A New Way Up the Mountain
Our love affair with the sport of rowing began early on when we recognized the direct correlation between effort and success: the harder we worked, the more successful we were. We put in years of dedicated training and our careers reaped the benefit. The more strokes we took, the better we became. We saw this same method work for countless rowers. We were happy with our progress, until one day it wasn’t enough.
Our Olympic journey took an unexpected turn when injury became a hurdle we couldn’t jump. Years of high volume training had taken its toll on our bodies, and something needed to change. We knew there had to be a better way, so we went on a worldwide hunt to find the answer.
What we learned is that the traditional, long, slow distance approach of rowing is not for every athlete. High intensity training with an emphasis on strength and skill can achieve the same level of elite fitness in a shorter period of time. This scientifically proven method is being used to train elite endurance athletes around the globe, and we thought it was time to bring this method to rowing.
With the help of some of the world’s best rowing coaches, physiologists, nutritionists, sports psychologists, and strength trainers, we created a more efficient way of training a rower, and then proved that it works at the highest level of our sport. What we discovered is that quality is king. We prioritized proper movement patterns and body position. We used intense strength training to develop these rowing positions and create the endurance needed to maintain them. We added high intensity cross-training and gym work to build an engine that produces repeatable, efficient, race-pace speed. And we created a varied program that keeps athletes engaged, healthy, and constantly evolving.
SARA (HENDERSHOT) LOMBARDI
Lifelong athlete and competitor, Sara began rowing at Simsbury High School outside of Hartford, CT. She continued her rowing career at Princeton University where she majored in Psychology. Upon graduation, she earned her way on to the United States Women’s National team and became a two-time World Champion and 2012 Olympian.
When Sara hit a frustrating wall of injury in 2014, she knew she had to change the way she trained or her rowing career would be over. She began a journey seeking health and peak performance, but the path that unfolded changed how she understood rowing and body movement. During this time she was able to work and study with some of the world’s best rowing coaches, physiologists, nutritionists, sports psychologists, and strength trainers. ROWFFICIENT was born, and under this new program Sara reached her best personal performances both in and out of the boat.
Her authenticity and sincerity will make you feel like you’ve been friends for life. Open-minded, driven, and collaborative, Sara will do everything possible to get you the results you desire.
A former soccer and basketball player, Mike began rowing at St. Joseph’s Prep High School in Philadelphia, PA. He found early success winning the Stotesbury Regatta three times and earning a seat on the 2006 United States Junior National Team. Mike attended Princeton University where he majored in American History. Upon graduation, he was hired as the Assistant Lightweight Men’s Coach at Princeton.
After coaching at Princeton for 4 years, Mike joined Sara on the worldwide search for more fitness and rowing knowledge. Over that time, he began testing and developing training programs to achieve peak performance in both rowing and everyday life. Mike became Sara’s full time Olympic rowing coach, leading her and her pair partner to strong international results and an A-final finish at the 2016 National Selection Regatta. Both rowers achieved multiple personal bests on the rowing machine while following Mike’s training plan. Mike has also worked with the 2016 Olympic Lightweight Men’s Double and Heavyweight Men’s Pair in their journey to Rio. Read about the success of these athletes here.
Mike believes that every athlete is different and he takes the time to truly get to know each one on a personal level. He is an intense competitor, but his true passion is teaching and helping others reach their goals and beyond.
"Rowing has always been a huge weakness of mine and I used to dread seeing it in workouts. Rowfficient has helped me stay comfortable on the rower during WODs, and has taught me a TON about staying connected during each pull. It's a perfect addition to my CrossFit training."
"In the last 6 weeks, I have gotten stronger on the erg and with the strength training. I feel better, my left elbow tendinitis and the numbness in my right hand while I sleep has gone away. I attribute that to the heavy strength training. When I tested my 2k, I rowed a new PR! I rowed faster in my basement alone than I did at C.R.A.S.H.-B.'s in 2015. At 45, older and faster, this program rocks."
"New PR! I'm a lightweight, female rower from a small masters club in Wisconsin. With my age approaching 40, there's not much need to test the 2k other than personal punishment. But, I did it. Beat my previous performance by 11 seconds! Thanks for putting together an amazing program. I'm soaking up all that the two of share like a sponge. Belief in the work and in its design is extremely powerful and motivating!"
"Your program has been great! After only 3 months of rowing training, I was only 7 seconds off my 2k PR. What was I doing in college?"
"We had our 5k test today and after following your summer training program, I Pred (and beat my score at this time last year) by 34 seconds! I just wanted to say thank you for all the workouts (even the killer ones) and motivation this summer. It’s definitely paying off this year already. I was able to execute my 5k test a lot better than usual and it actually felt good."
"These workouts are not only making me faster and stronger, but they're really helping my mentality and my attitude. Being able to have a goal, with the right coaching, and having the opportunity everyday to make something special happen is a gift that I'm becoming very grateful for. So, thank you for helping me out, you both are a lot of fun, and as much as these workouts suck, they're a ton of fun."