I’ve always loved sports, especially when it comes to learning and competing at new sports that I don’t get to play often. Whenever we learn something new it’s far to easy to try and learn a couple of basics and then go full speed. Whether it’s golf, tennis, running, olympic lifting, rowing, or any other sport. The thrill of competition and grace in motion that sports played at full speed creates is amazing. Full speed competition elicits that feeling of joy and excitement that we all live for. However, a couple of problems usually arise at one point or another in our performance at full speed, especially if we take it up to full speed to quickly.
1. We lose form and things get sloppy. Basically the wheels come off.
2. We need more speed to out perform our competition, but it’s just not there.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve experienced this situation with many of the athletes I coach, both on the water rowing and in the gym training. We’re always fighting for more intensity and boat speed, but too often something falls apart and our true potential is never reached.
Personally, I’ve experienced a similar situation while learning the piano. I currently take lessons once a week and have worked up to playing 4 songs and almost all of the scales, but my progress tends to stumble when I go to fast. It seems easy when I play a scale or a song slowly, so why not pick up the speed and just figure out how to not make mistakes playing faster? Well because it just gets sloppy and I never really learn what I’m doing wrong or better yet, what I can be doing better.
After being turned on to two great blog posts on slow motion practice, one from the music world and one from the golf world, I decided to share this idea with the rowing and strength training world that I hope you all partake in.
First, read through the above two blog posts and think about how slow is super slow. To often we think we’re going slow, but we could be going slower. Then, go out and practice super slow motion movements in your warmup. Be mindful, find the points where your focus lapses or you make a mistake, figure out how you can be more efficient, smoother, and more consistent. If you can take at least 20 minutes to practice this I guarantee you will find more boat speed, achieve more power, and perform at a higher level.
Above is Drew performing the Reverse Pic Drill in a single. Think about how many hours of slow motion practice, balance, and boat feel it has taken for him to get to this point. Look at where he slows things down to find better balance, feel, and connection to the boat and water. For him to make this better and go faster at full speed, he will probably need to practice this even slower. Now it’s your turn, get on an erg, setup a barbell, or get in a boat and master your movement skills with super slow motion. It’s harder than you think.
Share your thoughts and experience to comments.
23 Apr 2015
When performing cleans or snatches in a wod with moderate weight it is possible to touch and go. In order to touch and go there is a gathering point just above the knee when returning the weight to the floor where athletes lock in their posture and prepare their body for the next repetition. When rowing on the water many coaches talk about body preparation by half slide to be ready for the catch. This usually involves thinking about or feeling a gathering point as the bodies swing forward out of the finish so that everyone in the boat can get together and time the catch correctly. When rowing by yourself on the erg it is possible to slow yourself down on the recovery and gather yourself and your body preparation as you start to slide forward toward the next catch.
Take 5 minutes today to row nice and slow and see where you tend to gather yourself. Too often competitors or athletes in the gym gather at the finish and dump their weight to the floor. Instead think about the finish as a continuous movement and put a gathering point just after you swing the body forward and begin your slide. This will save energy, improve your sequencing, and make everything much smoother.
02 Apr 2015
I hope you had a good April 1st yesterday and you’re ready for the warmer months to start taking hold. This month we’ll be working on a few different gymnastic skills. When practicing gymnastic skills it helps to know what your current ability is and how you’re going to progress to a higher skill movement. The video above contains all of the different progressions I have used to improve my Pistol. Take a look and get excited to master a pistol in addition to other gymnastic movements this month. If you have any questions or need any help let me know or grab me next time you’re in.
Also, pistols are a good skill to learn if you’d like to scull (aka – row) on the water with me this Summer. As the weather gets nicer I will be hosting a couple of learn to scull seminars for anyone that’s interested in trying out for the Renegade Rowing Team. If you’re interested in learning to scull let me know in the comments or send me an email. I will be sure to keep you in the loop.
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!
12 Mar 2015
I believe that life is motion and learning. To live and survive, we must be able to move from place to place and interact with the world around us. In this movement and interaction lies an important opportunity, the opportunity to learn through experience. As a coach, teacher, and lifelong learner, I hope to guide people’s movements and interactions so that they may learn by experience and develop into contributing members of teams, communities, and society. This idea of life and learning through experience is the foundation of my ever-evolving coaching beliefs and the Journey that we take together.
Life is a journey, and the time we spend together in our gym is a way for our crew to experience the journey. Our mission is to develop a healthy community of firsthand athletes using general physical preparedness as a guide while allowing for specialization in things like rowing, weightlifting, strength club, obstacle course racing, mobility, or racing up Mt. Washington. As a member of our crew and our community, you get to build general physical preparedness and have fun playing and doing whatever it is that makes you feel alive. Life is more fun when you can continually improve and challenge both yourself and others. If there is anything that I or our crew of coaches can help you with please let us know. We’re here for you and we want nothing but the best for our crew.
Last but definitely not least, congratulations to all of our athletes that trained hard this winter and executed an amazing race at CRASH-B 2015, the World Indoor Rowing Championship. I had a blast coaching you and I can’t wait for next year! Here are some pics of our crew post race.
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!
12 Feb 2015
I hope everyone is staying warm and finding some place to put all of this snow! I just wanted to shout out to all of those athletes that participated in the Renegade Rowing 2015 Improvement Survey this past week. Thank you for sharing your feedback and interests with me. I will do my best to continue to offer my best coaching and feedback and run programs that you’re passionate about.
05 Feb 2015
I hope everyone is staying warm and had a blast watching the Super Bowl on Sunday! Now if only we could take care of this snow, right? I just wanted to shout out to all of those athletes that participated in the Team Throwdown last weekend. Well done pushing hard for each other and getting after it. I was cheering you guys on as I took apart the ergs.
Last weekend I had the privilege to coach 13 athletes at Mt. Strength CF in Winchester as part of my Renegade Rowing Workshop. The video review seen above was taken there and we all had a blast. I love seeing people learn and improve. If there is any way I can help you get better at something please let me know.
29 Jan 2015
I hope everyone stayed warm in the Blizzard and got strong shoveling snow. I just wanted to shout out to all of those athletes that participated in the Renegade Rowing League last weekend. Congratulations on an awesome race and I hope to see you guys at CRASH-B’s March 1st. For those that missed it, above is a video review I did of Mark racing at the RRL. If you would like to improve your rowing, running, endurance, and overall performance we will be doing the Renegade Rowing League again next Winter.
In the mean time, if you are like me and looking for something to take your game to the next level, come checkout what the Renegades will be up to in March after CRASH-B’s. We will be picking a competition every month to train for and compete at as a community, whether it’s a 5k, obstacle course race, trail race, rowing race, in house throw down, or any fun competition we come up with. The Renegade Training Program will involve running, rowing on the water, rowing indoors, stadiums, lifting, throwing, jumping, climbing, and all of the fun stuff you love to do while getting fitter, faster, and stronger.
Our first community meeting to review the Renegade Training Program and pick our first activity post CRASH-B’s will be held on Wednesday, February 11 @7pm in the gym lounge. I will have paleo pulled pork and collard greens for everyone. If you’re interested in coming please send me an email, [email protected], and let me know what races/competitions you would like to train for this year.
Have fun at the Team Throwdown this weekend!
15 Jan 2015
Howdy CFB! Hope you guys have been staying warm and having fun in the new space. I know the Olympic Lifters are pumped and ready to go for their meet this weekend. I’ll be competing for the first time and I’m excited to put all of our hard work to the test. Speaking of the Olympic Lifters, who’s pushing you right now? Are you ready for the Whole Life Challenge? Have you registered and are you coming to the benchmark workout this Saturday at 8am? Do you have a team or group of people that is going to hold you accountable and help you improve?
Every day you go to work there is a team of people you work with. Every day you go to the gym there is a team of people holding you accountable and pushing you. Every day you go home there is a team there to support you and love you. Recognize your team. Support them by working as hard as you can every single second of the day and you’ll make them better. That’s why I’m doing the Whole Life Challenge and I would love to see you join us.
2015 is here. Set a goal, whether it’s a competition or a benchmark, and let’s get after it. Here is a little video of the Renegade Rowing Team. After 8 weeks of training, they learned to row together and push themselves at the Rumble on the River. If you’d like to attack your goals and have an awesome team to help you get there, come check out the Whole Life Challenge at the gym this Saturday at 8am. Be sure to register and join the CrossFit Boston Team before hand! Click here to sign up and make it happen.