers and their cheering section!

Safety First:

I first became a lifeguard at the age of 13. That means my first CPR and First Aid Certification happened OVER 18 YEARS AGO! (Wow, that makes me feel old!) The point is that in my industry (as Head Coach at a CrossFit Gym), safety should always come first. 

While to some people, putting your face on a creepy mask and breathing into a “dummy” may not be the best way to spend an afternoon, I kept reminding myself that if something happened where an athlete collapsed or got hurt… I have been tasked with being able to do my best to help save the athletes in the gym. I remember always thinking as a teenager, “I hope I never have to use this information, but I’m glad I know it!” It’s a big responsibility, so I’m glad to have had that refresher yet again.

Creepy mask, important function

Veteran and the Rookie:

Oh, Danny and Sarah! By far, one of the most fun couples I know. Danny and I met years back competing in CrossFit competitions, and I met his wife Sarah when they came over to train at the gym where I worked. Sarah has always been Danny’s number 1 fan, showing up to events to cheer him on, these last few with their amazing baby boy in tow. When I heard that she had finally agreed to COMPETE in an event, and do it as part of a TEAM with Danny… I was beyond happy!

Not only did they compete together, work together, suffer together, and SURVIVE together… but out of FIFTY SIX (yep, 56) teams in their division, they placed THIRD on one of the events. Now THAT is awesome. Congrats to both of you, it was so fun watching you two throw down together!

 

After the final workout of the Competition!

 
 

The point of this post is to acknowledge and congratulate EVERYONE who has the courage and/or confidence to put themselves out there and compete on a public stage! In my opinion, it’s never about whether or not you win. It’s about did you put in the work to do well, and did you give it your all on Game Day! 

If you have any questions on whether or not you’re ready for a race or competition of your own, or which one you should do, please don’t hesitate to ask me. I’d be happy to talk it over together! 🙂

And we’re baaaaaack!

After a July that was absolutely insane on SO many levels, the blog is back and kicking. The first series of posts that are making their way back from the archives will be our “The Numbers” posts, that highlight my Sunday Funday class at CrossFit Lakewood. I try to make these classes (which are available to all CF Lakewood and CF Golden members) as fun as possible, many weeks putting athletes together in team format.

Every few weeks, we’ll also tend to do some sort of a benchmark set, whether that’s a 400m run, 500m row, max dead-hang from a pull-up bar, etc… On these posts, I’ll try to share picture of the workouts, results, and any benchmarks we do, as well as an action shot/video or two if I get some good ones.

All-in-all, I hope these posts serve as fun little memories into our time together on Sunday afternoons… the best way to start the week!

This week’s workout included SUPER-FAST “Alon-style” Burpees, Shoulder Presses, and Kettlebell swings, paired with a short little run. In only 12 minutes, how hard could it be, right? 🙂

Smashby Training, Sunday Funday, CrossFit Lakewood, 7-29 WOD and Results

The workout and results

After that, we ended class with a nice little 1,000m row (as a pair). The goal here was to not only have each person complete a max-effort 500m row, but also see how fast a team could complete a full 1,000m.

Smashby Training, Sunday Funday, CrossFit Lakewood, 7-29 WOD and Results, Rowing, 7-29 Row Results

Team Row Results – Do you see your team name?

You all did a GREAT job! Happy Sunday Funday, everyone!

Smashby Training, Sunday Funday, CrossFit Lakewood, 7-29 WOD and Results, Rowing

Jilly-Bean and crew getting AFTER it!

Today we were able to work on technique and then some speed. Those are two pretty important aspects of fitness!

Turkish Get-Ups are a pretty challenging lift for most people, so spending a bit of time trying to improve shoulder stability, core strength, proper body alignment, among other things, is always fun!

Workout of the Day:

WOD #1
4 Rounds NOT for Time:
5 Turkish get-ups each arm
10 One Arm KB OHS

Megan’s a beast. I shouldn’t have ever doubted her. 🙂

WOD #2
6 Rounds of 500m Row 1:30 rest between efforts

Today was the third day of FREE CROSSFIT at CrossFit Lakewood. For the third day in a row, we had about 25 people come to class! It was AWESOME! (Nope, it’s not getting old at all. The more the merrier if you ask me.) People have been spreading the word this week, bringing friends, and then THEIR friends have been bringing even more people. It’s been so cool to watch, and I’m so thankful for everyone who’s made an effort to check us out and see what we’re all about!

The last day of Free CrossFit is tonight at 6pm. Bring your friends for one more jam-packed workout this week! I’ve already heard of a few people who will be making it for the first time. I can’t wait!

Tonight’s workout we decided to introduce our guests to a good friend of the CrossFit Community: Tabata Intervals!

There were a total of 5 stations that we put people through, and since most of them were new to CrossFit, we didn’t even have them worry about keeping score. That made it easier to focus on form and technique.

Workout of the Day:
Tabata Intervals of 5 Stations – 1 Minute Rest between Station
Row / Stick Jumps / Dips / Squat Jumps / Ab-Mat Sit-Ups

For another day with many first-time CrossFitters, I continue to be amazed at how efficient people are moving. We make adjustments based on previous injuries, ability levels and range of motion limitations… and BOOM, off they went!

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Great job to everyone for another incredible day at the gym, and I’m REALLY looking forward to our fourth and final night of FREE CROSSFIT at CrossFit Lakewood!