How can we improve your rowing performance?


Denver rowing coach, Maddie Berky, of Elevation Rowing. Improve your rowing stroke with Elevation Rowing.

Elevation Rowing coach, Maddie Berky, has the experience necessary to help every level of athlete improve their rowing stroke. How can Elevation Rowing help you improve your athletic performance?

CrossFit Athelete Learns to Anticipate the Challenge of Rowing

“Two years into Crossfit, rowing was just another movement during an everyday WOD. Sometimes it was just a couple 250 meter rows between some other movements or occasionally the WOD may have been to row a 2K. In that time rowing a 2K just seemed down right awful. Bad form would turn into sore muscles that would ache for days.

Our gym started a weekly rowing class that my wife decided to attend. My first thoughts were, no way I am going to go to the gym at 5:30 in the morning, until one day I did. Quickly after a few weeks it became what we did on Thursday mornings. As we learned the proper ways to row, during many different techniques and strength training exercises, it became addicting.

Getting on the rower after a few months of work was no longer the issue. The skills needed to successfully row were there due to lots of work and great coaching by Maddie. The challenge started when the rowing became longer and we trained for a 5K, which at the time seemed impossible. It was no longer a question of whether you could physically do it, but more of the mental issue of did you want to do it. There was no person better to help you get through that than Maddie.

Once you have rowed a lot with Maddie coaching you, encouraging you and correcting you (so you don’t have that lower back pain that sneaks in), once rowing comes up in a normal WOD—even though she may not be the coach—her voice enters your mind at the right times to help you focus and keep going so much so that you may be surprised who you may beat during that part of the WOD.

Along with great technique and improving on your skills, you get to learn all about the rower. How to set it up to track your workout, knowing how the damper settings may affect the workout your doing, what split times are, and what your split time is for different distances. This helps immensely going into a workout so you don’t blow it all out at the start but you set your pace. In all of this we did many tests of time distances and then would retest at a later date. The greatest results I had were with a 1K which started out at 4:15 and after 3 months of rowing went down to 3:32. All in all, I thank Maddie for teaching us all the rowing knowledge we need and her great coaching, and also thank my wife for convincing me to give this class a try. Now when I see rowing in a WOD I actually look forward to it.

—Jeff C, CrossFit Verve Athlete, Denver

Rowing with Maddie has helped my rowing tremendously in under a year. I have been a main stay in her class since I started Crossfit in November 2013. My first experience was a 2k progression. In which my time dropped from a 7:40 to a 7:04 in a matter of weeks. The attention was in my technique. Changing my arm heavy, bad back posture and focusing on getting that big leg drive. This change in form is what made me love rowing.

If you want great and consistent advice for effective rowing, Maddie’s class will get you those results. When a lot is riding on a wod, rowing for time, etc. and you need that extra push to fight through. She will help you find that push. I can’t thank her enough for assisting me in my quest to become better at rowing.

—Mike C, CrossFit Verve Athlete, Denver

I scream, you scream, we all scream at the row machine! Like most individuals who don’t know how to properly row; I detested rowing for the pain it caused me and how much energy it zapped from me in my WOD’s. Thankfully, I met Maddie roughly two years into my CrossFit life. As we coached together, I had the opportunity to spend time with her and workout with her. Her ability to translate knowledge into practical technique enabled me to crack the surface of efficient rowing. I have used what she taught me to assist athletes I coach to become more efficient as well. Her ability to dissect a stroke and explain the opportunities to make it better are a true life saver. This is a seminar that I would highly recommend to athletes of all levels and coaches of all levels. As a coach, you can only help your athletes be as good as you know. This is a great opportunity to know more.
—Greg E, York Street CrossFit, Coach Denver

Denver Athlete Improves Split Times with Elevation Rowing

“I have been an athlete in Maddie’s rowing class for the past nine months and am a true fan. Maddie’s extreme enthusiasm and knowledge of the proper technique makes this a class that I rarely skip.

Maddie rowed in college, so she knows what she is doing.  She excels at being flexible with her training and can improve split times for the advanced athlete, as well as someone who is just getting into rowing for the first time.

Further, Maddie has an excellent sense of humor and makes the class FUN, so you can laugh while you burn hundreds of calories at the same time.  I highly recommend adding this class to your workout schedule!

—Chris Laychak, Crossfit Verve Athlete, Denver

Maddie’s love and enthusiasm for rowing shines through in every class she teaches. Her knowledge of the rowing stroke, groomed through years in a world class rowing program, will enhance the efficiency of your rowing and improve your times. But Maddie’s biggest contribution may be in the hardest part of rowing – the mental aspect. Maddie’s coaching will provide you with insight and a positive approach to different pieces that will turn rowing from a chore into a challenge.
—James W. Collegiate Rower & CrossFit Verve Athlete, Denver

Maddie is so passionate about rowing which is just one of the reasons why she is an awesome coach. She doesn’t sugarcoat the workouts and make you think that rowing will ever get easier with more time on the erg but she will get in your head during a training piece and make you believe that you can row longer, harder, faster…
—Natasha N, Crossfit Verve Athlete, Denver

Any WOD with rowing is usually a guaranteed call for all “cherry pickers” to cancel their class reservation. And I was no different. I dreaded rowing during WODs for one main reason: it looks so darn easy yet I sucked at it equally as bad. I finally had enough so I decided to change it when a rowing-only class started at Verve. Attending meant I had to get to class by 5:30 am and give up a portion of my Sunday afternoons. But with 10 months of consistent work, I have taken :10 seconds off my spilt and have become a very efficient rower. Best thing? I don’t dread rowing WODs anymore! In fact I look forward to them. Dedicated rowing classes have taught me how to row with proficiency, efficiency, and relaxation through programmed strength cycles and technique drills. Can’t to wait to continue seeing improvement and having fun rowing in the land-locked town that I love.
—Tammy P, Crossfit Verve Athlete, Denver

As a new rower I couldn’t ask for a better coach than Maddie. She combines knowledge, passion, patience and enthusiasm and she is the main reason why I look forward to rowing class every week. Its obvious during rowing WODs who goes to her classes and who does not. Her coaching and classes have helped my rowing, my WODs, and my general fitness. She’s the best.
—Charles B, CrossFit Verve Athlete, Denver

You know you have a good coach when something as technical and challenging as rowing can actually be fun. I never saw a rowing machine until I started crossfit. It was always an awkward and frustrating experience. The amount of effort I put in never seemed to match the time and distance I would get. So I signed up for Maddie’s rowing class. She can break down each part of the movement clearly. Her lessons and workouts are well thought out and effective. But the best part about Maddie is that her enthusiasm and passion is infectious. Not only did my technique drastically improve, I really enjoy rowing now. I look forward to it in workouts and have much greater confidence in my ability. If you want to get better at rowing and have a great time while you are at it, take a class with Maddie.
—James B, CrossFit Verve Athlete, Denver

When I was introduced to the rower in a CrossFit class, I was floored with how challenging it was – and I wasn’t even on that thing for more than 10 minutes! I wanted more. When I started taking Maddie’s classes, I never realized how many components actually went into the movement. Seems simple, right? Every week I was learning new things. At first it was overwhelming, but Maddie was patient and made things easy to understand. Then you begin to realize that rowing is as much as a mental challenge as it is a physical one. This is when you become especially thankful Maddie is there to push you to your limits. She will guide you, she will motivate you, she will demand more out of you when she sees you buckling under the pressure of a long row. I’ve never had a coach that has been so positive, fun, inspiring, and all-around kick-ass as Maddie is. Oh yeah, and she makes amazing Paleo cookies.
—Ted B, CrossFit Verve athlete, Denver

Rowing has been one of my weaknesses since starting CrossFit, and not for lack of practice. I rowed all the time, hated every minute of it, and never got any better. I was excited to try Maddie’s rowing class, but thought I’d spent so much time on the erg that I wouldn’t improve much. However, Maddie is a fantastic coach, and proved me wrong! Maddie has a way of keeping the whole class motivated and focused during whatever piece we’re working on, has a great eye for detail, and knows how to get through to each athlete she’s working with. (She’s also incredibly patient with repeating corrections, which becomes crucial on those long rows!) I saw improvement almost immediately, have continued to make gains, and actually enjoy rowing (is that possible???). My 1k pace has gone from 2:16 to 1:50, my 2k from a 2:30 to a 1:59. You won’t find a more enthusiastic and supportive coach, and you won’t ever regret attending Maddie’s class!
—Erin F, CrossFit Verve athlete, Denver

Every Thursday morning I wake up and prepare myself for a rowing session with Maddie. As I walk into the gym and set up my rower the excitement and horror builds of what the workout with be like; 60 minutes later I’m exhausted, sweating, and smiling for making it through and becoming another step closer to mastering this thing we call rowing.

Maddie is an unbelievable rowing coach. Her knowledge and motivation for the sport shine every time we step into the gym and strap our feet in. From sprinting intervals to endurance sessions she will coach you the whole way through. Maddie has the ability to see body mechanics and adjust you to the rower so that you are getting the most power from each stroke. That by far has been the biggest help for me. I’ve been attending her classes for several months now, and each time I leave I am humbled by who she is, not only as a coach, but as a whole beautiful person. No matter your skill level, or your body type she will take the time to make you better, stronger, and most of all a more powerful rower.
—Kiley B, CrossFit Verve athlete, Denver