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.
Today we’re taking a look at some of our athletes from the noon class at Our Crew Fitness. This is a video review that I put together to help them 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 pat@.
Today’s topic relates to how you sit on the erg and how your feet are connected to the erg. Are you balanced on your sit bones or falling off them? How does your point of contact with the seat affect your posture and positioning throughout the stroke? Are your feet connected to the footboards at all times? What part of your foot? 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.
Also, if you’d like to join in the fun in person, Renegade Rowing Classes are held throughout the week. Checkout the schedule and pricing here. When you’re ready to get after it and have some fun, sign up for a free consultation with Coach Pat here.
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.
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!
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.
Deliberate practice makes perfect, but sometimes you need to get out of your garage or out of your box to gain more knowledge and improve your skills. This is one of many posts I’ll be offering up to the world that will highlight amazing opportunities to get out of your normal routine, learn something new, and have some fun.
On January 31st at 1pm, Mt. Strength CrossFit in Winchester, MA will be hosting a two-hour Renegade Rowing Workshop. Head Coach Patrick Larcom will be at Mt. Strength CrossFit to give everyone the knowledge they need to improve their rowing and performance in competition.
Checkout some highlights of what you’ll be learning above and don’t forget to register below!
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.
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.