In our next blog piece, we will talk about why there has been an increase in the amount of rowing in our workouts. Is it because Coach Matt hates short people? No. There’s more science and reasoning behind it. Please read the following words from Coach Matt. -Mark
Why All the Rowing? by Matt Grimm
I feel like I need to go on a quick aside before delving into rowing in particular. The eccentric part of the movement is the down part of the movement and is believed to be what causes most of the damage in your muscles. Now micro tears allow the muscle to rebuild stronger (if you are eating and sleeping enough) and are part of strength training. And the eccentric part, when used correctly can be a powerful tool for building strength (the negative pull-up). But it is something we want to be mindful of in any program.
Now there has been a noticeable uptick in rowing since I started programming. First off, the primary reason for the rowing is that it is allows us to get conditioning work in with almost no eccentric component. So if we are squatting a bunch (and we will be), then rowing allows us to get conditioning in without causing to much extra wear on the muscles. You can kill yourself doing a bunch of sprints on the rower (assuming you maintain a neutral spine) and feel relatively alright the next day.
Also the versatility of the rower. We can use it in longer sessions to add time without beating you up. But we can also use it in sprints. With the sprint work we have been doing, the rower allows us to be quite powerful in a safe setting. Whereas with a deadlift, thruster, or a clean form can break down, and if we are chasing raw power and explosiveness, we will have to either sacrifice the power and slow down or form will break down.
So the simplicity of rowing combined with the lack of eccentric and ability for you to be powerful on it makes it a fantastic tool that I like to utilize.