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It’s not often that we get Olympic level athletes walk through the door at CrossFit GVA. It has, however, happened on a couple of occasions and one of those occasions was last week when Jon Stimpson came into use our facilities while he was in Geneva.
Jon is a member of the Great Britain start rowing programme. This is a programme which identifies potential rowing talent from around the country and fast tracks them into the national rowing programme.
Great Britain is one of the top rowing countries in the world. In 2016 the team won 3 gold and 2 silver medals at the Rio Olympics. Even making the GB team is tough because the level is so high.
Jon was kind enough to sit down with us to chat about his training and offer a few tips for using the erg in training. The erg is an important tool for top level rowers to help their fitness levels.
After our chat, Jon got onto the machine and rowed a 500m. There are a few key points to note about his performance.
1) Technique is key and Jon’s technique is clearly very, very good. He is a tall guy (200 cm) so his leverages help him to generate power, but note how smoothly he moves.
2) Jon’s race distance is 2,000m so rowing a fast 500m is not his forte. On the other hand, we use the distance often as a test of speed endurance. That is why we asked him to row a 500m. I suspect if he went all out he could have knocked a few more seconds off his time.
3) To put the above point into context, Jon’s best 2000m row time on the erg is 5:54. That is an average of pace for 500m of 128.5. If you can do a single 500m in less than 1:30 then that is pretty decent. To do 4 in a row is crazy!
4) Unfortunately I didn’t get it on camera but Jon was barely out of breath after he finished. Contrast that to the majority of people who literally fall out of the machine after a hard 500.
Enjoy the video and check Jon out at @jbstimps on Instagram and enjoy the video.