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Entries in rowing (4)

Beast Mode: College Kids on New Years

We had a small New Year's Group of College Kids come in and work out. And it was about then I realized that the original College Kids aren't really in college any more, so I may need to adjust their collective name. Anyway, we took the opportunity to use some equipment we don't always put to use, mainly the rower and the bike. It was originally going to be 4 rounds of 1:30 on a "cardio" station, :45 on dumbbell thrusters, and :15 on pull-ups. But Bubs came in 20 minutes late, so we added an extra round and sit-ups into the cardio rotation. Here's how it looked.

A Quick Note on May's Monthly Payment + Joe's Rowing Thing

Please add 10 bucks to your monthly payment for May. It will take you through June 8 - at which point the Summer sessions kick in!

Joe Wonsil, a senior, has put in a good winter and spring of work in the gym to prepare him for this rowing season. His only home regatta (rich people word for race) is this Saturday at Orchard Lake St. Mary's. Once we find out what time he rows, I think it would be cool to get a group of people to go after the Mobility session. I'll keep you posted.

Rowers Gone Wild

While other students are basking in the sunlight, what are the young men of the Orchard Lake St Mary's Crew Team doing for their spring break? This year I got to see as one of the dads who cooked for the athletes while they spent a week in Atomic City, A.K.A. Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Why don't they just row on Orchard lake? Why do they go to Tennessee? This is why:

 Students walking on Orchard Lake to Apple Island a few weeks before Tennessee.

Let's take a look at the Spring Break of a random St. Mary's oarsman. Let's call him...ummm...Joe Wonsil. 

Sunday (Easter)

Since OLSM Tradition is:

  1. God
  2. Family
  3. St. Mary's

"Joe" went to Mass in the morning, in the afternoon he went to dinner with his extended family, and at 6:30PM boarded a bus bound for warmer waters. 


The bus arrives at 4:00 AM and Joe and his teammates check into their rooms for a restful three hours of sleep. At 7:30 AM, the bus leaves for the course at Melton Lake.

Their boathouse is larger than ours...

They put in two full practices before lunch. This involves more than 20K meters of rowing at various levels of intensity while practicing different drills to hone technique. The bus returns them for lunch around noon and they head back to the course at 2:30. Joe and his team put in another 2 hour practice and got ready to go back to the hotel. However, no need for the bus this evening. Hopefully the rowers paid attention to their route because as soon as they got off the water they were running the five miles back to the the pouring rain.

Varsity oarsmen Joe and Robbie (sides) and Novice oarsman Jordan (middle) are the first to finish the torturous trip


Tuesday starts the same as Monday; however, when the second practice of the morning rolled around some thunder decided to roll in with it. Rowing during a lightning storm typically is not the greatest idea in the instead they decided to run to the top of a hill. But this is no ordinary hill...this is Penny Hill. A hill steeped in tradition and the blood of past rowers. It makes any St. Mary's man shudder at the mere thought of scaling its unassuming summit.
The first half of Penny HillThe second half of Penny Hill
For 30 minutes, as their calves and thighs burn with agony, the rowers continually race from the bottom to the top and back again. Joe struggled through 9 summits before time was up. That's weak Joe, don't be a bum. (OK, not so weak. I only got six trips done in 30 minutes.) They leave Penny Hill (feeling like they lost something more than just their energy on its sinister slopes) and get to take a lunch break before they are back on the bus at 3:00PM. For the afternoon the team rows at the course for a two hour practice to wrap up the day.


Wednesday is upon them and it seems like they just got there. As per usual, they go to the course for their regular two morning practices. Today, for their second morning practice, they do eight 1000 meter pieces up and down the course. When they get off the water starving and exhausted from the pieces, they get a surprise. It is time to run...again. As the last of the rowers stagger across the parking lot (marking another five miles) to make it to lunch, the coaches reveal another surprise: mandatory ice baths. (While it depends on who you are, this was for most a more pleasant surprise.) And since we promised you rowers gone wild, here is topless highschool students. NSFW.
Fun Fact: Along with playing hours of Halo, rowers like to hang out in garbage cans during their free timeWay to go with the shameless selfie Joe...After their lunch break they return to the course once again to finish off the day with another ~2 hours of practice.


This is the only day that was all rowing, all the time. No running. Just your typical three-a-day workout schedule. However, in the evening they went to putt-putt and go-cart racing as part of a class competition.
Everybody on this boat was made to wear a shirt that read "I am the problem" so that they would all remember they were the problem....carry on Joe, carry on.


The morning brought thunder, so no boats on the water...back to Penny Hill. Not the whole hill mind you, just the steeper part. Sprint to the top to get a penny. If coach didn't think you ran hard enough, no penny. You get to stop at ten cents. Joe earned eleven pennies.
In the afternoon, the weather cleared and they were back on the water for two workouts and then racing some of the other teams that were down there. After the races, they did more technical work.
Friday night brought the last two events in the class competition: the pizza-eating contest and the skits. I can't show you the skits. Way too NSFW. Let's just say, they had to do a skit that explained where babies come from using rowing terminolgy... But I can show you the results of the pizza eating contest.
This is what a 27-slice winner looks like before he puked. An homage to Pukie-the-Clown?
After the skits, the young men packed their gear and went to bed. Oh yeah, the seniors won the class competiton. It seems the seniors were not the problem after all...


Last chance for some practice, and the bus left with the team at 6:30 AM for a two hour practice. They load the boats and get their shirts. The bus left with the coaches and the team. The dads followed after securing the boats and the food trailer. 

I'll say this. The young men work very hard. It would seem strange to members of this box. Not the hard work, but there was very little (read no) mobility work, hardly any warm-up or cool-down, and running form is worse than mine for many of the athletes. 


-Mr. Wonsil (with help from Baby Joe)


Extra Pic, Joe's "problem" shirt: 

Joe took the liberty of slightly personalizing his also says "Wonsil" on the back

Coach's Corner: Fat Joe Leans Back

The reason you guys are stuck doing hundreds upon hundreds of sumo deadlift high pulls during workouts is because they are a sub for rowing. 10 sdhp = 100m row. And since we are poor, we cannot afford the luxury of a fleet of rowing machines. But hey, BUILDS CHARACTER and all that.

Joe Wonsil is a special little boy. He is on Orchard Lake St. Mary's rowing team going into his senior year. With the season coming soon, I figured it would be a good idea to let him row instead of sdhp last night. Here's what his workout looked like.