How Crossfit has improved my Concept2 500m Rowing time

We don’t do a lot of rowing in Crossfit, but some. I think if I had to guess, I’d say once every week or two. Despite this however, my rowing time on the concept2 has improved dramatically.

My previous Personal Best at a 500m row was 143.9, set sometime back in April time, which at the time was what I needed for my Athletic Skill Level 1. And really since then I haven’t focused on rowing at all, it has come up sporadically in the WODs (Workouts Of the Day) but I’ve made no attempt to improve on my 500m time for about 4 months.

So on Saturday, I should have been doing a Push Press and Pull Up exercise, but my wrists and elbow were hurting so I decided to give the 500m row another blast instead. I checked the Skill Levels and level 3 time is 1:32 so I figured I’d use that as a target, not really expecting to get it.

I was however pleasantly surprised at my starting pace. I managed a 1:27 pace for the first 400m but then tailed off badly. 400 – 450 I struggled to keep the pace under 1:30, and for the last 50m about 1:35 was all I could manage. But in the end I smashed my target with an astonishing 1:29.1 !!!

To put this in perspective, 1:29 was the time that 2 of the 3 best Crossfit rowers got in the Crossfit Manchester Grand Opening day, the winner getting 1:27.5 Also, I decided to checkout the main Concept2 world wide rankings site, to see how this time compared: In the “Individual and Race Results | 500m | Men’s | Heavyweight | Ages 30-39 | Current 2008 Season” category, my placed me as 43rd out of 275! Which is top 15th percentile. Comparing to the whole of 2007, I was at the 17% mark.

Bare in mind that most of these guys are rowers, that’s what they do, and believe themselves good enough to put their times up online for the world to see. And here’s me, who couldn’t even be called a part time rower, and I come along and get a time that puts me in the top sixth! I’m astonished at what Crossfit has seen me achieve in just 6 months. I can’t wait for the next 6 months!

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Davie 12 September 2007, 8:31 am

    Awesome work on the PB Colin!

    Next time i am down we can have a row off 🙂

  • Colin McNulty 12 September 2007, 8:55 am

    Thanks Davie, if I remember you got 127.5 at the open day, so I’ll have my work cut out. The very fact that you entertain the idea that I might provide you some competition, shows how far I’ve come. In fact, I think this is only the 3rd time I’ve ever tried to row 500m as fast as possible!

  • Davie 12 September 2007, 9:49 am

    Also got a 1.26.6 when I beat Kempie the first time.

    You have made massive improvements mate.

  • Colin McNulty 12 September 2007, 10:14 am

    > Also got a 1.26.6 when I beat Kempie the first time.

    Haha, I love the implication of the word “first”! 😉

  • Davie 12 September 2007, 11:06 am

    need to take every opportunity I can, the big lug beats me at everything else!

  • Xeno 12 September 2007, 1:45 pm

    Hello Colin
    My name is Xeno.
    I run an indoor rowing studio here in Costa Mesa, CA. It is fun for me to find people who do not come from on the water rowing who enjoy using the Concept2 machine. Concept2 makes a great add on for the machine called the slides. They mimic how it would feel rowing on the water. I believe C2 has an animated gif showing a person rowing. Who taught you the rowing technique? I went to the Olympics in 92-96 and 2000. I won gold in 1996 and silver in 2000. In 03, I thought that indoor rowing would be a great way to stay fit. Now we have a place called the IRON OARSMAN.
    All the best,
    XENO or

  • Colin McNulty 12 September 2007, 2:04 pm

    >Who taught you the rowing technique?

    There’s a technique?!? {:-O

  • Christy 25 April 2015, 7:51 am

    Sure wish the boathouse looked like that when I rowed at BU!

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