Renegade Rowing League 1! and a Challenge if you’re game!

The Ladies of the Renegade Rowing League getting after it ilast year

The Ladies of the Renegade Rowing League getting after it last year.

Ok Renegades!  Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for.  Time to test our 2k!  If you’re lucky enough to be in the Boston Area please come by CrossFit Boston to test your 2k at the first race of the Renegade Rowing League this Winter.  We’ll be warming up at 8am and all heats should be finished by 9am.  Everyone is welcome to join in the glory!

After you test your 2k, decide how you feel.  While we’re testing today it is still a training weekend.  If you’re up for the challenge and you can still think and breathe, then finish the rest of the Rowing WOD.  If 3min is to short of rest for how you’re feeling then stretch it out to 5min or 7min.  Let us know how you do with everything in the comments!

Good Luck and Have Fun!

Rowing WOD 11/22/14:CFRowing Trainer Course

2k Row

3min Rest

1k Row (@2k-3)

3min Rest

500m Row (@2k-5)

Why is rowing fun?  One reason is that it provides a challenge in learning technique to be as efficient as possible while working everything from your head to your toes.  Elsewhere in sports and training, if you’ve tried the Pose Method of running you may understand the beauty of focusing on technique and the perception of what your body is doing in space. Focusing on form and technique gives your mind something to work toward, rather than complaining about how much your legs burn.

Today’s Rowing WOD is a good opportunity to focus on one or two form fixes but get after it as well.  Set the monitor for Intervals Variable and enter the work/rest accordingly.  This WOD will give you an idea of where you might need to focus your training in the coming months.  At the end of today you’ll have three benchmark rowing times that can be used to game other Rowing WODs.  These three times will also come in handy if you’re joining the Renegade Rowing Club and training for the Renegade Rowing League and CRASH-B’s!  Sign Up for the December 21st Renegade Rowing League here.

Come up with a plan and execute.  You want to have mental cues on form, breathing, and effort to fall back on the second your mind starts to wander.  If possible grab a friend and take turns coxing each other through each piece.  Be consistent with your splits and stroke ratings through each piece.  The stroke rating for this workout should be around a 28-32, but everyone needs to find what works.  Find your efficient stroke.  Novices should focus on one form fix for each piece and work hard for consistency.

Post your Times, Average 500m Splits, and Average Stroke Ratings to Comments along with an answer to this question…

Why is Rowing Fun?

Rowing WOD 11/21/14: Peak Power Test and Tabata Starts – Post Max Watts and Fastest Start

Rowing WOD:

Focused. Ready.

Peak Power Test

  • Post Max Watts to Comments.

Tabata Row for Lowest Split

8x :20 On/ :10 Off

  • Practice your Starting Sequence each round.
  • Post Lowest Split hit to Comments.

Strength WOD:

5×5 Shoulder Press


4×6 Pull Ups

4×6 Dips

The focus of today is Power and Preparation for the 2k Start, so be sure to get in the Rowing and Strength WOD. If time allows, choose the blocks that will help you improve as an athlete. If you have enough time and energy for all three blocks then attack them all!

For the Peak Power Test set the monitor for 20 seconds of work and 2 minutes of rest. Start by paddling a couple of strokes to get the fan moving and then go for max watts. It may help to video the test or have a partner watch to tell you the highest watts you pulled in just one stroke. During the 2 minutes of rest paddle lightly or roll out. Take 3 or 4 tries to find your max wattage starting with the damper set low and increasing the drag each successive try. At some point you’ll find a drag that you like and gives you the most power. Your score for the Peak Power Test is the Max Watts pulled in just one stroke.

Give us your best and share your results and experience to comments!

Who’s Ready to test the 2k Saturday?

Renegade Rowing League – Saturday, November 22nd @8am @CFB

How can “Jurassic” help you? and What do you eat before a workout?

Checkout the post below from Alex Black of Wicked Good Nutrition for some good info and ideas on what to eat before a workout.

Here is a Video Review of Ward aka “Jurassic” rowing at 30s/m.  Take a look and see if there is anything you can fix or improve upon just like him.  Share you thoughts and what you’re going to do better in the comments.

Get some ratio at the Renegade Rowing Club starting December 2nd!

If you’re interested in joining the Renegade Rowing Club to train for the Renegade Rowing League and CRASH-B’s please send me an email and setup a free consultation –  The club is training together on Tuesday mornings at 6am and Wednesday evenings at 6pm.

What Should I Eat Before a Workout??

Deciding what to eat day-to-day can be challenging. Choosing the best thing to eat – a meal that will give you energy to perform without making you feel too full, sick, or hungry – can be even more challenging. Every workout is different, so how you fuel for each one will be different too. You probably wouldn’t eat the same breakfast before a 2K test as you would before a 10 mile run. Read on for some basic pre-workout meal guidelines and some ideas for before a workout.

..Read The Rest Here…

Then share your favorite pre-workout meal and thoughts on your rowing stroke in the comments!

Strength and Conditioning WOD 11/19/14: “Rowing Helen” – 3RFT – 500m Row, 21 KB Swings, 12 Pull Ups – Post Time and Splits

BC Men's Rowing getting after some KB Swings!

BC Men’s Rowing getting after some KB Swings!

Strength and Conditioning WOD:

“Rowing Helen”

3 Rounds For Time

  • 500m Row
  • 21 KB Swings (24/16 kg)
  • 12 Pull Ups

Today’s focus is Rhythm and Intensity. Get in some good skill work by warming up with a Reverse Pic Drill and Pic Drill in your 10min Erg Warmup. Go hard for the start and finish of this workout, but be smooth and efficient through the bulk of the work. Focus on breathing and consistent pace.  Find the right scale so that each movement is challenging and pushes your intensity while allowing rhythm and flow.  A good goal would be holding a 2k-1 pace for the 500m pieces.

This week is a practice week in the Renegade Rowing Training Plan. Today is your opportunity to compete against yourself and everyone else on your team to get a baseline for Rowing Helen. Dig deep and push harder for the person next to you!  Next Friday you’ll get a chance to Re-Test this.

Take quality strokes and have fun pushing yourself.

Post your time for the Strength and Conditioning WOD to comments as well as your splits for each 500m piece.

Where are you on your Journey? Here are some Renegade Rowers just like you.

CFH2O at the first Renegade Rowing Workshop!

CFH2O at the first Renegade Rowing Workshop!

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.

If you're looking for guidance on todays 5x500m please click here.

If you’re looking for guidance on todays 5x500m please click here.

Life is a journey, and Renegade Rowing is a way for people to experience the journey.  Our mission is to develop a healthy community of firsthand athletes by combining the best of rowing, fitness, and strength training through competition.  As a member of the Renegade Rowing community you will build general physical preparedness and enable rowing specific skill.  Life is more fun when you can continually improve and challenge both yourself and others.  This post will give you some insight into the journey of a few Renegades and how you might become part of the Renegade Rowing Community.

Bob and Coach Pat attacking the 2k at CRASH-B 2014

Bob and Coach Pat attacking the 2k at CRASH-B 2014

Bob (R1 to R3)

I first met Bob in 2012.  He was just starting to get into the sport of rowing and was participating in a recreational rowing program three times a week learning how to sweep row (8 Rowers, 8 Oars, 1 Oar Each).  He fell in love with the sport and started rowing at the boathouse almost everyday.  In the winter of 2012/2013 Bob realized that rowing everyday wasn’t enough for him because he had never been an athlete prior to picking up rowing and was lacking strength and general physical preparedness.  Rather than trudge away and continue to flirt with overuse injuries, he decided to join the Renegade Rowing Club once a week and develop his skills and ability to work at a higher intensity.  At this point he became an R1 Renegade Athlete.  He trained with us once a week through the winter, in addition to regular rowing at the boathouse, and then competed in CRASH-B’s for the first time.

Renegade Rowing Athlete TemplateIn 2014 Bob decided he was ready for more and kicked it up a notch.  He tried out for and made the CRI Men’s Masters Crew Team.  He also became an avid sculler (1 Rower, 2 Oars).  Throughout the Summer he competed at regional regattas in both sweeping and sculling.  He ended the Fall season in a big way by racing a single at the Head of the Charles Regatta for the first time.  The thing I love about Bob is that he’s committed to maintaining and improving not only his rowing prowess, but his athleticism in general.  He became a regular member at CrossFit Boston, partakes in CFB Classes 2-3 times per week, trains with the Renegade Rowing Club once a week, all in addition to rowing with the CRI Crew Team on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Bob is looking forward to CRASH-B’s again this Winter and continues to train as an R3 Renegade Athlete.

Boston College Men’s Rowing (R2)



I first started working with the Boston College Men’s Rowing Team in the Fall of 2013.  As college rowers they train about 6 days per week and when there’s no ice on the river they are in boats trying to master the skill and discipline required of elite oarsmen.  Because water time as a college rower is so important we decided to make sure they were always getting some time in the boat, even if they needed to lift or train in the gym.  That Fall they did a swing row to and from the gym to get their water time in, but then spent a solid 45 minutes, twice a week, learning how to lift properly and push themselves as athletes.  The Varsity Boat placed 18th in the 2013 Head of the Charles Regatta and 5th in the Petite Final at the ACRA National Championships.

BC Men's Crew and I doing a Row, Run, WOD, Run, Row! Training as a team raises both intensity and fun!

BC Men’s Crew and I doing a Row, Run, WOD, Run, Row! Training as a team raises both intensity and fun!

This year I brought Renegade Rowing to the boathouse and we were able to fit in all three blocks in one two-hour practice.  Half the team, about 12-15 guys, spent the first half of practice working with me on the strength block and the strength and conditioning block.  The other half of the team was out on the water in small boats getting in a rowing block.  Half way through practice the two groups would switch so everyone was able to lift and row.  Our typical setup was Tuesday and Thursday in the gym and on the water in small boats, thus getting in a total of 6 blocks for the R2 Renegade Athlete  This year the BC Men placed 8th in the collegiate 8+ event at the Head of the Charles and they’re training hard this Winter to make the Grand Final at National Championships in May.

Jurassic (R3)

Ward, aka “Jurassic”, is one of our first official Satellite Members of the Renegade Rowing Club.  Here’s what Ward is all about…

“I’m a 67-year-old bag-of-bones who, as a lark, decided to train & row a competitive 2K last year.  Am 6’6’’, 184 lbs. (10 lbs. underweight) with a hydrostatic body fat % of 15.0.  Just beginning my 5th year of CrossFit.  Am competent but have mobility issues.  Hips will go below parallel for wall balls and air squats, but not if I have to hold something overhead; then it’s just to the power position.

I have an annual membership w/ my CF box and starting this week am doing Pilates once a week; both to learn something new and to try to improve on my flexibility.

GOALS: ROWING PARTNER – I have recruited a rowing partner vs training solo last year.  But my rowing partner can only commit to 2 days/wk.

TIME GOAL: – Last year, thanks to Renegade Rowing, my 2K time decreased from 7:55 to 7:37.4 @ SWEAT (2k Race in Dallas, TX).  My goal this year is to go below 7:30 but strive for sub 7:20.  (I suspect that last year’s improvement was picking the low hanging fruit and that this year’s goal will require more effort).

WOD’s per WEEK: – last year did 2 RRC WODS/ per week which will again happen this year with the hopes to consistently getting three RRC WODs per week.

What a great adventure we have ahead of us. Thank you for making the effort to include a satellite member.


(Or as I’m sometimes known at my box – “Jurassic”)”

So, we’re very excited to have Ward training at the R3 Renegade Athlete level.  He will be doing 3 Rowing Blocks per week in addition to 3 CF Classes and a Pilates Class, which will count for his 3 Strength and Conditioning Blocks and 3 Strength Blocks.  Keep up the awesome work Ward!

HOCR 2014 DrewBill (R3)

Here’s an example of a long time rower adopting the Renegade Rowing Training Plan to train for a trail running race.  Here’s what Bill has to say about our plan and how he plans to use it…

“I’m a 53-year-old on the water rower and occasional racer(not very fast) from New Hampshire and hadn’t been to your site in many months. I was there last week and was very impressed by the amount and quality of your content.

I am adapting your program to train for an 8 mile running race called 8 Tough Miles, which takes place in St. John in the Virgin Islands this coming February. I’m doing the race with my daughter who lives on St. Thomas. It’s only 8 miles but the first 4 miles have an average grade of 5%.

I found your template and your post “What kind of Renegade are you?” extremely helpful in arranging my training. I put myself in the R3 Category which matches well with the amount of time I have to train. Also, as it has only one endurance block, that will be helpful as I’ve started to develop Achilles tendonitis, probably from running too much.”

Great to have you on board Bill!  Good luck with the training and keep us updated on your progress!

Drew (R4)

2nd Place Medal at HOCR 2014

2nd Place Medal at HOCR 2014

Last, but definitely not least, we have Drew who is a 32-year-old masters rower knocking on the door of the elite.  This year Drew decided to switch from the long slow distance model of rowing and mix in more lifting and high intensity intervals.  At the Head of the Charles he finished Second in the Masters 1x event and he’s fired up to train for the National Selection Regatta next Spring.  Drew is a rowing coach himself and is able to find time in the mornings to get in all of his training.  For the Head of the Charles he was lifting three days a week and putting in anywhere from 2-4 metcons a week in addition to rowing on the water 3-4 times per week.  This winter he’ll be training at the R4 Renegade Athlete Level and we are all excited to push him farther than he’s ever gone before.

If you are thinking about switching it up and using Renegade Rowing to meet your goals, please let us know if you have any questions and feel free to get in touch with me –  We’d love to have you join our crew and experience the journey!