It is now less than one week to go until the 2018 New Zealand CrossFit Individual Nationals, and some would say it wouldn’t be a CrossFit comp without a WOD featuring one of our Concept2 machines…
We wouldn’t dare to spoil the surprise on the day, but if you are preparing for a potential Concept2 WOD, here are our top tips for tackling each of our machines.
The Concept2 Indoor Rower featured in the CrossFit New Zealand Nationals competition last year, in a WOD made up of 400m repeats alternating with hand-walking shuttles. Internationally, the Indoor Rower has been involved in CrossFit WOD’s over a wide range of distances from short sharp bursts right up to a half marathon. An Indoor Rowing WOD could test competitors in various different ways, so we have chosen a tip that can apply to any and all of them.
Could the Concept2 Indoor Rower return to the CrossFit Nationals this year?
C2 Indoor Rower WOD Tip: Get Up to Speed Quickly.
Whether you’re a consistent and steady type of competitor or prefer the all-out ‘fly and die’ approach; when you get on the Indoor Rower you want to get up to speed and onto your target split as quickly as possible. There is some skill involved in getting the flywheel up and running quickly and efficiently; good overall rowing technique will come in handy, but even if that isn’t your strong suit you can still apply a progressive approach to stroke length (otherwise known as a ‘race start’) to get up to speed asap!
To do so, you will need to treat every piece as an all-out sprint for the first 5 strokes (before thinking about establishing your target pace) and stick to the following stroke pattern:
2 x half strokes→ 2 x three-quarter strokes→ Full strokes
Since the flywheel of the Indoor Rower is still before you begin to row, it will be moving at its slowest in the first few strokes as it begins to pick up speed. In shortening the first few strokes of your WOD, you will be able to minimize the deceleration of the flywheel while it is still moving slower than full speed, with full strokes coming in when required to continue the acceleration (after approx. 4 strokes). From there you can find your rhythm and split to settle in for the rest of the row.
This ‘race start’ stroke progression will allow you to get up to your target split more quickly and save you precious time! For more on race starts and changing pace on the Indoor Rower Click HERE
The SkiErg is another Concept2 machine that featured in the 2017 CrossFit Nationals competition, with competitors taking on a series of 15 calorie bursts (RX). Much like the Indoor Rower, the SkiErg could be used in many different ways, but getting the basic technique right is key to being effective, whatever the challenge.
At first glance the SkiErg might appear to be an upper body strength workout. In reality, it is much more than that- Let’s just say there is a reason why Cross-Country Skiing is considered one of the toughest endurance sports in the world! Keeping this in mind, our top tip for the SkiErg focuses on efficient technique- but don’t worry it isn’t too complicated to get right.
Use your core and glutes to give your arms and shoulders some back-up on the SkiErg
C2 SkiErg WOD Tip: Recruit Your Legs
Getting the most out of the SkiErg requires you to put your whole body behind each stroke to get the necessary length and acceleration for maximum power. After you take the initial resistance through the arms, think about transferring the resistance through your core and into your glutes, bending into a 100-degree squat as the handles pass by your hips. In doing so, you will be able to put the full force of your bodyweight and most powerful muscle groups behind each pull, to get the utmost acceleration and efficiency- and save your arms and shoulders from having to do it all on their own!
Possibly the most exciting prospect for new CrossFit WOD’s (for us anyway) is our brand new Concept2 weapon- the BikeErg. With limited stock only becoming available for pre-order in April and purchase in June, only a few lucky gyms have had the chance to become acquainted with this exciting new machine prior to this weekend’s competition.
If that isn’t you- not to worry. As a stationary bike, the BikeErg of course requires a familiar cycling technique, and features adjustable handlebars and seat height so you can get set-up and comfortable to apply your best to whatever the task ahead. So, instead of writing a post to teach you how to ride a bike, we thought we’d focus cadence and resistance for our top BikeErg tip.
We can't say whether the BikeErg will be used in this years competition, but it will definitely be at our Concept2 Stand- Come by and check it out!
C2 BikeErg WOD Tip: Adjust Your Resistance to Match Your Cadence
Where a normal bicycle has gears, the BikeErg has flywheel resistance. Just like the Indoor Rower and SkiErg, the BikeErg flywheel resistance ranges from 1-10 (1 being the lightest, 10 being the heaviest). When it comes to the BikeErg, you will want to pick a resistance that strikes the right balance between power and cadence (rpm)- the frequency at which your legs are spinning (much like stroke rate on the Indoor Rower). Because the BikeErg operates on flywheel resistance, where the rate of deceleration indicates speed, you will only know which resistance setting is right for your target cadence once the flywheel is up to speed (and the deceleration is more constant). As a general rule, you will need to keep a cadence of approximately 70-100 RPM (depending on your strength) to keep the flywheel from decelerating to the point of inefficiency, meaning you will need to choose a resistance setting that strikes the right balance between effort and sustainability.
In short, banging the resistance up to 10 for short-sharp bursts on the BikeErg might be fine, but for any WOD requiring endurance of more than one minute of effort we recommend you consider what might be the optimal cadence and resistance setting for you.
For more on the new Concept2 BikeErg Click HERE