“We’re going into battle,” Bruce Kocher of Concept 2 tells Todd Widman. Todd’s challenge is to row 500 meters in less than 1:20. Bruce warns: “This is maybe one of the toughest things you are going to do athletically. So get nasty with it. You’ve got the training. You’re plenty fit.”
In this video by Again Faster the story begins on the first day of a Level 1 cert at CrossFit New England. Todd sat down to pull a 200 meter piece. But with about 30 meters to go, he lifted himself too high and fell off the seat. Frustrated, Todd returned the next day to get some one-on-one instruction before attempting to go sub 1:20 for the 500 meters.
The instruction focuses on finding the right cadence and keeping the hands up on the return. Bruce recommends only a slight forward lean for Todd and other CrossFit athletes. The body angle should be maintained throughout the stroke. Fast hands out of the finish and a stroke rate of 35-36 a minute could work well, Bruce tells Todd. Cues range from “quick hands” to “stretch it out” to “quick drive.” Bruce advises a fast start even though “you just might fall off the cliff into the hell of anaerobic debt.”
In the end, Todd falls short. He rows 500 meters in 1:23.9. But he says of the 1:20 goal: “You’re right. That’s possible. It’s gonna happen. Just not today.”