Tag: weightloss

Error: Excessive layback at the end of the stroke is inefficient. Lean back only to about the 11-o’clock position on a clock.

Saw today’s article in the Winnipeg Free Press? Those were our athletes featured in the picture!

Rowing is indeed making a comeback, and we’ve been teaching people how to pull properly since 2009. We can help you learn to row with great form so you can maximize your time, whether your goal is to burn calories, lose weight, tone muscles or improve cardiorespiratory endurance.

To get you started, here are a few quick tips  that will set you up for success on the machine.

1. Your spine should not move when you row. Engage all your core muscles–all the muscles in your torso–and hold your spine rigid. Your back should be neither rounded nor hyperextended. Try to brace your spine in a natural “neutral” position. You will not be able to hold your spine exactly neutral, and some slight rounding in the upper back is acceptable. That said, the spine should not move at all during the pull. The movement is only at the knees, hips and arms.

Over-reaching puts you in a poor position to pull. A longer stroke is not always the most efficient stroke.
Error: Over-reaching can put excessive stress on the spine.

2. Hold the handle with arms extended and drive your feet into the foot pads, extending the knees. Remember: the spine should not move.

3. As your knees reach full extension, begin to lean back from the hips. Lean back only to about “11 o’clock” on a clock face–no further.

4. The arms finish the stroke and bring the handle to the torso–but it’s the legs that provide most of the power. Emphasizing the arm pull is inefficient and ignores the most powerful muscles in the body.

5. Return in reverse: At the end of the stroke, the hands extend first, then lean forward to about “1 o’clock” on a clock face, then bend the knees and slide forward until the shins are perpendicular to the floor. That’s where the next stroke starts.

Error: Opening the hips too soon. Think about straightening your legs before you open your hips in the rowing stroke.
Error: Opening the hips too soon. Think about straightening your legs before you open your hips in the rowing stroke.

This is just a brief intro, but it’s enough to get you started. Additional things to consider are stroke rate, damper setting, monitor usage and specific rowing workouts designed to help you meet your fitness goals.

To book a free No-Sweat intro session in which our experts can tell you how we can help you accomplish those goals, call Crystal at 204-880-1001.

To view our personal-training services, click here.

Our Story

By Mike Warkentin

CrossFit 204 started in 2008 when a trainer at a gym said, “Try this workout.” I ignored him and laughed but soon heard about the workout 300—named for the movie. I tried it thinking it was easy. It was not, but I was very interested in the program that had put me on my back.

From that workout came others, many in a garage in St. James with friends who had already discovered CrossFit and welcomed me to their space. At the same time, I was growing increasingly dissatisfied with a job in radio advertising, so I started studying strength and conditioning with a goal of becoming a fitness writer. As part of my education, I took a CrossFit Level 1 Seminar in 2009 in San Diego, and from there I got sucked into CrossFit Inc. as managing editor of the CrossFit Journal.

I felt like I should coach people to share what I’d discovered and make me a better writer, and I started acquiring a collection of equipment because few places would or could accommodate the style of training I was interested in. Soon the basement was full of iron and I had a set of rings hanging from a beam. Old loader tires were piling up on the porch, and eventually we were hanging clothes on a barbell sitting in a power cage in our living room.

At the time, I was handing out towels at a local gym for minimum wage, and the manager was kind enough to let me run a bootcamp. That started in April 2009, and about a year later I was having a phone conversation with CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman, my boss.

“Why don’t you affiliate?” Glassman asked.

It was an obvious move, and CrossFit 204 was born in 2010. The bootcamp, now with a name, was starting to overflow, as was my equipment pile. Tired of hearing kettlebells threaten the walls of my trunk as I drove the loops in the parkade at the gym, and with only two CrossFit affiliates in the city, I decided it was time to open another.

We took the plunge, and CrossFit 204 moved to 483 Berry St. in June 2011. Of course we threw up a Jolly Roger immediately to make it home.

We managed to take about 10 “founding members” with us, and some of them are still with us today. It’s something I’m very proud of. Six or seven years is an eternity in the fickle fitness industry, and we’ve been very lucky to get to work with these clients and watch them improve for so long.

In 2015, we came to a realization: Fitness doesn’t exist without good food. We dedicated ourselves to learning about the other half of equation, and we started 204 Lifestyle so we can advise clients on nutrition and help them reach their goals faster. Now, we combine diet and exercise to produce not just fitness but health.

Overall, the gym exists to provide the opportunity for clients to get fit and have fun while enjoying a training style we love in a positive space. Fitness and fun aren’t always a pair. You can definitely get fit without having fun. But we’ve always been interested in fun and friends and happy people trading high fives while getting fit, so we created a space where fitness and fun are inseparable. Drop by sometime and see for yourself.

Over the years, our gym has changed and grown, but we’ve always worked to stay true to our roots. We are authentic, friendly, caring and fun. These were the attributes that we focused on in 2009, and they are the attributes that still characterize our facility.

As we continue to grow, we will always stay true to our Day 1 vision.

Mike Warkentin
CrossFit 204 Founder

To tell us your story and find out how we can help you accomplish your goals, click here and book a free No-Sweat Intro.