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.

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Jaimie B
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Jaimie B

I’ve been in row club for about four months now and I have definitely developed a love for rowing; whereas before…yeah, not so much 🙂 Each week, the rowing workouts continue to kick my butt more than any other of my WODs. They can be super hard but they are also very rewarding. Alot of us now are meeting up for a 2nd row later in the week for additional practice and we’re all super excited for the C.R.A.S.H.-B.’s competition in February! Thanks so much for being a great coach, Shane, and we hope to make you proud in February… Read more »

Calvin Sun
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Calvin Sun

Nice post Shane. Could you elaborate on how a 2k row, which typically lasts between 7 and 9 minutes, is a test of anaerobic fitness? I would imagine that most athletes would be relying primarily on their aerobic system for energy by the half way point on a 2k row.

shanefarmer
Member
shanefarmer

To piggyback off CJ, the way in which I use anaerobic is simply to emphasize the addition of the anaerobic component to our work (trying to keep it basic). The energy systems in use however will absolutely fall primarily to the aerobic system to complete the event. I would offer though that the anaerobic energy expenditure past the sprint out of the gates would still maintain higher than normal output through the anaerobic glycolitic metabolic system. Granted, it will be coupled with our aerobic system as well, but I do feel it may be a bit greater than you would… Read more »

shanefarmer
Member
shanefarmer

CJ makes an excellent point. As coaches we hope you consider the multiple disciplines available at Invictus. All of us as coaches have our favorite disciplines and it’s truly a blast to be able to help out our community to grow and explore things that they may be good at.

Michele Vieux
Admin
Michele Vieux

Here’s a challenge to the rest of y’alls: Courtland and Jeff (visitor from Oregon) did the entire 6k between the two of them in 23 minutes!

Michele Vieux
Admin
Michele Vieux

Oops I meant just under 25 but still impressive!

Patrice M
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Patrice M

Once again an awesome 7am class with Nuno!!!! Totally inspiring and fabulous music choices! Thanks for putting up with my early morning grouchiness 😉

Cynthia
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Cynthia

Shane is a wonderful rowing coach! He made me much more efficient and made it (kind of) enjoyable.

Hey if anyone has been wanting to try Vibram Five Fingers but aren’t too thrilled with the price, I got a pair of VF Sprints last night for $48—regularly $80. I’m glad my little experiment with these shoes won’t be costing me full price!

Adventure 16 is the place (I-8 and Mission Gorge Road area). Very nice store!

Richard Madrid
Member
Richard Madrid

Damn great post Shane.

Did 8 rounds even in the kettlebell/hand release push-up in 8mins. Used a 2 pood.

FAQ - Workout of the Day (WOD)

What does WOD mean in CrossFit?

WOD stands for Workout of the Day. Most CrossFit gyms post one workout each day for their members and online followers to complete. Invictus currently offers THREE free programmed WODs each day (shown above)... and even more personalized and online supplemental programs through Invictus Athlete.

Which program is right for me? Can I move between them?

One thing that sets Invictus apart from other CrossFit gyms and online training programs is that we recognize everyone has different fitness goals, abilities and needs. Be sure to pick which programming is right for you so you can get a great workout that meets your needs.

What does 30X0 mean? (How to read the WOD)

Another thing you might notice that’s different about our programming is that we use ‘tempo training’ - almost always in the Fitness programming and in various cycles for the Performance and Competition programs. Those extra numbers (ex: @30X0) might seem confusing at first glance but you’ll totally get how it works and why we like to use it after reading this. Trust us, you’ll soon witness the many benefits firsthand. Learn more about tempo training.

I need help with some standard movements and warm-up ideas!

Whether you’re new to CrossFit or have lots of experience with the WOD, our coaches will help you get the most out of every workout. It doesn’t matter if you struggle with a particular movement or if your goals are pushing you toward the higher skilled and more elusive movements, our professional coaches support everyone with advice and feedback.

They have worked with all athlete levels and know what it takes to get people moving to the best of their abilities. Whether it’s burpees, double-unders, muscle-ups, or tips for the Assault Bike - we’ve got a coach who can help you.

Don’t worry, we’ve got your warm-ups covered, too. Our coaches are constantly learning from other modalities and love to use what they learn in innovative warm-ups focused on both preparing for the workout at hand and maintaining the body for a pain free life. Check out this full body routine to keep your joints functioning and free of inflammation. We also post warm-up suggestions in the Workout of the Day for each of the programs that are tailored to that day’s movements.

Workout on your own and don’t have much time for your warm-up? Here’s a couple of quick and simple ones for your shoulders, squat day, deadlifts, and everyone’s problem area, the thoracic spine.

What if I can’t lift the weight or do the movement as prescribed?

Scaling is part of the beauty of CrossFit because it enables workouts and programming to be tailored to anyone’s ability. When it comes to weight, you can and should ALWAYS scale the weight down if it is unsafe for you to lift it, or if it changes the intended stimulus of the workout.

Here are some rules of thumb for scaling weight in metcons (lifting for time). For gymnastics movements, there are some simple scaling solutions as well. If you are unsure, reach out to your Invictus coach! We are here to make sure you get the safest and best workout possible - proper scaling allows for that.

How many days per week should I train? / How many rest days should I take?

At Invictus, we offer programming 6 days a week, Monday-Saturday and we realize not everyone’s schedule - or training needs - are the same and therefore, you must use your best judgement and listen to your body when it comes to deciding how often to take a rest day.

If you have been doing CrossFit for a while now, you recognize that our program excels due to the high intensity component. With that being said, one thing you have to keep in mind is that you can’t sustain that high intensity every single day; otherwise your body ends up breaking down.

You can learn more about how often someone should take a rest day in this article.

What does EMOM stand for?

EMOM stands for Every Minute on the Minute. When you see that come up in a workout, you have up to one minute to complete the exercise required. Normally what’s prescribed won’t take the entire minute so you also have whatever is left of the time to rest until the next minute starts and you do the next set of prescribed work. And so on.

What does AMRAP mean?

AMRAP means “As Many Rounds (and Reps) as Possible” in a certain time period. For example, the workout might say...

AMRAP in 10 minutes of:

30 Double-Unders
20 Pull-Ups
10 Thrusters

So you would keep going through the cycle of those three exercises until the 10 minutes is up. Your score is the number of complete rounds plus any extra reps you did. So if you did four complete rounds plus 15 Double-Unders in the fifth round, your score would be 4+15.

What does OTM mean?

OTM stands for “On the Minute” and is the same thing as an EMOM. When you see that come up in a workout, you have up to one minute to complete the exercise required. Normally what’s prescribed won’t take the entire minute so you also have whatever is left of the time to rest until the next minute starts and you do the next set of prescribed work. And so on.

What does NFT mean?

NFT stands for “Not for Time” and means that you shouldn’t rush or try to go fast, but instead, focus on technique, skill, form or whatever you are working on for that movement.

How heavy should my first set be?

You might also be wondering where to start your first set if, for example, the workout of the day calls for 5 sets of Deadlift x 5 reps. Is the first set a warm-up or is that the first working set? Here’s our recommendation for how to properly build to your starting weight and what we consider warm-up sets and working sets.

How can I figure out my 1RM?

We frequently use percentage references in prescribing the number of reps to perform, so it’s essential that you have a good idea on most of your maxes.

Let’s say it’s been awhile since you have attempted a 1RM; maybe you had an injury a few months ago, or maybe you just somehow keep missing the 1-RM test days, or maybe you just forgot to write it down in your log book. If you have a multiple-rep max, you’re in luck. There’s actually a simple equation you can use to calculate an estimated 1RM based on the max number of reps you can do at a given weight.