Fall Team Challenge

Rowers, the Fall Team Challenge begins soon! It runs from September 15 to October 15. The challenge is to row as many meters as we can collectively during those dates and log your metres to the Concept2 Online Logbook along the way.
If you don’t already have one but you’re keen to participate you will need a logbook. You will then need to be added to the CrossFit Maitland Team and also indicate on your logbook that you choose to actively participate in the challenge.
As challenge participants the rowers are available for you to use at any time as long as they aren’t in use for the Workout Of the Day. 
Remember that high intensity intervals should dominate your rowing workouts. This approach fits perfectly for the type of fitness we are pursuing as crossfitters who place a premium on strength, power, and speed, just as much (if not more so) as cardio/respiratory endurance. You can read more on that subject here in this post.
Here are a few workouts you might like to try that I’ve done recently:
30 rounds of:
30 seconds rowing
30 seconds rest
4 rounds of:
Row 1000m
Rest 2 minutes
You can set your intervals on the rowing monitors. If you need to be shown let me know and I’ll help you.

The Rowing Sprint Start

The sprint start is 5 modified strokes to quickly get the flywheel spinning fast and get your split down rapidly before you settle in to your normal power strokes. This is going to give you good results on many rowing pieces but especially interval work where you are repeatedly restarting the flywheel for every period of work. Being able to quickly get to your working pace will improve your overall result.
There is no lay-back on the 5 strokes of the sprint start which means your torso won’t swing back past the 12 o’clock position. The other change is the amount of knee compression (how much you bend your knees) used to initiate your drive.
The sequence is as follows:
3/4 stroke
1/2 stroke
3/4 stroke
Full Stroke
Full Stroke
Remember there’s no lay-back here and you’re changing how far up the slide you travel. Watch the video below to get an idea of the positions. Thanks to Shane Farmer for the video. You can follow him on instagram.

Dog Days of Summer Challenge

The Dog Days of Summer challenge has begun on the Concept2 Online Logbook!!
The challenge runs from August 1 to 28 and features a different total distance goal each week.
The details:
Complete each of the following four distance goals during the timeframes indicated and log them in your online logbook:
Week 1, Aug. 1–7: 10,000 meters
Week 2, Aug. 8–14: 20,000 meters
Week 3, Aug. 15–21: 30,000 meters
Week 4, Aug. 22–28: 40,000 meters
The distance goals do not have to be done in one sitting, but must be done during the timeframe indicated. By the end of the challenge, you will have accumulated 100,000 meters.
This is an individual challenge and meters must be entered online.
Read more here: Dog Days of Summer
Anytime the box is open and the rowers aren’t in use during class you’re welcome to come in and use them for the challenge.
I recommend accumulating your metres by using a variety of intervals. 
Here’s an excerpt from the CrossFit Journal article “What is Fitness?” in relation to “cardio”:
Metabolic Conditioning, or “Cardio”
Biking, running, swimming, rowing, speed skating, and cross-country skiing are collectively known as “metabolic conditioning.” In the common vernacular they are referred to as “cardio.” CrossFit’s third fitness standard, the one that deals with metabolic pathways, contains the seeds of the CrossFit “cardio” prescription. To understand the CrossFit approach to “cardio” we need first to briefly cover the nature and interaction of the three major pathways.
Of the three metabolic pathways the first two, the phosphagen and the glycolytic, are “anaerobic” and the third, the oxidative, is “aerobic.” We needn’t belabor the biochemical significance of aerobic and anaerobic systems; suffice it to say that the nature and interaction of anaerobic exercise and aerobic exercise is vital to understanding conditioning. Just remember that efforts at moderate to high power and lasting less than several minutes are anaerobic and efforts at low power and lasting in excess of several minutes are aerobic. As an example the sprints at 100, 200, 400, and 800 meters are largely anaerobic and events like 1,500 meters, the mile, 2,000 meters, and 3,000 meters are largely aerobic.
Aerobic training benefits cardiovascular function and decreases body fat – all good. Aerobic conditioning allows us to engage in low power extended efforts efficiently (cardio/respiratory endurance and stamina). This is critical to many sports. Athletes engaged in sports or training where a preponderance of the training load is spent in aerobic efforts witness decreases in muscle mass, strength, speed, and power. It is not uncommon to find marathoners with a vertical leap of only several inches! Furthermore, aerobic activity has a pronounced tendency to decrease anaerobic capacity. This does not bode well for most athletes or those interested in elite fitness.
Anaerobic activity also benefits cardiovascular function and decreases body fat! In fact, anaerobic exercise is superior to aerobic exercise for fat loss! Anaerobic activity is, however, unique in its capacity to dramatically improve power, speed, strength, and muscle mass. Anaerobic conditioning allows us to exert tremendous forces over brief time intervals. One aspect of anaerobic conditioning that bears great consideration is that anaerobic conditioning will not adversely affect aerobic capacity. In fact, properly structured, anaerobic activity can be used to develop a very high level of aerobic fitness without the muscle wasting consistent with high volumes of aerobic exercise!! The method by which we use anaerobic efforts to develop aerobic conditioning is “interval training.”
Basketball, football, gymnastics, boxing, track events under one mile, soccer, swimming events under 400 meters, volleyball, wrestling, and weightlifting are all sports that require the vast majority of training time spent in anaerobic activity. Long distance and ultra endurance running, cross country skiing, and 1500+ meter swimming are all sports that require aerobic training at levels that produce results unacceptable to other athletes or the individual concerned with total conditioning and optimal health.
We strongly recommend that you attend a track meet of nationally or internationally competitive athletes. Pay close attention to the physiques of the athletes competing at 100, 200, 400, 800 meters, and the milers. The difference you’re sure to notice is a direct result of training at those distances.
The key to developing the cardiovascular system without an unacceptable loss of strength, speed, and power is interval training. Interval training mixes bouts of work and rest in timed intervals.

Joining the CrossFit Maitland C2 Club

Get involved by setting up a logbook with the Concept 2 Online Logbook. It’s free and allows you to record your workouts and keep track of your total metres rowed.
When registering choose “CrossFit Maitland” as your affiliate to be part of the year-round Affiliate Standings, where any metres rowed by a participant count towards the standings. If you miss this step or already have a logbook you can join from your profile.
The C2 Online Logbook also allows you to take part in various individual or team challenges throughout the year, work towards certain distance awards such as the Million Metre Club, and compare your best rowing pieces to other rowers worldwide in the Online Ranking.
There’ll soon be rowing Wods programmed for you, in-house club challenges, and technique clinics.