Gym & Fitness

CUBICLES & CROSSFIT: Why Rowing Sucks For Short Dudes

Yea, dude, I do crossfit.  I enjoy it … a lot.  Don’t like that, too bad. Bottom line is I got Italian blood running through my veins, decent genetics and the ability to gain 10lbs with one trip to my Mother In Law’s for Sunday dinner.  I need crossfit because I’m too old to do roids and I’m not exactly trying to look like Lex Luger by doing isolated workouts for 3 1/2 hours a day.  As is, I have a wife and she likes to see me occasionally.  Also, the treadmill ain’t cutting it, jack! That nonsense is BORING and the fact of the matter is that if you can READ a magazine cover to cover while workin’ out, you ain’t workin’ at all.  Seriously though, I’m already reading emails for 8-10 hours a day in a cubicle, so the last thing I want to be doing is read more mind numbing stuff while trying to get buff for the summer months.

I admittedly watch videos and read tons of articles about the movements, the benefits, the macros, the micros, form etc.. etc… but I never come across testimonials about the real deal.   The stuff that us “regular”, 9-5 working crossfitters deal with when we don’t have the capacity of Matt Fraser or someone who’s trying to make regionals.  The people who legit have to SPRINT to the box after work just to get an hour of self improvement and welcomed suffering in.  THOSE are the stories that I relate to and find the most funny.  For me personally, I’m athletic, strong, but not a super athlete and I’m not going to “The Games”.  I’m just a dude who crushes his 9-5 and then suffers through burpee box jumps for time, ya know what I mean?

With that said, I felt the need for a place for this type of realness to live.  The real, real so to speak.  So I’m kicking off this newly minted Cubicles and Crossfit Series with a personal movement that’s dear to my heart and short fucking legs, but not my WOD times: Rowing.

Rowing sucks for short dudes, plain and simple.  I’m 5’7, 180lbs.  Rowing … is …. a …. bitch.  There’s nothing worse than getting on that thing for a 1,000 meter row at the end of a round in an AMRAP and getting “encouraged” by your coach to “use your legs”.   Like dude, use my legs?  You mean the shortest part of my body?  Like damn coach, I’ve been sitting in a chair all day and now you want me to do full extension on this thing while the 6’3 guy next to me looks like he’s laying out on the beach getting a tan while drinking a corona light?  Hell no.  Here’s what us short cubicle bros do … ready for it? … ALL ARMS, BABY.  Yep, I’m gonna go nice and slow and just take MONSTER pulls for days.  This way I can catch my breath, bring the heart rate down and then BRING THE PAIN ON THAT PULL.  Screw the form, screw the leg extension.  YES, MY BACK AND SHOULDERS ARE ON FIRE, but I’m pulling this damn thing off the ground if I have to.  Remember kids, cheating is a form of learning.

Not to mention, the more you sit on that thing, the more your ass cheeks start to fire up with the fury of 10 suns.  You start rockin’ back and forth mid row to take off the pressure, which I can guarantee never works, but what the hell are you supposed to it?  To add insult to injury, you know how terrible you are on the Rower.  The stats are right in front of your suffering face! It’s bad enough my legs aren’t long enough to be really good at this movement, but now I need to look how shitty my split times are. Son of a bitch!  It’s like looking at a painting where the eyes follow you as you go.  Kinda creepy.  Anyway, to go even further, the meters never seem to move.  Sometimes, in moments of real desperation and anguish, I’ll even say fuck it and just try and steal a few pulls without doing anything.  No slide, no form, just pull while sitting there like a slacker.  I know I look pathetic, but it’s all I got left in the tank, brother!

And God forbid you take a break to get some feeling back in the old shoulders, am I right?  I swear, (and it’s a good thing) Crossfit coaches have this 6th sense of when someone takes a deep breath on a rower.  There has not been one time that my ass has stopped for even a second that I haven’t been called out.  Maybe it’s because I’m talking to myself about how miserable I am during the WOD, I dunno.

And listen, I know my coaches have my best interest in mind, but does it ALWAYS have to come back to one thing? …  “You’re tired because you’re not using your legs.” … And to that I say … nah, dude, the reason I’m tired is because I had 7 conference calls today, missed out on catered lunch and had to take a train to Mid-Town Manhattan with the rest of the creatures on subway to train my client.  I then how to change into my workout clothes in a small ass bathroom stall and pulled a hammy.  That’s why.

P.S. I also HATE putting back the rower.  Can’t I just leave it there for the next class?  They have to use it anyway!!!

Rowing.  Good for the body.  Bad for the short dudes.

Follow me @NickVacation on Twitter or drop a comment below.



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