CrossFit Crashes the C.R.A.S.H. B.s

By Tommy Hackenbruck and Tanya Wagner

In Athletes, Rowing, Videos

February 27, 2010

Video Article

Rowing is a movement where you can just set the damper to 10 and pull like hell, and some athletes use that strategy to post staggeringly fast times. But to really compete as a rower, you need to refine your movement so you can employ the most efficient technique and produce the best times.

Before competing in the Crash B World Indoor Rowing Championships in Boston, Mass., on Feb. 14, 2010, Tanya Wagner and Tommy Hackenbruck (who stepped in for 2009 CrossFit Games champ Mikko Salo) had to brush up on their technique, bending their GPP training toward the erg.

Hackenbruck finished 101st in the men’s open division with a time of 6:30 even, and Wagner finished 43rd in the women’s open by pulling 7:25.7. HQ trainer EC Synkowski was 21st at 7:09 flat. Tim Grohmann won the men’s event with a blistering 5:48.7, and Carolyn Ganes clocked in atop the women’s standings with 6:40.4.

In Part 1, Tanya and Tommy talk about their training and how they prepared to compete against the best indoor rowers in the world. 8min 27sec

In Part 2, the athletes discuss the differences between preparing for the unknown and the unknowable in the CrossFit Games and competing in an event where you know exactly what you’re getting into. 8min 17sec

Part 3 features highlights of Wagner’s 2K race. 1min 44sec

In Part 4, Hackenbruck gets on the erg and hopes for a PR. 2min 0sec

Video by Again Faster.

Additional reading: Rowing a Sub-7 2K—Without Rowing? By EvaClaire (E.C.) Synkowski, published March 30, 2009.



7 Comments on “CrossFit Crashes the C.R.A.S.H. B.s ”


wrote …

Wow! Unreal job Tommy and Tayna!


wrote …

Tommy made a comment about national level rowers rowing 80,000m a week and not being a high volume for them and he is totally correct. As a university rower there will be weeks where we erg 200,000m a week.

Well done Tommy and Tanya!


wrote …

Tommy and TW - Way to represent CrossFit - Nice job!

CrossFit is all about general physical preparedness (GPP) and the two of you are of the highest caliber CrossFit athletes. Beyond your GPP, you’re both great people, and true ambassadors of the CrossFit Community! It's awesome to see CrossFitters participate in other communities' "playgrounds" and perform at an extremely high level. The two of you went up against some of the best rowers in the world and you performed very well. Tommy placed at 101 and Tanya at 43. I'd be curious to see the two best rowers compete in Aromas. I don't believe their results would be comparable!

Thank you for your inspiration to the CrossFit community.


wrote …

I think you underestimate the capabilities of the world's elite rowers. As long as they receive the benefit of the same sort of coaching in areas such as olympic lifts and gymnastic movements that Tom and Tanya got on the rower from C2, I believe you would be quite surprised. The combination of mental fortitude, strength, endurance, focus and drive that it takes to pull a 5:48 for 2k would transition very well to events at the Games.

I also believe that, as part of the same agreement that allowed Tom and Tanya to compete at Crash-b's, one of the top men's and women's finishers will be invited to a qualifier. Whether they are able to attend or not, as the qualifiers tend to happen right in the middle of collegiate racing season, is another question. I would be interested in hearing whether any of the top finishers have taken CF up on the offer?


Adam Kayce wrote …

Keith said,

I'd be curious to see the two best rowers compete in Aromas. I don't believe their results would be comparable!

From the perspective of an ex-collegiate oarsman, I think he's right. Rowing creates an amazingly conditioned athlete, as any of us who've sat on a erg realizes... but a very specialized one. I know from my experience that I may have been able to pull a shell through the water, but I couldn't lift a barbell to save my life at the time.

I'm not trying to knock rowers, don't get me wrong - some of the nicest beasts I've ever met have been rowers; and it's a sport, like CrossFit, that creates a unique community because of the amazing pain and effort involved. I'm just wanting to put Tommy's and Tanya's efforts into perspective a bit for those who don't understand how great they've done for having very little experience and sport-specific training (I mean, we used to have 11 workouts a week in-season, over half of them being on the water or on an erg), while remaining ultra-competitive in the GPP world of CrossFit.

Congrats you two; you did us proud!


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Very informative!
Nice work!


wrote …

Hell Yeah! Awesome T&T!

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