Tag Archives: rowing

Row Your Boat and Row Some More…

Wow. When I think back to my love/hate relationship with rowing, today’s workout makes me very happy.

I started crossfit back in February 2013 and dreaded rowing at first. Thankfully that dread was replaced with a loathing of running pretty quickly. πŸ™‚ But I can remember when a 400-500m row took me forever.


Yesterday I rowed instead of running as part of the workout and averaged 2-2:15 for each 500m. And last week I rowed 2000m in 8:15, so apparently I’m over the speed hump. πŸ™‚

Today though… intervals with rowing. Wasn’t quite sure how I’d do.

I arrived for the 8:30 class with Coach Drea and was joined by Ashley, Kayla, and Caleb.Β We got through the warm-up from yesterday (spoiler: hips are still tight) and immediately got to work on the WOD.

  • On a 25-minute clock, 5 rounds of:
  • Row for 50 seconds, rest 10 seconds
  • Row for 40 seconds, rest 20 seconds
  • Row for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
  • Row for 20 seconds, rest 40 seconds
  • Row for 10 seconds, rest 50 seconds

Just so you know, that made for a long 5 minutes, but the 90 seconds of rest in the last couple of minutes was a welcome break. I had to physically get up and walk around at least a few steps during the 50 second breaks just to stretch a little.

baby-raised-eyebrows-hmmm-why-do-i-feel-like-this-is-going-to-kick-my-butt-laterHow’d I do? 3735 total across the whole thing. I came out far too quickly in that first 50 second row and had nearly 900m by the end of the 5 minutes. Keep in mind that’s 2.5 minutes of rowing and 2.5 minutes of rest every 5 minutes. It was a great sprint.

Definitely was slowing down after that first round — probably hit my stride in about the 3rd round and definitely slower by the last one.

Good thing I wasn’t competing against Caleb though – he went nearly 4400m. He’s a beast. πŸ™‚

Great work 8:30 class! Was a fun one! Definitely something I wouldn’t have said 5 years ago. πŸ™‚


Weird Occurrences DO Happen

Some things haven’t really changed in the nearly 5 years since I started crossfit, or so I thought. Going all the way back to February 2013, I have stated unequivocally that I only have two speeds – slow and stop. I may have to revise that based on my performance over the last couple of months.

More and more of my weekly workouts are happening within the time frames my coaches have given me. And that includes a few workouts where I’m scaling less and less. Guess something must be working.


Today I headed in for a more normal, 8:30am class with Coach Drea. And like always we had a fun group — Bill & Amber, Ashley, Lara, and Logan.

We started out with the same warm-up as last night, plus some foam rolling of our lats and a bit longer couch stretch before we did some straight-leg deadlifts with a PVC pipe to continue warming up our hamstrings.

From there it was deadlifts. 75# for a bit, then 135#, then I popped up to 185#. They felt ok, so I figured I should be able to do those touch and go for a while.

And we did some chatting about HSPUs and proper form. We had a few scaling options for strict HSPUs, so I figured if I had to I could drop from 2-mat strict HSPUs to pike push-ups.

  • 3 rounds for time of:
    • Run 800m (performance)/400m fitness
    • 15 deadlifts, 185/125#Β  (performance) or 115/75# fitness
    • 8 strict handstand push-ups (performance) or pike push-ups (fitness)

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1It is still slick and snowy outside, so rather than risk running I decided I’d row instead. So my workout looked like:

  • 3 rounds
  • 1000m row
  • 185# deadlifts x15
  • strict HSPUs to two abmats x8

How’d it go? We were supposed to shoot for < 20m. I made that. Not sure I could have if I ran, so I think it would have been at least 20m in that case.

I finished in 18:29 ahead of Bill who was doing 275# deadlifts and running 800m. For me, that’s probably a first. I don’t think I’ve ever beaten Bill, even scaled.

My 1000m rows got slower and slower, 4:03, 4:15, 4:30, and though I did that first set of deadlifts unbroken, I split the next two 10/5 and 8/7. I surprised myself by banging out the strict HSPUs each round though.

So it was a good day. πŸ™‚ We’ll see what tomorrow looks like and maybe I can slip in for a noon workout.

Have a great day, folks! Great work and thanks Drea!

Overhead for 10, then 10 more…

After doing a workout last night (4:45pm), I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to be feeling this morning. Turns out the answer is “stiff” and “sore.” Shocking, I know.

But that didn’t stop me from making my way into the box this morning for an 8:30 class with Coach Drea. And it was just me and Logan this morning taking this one on.

b04c6ed2970ac4c861a63625f42d9532We started with the new warm-up for this week. Yeah, I know it’s Tuesday, but we didn’t do this warm-up yesterday since we had such a lengthy WOD to work through. This week looks like:

  • 10 Jefferson curls w/light DB (3-count down AND up)
  • 10 Lunge and reach to sky (5/side)
  • 45 sec active pigeon/side
  • 15 straddle ball rolls forward (sit in straddle with med ball in front. Rest arms on ball and lean forward. This is one rep)
  • 10 prone weighted pass throughs (face down on ground) 2.5lb plate
  • 10 squat hold “V-raises (stay at bottom of squat, hold arms out in front. Bring one arm overhead in the snatch grip position, then switch arms) Do 5/side
  • Calf stretch 45 sec/side

After that, it was time to get our overhead working. So we did some PVC skill work for overhead squats before moving to an empty barbell. Eventually we worked on some rowing mechanics and then did a little warm-up to smooth our transitions a bit…

  • Row 100m
  • 3 OHS
  • (repeat three times, upping the weight each time)

Barbell_Overhead_SquatsToday’s workout was supposed to be at 115#, but after 95# feeling a bit rough we settled on 85# for today. And I’m glad I did because even that only lasted about half the workout.

  • 4 rounds for time of:
  • Row 500 meters
  • 115/75# overhead squats, 10 reps

My workout went ok, though I had to drop weight.

  • fastest 500m – 1:53
  • slowest 500m – 2:14
  • started with 85# overhead squats – made it 19 reps
  • dropped to 75# overhead squats for remaining 21
  • finished in 14:07 (not bad since our time domain was 12-15 minutes according to Drea)

My right shoulder is ticked at the moment. And I felt like it was far behind my head, especially in the last couple of sets. Left arm felt fine, even at 95# – but right arm was not staying put.

Logan did the whole thing with 105# and was right behind me, so he did awesome.

Thanks for the encouragement Drea! Have a great day! And I’ll be back to the box on Thursday if all goes well. πŸ™‚

Catching up post-Christmas

The holidays at my house are a bit like running a marathon. We have a ton of family time compressed into a handful of days and it seems like we don’t get a rest until it’s over. I’m not complaining — family and friends are awesome and I love them this time of year. But I can’t say that I’m going to complain about a brief respite today amid the chaos. πŸ™‚

It gives me an opportunity to write up the last couple of workouts we did at CrossFit Continuum over the Christmas holiday.

12 Days of Christmas

I want to say I did my first “12 Days of Christmas” workout in 2014 or 2015. And each year I wonder a) if I’m going to survive and b) swear I’m not going to do it again. Luckily, I have a short memory for that sort of pain and do it anyway.

This year we only had to run at the very end, but the beginning was deceptive. We essentially did the Bear Complex in the first 5 “days” of the workout, which meant a ton of barbell work throughout the whole thing.

Though Mickey was working this year, 3 out of the 4 of us made it to the 10am class. The 8:30 folks were staggering out as we got there, wishing us a Merry Christmas and good luck with the workout they just endured. We should have taken that as a sign. πŸ™‚

First Heat Went Before Us. πŸ™‚

We had a smaller crowd this year than in past years, but still has 12 or 13 of us suffering together. πŸ™‚ After a bit of a general warm-up, we did some work with the barbell (essentially practicing the Bear Complex) and then loaded up for the movements to come…

  • 12 Days of Christmas 2017
    • 1 Deadlift #135/#95 or #115/#75
    • 2 Power Cleans #135/#95 or #115/#75
    • 3 Front Squat #135/#95 or #115/#75
    • 4 Push Press #135/#95 or #115/#75
    • 5 Back Squat #135/#95 or #115/#75
    • 6 pull-ups
    • 7 Box Jumps 30/24/20
    • 8 KBS #70/#53/#35
    • 9 Push-ups
    • 10 Wall Ball #30/#20/#14
    • 11 Situps
    • 12 400 M run
  • ***Just like the song…..On the first day of Christmas****

I adjusted a bit:

  • 95# on the bar
  • regular kipping pull-ups
  • 20″ step-ups instead of box jumps
  • 20# wall balls
  • and a lovely 400m stroll on “Day 12”

It took a long time. I finished in under 44 minutes and I was the last one in our heat. But I finished. πŸ™‚

I was proud of the fact that I did my 6 pull-ups unbroken each round I had to do them. And I did the 10 wall balls in bigger sets than normal (6-8 made it go much more quickly).

But it was a good way to kick off the holiday weekend. πŸ™‚

Still Smiling After Our Heat. πŸ™‚

Christmas Eve and Christmas

We had a fun Christmas Eve and Christmas day with family and friends. Ate too much good food and may have had a few adult beverages on Christmas Day. But that’s all well and good — we’ll get back on track starting today with the diet.

On the nutrition challenge we’ve been on (and with no alcohol until the weekend of Christmas), I was down about 10 pounds — I promptly regained about 3 of it. πŸ™‚ But we’ll start working our way back down again.

The challenge has presented a good way to reorganize my thinking about food in general. It’s ok if we enjoy some days that aren’t quite as healthy so long as the majority of our days are on target. So that’s been a good reset since right after Thanksgiving.

Our “Fun” Workout for Today

And that brings me to today… Two days since our last workout, it was time to get back in and get some sweat going. Coach Drea did not disappoint.

The 8:30 class was me, AJ, Mickey, and Nick. We started with a new Nicole warm-up that began with a minute of assault bike, a minute of rowing, and a minute of jump roping, plus a few other movements. Good way to get up to speed in a hurry, but I won’t say I was moving all that well to start with. πŸ™‚

rower5And after that we started this “fun” one for today. When I looked at it last night, I have to say that I think Drea’s “fun” was not my idea of “fun” — but everybody has their own definition, right?

  • Score: Total Distance
  • Performance:
    • Run for 35 minutes
    • Every 5 minutes, stop and perform 15 burpees
  • Fitness:
    • Run for 25 minutes
    • Every 5 minutes, stop and perform 10 burpees

It was a balmy 10 degrees this morning and maybe… MAYBE… if it was closer to freezing I would have run, but I chose to do my cardio inside on the rower. So I did the Performance level with rowing instead of running. AJ rowed. Nick used the assault bike. And Mickey ran.

  • AJ made it about 4k meters
  • Mickey made it about 2.5 miles
  • And I rowed about 5100 meters
    • 1200m
    • 1020m
    • 950m
    • 1000m
    • 930m

My burpees were SLOW and my transitions back onto the rower were slow. But I got my 5k in for the month, so I guess if that’s a thing I pulled it off. πŸ˜‰ Not sure it was “fun” — but hey, to each their own!

Great work everybody!

My Attitude Sucked Today

Every once in a while, my attitude gets in the way of my training. It happens, I know. And mindset is just as important as effort and intensity I suspect. Today, my attitude about running got in the way of a workout and it was entirely my fault.

1yi4fbLast night I looked at the workout. I always do. And it never stops me from making it to the classes I sign up for. But it does give my overactive imagination far too long to chew on things. Funnier still, when I saw the workout was a running WOD, I immediately started swearing. My wife will attest to that.

So I immediately resolved to row the thing. Weather today is cold – we’re in the 20s this morning. I don’t like running even when it’s nice outside. Add cold into the equation and I’m like a bear seeking a nice den to hibernate in. Running was not anywhere on my list for the day, let alone high on my list.

As a result, I immediately scaled it in my head to rowing a 5k. Great. I can do that.

This morning I got in for an 8:30 class with Coach Drea and Logan and my attitude hadn’t improved. By the time we got through the warm-up, I was already tense. Heck no, I wasn’t going to row. Drea didn’t fight it and just let me row. Logan ran. He did awesome and ran the performance version.

The workout was:

  • For time (performance):
    • Run 400 meters
    • Rest 1 minute
    • Run 800 meters
    • Rest 2 minutes
    • Run 1,200 meters
    • Rest 3 minutes
    • Run 1,600 meters
  • For time (fitness)
    • Run 400 meters
    • Rest 1 minute
    • Run 600 meters
    • Rest 2 minutes
    • Run 800 meters
    • Rest 3 minutes
    • Run 1,000 meters

rower5I did:

  • row 500m
  • rest 1 minute
  • row 1000m
  • rest 2 minute
  • row 1500m
  • rest 3 minutes
  • row 2000m
  • 27:35 – 6 min rest = 21:35 5k
  • average 500m split time 2:10

So… on the positive side, I kept a very consistent, pretty good pace through the whole thing. I was able to adjust hand position to try and keep from frying my forearms — and using Drea’s suggestion to take a looser grip on the handle with my left hand, which is usually the problem child, did help quite a bit.

On the negative side, the WOD said “run” — so I should have “run.” But I was so dead set against it starting last night, that simply wasn’t going to happen.

I need to figure out how to defeat this total mental block I have against running. There are days when it’s coupled with other movements that I don’t struggle quite as much, but I definitely know that running in the cold was a sure way to essentially fry myself for the day — so maybe I was protecting myself subconsciously??

Mongo not know.


Briefly Swole

When I looked at the WOD last night on my phone, I was wondering if I was reading it right. Rowing, sure. Most of the WODs we’ve done in the last few weeks have had at least a partial row in them. I’d rather row than run, usually, so that’s ok. But the other part confused me. Bench press? In a metcon? Okey dokey then.

Went in at noon today due to a meeting-heavy week, and that was fine. Mixing it up every now and then is a good thing, right? Coach Drea had me, Lorna, and Adi today.

We started with some announcements.

Old Levels and New Levels for WorkoutsFirst, no more Rx/Level II/Level I stuff. Now we’re doing Competitor, Performance, and Fitness, and I couldn’t be happier. The scaling options always seemed a bit arbitrary to me anyway and now we have terms that I can sink my teeth into. Honestly I’ve never seen myself as a competitor, but I can definitely slide myself into the performance or fitness categories without problem. Maybe that is only temporary for me, but I’m ok with this change in labeling for the time being.

Next, apparently we’re adding a gymnastics class on Saturday mornings before team WOD and Coach Nicole will lead it. So now we have an Oly class with Coach Alex, a Strongman class with Coach Sean, and a Gymnastics class with Coach Nicole, to supplement the normal classes during the week and the Team WOD on Saturdays.

Again, count me in. I think more options is good and with additional training we get to fill in the gaps in a more focused environment. I just wish I had more time to take advantage of these classes, though it’ll happen on a haphazard basis. Hopefully they don’t mind if we drop in here or there.


From there we moved on to our warm-up… And today’s warm-up proved I have very little hip and lower back mobility at all before we did some bench press warm-up with an empty barbell while lying on the floor.

  • Score Type:: Total Time
  • Performance, 5 rounds for time of:
    • Row 500 meters
    • 15 bench presses 115/75#
  • Fitness, 5 rounds for time:
    • Row 350 meters
    • 15 bench presses 75/45#

Olympic weights

IΒ knew that the limiting factor was going to be the 75 reps of bench press. Even at 115#, which is about 50% of my 1RM, that was going to be a killer. And the 500m row was supposed to be done in under 2:30 each round.

So how’d it go? I started with 115# and figured I’d have to drop eventually (I did go to 105# for the last round). And I did the 500m row. Adi started with 105# and figured he’d have to drop eventually as well (he did, dropping to 95# for the last round). And he also did the 500m row. I’m not sure what Lorna did for weight, but she was killing it on the other side of the room.

My 500m rows were pretty consistent. I started at 1:50 and ended at 2:18. So only about a 30 second drop off from start to finish wasn’t too bad for me.


The bench press however is where I felt it very quickly:

  • Round 1: 8 + 7 @ 115#
  • Round 2: 5 + 4 + 3 @ 115#
  • Round 3: 5 + 3 + 4 @ 115# (last one was very ugly)
  • Round 4: 5 + 2 + 2 + fail and reset + 2 + 1 (with Drea spotting)
  • Round 5: (dropped to 105#) Lots of 2s and 1s (with Drea spotting) – 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1

Finished in 21:47 and we were shooting for 20 or under. So not far off.

Here’s the thing. I kept up with Adi until I had to drop to 1s and 2s in the last round. The fact that I’m twice his age and could keep up with him makes me VERY happy. I’m not knocking Adi — he was struggling just as much as I did with the bench press and I was faster than him on a few legs of the row.

I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

Thanks Drea for the spotting and great work Noon class!!


Shoulders for Inches

It would be shoulders for miles, but that would be stretching it a bit. πŸ™‚

Though I thought about going on Friday, I dismissed the thought pretty quickly when my day got out of hand. Saturday we were on and off soccer fields all day, so we missed the team workout. And Sunday we were out and about with more soccer and other stuff, so we didn’t get in for open gym.

That brings us to Monday. Total Eclipse day (well, 90% here). My wife had the day off, so we went in for an 8:30 class today. Kind of nice since it’s been a couple of weeks since I last worked out with her. πŸ™‚


We arrived and had a fun class with Coach Drea. Todd & Melissa, Austen, and Lara. We got in a little late (there was some sort of police blockade on our usual route this morning, so we had to double back and go a longer route), but immediately hopped into the warm-up:

  • sportsrow-800pxEach of the three rounds started with a row:
    • row 100m straight legged (harder than it sounds)
    • row 100m straight armed (also harder than it sounds)
    • row 100m normal
  • Then we did other things like
    • 10 push-ups
    • 10 hollow-body rocks
    • 10 knees to elbows
    • floor to stand rope climbs
    • maybe some other things, but my brain is non functional at the moment

climbing-rope-atje23--853-pWith that done, we looked at a few things with rope climbs (I practiced J-hooks) with our new ropes at the box, and then looked at variations of handstand push-ups for today before looking at the actual workout:

  • 4 rounds for time of:
  • 500-meter row
  • 15 handstand push-ups (on paralettes or off plates for a deficit)
  • 1 rope climb β€œdouble-up”, 15-ft. rope (two-round trip from seated – legless for the first part – with only β€œtouch-and-go” between ascents)

Most of us mortals did:

  • 4 rounds for time:
  • 500m row
  • 15 Kipping HSPUs (and fall to push-ups when HSPUs fail)
  • 1 rope climb or 2x floor to stand (lie on floor, use arms to pull yourself to a standing position, use arms to lower yourself down again, and repeat)

gymnastics-handstand-silhouette-body-silhouette-man-in-handstand-front-1We had 6 people, 3 ropes, and 4 rowers, so we were all over the place to start. Ev and I started backwards from the other 4 folks, beginning with the rope climb while they started with the row.

And though I started with my hands on 15# plates and one abmat for my HSPUs, that was tossed out the window after two attempts. And the rest of my HSPUs were kipping to a 15# plate plus an abmat. I worked through 5-8 HSPUs each round, in sets of 5, 3s, 2s, and 1s. When I got down to 1s, I dropped to the floor for push-ups.

My rows started at less than 2 minutes (1:51) and ended at closer to 3 minutes (2:35). And my floor to stand rope climbs weren’t awful, just time consuming and awkward.

The whole thing was very grip and shoulder intensive for me. But we just kept chugging. So how’d we do?

  • Ev was finished in under 20 minutes – 19:44 – with 4 rounds of the Level I variants – pike push-ups, 2x floor to stand rope climbs, and 500m row.
  • I was finished in under 25 – 24:34 – with 4 rounds of a mix of HSPU/PUs, 2x floor to stand, and the 500m row.

The HSPUs were the toughest part for me, though eventually I will figure out the rope climb. I at least accomplished a handful of J-hook attempts today where I felt stable standing on the rope. A little progress.


Tomorrow is going to be a strength day, I heard, so I’m expecting more shoulders — some kind of overhead lift like snatches or overhead squats. Why not continue torturing the shoulders? πŸ™‚

Great work everybody! This was a good one! And thanks Drea!