Just like CrossFit lifters can tell you their 3-rep max for any given movement, top Canadian rowers can tell you their 3-stroke max on a Concept2 erg.
Doug Csima is a member of the Rowing Canada team, and he tried to beat his 3-stroke max at a training session at CrossFit East Sacramento. With teammates bracing the erg to prevent sliding, Csima hauls off in hopes of breaking his personal record of 1,120 watts on the last stroke. Elite rowers shoot for above 1,100 watts as a benchmark, according to Cam Birtwell, strength and conditioning coach at the Canadian Sports Centre Pacific and owner of CrossFit Zone in Victoria, B.C.
Following Csima’s attempts, Olympic gold medalist Kevin Light talks about the team’s on-water training, while fellow gold medalist and rowing beast Malcolm Howard explains what he does in the “engine room” of an eight-man shell.
Additional reading: Bruce Kocher: Watt Contest by Bruce Kocher, published May 2, 2009.