How does sport specificity play into your training?

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How does sport specificity play into your training?

How does sport specificity play into your training?

When training with constantly varied, functional movements, performed at high intensity the focus is to build general physical preparedness.  The pyramid model of training has a base made of nutrition that supports metabolic conditioning, gymnastics, weightlifting, and a peak of sport.  So if the ultimate goal of our training is to compete in a sport and do so with super health and elite fitness, how do you work sport specific training into your daily/weekly routine?

This Fall a collegiate crew team, the renegade rowing team, and myself will be building their work capacity and general fitness on a regular basis throughout the week along with sport specific training.  In the sport of rowing it definitely helps to have as much water time as possible to become efficient at moving the boat.  One downfall of spending every hour in a boat can be a decrease in strength, power, and overall fitness.  How do we get enough time in the boat and still maintain our power and fitness?

This week I’ve combined the two – 1. Rowing on the Water with 2. Metabolic Conditioning and Strength Work in the gym.  I’m testing my new programming that we’ll be using this fall.  For a two-hour practice we’ll row for 15 minutes, run a mile to the gym, do a 45 minute session at CrossFit Boston, run a mile back to the boat, and then row back to the dock for another 15-20 minutes.

Having just experienced this, I’m very excited to bring this Renegade Rowing programming to more rowers.  It allows for a sport specific warmup and cool down while mixing in an endurance aspect with the running and overall amount of work done in a two-hour practice.  The workout in the gym allows us to focus on building strength and power.  The best part is that with the right focus this work can be used for skill transfer to rowing.  While it’s not sport specific work, there are aspects that can reinforce the sport specific skills needed when we get back in the boat at the end of practice.

The absolute best part though is the Fun!  A two-hour practice of competition and fun, both on the water and in the gym.  I Can’t wait to see the results at the Head of the Charles in October.

Please share your thoughts and methods for combining sport specific training with general physical preparedness.

If you’d like to join in and train Renegade Rowing style this fall, please get in touch with me … [email protected]

1 Comment:


  • By Robin Bobo 18 Aug 2013

    This is a problem I’ve been dealing with, and I’d like to know if your CF / row combo works out. The obvious downside to trying to CF + sport is the need for 2hrs to fit everything in, plus the fatigue from one making practice in the other less effective. Seems like some sports, like running, can simply use fitness from CF to get you 70% of the way there. Other more technique driven sports, like swimming (and I’m guessing rowing), really require that separate technique work, and continued practice over the long haul. I am not convinced that programs like CFE (which could potentially save time) can get you there in those technique-driven sports…

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