Workout of the Day
Three sets of:
Bulgarian Split Squat x 6-8 reps each leg @ 30X1
Rest 60 seconds
DB External Rotation x 6-8 reps each @ 2020
Rest 60 seconds;
and then,
In teams of three, perform a 6000 meter relay row for time.

Set the erg for Intervals: Distance – 500 Meter intervals with 10-15 seconds rest.  During that 10-15 seconds, switch out for the next teammate as quickly as possible.

Optional Finisher – Accumulate 90 seconds in an L-Sit

The Erg at CrossFit Invictus

Gold Standard of Rowing – The 2k
Written by Shane Farmer

So you’ve taken a liking to rowing. I can see how that would happen. The whir of the flywheel, the rush of endorphins from finishing a hard workout, (could also be the rush of your lunch wanting to come back) and the synchronicity of blending with five other rowers at the same time to create a flowing painting of poetry in motion.

Whatever it is you enjoy, if you’ve started to consider rowing a beneficial part of your weekly output it’s unavoidable that you’ll want to pull a 2k test to establish a baseline of your erging fitness.

In rowing, the 2k is the gold standard for your speed and anaerobic fitness. It’s what a coach will use to establish your future workouts and how to gauge your approach to those workouts. A lightning fast guy’s time clocks in around 6 minutes, and for women it’s 7 minutes. If you’re at this time or faster, I’d suggest focusing your north star on your respective countries Olympic rowing team. Point being that if you’re taking erging seriously, you need to learn to speak 2k.

If you’ve never pulled one, it may not seem like too big of an adventure. It’s only 2000 meters and at the most it’ll take 9 minutes. I mean, come on there are plenty of CrossFit workouts that go much longer than that. What you may not realize however is the complexity, mental fortitude, and type of output a 2k asks for.

In most CF workouts, we’re moving from station to station changing exercises and varying our output based on what we’re asked to do in that moment. From thrusters to burpees it will inevitably be different each time. In a 2k we’re stuck on that thing until the very end, no 21-15-9 here. The funny thing about an erg is its relentless bombardment on your body. Imagine Fran, except the more effort you apply and the stronger you get, the bar will increase in weight with each rep and the pull-up bar will keep getting higher off the ground. To Augie Johnson “The erg is like Ali in a great Ali vs. Frasier fight. It rope-a-dopes. One minute, you are hitting it with everything you have. You keep pounding away smashing it in the mouth. You see it struggles and think you have it backed into a corner fading fast so you throw your reserves in and hit even harder. And at that penultimate moment when you have slugged yourself out, the machine starts to get stronger and fight back… By the 15th round, you find yourself on the ropes taking uncontested combinations of head and body shots by the heavyweight champion of the world.” For the full article click here.

In the rowing club at Invictus, we recently pulled our first 2k test and what an amazing experience it was. These CrossFitters moonlighting as rowers have been training for the past few months to strengthen this important aspect of their fitness experience, just like many do with running or Olympic lifting. They’ve pulled everything from steady state 10k’s to :45 second sprints. Exploring the diversity of workouts (pieces) one can experience on an erg. After a stint with distance work, we spent a few weeks preparing for the first test and their first taste of the beast.

They all made me extremely proud and knocked it out of the park. We talked strategy, pacing, and motivation. We approached it from angles they had never seen before and they all charged forward, placing their faith in the work they had done and the preparation they had accrued in our time together. What they gained in experience from that first test will have a monumental impact on their progress through the sport of CrossFit.

To say that their first 2k was a learning experience is an understatement. It was a rite of passage; a glimpse into the generations of rowers that have come before them and a tie that instantly bonds them to another culture of athletes – a culture that celebrates discipline, teamwork, respect, and hard work. It’s the ultimate cohort when paired with CrossFit.

I admire my athletes for placing trust in me as a coach and sticking with it when many shy away from rowing. It has been a great journey thus far, working on all the intricate aspects of the 2k and preparing athletes to become rowers. I also have the honor of now preparing a group to compete at the C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s (the indoor rowing championships) and couldn’t be happier.

In the next couple articles I’ll cover some of the finer details about what lies underneath the preparation of a 2k and how you can prepare to crush your next test instead of conveniently taking a rest day the next time 2k for time shows up as your workout.