Wednesday, October 7, 2009


My legs are HEAVY today. I am definitely feeling the effects of the session last night. Or, it could be the weather in the Netherlands. The sun just refuses to break through the clouds here. It's constantly gray and dark with a mild drizzle. I guess things could be worse, but this is one part of living abroad that I have not been able to adjust to yet. Nevertheless, I got myself outside for one of my 2 workouts-- a moral victory in itself.
In the morning...
Run .5 miles
5 rounds for time of:
20 pullups
20 situps
(For the situps I did not hook my feet under anything. A full repetition was head to the ground and hands to the ankles)
Run 1.5 miles
The metcon in the middle took me 7:11. My pullups still kind of suck-- i was only able to do the first 2 sets unbroken. The runs I didn't time, but tried to push the pace as fast as I could. They were enough to let me know I haven't been running much.
In the evening...
Single arm DB shoulder press: 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1
followed by...
500m row for time.
I took my time getting through the pressing. I wanted to see how unbalanced my overhead strength was (34 kg on the left, 36 kg on the right) but also to work the core balance element of the movement. I wound up doing sets of 2 push press to slow eccentric with 38, 40, 42, and 44 kg after I topped out on the singles.
The row was fun, but intense. Short and sharp, as a good friend likes to say. My goal was to finish under 1:30. I made it in 1:28.5. I kept feeling like I was going to slide off the seat, thus necessitating a few periodic readjustments. If anyone knows how to fix this, please let me know. I included the video below.


  1. Hey bro, from what I'm seeing you're pretty quad dominant on the rower. Not a huge problem, especially considering you cranked out a 1:28.5, but it could be part of the reason you're slipping off the seat. Your stroke is crazy powerful, but it looks like your knees rise a little early on the return.

    Check out these videos from Again Faster with Jon Gilson and EC...

    They might help refine your technique a bit. Keep up the killer work, man...

  2. thanks for the video shout-out, Q!

    actually, blair, the rower is the only place in crossfit we do push on the balls of your feet (instead of heels).... so i dont mind the "quad dominance" mentioned above.

    as for the slipping of the seat, be sure the groved part of the foot pads are directly under the balls of your feet. too low and people tend to push themselves up (and off the seat). we want you in line to push back along the slide.

    finally, your real issue is an early arm pull. that is your arms are bending before your hips have opened. so youre not getting all the leg power transfer to the arms, before you pull. therefore, it's inefficient. it needs to be leg drive, body swing, arm pull. and then reverse it - arms out, body up, bend knees. be sure the hands come out fast out of the back. they should be in front of your knees before they bend to return to the catch position (right now you go aroudn the knees). again, this will help with the line of the stroke and efficiency.

  3. btw - that time is burly! get some technique dialed in and it will drop further.

  4. I know the advice was for Blair but thanks for posting it EC! Very helpful!

  5. Good time, but with your size and strength and a little coaching you should be pushing the 1:20 limit for a 500m. Couple points:

    1) Agree with EC above, classic technique issue is the early arm pull (has to be legs, back, arms). Here's another way to think about it: if the handle moves, the seat needs to move, and at the exact same speed at the exact same time (you can really see this issue in the slow motion part of the video). Otherwise it means you're grabbing with the arms/opening your back to early. Use the initial leg drive to load the lats while the arms just hang - then the handle will come with you as the seat moves. Think about what you would do if you were trying to pull a bar off a wall that was bolted in (you'd just hang on that baby and jam with the legs, not grab with your arms).

    2)Look at your feet near the finish of the stroke. They come up before you've finished your stroke - that means you're doing nothing with your final back/arm pull (think about it - how can you be pulling something if you're feet are not even pressing the footboards?) This is related to the whole legs back arms thing - when you're finishing your stroke, think about pulling yourself through the footboards. Good drill for this is to row feet unstrapped - you'll know very quickly when you're not mainting pressure on the footboards as you don't have the straps to pull yourself back in. You should be able to row at a high level of pressure without strapping your feet in.

    Hope this helps a bit - keep on it!