Thursday 110217

Ricky Frausto Filed Under:
Rest Day

From left to right: John Snodgrass, Pete Nordlund, Shelley Buchholz (hidden), and Andy Gomel.

We have three different guys using three different techniques. Neither of the three are right or wrong, only one, more efficient than the other two at their respective positions in the picture. Can you point out who and why? There are actually two parts to his greater efficiency. Can you name both parts and give reason for each?

The winner gets 45 minutes with me (not including warm-up), one-on-one, working on the movement of your choice. There may be more than one person who answers correctly. In this case, he/she will be chosen on one merit alone, visual perspicacity. If you possess this ability, it will come through in your answer.

No matter what, take a crack at it. You may surprise yourself. Winner will be announced on Friday's WOD posting. Post answers to comments.

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38 Responses to "Thursday 110217"

  1. BigD Says:
  2. I'm going to take a crack at this and say it's Pete. Reason being...
    1. He's not bending his arms early, therefore making the legs, back, and core do the work, generating more force, and saving the arms for the end of the motion when he leans back and pulls the handle in.
    2. Keeping his back in a good position, not overly arched and not hunched over. Better posture=strong core=less injury.
    Of course, I could be totally off, but what the heck.
  3. Allison H :) Says:
  4. Pete's
    b/c he is leaning forward with his arms before letting the knees bend... also - so that hands are past the knee before bending them

    solid core - back is straight - arms are straight.

    Also for when he pulls - arms don't bend until that last moment when legs have done their work - in that case the final position would look like Shelley with the slight lean back.

    full body movement :)
  5. Shane Says:
  6. First, it's impossible not to notice that Pete's back is flat and angled almost perfectly. When he reaches full extension, in addition to putting less strain on his back, he will be at the ideal position to maximize his body-length for the pull.

    Second, there is a huge difference when you look at Pete's arms vs those of John and Andy. The latter are pulling prior to full extension (notice their legs). All three men are in a relatively similar point in their row motion, but John and Andy show a less-efficient technique as their arms are doing too much work too early in the pull. Pete is in position to finish the extension with his legs prior to the forearm pull.
  7. Wes Says:
  8. Pete is looking better than the other two. His arms are straight, turn your head a little & you can see that he is in a pretty good dead lift position. He will continue the pull, his legs will flatten, his arms will remain straight, & he will powerfully extend his hips, contracting his hamstrings, then he will bend his arms & finish.


    I think the other comments are similar.
  9. Brandon Says:
  10. Paleo cookie recipe on yesterday's blog posting. :-) I'll comment on the pic later.

  11. Mark Says:
  12. I would have to agree with the others about Pete. His technique appears to be the most efficient whether you are looking at it from a pull or a recovery phase.

    From a pull phase he is driving with his legs while keeping a rigid core. And by keeping his arms locked out, the force from his legs goes straight through the chain to maximize the distance his pull will generate.

    From a recovery stand point, he appears to be mirroring a correct pull by allowing the arms to pass his knees before he bends his legs. By doing this he puts himself back into the ideal position to make another efficient pull.
  13. VanBeek Performance Says:
  14. I have to try this challenge.. It would be a disservice to my clientele if I don't know this...
    Pete is the most efficient rower.. The other two have two distinct row flows.. The athlete closest to the camera is performing the final arm pull with bent knees meaning he has now cut off any possible additional power he could have gained on the back stroke and is doing the equivalent of doing and early arm pull on a clean or snatch and trying to arm curl/row his way through the stroke... Second issue.. Midline stability.. Both athletes have rounded over at their upper/middle backs which again diminishes the amount of power transferred from the leg drive through the torso and into the handle so even if the arm pull had happened in proper sequence there still wouldn't be a maximal transfer of power on the stroke.. Pete has all his spinal segments locked in one rigid line and his arms have not started to bend prematurely.. Yeah a little detailed I know :)
  15. paul Says:
  16. This is an awesome challenge, but I don't think I can add anything to what the others have said. Pete: straight arms, flat back. Just like an oly lift or an SDLHP--if the arms bend early, all that force generated by the legs will fail to be imparted to the barbell (or in this case, the rower handle). Similar principle with a soft back. Isn't that why you miss a back squat rep if your back starts to round? Again, the force generated by the legs never makes it to the bar because the back caving in pretty much absorbs that energy.
  17. Brandon Says:
  18. Pete has a much more efficient pull/recover than John or Andy, from what is shown in the photo.
    First, Pete has isn't slumping, he's maintaining a solid core, which will always be more effective because it allows the power from the legs to be transferred, instead of absorbed. It's like the difference between trying to hit a baseball with a wooden bat, or a rubber one. One just works better at transferring power.

    Secondly, he is keeping his arms relaxed and straight until the legs are extended during the pull. Then straightening the arms FIRST, getting them past the knees before bending the legs. This way he will make a nice little pocket for his knees to move into, instead of having to move the handle over the legs. Keeping the arms straight during the pull allows the drive from the legs to be imparted with greater efficiency, just like keeping a straight back does. When the arms bend, the power ends... mostly anyway. ha!

    Good luck everyone. :-)

  19. John Snodgrass Says:
  20. I think Andy and myself should get a free rowing seminar for being the how not to do this, it's pretty obvious it would help!
  21. paul Says:
  22. Another thing about Pete: I can't be sure from the pic, but it looks like he might be slightly off the seat of the rower, which would show that he was really putting his weight into the pull. Also, it looks like he's pushing from the middle of the foot, not overusing quads (or hamstrings, for that matter).

    Eric and I did a brutal little number from the games prep programming:

    100 DU
    50 ball slams
    2 rds (164#)
    12 DL
    9 Hang power cleans
    6 push jerks
    50 ball slams
    100 DU

    14:40. ouch. glad to finish sub-15, though.
  23. Mark Says:
  24. Bench day again: today I added 5# to my last week's weight and tried 218#. My goal was 5-5-5 but I only got 5-4-3. Next week I will try again!
  25. G3 Strength and Conditioning Says:
  26. Easily it is Pete (the one in the green?) His arms are still straight, while bending at the knees (his calves are activated, so I assume he is on his return). He isn't losing power with his arms being bent (like Andy's). He also doesn't have the curvature of the back, nice and solid (also loss of power if missing).
  27. Amanda Says:
  28. Great analysis by all. Impressive. Now let's put the ideas and theories to use when rowing!

    Great morning for a rest day. Everyone seemed to have a plan, always good. If you don't have a workout to make up, work on a weakness!! Have a good idea of what you want to do when you walk in.

    Enjoy the nice Thursday weather!!
  29. jillian Says:
  30. I did 3 Rd's in 15 min of
    20 DU
    15 Wall Balls
    20 Step Ups
    20 Sit Ups

    Hope you all have a Great Day!!!
  31. Ricky Frausto Says:
  32. So far, these have all been really superb answers but I'm still looking for the explanation that is so simple yet says it all.

    If it isn't said, I will have to choose from the answers so far, and those that will be posted as the day progresses, that comes closest to what I'm looking for so...........

    Keep giving those answers.
  33. Eric C Says:
  34. Not sure what I could add to the other comments about the rowers. Good posture position for powerful pull.

    14:04 = Games prep wod with Paul.
    Rough one to do after 5 days in Mexico at an all you can drink/eat resort. Thanks for talking me into it Paul.... I think...
  35. hatryk Says:
  36. John, Pete, Shelley and Andy by simply showing up to train soundly and having a willingness to learn will develop and form more efficient hábitos over time.
    I know This isn't easy for an individual given to nuance and prolixity.

  37. Bert Says:
  38. The person doing it correctly is Pete because Pete is always used as the example,in class, of how to do things correctly. (simple answer)
  39. J Andresen Says:
  40. I agree all are great answers, but if you're looking for a simple breakdown...I'll give it a shot.
    2 parts, internal and external. Internal would be the muscle (efficiency of contraction) and external would be propulsion (efficiency of the pull).
    I'm applying my enginerd skills to this answer and it may be way off.
  41. Tino Says:
  42. John body is not at a 90degree angle . He is hunched over
  43. JennG Says:
  44. When looking at Pete from the side, you can see perfect angles from top to bottom. If you put a protractor up the picture, you'd be able to measure every one..knees, hips, shoulders.. indicating a strong core. Also, looks like the shoulders are activated, which is the key to efficiency in all of our movements. ?? That's all I got.
  45. Steve Says:
  46. Pete looks like he's doing a deadlift... push, push, push with legs, then straighten up (or in this case, back).
  47. Natalie Says:
  48. Pete.

    It's a pull on the way down and a push with your feet (not your back) on the way back. (with your back flat, of course) Like a deadlift.
  49. Ricky Frausto Says:
  50. Hint: I'm looking, at the risk of giving it away, for two phrases and you can find them on

    I'd like to see a simple explanation but in the end, I'm looking for just these two phrases otherwise, I'm gonna have to give a bunch of you 45 minute one-on-ones, ha.

    Most of you are there. You're saying the right things but I want to hear the phrases because, to me, I don't think it's too much to expect my members to know this. It shows good coaching on our part. But like I said, you guys got it (most of you), you're just trying to over think it.

    I'm amazed by your answers though, don't get me wrong. I had an idea that we would get good answers but this is really cool.
  51. Ryan Says:
  52. Pete Nordlund appears to have the most efficient row. Assuming all three men are pulling and not in the return. Andy Gomel is sitting more slouched instead of in a more active position and possibly started his arm pull a tad early. John Snodgrass is also a little hunched over at the start of the pull. His arms are also bent before he begins his pull so he will get less power from the end of his pull when he engages his arms. Pete Nordlund is sitting upright, actively engaged, arms are straight as he is finished his leg drive and about to begin his arm pull.

    Ryan Bosselman
  53. VanBeek Performance Says:
  54. 1st Workout.. Not so great..

    Clean (Any Catch)
    - Same approach as I used on my snatch a few days back... Every min on the min... Was hoping to get into the 260's but not even close... Hard to keep my external rotation at the start of 1st pull so I'm falling over going into the 2nd pull and catching off balance...
    Started at 198, 218, 228, 238, 248, 253 (Miss), 253 (Miss)... Went Back Down to 218 for 4 sets then 228 for the last 4 sets and I still even missed one at 228... Yikes... Not my day

    4 Strict HSPU's EA Min for 10 Straight Mins... Just looking to get some volume in and add more on each cycle until sectionals... Little tough by the last few rounds but otherwise fine...

    Doing a re-test tonight but not sure what yet... Was thinking Helen but I keep retesting WOD's that I'm already good at and I need something else... Will re-do Chelsea tomorrow since it has two distinct weaknesses of mine... Longer time domain and push ups
  55. BigD Says:
  56. In the drive phase, the legs initiate the power, and arms remain straight, as Pete's are.
    Also, his knees are not flared outward, as that would bring the knees out of alignment with the ankles and can cause injury with application of force or repetition.
  57. hatryk Says:
  58. Wise man once said. . ."row like you are carrying a plate of espagueti on your head".
  59. Mark Says:
  60. From the CrossFit Journal: "the legs initiate the power, and arms remain straight. Then the hip flexors and torso muscles maintain the power through the leg and hip drive. Finally, the arms finish the stroke with an accelerating pull toward the torso that completes the smooth handoff of power from lower body to torso to upper body"
  61. BigD Says:
  62. Damn Mark! Reading the Same CF Journal as me!
  63. Hilg Says:
  64. I think the two things that make Pete's position stand out from the others are:

    He's maintaining a hollow body position which allows for trunk stability. This puts him in position to maximize his power.

    In addition, he's keeping his arms straight in this position maximizing the use of his body mass to maximize the pull and allow his hips to open powerfully.

    This information may apply to what is as known as a "Knowing-Doing Gap" in the Hilgenfeld shows up often....HA!
  65. Brandon Says:
  66. Power in Pete's pull is initiated from core to extremity. With this method, he is able to use his hip drive most effectively.

    Not sure if this is what you were looking for, but it's a shot. :-)

  67. Paula Says:
  68. Now it's my turn to take a shot at it and don't know if it's even close to what you are looking for.....Pete's arms are stretched out which helps maximize length with increased the power drive as well as creating length in the recovery phase. Also his posture is showing core control.
  69. Pete N. Says:
  70. I like Bert's answer...
  71. VanBeek Performance Says:
  72. 2nd WOD... Found one I've only done once and matches a time domain I want to test.... Air Force WOD

    20 Thrusters
    20 Sumo DL HP
    20 Push Presses
    20 Overhead Squats
    20 Front Squats
    ** 95# **
    1 Min Clock - 4 Burpees EA Min

    - Sectionals Last Year I got 4:51
    - Tried to get at least 25 reps per min to see if I can break 4:30...
    I wasted less time than the first time because I knew there were times when I stopped with 10 secs still on the clock so this time I made sure to carry everything at least til 3 secs were left on the clock..
    ** 4:39 **
    - Not as fast as I think I can do it but its 12 seconds faster so I'll take it!
  73. Kat Says:
  74. Games Prep Wod:
    8 min amrap
    3 g2o (132#)
    6 box jumps 30"
    9 44# plate slams
    rest one min
    4 rnds:
    2000lb back squat (99# x 20 reps)
    400 m run
    rest 30 seconds
    3 dl 225#
    7 db g2o 30#
    10 push ups

    This wod was redic!
    1st amrap: 4 rnds+6 slams
    2nd wod:last round ran a 200m bc i ran out of time
    3rd:2 rnds+6 db g2o.

    Great job everyone! this wod really kicked my ass! Im glad that there was so many of us there suffering through it together! You guys kept me going! Thanks for being such a great "coach" Reba! You handled that stopwatch like a pro!
  75. Crystal Says:
  76. Did Wednesday's WOD with Megan G. Awesome job girl! It was tough. The hill kicked my a** and my hamstrings hate me!

    1st: 1:34
    2nd: 1:41
    3rd: 1:47
    4th: 1:48

    Wasn't really happy with these times but have to remember it has been awhile since we have ran.

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