When’s the last time you performed a Deadlift? When’s the last time you picked something up off the floor? Yesterday we got a chance to do Deadlifts and Rowing. I wanted to use my post today to highlight some of the similarities between the two and what I think about when performing both movements.
First things first, anytime you pick something up you should be deadlifting, because that’s what a deadlift is. It’s the strongest, most efficient, most powerful way to pick something up off the floor.
I believe that if you can learn to hip hinge and deadlift correctly you can and will become a better rower. The key is how you deadlift and what you focus on.
Take a look at my hip hinge and deadlift above. What parts of the deadlift can we tie to the rowing stroke? I always teach the skills of 1. Posture, 2. Control, and 3. Connection whether it’s rowing or weightlifting.
1. Posture – How am I doing at maintaining a solid brace through my torso? Is there any movement within the vertebrae of the spine?
2. Control – Is the bar traveling in a straight line over the middle of my foot? Am I in control of my body and the bar? Can I stop at any point in time and be in a strong position?
3. Connection – How am I connected to the bar? How am I connected to the floor? Are my hips, hands, and shoulders connected when the bar is below the knee?
After taking a look and answering some of these questions, think about your own rowing stroke. In the front end of your stroke, from 1/2 slide up to the catch and back, how do your joints move in relation to one another and what does your body angle look like? Does it stay the same? When does your body start to swing open? Do you feel or see any similarities when you deadlift and row back to back? Can perfecting one movement help improve the other?
Please share your thoughts to comments and checkout RenegadeRowing.com for more content on rowing and lifting.
How’s it going CFB?
I must say it’s been awesome seeing everyone attack these reverse benchmarks like “Narf” and “Reverse Elizabeth”. Keep throwing down and finding that high intensity. The results are showing!
Today I wanted to offer up some reading from the Huffington Post:
Take a look and think about how you’re rowing in your pre-class warmups. Are you making any of these mistakes?
If you’d like help or you think there is room for improvement in your rowing, grab me next time you’re in the gym and we’ll get you fixed up.
Have a great day and fingers crossed for more warm weather!
15 Mar 2015
Surprise! I know… it’s been a hot minute. Well I’ve got some things I hope to address (or shall we say readdress for some of us). Today I only discuss one though. And this is how you “handle” the barbell. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this error, addressed it (notice I didn’t say fix it?), and seen dramatic changes in how the ensuing movement is performed.
Let’s first take a look at what I’m talking about. Here is a picture of “poor” handling of a barbell.
What you will notice is that it kinda looks like I’m not really sure if I want to handle this kind of weight. It looks like I’m just going through the motions of lifting weight versus believing that I can do whatever I want with this weight.
Here’s what I’m talking about. Does it look like I have a solid grasp on the bar? Or does it look more like I’m barely hanging on to the bar? Exactly! Now if that bar were to go overhead, what do you think would happen? Would you have full control of that bar? You’re right, probably not. (I’ll address overhead grip in another post, don’t you worry.)
Another reason you should want to grab that bar tightly: radial tension. When you squeeze the bar tightly, you activate other muscles in your forearms which activate other muscles further upstream, generating more power output. Sounds like a deal to me! Extra weight simply for grabbing ahold of the bar tightly? Yes please!
Here’s a picture of what this should look like:
Which one looks like it is going to be moved with intent? Good. Now go practice this EVERY. SINGLE. TIME you pick up the bar. I’ve got a feeling that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how it affects your movement.
19 Feb 2015
How’s it going CFB?
Today we’re taking a look at Kevin mid race. This is a video review that I put together to help him and you develop your stroke and find new areas to improve upon. I’ll be posting regular video reviews about once a week, usually on Thursdays. If you’d like feedback on your stroke or would like to see me talk about a certain area of the stroke, please let me know in the comments. If you’d like to be featured in the weekly Video Review please send me a 5 stroke video via email to [email protected]
Also, if you’d like to join in the fun in person, the Renegade Rowing Club practices every Monday morning at 6am and Wednesday evening at 6pm. There will be new days and times starting in March, so keep an eye out. Everyone is welcome, just let me know via email – [email protected], and I can get you the details on how to get started and join the group. Share your thoughts to comments and get fired up for CRASH-B 2015!
How’s it going CFB!
What do you think of the new space? Have you found us at 100 Holton St, Brighton, MA? Our new space is located around the back of the building at the Southwest corner. If you need any help finding it or you have any questions please shoot me an email – [email protected] and I’ll do my best to help you out.
I wanted to use this post to draw attention to one of the programs you have at your finger tips. You may have seen a big group of people rowing together on Tuesday mornings at 6am and Wednesday evenings at 6pm. They are part of the Renegade Rowing Club and they’re all training to improve their rowing form, efficiency, power, and endurance. Many of them are also training for the CRASH-B’s which take place March 1st at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. The CRASH-B’s are the World Indoor Rowing Championships and anyone can compete.
If you’d like to get better at rowing and improve your power and endurance you should consider joining us. The Renegade Rowing Club is $47 per month and I’ll team you up with training partners that will hold you accountable. Send me an email at [email protected] and I’ll get you setup!
If you’re thinking about CRASH-B’s or would like to get a taste of competition before registering, join us at our last Renegade Rowing League 2k Race on January 24th. You can sign up here!
If the above options don’t work for you I’d still love to help you out. Above is a video review I did of Shadi’s rowing during the last Renegade Rowing League in December. If you’d like more info/help/workouts for rowing, be sure to check out my daily blog at:
The video above is a review that I put together to help Shadi and you develop your stroke and find new areas to improve upon. I’ll be posting regular video reviews about once a week, usually on Thursdays. If you’d like feedback on your stroke or would like to see me talk about a certain area of the stroke, please let me know in the comments. If you’d like to be featured in the weekly Video Review please send me a 5 stroke video via email to [email protected]
Today’s topic relates to how you sit on the erg. Are you sitting on the back of the seat or the front of the seat? Are you balanced on the back of your tail bones or the front? How does your point of contact with the seat affect your posture and positioning throughout the stroke? These are things to think about and an area where you can make a quick change to see big gains. Let us know what you think and if you have any questions.
14 Nov 2014
So I’m back to blogging regularly, and I want to address some things that have been both bothering me and causing me to reconsider my training. I’m hoping that you can learn from my experiences and not go down the same, winding road that I’ve taken. Let me start by saying that I’m beginning to realize that as I get older there are some things that need to change. And that’s precisely what this series is going to be about; things to consider as you age in regards to your fitness.
This first post is relevant to EVERYONE who walks into a gym, not just the aging athlete. I’d like to re-address an issue that I see all too often that simply needs to change. Every single one of you are competitive to some degree. That’s part of what enticed you to try CrossFit. While competition is great, it’s not really the point of what we do here, or this post. But that internal motivation and drive is what makes us strive to be better than that other, less-fit/less-healthy version of ourselves. With that being said, I see a lot of potential and opportunity left at the door. Let me explain.
All too often athletes and beginners alike, roll in the door, sign-in (RIGHT?!), walk up to the whiteboard and wait for class to start. If they didn’t plan correctly, they might be about 3-4 minutes early. They then wander around until class starts picking up a jump rope for 1-2 minutes, play with a kettle-bell for a minute or two, or lay on a foam roller without much thought as to what they are doing. Some might even go for the good ol’ super front-rack or banded overhead distraction because they have been doing it for the past 2 years and they think that it constitutes pre-class mobility. Let me ask you a question: Do you have a plan for improving mobility so that you can finally get into a legitimate back squat or front-rack position? How about those Overhead Squats? Those are fun huh? For most people, achieving these take some dedicated mobility. Not just 3-4 minutes of “hoping” your mobility improves.
Without a plan to improve mobility (let’s face it, almost everyone could stand to improve mobility in some way) you aren’t doing yourself justice. You are leaving potential and opportunity at the door. This is the biggest and greatest benefit you can afford yourself and your training. It is the most attributable factor to improved fitness and all those new PR’s you’ll be seeing. Get a mobility plan and aggressively attack your weaknesses and limiting ROM.
This shouldn’t have to even be said, but as we age, appropriate warm-up/mobility can make or break your day in the gym. I am able to attribute “good days” in the gym to adequate/proper mobility and warmup, and “bad days” to times when I just don’t have the time to get in the necessary mobility. This wasn’t always the case though. I used to be able to walk into the gym and jump right into a working set of bench (because I abhorred back squat in the not too distant past). Was that the right move then even? Hell no! I would be in a much better place now if I had spent even a little bit of time on movement prep. I now try for at least a half hour of mobility/movement prep before even thinking about picking up a barbell. Anyway, I digress. Let’s get back on track.
YES, mobility is necessary. Vital. Imperative even. Every person has areas that are specific to them that need to be addressed, so I can’t say “Do this” or “Do that.” But I know of a couple of coaches that might be able to help you out on that front. Jen has a mobility class 2x/week now. You have options. Exercise those options people! Here’s what I can do for you though. I can promise, no matter your age, you NEED to work on mobility. Give mobility a chance guys. It’s not going to hurt (too bad). But PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t be the guy/girl who walks in and jumps right into class. You can’t do that, and expect to have a good day in the gym. See what a legitimate mobility session pre-WOD can do for your training. It will open the doors to new PR’s all over. I promise.
24 Oct 2014
ARE YOU UNBEATABLE?
Some of you may be aware that I belong to the Unbeatable Mind Academy powered by SEALFit. Coach Divine stresses how breathing is central to better function. Our life is simply stress after stress; work, family, friends, CrossFit, etc. These all are stressors. How your body responds to each factors determines the impact it has on you. Learning to breathe properly can help you deal with stress in a more positive way.
Start with the simple, yet powerful method of box breathing. Begin by exhaling out all of the air in your lungs to a count of 5. Then remain deflated for 5 seconds. Next inhale to a count of 5. Hold this breath for a count of 5.
Inhale – 5 count
Hold – 5 count
Exhale – 5 count
Hold – 5 count
Repeat this cycle for a minimum of 5 cycles. You can also add positive thoughts to this breathing such as “I am getting stronger and I can do this”. Seems odd at first but don’t discredit is powerfulness. Over time you will see that you can better control how you are feeling and handling stress using this simple method. It will help you in the middle of a WOD when you feel like your heart is about to explode and you may begin to fall off. There are many more positive benefits to be gained from box breathing. If you are interested in taking the mental journey that is the Unbeatable Mind Academy, you can learn more here.
GYM CLOSED SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Just a reminder that the gym will be closed this Saturday and Sunday while we are hosting the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar. If you are interested in a bodyweight WOD that can be completed outdoors with no need of equipment, post “Hell Yes, Please!” to comments.
PROGRAMMING THRU 10/31
1. Back Squat
3 reps @ 70%
5-10 ring dips, AHAP, rest 1:00
3 reps @ 80%
5-10 ring dips, AHAP, rest 1:00
3+ reps @ 90%
5-10 ring dips, AHAP
2. EMOM 10
1 High Hang Clean + 1 Hang Clean + 1 Clean
1-3 @ 60%
4-6 @ 70%
7-10 @ 80%
1. Complete reps of 50-40-30-20-10 for time
OH Swings, 24/16kg
2a. Dip Support Hold 30 seconds x 6 sets, rest 30 seconds
2b. Bar Hang 30 seconds x 6 sets, rest 30 seconds
PR Wednesday 10/29
Five rounds for time of:
Run 800 meters
2 pood Kettlebell swing, 30 reps
1. Push Press
3 reps @ 70%
10 ring rows, BW+15, rest 2:00
3 reps @ 80%
10 ring rows, BW+15, rest 2:00
3+ reps @ 90%
10 ring rows, BW+15
2. Complete 3 rounds, each for time
Three rounds for time of:
95 pound Overhead squat, 15 reps
15 L Pull-ups
95 pound Split-jerk, 15 reps
15 Knees to elbows
95 pound Hang clean, 15 reps
15 Back extensions, with 25 pounds
Hold 25 pound plate or dumbbell to chest for back extensions.
17 Sep 2014
Hope you’re having an awesome week of training! Here’s my second video blog on the Level II Pistol Programming. If you have any questions please post to comments or catch me in the gym.
Be sure to scale appropriately for your ability and master whatever level of the program you are on. If you don’t know you’re ability or what it means to master each movement, come find me and I’ll help you out.
Have a great end of the week!
11 Sep 2014
Hope you’re pumped up for Friday and the weekend! Here is a little video blog I put together to explain the Level I Programming for the Pistol Work you should be doing on Thursdays after class. If you have any questions or would like some help figuring out the program please get in touch and we’ll get you set up.
Have a great weekend!
07 Sep 2014
“I can’t do handstand push-ups! How do I get better at pistols? I just can’t figure out Double-Under’s.”
Alright everyone. We hear you. And we’ve decided to do something about it. Here’s the deal. We are going to be working on some skills that are plaguing our members. Skills are to be worked on before or after class. The daily skill and their progressions will be posted on the whiteboard for the day and then moved to another whiteboard for you to come back to and catch up on skills you chose to work on. (If this doesn’t make sense, it will. It promise.) You should do these skills and their progressions at least once per week, but can do them more if you so choose. Just make sure to give yourself some recovery time if you’re feeling beat-up.
So let’s get right into it. Here is the first section on the Handstand Push-up skill work. Let’s first define to which Training Phase you belong.
There are 4 phases depending on where you stand with the handstand pushup.
Phase 1: Unable to do 1 strict OR kipping HSPU
Phase 2: No strict, but able to do kipping HSPU
Phase 3: 1-5 unbroken strict HSPU
Phase 4: 5+ unbroken strict HSPU
You are not permanently in this phase, rather you will graduate as soon as you are able to achieve the next levels requirements. So now that you know where you fall, lets get to work. Perform these 1-3x/week (preferably on HSPU skill day and every other day). Next week will be new skills to work on or add into your HSPU training.
5 x 5 Handstand Push-Up Negatives @ 30A1; Rest 90 seconds (A= reset)
5 x 5 Handstand Push-Up Negatives @ 40A1; Rest 90 seconds (A= reset)
5 x 5 Handstand Push-Up Negatives @ 50A1; Rest 90 seconds (A= reset)
5 x 5 Handstand Push-Up Negatives @ 60A1; Rest 90 seconds (A= reset)
Alright, get to work!