Shane Farmer Indoor Rowing

Shane Farmer
Full Transcript

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Kelly: [0:00:04] Hey everyone, I’m Dr. Kelly Starrett.

Juliet: [0:00:06] And I’m Juliet Starrett.

Kelly: [0:00:08] And you’re listening to The Ready State Podcast.


Juliet: [0:00:16] This episode of The Ready State Podcast is brought to us by our friends at And what I wanted to talk about today is imagine a world where you wake up every morning-

Kelly [0:00:25] Imagine a world.

Juliet: [00:00:27] And you are not tired because you’ve slept well. Imagine that.

Kelly: [00:00:31] What’s cool now, if you’re listening to this, chances are you maybe are doing a deep dive in your sleep. We use Oura Rings. We’re sort of interested in seeing the ramifications of the day’s inputs. Did I walk enough? Did I have a drink? Did I have caffeine too late? But I challenge you to look at your sleeping temperature. We regularly see that people struggle to change their HRV, their resting heartrates, but there’s a lot of manipulation that can go on by adjusting the temperature of your bed. And does that. I mean I sleep better. I don’t wake up so hot anymore, thank goodness. But it’s been remarkable to see the impacts of just a few degrees. I love it.

Juliet: [00:01:13] Yeah, just the amount of deep sleep and REM sleep we’re getting and how good we feel when we wake up and we don’t have to-

Kelly: [00:01:17] It’s not about how good you feel when you wake up and what you do with that. It’s literally about what the metric says. Can I have a good day?  Let me ask my ring. But honestly, folks, this has changed our lives and if you’re already tracking this and looking at your sleep, this is another way to level up.

Juliet: [00:01:35] Yeah, so if you’re ready to wake up like us and not feel tired, head over to to learn more and save off the purchase of any new Cube, OOLER, or Dock Pro sleep system. So go to to take advantage of our exclusive discount and wake up refreshed every day.

Juliet: [00:01:53] On this episode of The Ready State Podcast, we are excited to welcome Shane Farmer. Shane is the founder of Dark Horse Rowing. He’s a rower, a four-time CrossFit Games athlete, former gym owner, Concept 2 Master Instructor, and he’s made a career demystifying rowing for non-rowers. He’s married with two kids and has 13 chickens and an orchard. He loves soil regeneration permaculture and testing himself regularly at new and interesting forms of fitness.

Kelly: [00:02:20] We didn’t get into it, but 13 chickens is a lot of chickens.

Juliet: [00:02:23] It’s definitely a lot of chickens.

Kelly: [00:02:23] One of the things that is so great about this conversation is there was a special time that happened early internet, early explosion in CrossFit style training or seeing erging come in or seeing everyone’s swinging kettlebells and doing some Olympic lifting. We’re starting to see the sophistication around this. Previously, all we had was you were a rower, you taught me to row. I had never rowed before, really. You were either in college or a rower. And the average person just got on the rowing machine and their Club One and sucked. And Shane really fell in love with how do I transition to coaching, teaching, getting people to love this machine.

Juliet: [00:03:04] Yeah, and I also love… We had a conversation about how he and his rowing team at University of San Diego used CrossFit exclusively as their strength and conditioning program and saw massive gains in performance and strength and overall fitness. And I thought that was cool in this world where everyone thinks they need to do some super secret squirrel special program for their sport. It was cool to hear that.

Kelly: [00:03:25] Yeah, that really highlights, he had this really amazing coach at that time and you can see that in Dark Horse Rowing, where he’s continuously trying to up the coaching game, technical game, and make it accessible and fun. People need to belong and exercise in a group. You can see that DNA in his training routes, training with a really successful team.

Juliet: [00:03:48] Yeah. So we had a great conversation with Shane and I hope you guys all enjoy it.

Juliet: [0:03:52] Hey Ready State listeners, if you like what you’re hearing, please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes to help others find our show. Lynsey, welcome, welcome to The Ready State Podcast. Thank you so much for being here.

Juliet: [00:04:00] Shane, welcome to The Ready State Podcast.

Shane Farmer: [00:04:02] Thank you. I’m happy to be here. It’s been a while.

Juliet: [00:04:05] I would like to go way back into the dawn of time in your rowing career, but I don’t know if you know or remember that I am also a former rower.

Shane Farmer: [00:04:13] Yeah. Cal, right?

Kelly: [00:04:14] Can you do the handshake?

Juliet: [00:04:16] What is it?

Kelly: [00:04:18] I am so scarred from rowing in college that I have to talk about it with other rowers who rowed in college. Scarred.

Juliet: [00:04:23] Yeah. So I already could really start going deep nerd rowing, but I’m going to control myself from doing that and just start by asking you, tell us a little bit about how you even got into the sport of rowing. What’s the origin story?

Shane Farmer: [00:04:38] Yeah. So I played every sport under the sun in high school and leading up to University of San Diego, which is where I rowed. So I was a multi-sport athlete. I’d done anything and everything. I was a big skier and I thought that’s the trajectory my life was going to go. And a series of events landed me at USD and I was one of those athletes that just got, hey, you’re tall and lanky, you should thank about trying rowing. And I went to the coaches event to recruit all of the kids who have no idea what they’re getting themselves into and saw a video of, man I don’t remember what Olympics it was, but the men had just done really well at either a previous Olympics or maybe one before that. And so we watched this video at the U.S. Men’s Eight at the Olympics, and I was like, yeah, that looks awesome, let’s try it. Jumped in and just fell in love. It was the first sport that had ever come naturally to me. I had always loved sports and I’d been in everything but I wasn’t a gifted athlete. So I always rode the pine for everything else that I did and then this just clicked really quickly. And within six months I was in the varsity boat and then it just was a love affair from there for the next four years for me.

Kelly: [00:05:48] Really want to hone in on the fact that in your mind, you’re like step one, watch rowing video; step three, go to the Olympics. You’re like, ah, it seems to make sense. This looks like fun and then you realized you had just set yourself on fire and walking across coals. It’s really difficult. Juliet and I were just at Cal just the other day for something. We were driving past the old erg room where all the ergs were kept. And Juliet was like, “Look, that’s the erg room. Oh my God, the erg room. Agh.” And then she kind of convulsed a little bit. Deep scar. What is it that drew you to rowing? You say you had some success but if anyone has ever been on a rowing machine or an erg ever, it’s not rowing. That’s not rowing. And it’s so hard.

Juliet: [00:06:33] And if I could just sort of tack onto that question, I mean I think it’s an important one because it is 100 percent suffer sport. I mean there’s so many other factors, right? The technique and the team and there’s so many parts of that sport. I started when I was 15.

Kelly: [00:06:50] You’re basically saying you were too young.

Juliet: [00:06:51] I was too young to know one way or the other- 

Kelly: [00:06:53] How hard it was.

Juliet: [00:06:54] How hard it was. I definitely-

Kelly: [00:06:56] This is fine. This is fine. This is fine.

Juliet: [00:06:56] Started for social reasons. So yeah, what was it about it, what about the experience, because when you’re first in a boat, especially with a bunch of people who suck at rowing, it can be an unpleasant and crappy feeling, experience.

Shane Farmer: [00:07:10] Yeah. Rough.

Juliet: [00:07:11] So what was it? What do you think drew you to it?

Shane Farmer: [00:07:11] So that time in my life was a really unsettled time. I had no direction. So I started at a small school in the mountains, Colorado. I was a terrible high school student, like 2.5 GPA, thought I was a complete idiot. I just assumed I was not going to be a successful human in life because of how I’d done in high school.

Kelly: [00:07:32] Was it Durango or Gunnison?

Shane Farmer: [00:07:33] Yeah. I was at Gunnison, Western State. So I was at Western State for two years and I played club baseball there. But when I got to college, all of a sudden, school clicked, when I realized it was all up to me whether I succeeded or failed. And once I got to choose the curriculum—I was a kinesiology major and I was an athletic trainer—so I really found stuff that I loved. And all of a sudden, school made sense. I was like, oh, okay, well, if I do this, then I can go do something I enjoy. So I got better. And my grades improved enough that I could transfer to a good school. So at the end of my sophomore year, I applied to the University of San Diego and North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. I just knew one way or the other I was going to be leaving and I wasn’t going to come back to Gunnison.

Kelly: [00:08:12] Yeah, Illinois, San Diego, same, same.

Juliet: [00:08:13] Did you grow up in Colorado?

Shane Farmer: [00:08:15] I have a lot of family in Colorado, but I’m from Minnesota originally, which is why I didn’t have an opportunity to find rowing in high school. I was surrounded by cows and cornfields so there want a whole lot of rowing around.

Kelly: [00:08:26] Okay, wait, wait, so coming back, you’re an athlete, you feel like you’re into this. But the first time you sit on erg, what was your first 500? Tell me what your first… Were you like I have found-

Juliet: [00:08:38] Well, maybe he was already amazing, like 130, 125.

Shane Farmer: [00:08:44] I couldn’t tell you what my first test was. Well, I know what my first test was. I don’t exactly know what my results were. But it was a 6 K.

Kelly: [00:08:49] Oh, it was a 6 K.

Shane Farmer: [00:08:50] The coach just-

Kelly: [00:08:50] Tried to get you to quit.

Shane Farmer: [00:08:52] Well, I guess for some reason I was a transfer and so I had missed the first day tryouts for athletes to jump on the machines. So I had to go up to the erg room and meet the head coach and he and the assistant coach put me on the machine, set 6 K on the monitor and then just stood behind me while I road 6 K by myself. And they just said go as fast as you can.

Juliet: [00:09:15] That sounds horrible.

Kelly: [00:09:17] Tell me more. What happened?

Shane Farmer: [00:09:18] I mean you don’t know any better, right? When you don’t know any better, you don’t know any better. You just go. To be honest, I don’t exactly remember the feelings that were coming as I went through that but I do remember the aftermath and the coaches looking at each other and kind of smiling and nodding at each other. And to me I think that was motivation enough to be like, okay, so maybe I did all right enough that I could be good here.

Kelly: [00:09:44] You rode like a six minutes.

Shane Farmer: [00:09:49] I want to say I was Sub Two on my splits. But honestly, my memory is faint at that. But the original question, what made me fall in love with it? All of that backstory was simply to say that I sold everything that wouldn’t fit in my car and I just moved to Mexico for the summer and fingers crossed that I was going to get into the University of San Diego because I didn’t know. And so I had nothing grounding in my life at that time. I got a job working at a hospital in Mexico. Worst job ever. Tell the side story. And then I found out that I got into the University of San Diego at the last minute. And so I think something about rowing and that team element and finding some success became really grounding for me in my life as a 19 year old at the time. I think maybe that’s what drew me to it. It’s like oh, okay, there’s some success here and I’ve got something that I could latch onto.

Kelly: [00:10:44] Let me ask you this: Are you wearing an Oura Ring right now?

Shane Farmer: [00:10:45] No, sorry, not an Oura Ring. It’s a-

Kelly: [00:10:47] Do you track heartrate variability? Do you use a WHOOP or anything like that?

Shane Farmer: [00:10:50] I don’t.

Kelly: [00:10:52] What’s interesting is that some really good coaches have recently looked at the data and said they could predict whether you’d be a successful high-level, international level premier soccer player based on your heartrate variability and that if you didn’t have really good heartrate variability, then you would probably only be a national team level player. And the reason I mention that is-

Juliet: [00:11:16] Is that why I kind of suck?

Shane Farmer: [00:11:18] It’s because of the Oura Ring.

Kelly: [00:11:21] The Oura Ring tells you can’t. It limits your ambition.

Shane Farmer: [00:11:24] And it’s not actually new.

Kelly: [00:11:27] It’s the technology telling you, you shouldn’t reach for the stars. Just don’t do it. The reason I mention it is rowing has really become this piece for you, even your business now, which we’ll obviously get into, but we see that a lot of people have these latent aerobic capacities. They were physical their whole lives, they like to play, but then they discovered this thing late. We’ve met cyclists who became world class cyclists. I think of Evelyn Stevens who set the Word Record Time Trial for an hour for a while, she was a Tour de France level rider, National Team level. She didn’t start racing bikes until she was in college. She discovered it afterwards and was like, oh, I’m good at this, oh, I’m the best in the world at this, how did this happen. Did you know you had this innate aerobic capacity in there or was this the first time that you realized it was a very trainable system in you? Because you didn’t row very well; what they loved was that you smoked it and you smoked yourself and went all in and didn’t break. But you clearly had some kind of—wait for it—pechant for it, some ability.

Juliet: [00:12:35] He loves to use that word. He’s always like, when can I say penchant?

Shane Farmer: [00:12:38] Put some great emphasis on that.

Kelly: [00:12:41] Did you know that about yourself beforehand?

Shane Farmer: [00:12:45] No, because I hadn’t really had any success in my life. Nobody had been, “You’re great at this thing. You should really go for it.” I had been very mediocre at everything, school, sports.

Kelly: [00:12:53] I think that’s most people that we know. They’re not like freaks. They’re like I’m kind of good at it. But when the doors open for you, it’s pretty profound.

Shane Farmer: [00:13:01] Yeah, I’ve thought back many times, where did that aerobic level of fitness come from, and the only thing I can really credit it to was my skiing background, just the volume that our coaches would put us through, as well as all of the quad training that we had to do for that. And we would just do ungodly amounts of stairs during the summer and lots of running and just lots of aerobic work, wall sits ‘til the cows come home.

Kelly: [00:13:25] Was that early on when you were a teen or preteen?

Shane Farmer: [00:13:28] Yes. Twelve through 18 I raced slalom and I was a ski instructor as well. So I was on the slopes three, four days a week during the winter. So that’s the only thing I can really credit my aerobic capacity to. And then I think the thing that started to set me above, and I don’t know how this happened, but I had a lot of attention to detail. And so I realized I may not physically be the best, but if I can hone in the mechanics, I can start to move beyond others who aren’t willing to do the nitty gritty, the detail-oriented stuff, which is probably why I ended up in stroke seed eventually, was just because the technical elements were… I really wanted to be a great technical athlete and use what fitness I did have.

Kelly: [00:14:14] We have a couple coaches say things like, “The skill carries the strength and then the strength carries the skill.” You can be both led. You now, again, get into your current project, but you are actually seeing a lot of rowers now and a lot of people who want to use rowing for fitness and other things. Do you find that most people that you are running into are having some base of success or that they are being successful but they had an aerobic activity as a kid? Because one of the things Juliet and I believe in is that later on in life it’s hard to reclaim raw aerobic talent and those kids who were gifted with it, who had the potential, the pipes were there, had some exposure, can later on lift that up, oh I swam in middle school, in high school, and then all of a sudden, you’re like, oh, no wonder you’re such a beast. You’ve been training this aerobic pathway forever. Have you found that in your own coaching?

Shane Farmer: [00:15:07] Yeah, absolutely. Like you said, to take somebody who has been historically untrained, period, and to begin trash for somebody later in life, it’s a very hard journey to try and improve both, pick it, strength, mobility, fitness. In any way, it’s tough to begin to take on. And I think you guys and myself probably would agree, the multi-sport athletes are those who have that adaptability and lay an early groundwork for how their bodies are going to perform throughout the rest of their lives. And taking somebody who has good kinesthetic awareness, a good background of fitness in general, and then from there, you can drill down onto what was your sport. Water polo players historically make great rowers because they just have good engines. And same with swimmers. They can get on a machine and just demolish it because, like you said, that fitness is there and easily applicable.

Juliet: [00:16:02] I want to go back to your USD career, but before I do, I don’t know if you know, but both of our daughters play water polo. But our oldest daughter, Georgia, has started going to CrossFit, at an actual CrossFit that we don’t own, just going like a normal member. And she came home the other day-

Kelly: [00:16:19] Incognito.

Juliet: [00:16:20] Incognito. It’s hard for her to be incognito. She shows up in class and the coach is like, “Dude, you should probably just coach this class.” But she came home the other day and I was delighted because it was some kind of box jump rowing workout, and she was like, “I destroyed everybody on the rowing machine.” So she was pretty stoked on that. Anyway, so I obviously am familiar with the USD rowing program, as I rowed against them when I rowed at Cal. And I don’t remember it being a super powerhouse of a rowing school, but am I correct in that you guys had some pretty spectacular results you were rowing there?

Shane Farmer: [00:16:52] Yeah.

Juliet: [00:16:54] Tell us a little bit about that.

Shane Farmer: [00:16:54] Well, so the women’s program definitely historically has been better than the men’s program. When I went to USD, there was zero history of performance at the school at all, back in like the 80s. There was like a two-year window where the team did okay. And we showed up and had this ragtag group. We were smaller than rowers should be. Most of us were novices and had two guys who had actually rowed before. The rest of us were true novices. And we just had this grit as a group. And we all just seeped in really quickly. And at the end of our novice year, so I’d been in the Varsity boat most of the year and thankfully got moved into the Novice A at the end of the season. For the first time, the program went to the East Coast and we went to the Dad Vail, which was the first East Coast race that the school had been to ever. And so we went to Dad Vails and we took bronze in the Novice Heavyweight Men’s Eight, which blew our minds. And it was the end of our season.

Juliet: [00:17:54] Gigantic. Yeah. 

Shane Farmer: [00:17:54] And again, we’re a small private Catholic school with no history of rowing, so it’s like that’s amazing. And right after the race, as we were in celebration mode, the varsity came up to us after that race, patted us on the back and went, “Hey, that was cool. But don’t get used to it because that’s not what this program does, this is not a winning school.”

Juliet: [00:18:13] Wow. Okay.

Shane Farmer: [00:18:13] And we were just like, what? And it was then that our entire group basically said, hey, all right, well, this is our program now, and we’ll take it from here. And so we all quietly got together after that season and just said we’ll take the Varsity boat next year easily. Everybody trained this summer.

Juliet: [00:18:37] Maybe they were just punking you to try to motivate you to do what you actually did.

Shane Farmer: [00:18:42] They were very unmotivated.

Kelly: [00:18:43] I can think of a famous musician friend of mine whose stepdad was like, “You’ll never stay with it.” And really, there are these moments we’ve heard where someone says something to you and it’s just enough to get under at the right moment, right time. Coming back, one of the things that is so remarkable when it happens is culture and when a team happens. Oftentimes people stumble into teams. There may be a coalescing person like a Juliet who’s around who crystallizes everyone into action, is the leader. How did you all become a team and was it just because you suffered together, was it conscious in any way? One of the questions we are always talking about now is how do you recreate culture? When it happens, it’s a miracle but then how can we reproduce it over and over and over again? You have any insight into your experience there?

Shane Farmer: [00:19:40] For us, it was highly conscious because right after that, we all said we’re going to take this Varsity boat next year, we want to… So Cal, they were our idols. We all looked at Cal and we went, “We want to compete against Cal someday,” because this program, nobody thinks that’s even possible. And so there’s this great documentary All for One, we would watch it every time we were together, we’d sit down and put the movie and put it on play, the DVD, and everybody would get tingles down their spines, and that was our motivation. And we kept that for all four years. And so the next year we came back, we took the Varsity Eight. We stuck together. Every single summer we would all check in all summer long and make sure everybody was training so that when we showed up, we would be in good shape. After our sophomore year, the majority of us committed to staying in San Diego together for the summer so that we could train together. And we went and joined San Diego rowing club. And then that sophomore year, you guys probably know Stephane Rochet.

Juliet: [00:20:38] Yes, we do.

Kelly: [00:20:40] Oh yeah. Stephane a very good friend. Introduce everyone. Who is Stephane?

Shane Farmer: [00:20:43] Okay. So Stephane is a larger than life human who has just been absolutely instrumental in my life. He’s an OG flowmaster, has been around, I mean the guy is CrossFit inside and out. And he came on as our S and C coach our sophomore year at USC. So our strength gym turned into a CrossFit gym our sophomore year. And honestly, we give a lot of credit to CrossFit being our strength training during college. There are so many different ways we can go from this. But essentially, we found CrossFit, we all started getting strong, we committed to staying around, we joined the rowing club. So we would row all our summer, we’d go row in the morning with the masters, we’d get done with practice, we’d go straight up to the weight room, we’d do CrossFit for an hour, and then we would all go start our days. And this was all summer long for our sophomore and junior summers. And the whole time we basically just kept saying we want to compete against Cal. And we got our chance. We got to go to IRAs our senior year finally, which is the national championships for men’s rowing.

Juliet: [00:21:45] How’d it go, before we move on? I have to know the end.

Shane Farmer: [00:21:52] Yeah, so we were by far the smallest crew there, which was incredible, we loved it, we made it.

Kelly: [00:21:57] You mean smallest in physical stature.

Shane Farmer: [00:21:59] Physical stature.

Kelly: [00:22:00] You weren’t 6’6, 240.

Shane Farmer: [00:22:01] Yeah, right. We had one guy that was 6’6 in the boat and our bow seat was probably 5’8, 150. We were a scrappy crew. We didn’t have a single guy on the bench either so a single injury would have wrecked our whole team. That’s how many people were on our team.

Kelly: [00:22:20] Living on the edge.

Shane Farmer: [00:22:27] Yeah. We made it out of the fourth final, into the third final. We took last in the third final. But for us, 18th instead of 24th was-

Juliet: [00:22:27] That’s major.

Shane Farmer: [00:22:30] Incredible. We took out our cross-town competitors, UCSD, who had been our rivals all four years and that was really what mattered most to us. And so we got to line up in the third final, which was pretty cool.

Kelly: [00:22:42] Before we move on, I want to say a story about Stephane.

Juliet: [00:22:45] Go ahead.

Kelly: [00:22:45] I paddled slalom, whitewater canoe and kayak. It was in Durango paddling C2 and we reached out to MET-Rx. You guys remember MET-Rx?

Juliet: [00:22:56] Oh yeah.

Shane Farmer: [00:22:56] Yeah.

Kelly: [00:22:56] MET-Rx bars and the powders.

Juliet: [00:22:59] Yeah. That was tasty stuff.

Kelly: [00:23:02] It wasn’t. But it was what we had.

Shane Farmer: [00:23:04] It was the stuff. 

Kelly: [00:23:06] It was the stuff. So we reached out and we got this guy on the phone who said, “I’ll sponsor you.” And he would send us shakes. And we were starving, basically broke, broke paddlers. And we’d get these boxes of bars and boxes of shakes. And it was Stephane Rochet. We had met and he was sponsoring us. He’s like, “You kids are motivated and stoked.”

Juliet: [00:23:17] This was in like 1982, by the way. You weren’t even born yet.

Kelly: [00:23:25] 1998 and 99. And Stephane really was that kind of person who made such an impact. I wanted to circle back, how important was it where you started seeing, because as we get into what you’re doing now, to see a relationship between movement, movement quality, movement efficiency, and it was CrossFit style training, and improving your rowing. because rowing is notoriously terrible with strength and conditioning. And you guys had a legitimate-

Juliet: [00:24:57] What are you talking about? We did bench pulls. You have no idea how many bench pulls I did.

Kelly: [00:24:03] It’s gotten a lot more sophisticated now. But back then, you were actually engaged and Stephane is a really good coach and I just happen to know how technically competent he is, but here was your exposure. Do you credit that, or is that an important piece of your success, growing and being underdogs and competing, is not just getting in the weight room, but getting in the weight room and getting actual coaching in the weightroom?

Shane Farmer: [00:24:27] Immensely. He changed… He was more supportive of us than our head coach was and was perhaps the only… Maybe the assistant coach, but Stephane believed in us as much as we believed in ourselves. He believed in us as much as we would believe in ourselves. And that’s the kind of coach he is. He will give you exactly what you give him in return and we would sell our souls to do whatever Stephane said. One of my favorite stories was nobody ever looks at rowing, especially at a school like USD where there’s no history of rowing, there’s no alumni program with tons of endowments and there’s very little money for it. And we’re not football, we’re not basketball, we have no… Nobody cares about what we’re doing. We’re just doing it because we love it.

Kelly: [00:25:19] There’s a term for it. It’s called non-revenue generating sport. 

Shane Farmer: [00:25:20] And so we would kill ourselves for Stephane because we knew that that would get us to where we wanted to go and he believed in us and we just fed off of that. And I remember one day in the weight room, we were in there with the basketball team and those guys walked around like they owned the place, but they would walk between stations and it drove Stephane nuts. And we loved him; whatever he said, we would do it, run from one place to the next. We did everything they could throw at us. And we watched the basketball team kind of like heads drop and just walking from station to station. And out of nowhere, Stephane just snaps, just absolutely snaps on them because they are losing pretty bad that season. They were not doing well. And he just dropped them into a pushup position, held them in a plank while having them do pushups while basically just riding them about what kind of ego could they possibly have with how poorly their season is going. And we were just shut up in the corner; everybody’s just like okay, we’re going to go do our work. And we just, we loved him. I mean he changed the future for so many of us. And I credit him honestly with-

Kelly: [00:26:26] In his gym did he have that Dan Gable quote: If it’s important, do it every day. Did he have that in there at the time?

Shane Farmer: [00:26:31] There’s a good chance. Specifically, I don’t remember it. 

Juliet: [00:26:36] Hey guys, we just wanted to take a little break in this podcast episode to actually tell you about one of our own products and that’s our Ready State Virtual Mobility Coach.

Kelly: [0:26:44] Yeah, the app literally is the first place you should go if you’re trying to feel better, if you’re trying to solve an old movement related problem, if you’re just trying to just not be as sore from your workout.

Juliet: [0:26:56] There is so much going on in this app. We have a mobility test that is comprehensive and designed by Kelly Starrett himself.

Kelly: [0:27:03] It’s pretty good. 

Juliet: [0:27:04] So you can figure out what your biggest limitations are and start to work on that. There are sports specific mobilizations if you want to try to lift more or run faster. There is a pain area. And we even have a ton of bonus content. You can do challenges around squat and ankle and a bunch of other specific body parts. So you can just generally get more supple and awesome.

Kelly: [0:27:25] JStar, you’re killing it. You should talk about this app more often. We started the original mobility project back in 2010 trying to help people solve problems for themselves. We think that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves and we want you to be able to engage in self-care in a really reasonable, responsible way. One of our favorite parts of it, daily mobility. You have a 10, 20, 30-minute follow along with me if you just have a ball and a roller and think you want to feel better, move better, play along. I mean we really feel like that’s the base camp practice and you can add in what you need.

Juliet: [0:27:57] We’re really proud of this and what we’ve created here and we think you should give it a try. Head on over to and use code Pod 20 for 20 percent off your first month. And just FYI, including your two-week free trial, that’s literally six weeks for $11.99. You can’t beat that. There’s so much amazing content to help you feel better and move better for $11.99.

Kelly: [0:28:21] In the words of our podcast producer: bananas.

Juliet: [00:28:28] So I have to go back: This is more of a comment based on something you said a while ago. But your boat being small and crappy and this is really for our listeners who maybe aren’t rowers and don’t understand how significant it is and what a significant advantage it is in rowing to have huge people. My story I wanted to share with you is we would always do this event against University of Washington and we would row through the cut and it was always this huge deal and it was Cal, the University of Washington, it’s this big historic thing we’ve done every year. There’s huge crowds and they put out this brochure thing beforehand. And it was when I was a freshman rowing at Cal and I was in the stroke seat too and they basically did their boat versus our boat lineup and at that time, I was like 5’6—which by the way, I was probably like 5’5 and ¾, but whatever—5’6, 145.

Kelly: [00:29:17] Count it.

Juliet: [00:29:17] That’s what my thing said. And then we were lined up height and weight and name against the University of Washington girls. And the smallest girl on the University of Washington team was 5’8, 175. Woman. And I looked at that and I was like, okay, well, some kind of miracle, because we were also a smaller relatively scrappy team and I was like some kind of miracle has to happen here. And it didn’t because they were gigantic and they completely trounced us. So yeah, it’s hard for people to truly appreciate. It’s like I know being tall and big is an advantage in many sports like basketball, but oh man, having some large people is a gigantic advantage. So I want to go back though and ask you a question about your using CrossFit to be your strength and conditioning program for rowing. One of the things that I’ll be honest really bugs Kelly and I a lot over the years is we’ve probably had like 500 people call us, it’s more of the than not parents of high school kids who are like I need to get my kid into a sport specific training program. And they’re convinced form popular understanding or the media or whatever that each sport needs to do a strength and conditioning program that’s only for those people, like water polo people should only do specific movements that re just for water polo people and nothing else. And I mean this is true universally. And when I say you don’t need to do sport specific training you just need to get stronger and be more fit and you can do that through a program like CrossFit, they don’t believe me. They’re like, “Oh, okay, yeah, no, I can’t do that.” So I don’t know, I mean what’s your take on that, having used CrossFit, which is really a generalized strength and conditioning program in your rowing and what’s your opinion about that and what did you guys see on the ground in terms of your gains in performance and probably like injury prevention and strength and all those things?

Shane Farmer: [00:31:08] The ability to create general fitness is incredibly important to improving your ability to perform in a sport. For example, our warmups with Stephane were often tumbling. We were doing gymnastics. We were doing forward rolls, backward rolls, cartwheels, things like that. We all still loved that. And that’s not even close to sport specific, right? And the fitness that we were getting in there, I mean it was straight CrossFit. It was not sport specific in any way whatsoever. One day a week, our coach insisted that he take over the program, in which we would do tons of high poles and bench rows and low box jumps and things like that. And we ran that circuit once a week. But that circuit is not what got us fit enough to be able to compete the way that we did. We all just had to get strong. Pick up heavy weights, move them around in different ways.

Kelly: [00:32:00] And do it with a high heartrate. I think rowing people… If you’ve been on an erg, to row well, it’s very metabolic, it’s very cardiorespiratory intensive. Heartrate is high, you’re burning, and very technical. One of the things that Juliet and I struggle to tell people is if you’ve been on an erg, that’s like riding on the back of a motorcycle holding someone. That is not the same thing as racing a motorcycle or jumping out of an airplane being strapped to someone. There is so much technicality and timing and it’s such a team sport that sometimes I think people fail to understand that we’re really looking at you have to be able to manage these capacities of being on fire, feeling like you’re going to die, and be very, very technical and precise. And CrossFit is one of the few ways of getting there where we can expose you and still have you be conscious with quality and intention under those conditions.

Shane Farmer: [00:32:53] Yeah, it’s funny that you say that because I’ve always explained it as learning to row on an erg is like learning to ride a 4-wheeler. You get the concepts. There’s a seat, there are pedals, there are wheels. You understand how the system generally works. But then moving into a boat is like taking what you learned to ride on a 4-Wheeler and learning to ride a unicycle. Concepts transfer but it’s infinitely more complicated. And it’s true. It’s highly, highly specific in how you have to handle the technical components and balance that with just pure suffering. How do you bury yourself physically and keep the mental capacity to maintaining high skill that’s the balance that you have to strike.

Kelly: [00:33:34] And you have to listen. There’s a bunch of people in the boat with you, right? You’ve got to feel.

Juliet: [00:33:37] It’s more like biathlon, 

Kelly: [00:33:39] Shooting but dancing with partners at the same time.

Shane Farmer: [00:33:43] Yeah. You can’t be a standout. There’s no such thing as an MVP in rowing. 

Juliet: [00:33:47] No. 

Kelly: [00:33:47] Good for you, J.

Juliet: [00:33:48] Well, I’m a state champion. Just making sure you knew that. California state champion. 

Shane Farmer: [00:33:59] Noted.

Juliet: [00:34:00] Anyway, you obviously found CrossFit and then CrossFit is how we originally met you I think in the 2008, 2009, 2010 timeframe. So after college you go on to actually become a competitive CrossFit athlete and a coach. So tell us a little bit about that journey. I mean did you graduate college and immediately go all in CrossFit? Tell us a little bit about your official CrossFit journey.

Shane Farmer: [00:34:25] As is any collegiate athlete, when your college career is done, you often  have this void of what do I do next, and 

Juliet: [00:34:33] No.

Kelly: [00:34:34] Everyone, they literally kick you out of the weight room. You lose your facilities. You’re done. So if you’re in a fall sport, your whole identity is over.

Shane Farmer: [00:34:44] Just gone. Yeah. You really have to rectify that. And for me, I went and got a job, I was a business major so I transferred majors when I switched schools. So I thought I was supposed to get a job with a suit and a tie. I went and sold life insurance. Shoutout to Northwestern Mutual. That lasted all of nine months. And I was miserable every single day.

Kelly: [00:35:08] Wow.

Shane Farmer: [00:35:12] Putting on a suit and tie, sitting in an office, dialing 100 people a day, and zero fitness in my life. I was like how can the shift be that abrupt. And I didn’t really understand that CrossFit gyms existed outside of our weightroom because I hadn’t really seen it in the wild. And I just happened to be on this walk one day in downtown San Diego and walked past this big open garage door in Little Italy in San Diego and saw what looked like pullup rigs and some barbells and a bunch of people in rubber mats and I went that looks familiar. So I poked my head in and kind of sheepishly, “Do you guys do CrossFit? Is that what this is?” And so they said yeah, and so I came in and checked it out and immediately became a member, fell in love with that facility, and things just kind of snowballed from there  and that facility happened to be Invictus.

Kelly: [00:36:00] We spent a lot of time there.

Juliet: [00:36:00] I have so many fond memories of that place. I mean CrossFit Invictus still exists, but I think that particular gym is no longer, right? That location.

Shane Farmer: [00:36:12] They left. That whole block was demolished.

Kelly: [00:36:13] Did you start coaching? I mean first of all, let me just say one of my favorite things in the world, and we did this, famously, with a few athletes, good collegiate athletes with huge engines, and I’m like come with me and get coaching. And I’m like, oh, you’re the best in the world. That’s so weird. We take good raw material and then we just tweak it a little bit, shape it a little bit, coach it a little bit, support it a little bit, and rowers are great because you know how to suffer and really work hard. So you must have been welcomed with open arms to start with and you had Stephane as a coach. When did you transition from athlete to coaching or did you make that formal transition during that period?

Shane Farmer: [00:36:50] It was the day that I realized how miserable I was selling life insurance. I quit. I just walked in and went, “Here’s my two weeks. I have no plan but I can’t do this anymore.” And thankfully I had made enough in my first nine months that I had-

Juliet: [00:37:06] A little buffer.

Shane Farmer: [00:37:08] Yeah, exactly. So I was like, well, I’ve got six months to figure it out and so I better do that quickly. And I went if I quit good money because I was miserable then I better do something that I love. And I’m in this CrossFit gym space and I’m seeing rowing and nobody’s doing it correctly.

Kelly: [00:37:23] No, definitely not.

Shane Farmer: [00:37:23] And as a rower, I take that as a personal insult and I’m now starting to consider myself a CrossFitter. And so I kind of nudged CJ one day and said, “Hey, if I were able to teach people, is that something I could do here, start teaching people how to use the machine?” And he said yes. And that was the start of my whole coaching career was that moment.

Kelly: [00:37:44] I just want to pause for a second and say that for the birth of your second child, what did you get from your husband?

Juliet: [00:37:49] Did I get a rowing machine?

Kelly: [00:37:50] Yes, you did. 

Juliet: [00:37:51] I already forgot.

Kelly: [00:37:52] In San Francisco, they say it’s called push presents, right? Push present, right?

Shane Farmer: [00:37:55] Right. 

Kelly: [00:37:56] A push gift. Well, Juliet got a pull gift. And people were like, wait, wait, wait, you did what? You gave Juliet an erg for her birth?

Juliet: [00:38:06] It’s a very twisted and mean present.

Shane Farmer: [00:38:08] Yeah, I was going to say, it doesn’t sound like a present.

Juliet: [00:38:10] Wait, hang on a second.

Kelly: [00:38:11] No, me, me, me.

Juliet: [00:38:12] You keep cutting me off. Ooh, busted.

Kelly: [00:38:17] Don’t make me take my tooth out.

Juliet: [00:38:17] So I want to talk a little bit about how you transitioned.

Kelly: [00:38:23] Everyone, I’m doing this talk and I have no front tooth.

Juliet: [00:38:24] He’s wearing a clip on tooth while we’re recording this podcast. Anyway.

Kelly: [00:38:30] I suffer for my art.

Juliet: [00:38:32] I don’t know if I met you prior to that, but we were competing in the same year in 2010, both on teams. You were on Invictus and I was on the San Francisco CrossFit team. And that for me was my last year able to compete.

Kelly: [00:38:46] You beat Invictus at the Regional Tri-State Championship.

Juliet: [00:38:49] Yeah, tri-state championship. We won state champion again. It’s obviously a theme.

Kelly: [00:38:57] Comma. Again. 

Juliet: [00:38:59] But I felt like I tapped out in 2010. That was for me the last year that I could reasonably compete and still be a person who had a full-time job and not as a coach. Full-time job. I had a couple little kids at that point. I was like okay. It was starting to become a professional sport then. And the other thing that was key for me is that up until 2010 in CrossFit and maybe through 2012, you can be an athlete like me, which sounds like you were not like this, but I was not really a great athlete, very skilled, and not a great mover. But man, could I suffer. And in the early days of CrossFit, you could still compete at a high level in CrossFit just on the ability to suffer alone. A lot of the complex skills weren’t being programmed into workouts. And so you could get by as a peer suffer sporter. And I felt like 2010 was kind of it. After that, it felt like you had to be both high skill and suffer.

Kelly: [00:39:55] Baby, you’re skilled. You’re skilled, baby.

Juliet: [00:39:56] So anyway, I mean how did you stay in the game for four years as a competitive games athlete and why did you stop and what was your road there?

Shane Farmer: [00:40:05] Well, like you said, back early, even probably up until about ‘13 after I retired, there was a lot of just if you were good at figuring it out, you could compete. If you had the ability to suffer and you had good figure it outishness then you could kind of go. My very first regionals I was an individual back when it was sectionals. Yeah, sectionals, right?

Juliet: [00:40:32] That sounds right. 

Shane Farmer: [00:40:32] Yeah. So it was sectionals we did in the parking lot of SoCal. But regionals, I DNFed a workout that was 20 shoulder to overhead at 185 and then 40 burpee over the bar, burpee over the bar. I DNFed it because I had to clean and split jerk that bar for every single rep. 

Kelly: [00:40:56] And you were like, oh, this sport is actually becoming a legit sport. 

Shane Farmer: [00:41:00] Yeah. I was not strong. And that was my first year. So I had to get really strong in order to be competitive because I was tall, lanky, I could figure it out, and I had the ability to figure it out. I had the ability to suffer. I enjoyed the technical aspect of learning new movements and so that was what I got away with for a long time. Could I compete now? Not a chance. I don’t have the same raw strength that’s required nowadays.

Kelly: [00:41:25] You get picked up by Concept2 and you identified in this community too, which is suddenly buying ergs, I mean just rescued, not rescued Concept2, but blew Concept up to the company that it is. CrossFit, I think everyone suddenly realized… I think fitness athletes now are like assault bike, rogue echo bike is the worst. But before we had those things, it was the erg and the erg ruled and dominated our world. It was so bad. How did you transition into wanting to stay with rowing? A lot of rowers are not rowing curious anymore. They are devoid of or want to remove themselves from that suffering. You moved closer to it. You’ve become a rowing coach and now with Dark Horse, you really are trying to use that as a centrifying, centrating force in people’s lives. Can you talk about that transition and what you’re currently trying to do with Dark Horse Rowing? 

Shane Farmer: [00:42:19] Yes. So I just started because I wanted to travel and needed to find a way to make money doing it because I didn’t have a whole lot of money as a coach. And so I just created a one page PDF of a seminar. And this is in 2010 I think, maybe ‘11. And I emailed to at the time every CrossFit gym I could find in Europe that I could get an email address for and I sent it to them. And one gym in Switzerland picked it up. And that was the whole start of my coaching career. And when I came back from that Concept2 called and then I became a master instructor for them, became the CrossFit rowing head coach, did that. And the point at which I transitioned into Dark Horse was when I realized how much of a firehose of information was coming out in our one-day seminar. There’s so much that you throw at people. They walk away with maybe 10 percent of the information. They cannot handle that much info in one day. And so I was getting lots of follow up saying, well, how do I keep learning, how do I keep working on this and that, really inspired Dark Horse and what has continued to inspire Dark Horse to this day is how do we be that resource of understanding how to demystify rowing for people. And that’s what I’ve really enjoyed doing, is I don’t ever try to force rowing on people, I don’t ever try to make anyone love rowing, I just realize there’s a lot of mystique around it and how to move well, why do we do it in certain ways and how do we relate that all to fitness, and that’s the whole origin story of what Dark Horse was intended to do and I think what we’re still doing to this day.

Juliet: [00:43:52] And so tell us a little bit just about the nuts and bolts, if you become a member of Dark Horse Rowing, are you getting rowing programming, rowing instruction? Tell us a little bit about what actually is underneath the umbrella of the program.

Kelly: [00:44:02] Do I actually have to row?

Shane Farmer: [00:44:03] Yeah, there are touchpoints with rowing unfortunately. So we try to… Yes, there’s programming in our monthly program. But I also understand that inherently for many, rowing is an accessory to a primary program that they may use and so the way that I have always used. And so the way that I have always philosophically believed that we should program is the minimum viable dose to be able to help somebody improve on the machine without overwhelming their primary programming or desires. Now some people obviously lean into it more and they just want to row or they just have a rowing machine at home and so the way that our programming works is we deal in traditional programming the way that we’ve all learned to write and coach and whatnot. But we make sure that in any warmup opportunity that we have we’re fixing in drills that are traditional to rowing and we help people to just onboard the mechanics on a pretty light basis and gradually over time so that we aren’t trying to make it too heavy up front. We give people that steady drip of practicing the mechanics of it so that they can get comfortable with the movement. And the more that we can introduce that in a palatable way via warmups as opposed to entire drill sessions, the more success that we have found we’re able to deliver in a consumer product.

Kelly: [00:45:20] Your rowing program is really a cogent and whole and I think it helps to have been novice as an adult. Juliet can get on the erg unconsciously; she’s been doing it since she was 14. Right? Aaron Cafaro- 

Juliet: [00:45:34] Not well.

Kelly: [00:45:34] Our good friend, Olympian, has rode so many miles, so many kilometers that it’s automatic. But how important for you to have a strength and conditioning background to understand growing differently because my critique of so many coaches, especially in the college level is that they are experts and masters at maybe creating culture and programming rowing and solving problems of rowing with technical drills. But their athletes are missing ranges of motion, super weak, not very competent in transfer of skills. How important was it to have this really solid background to come back to rowing? Did that make you a better rower knowing what people could see and how people were moving when they didn’t have an erg handle on their hands?

Shane Farmer: [00:46:23] This is not intended to sound like I’m giving you too many congratulations here but to be honest, it was the fact that I was a young coach at the time who was just starting to figure out what coaching was and I got to be in an incredible environment surrounded by amazing coaches like you guys at Invictus, which feel like we don’t see that as much anymore. But Invictus back in the day, every big name in coaching would drop in for weekends and be hosting seminars or just hanging out with us as the athletes of the team and we were getting front row seats to watching some of the best coaches in the world. And so I continually reference you, Kelly, when I’m talking about my own coaching because you may not have known it, but I mean you were a mentor to me back in the day as I was becoming a coach because I learned to have a love of coaching because of the incredible coaches I was surrounded by.

Kelly: [00:47:14] That was a special time and special place.

Shane Farmer: [00:47:16] I mean never to be repeated again. It was truly special and that really meant something to me because I was determined to figure out how to make this my life and my career, not just a moment in time, a placeholder because I didn’t know what else I wanted to do. I loved it so much because I needed to grab as much as I could from all the incredible coaches I was seeing. Coach Burgener. You had Carl at your gym. It was so incredible and so a lot of my philosophy comes from just gleaning bits and pieces from every single one of you and understanding how applicable it was to how I was teaching and how I could draw from every single one of you and how it wasn’t just this single movement that stood unto itself, that it was just a smaller part of the bigger picture.

Kelly: [00:48:06] Amazing.

Juliet: [00:48:07] Yeah, that was a pretty amazing time and thanks for shouting out Kelly as a coach because sometimes he feels that he’s been reduced to being the stretching guy. But if you ask him what he does or how he sees himself, he sees himself as a coach.

Kelly: [00:48:21] Shoutout little stretches.

Juliet: [00:48:25] But anyway, one of the things I wanted to ask you about is related to what’s happening in the fitness business at large and as I track the trends in what’s going on in fitness, I can’t help but notice that there appears to be an explosion of rowing companies. 

Kelly: [00:48:43] Connected Rowing. would that be the right word?

Juliet: [00:48:44] Yeah, specifically Connected Rowing. Yeah. Yeah. I mean Hydro is obviously the first one that I ever noticed but I track what’s going on and I’m like wow, there’s another Connected Fitness Company or another rowing platform. What’s your take on all that?

Kelly: [00:48:58] Has it helped?

Juliet: [00:49:00] Has it helped? Is it bringing more people into the sport? Is it not great?

Kelly: [00:49:03] We have a neighbor who was like, “I want to get fit.” He bought a rower. I was like, oh, when you’re ready to sell it, let me know.

Juliet: [00:49:08] Yeah, and again, I don’t mean to be an OG rowing perfectionist but rowing’s actually complicated, I don’t know if you can do that. So I don’t know, I just wanted to get your take on what are you seeing in the business, what do you think is going to be successful? What’s your take on how rowing has dropped into the larger fitness consciousness through all this connected rowing and so forth?

Shane Farmer: [00:49:31] Okay, so I don’t want to say that I saw it coming but I saw this coming way back when and it’s why I stuck with it is I genuinely felt this growing sense of interest behind rowing before it was cool. And now like you said, there are Ergatta, Hydrow, , Aviron, whipr. I know I’m missing at least a couple. And these are all just startups making rowing machines, whereas 10 years ago, Concept2 and Water Rower were it. That was your only option.

Juliet: [00:50:00] And not to interrupt you really quickly but can’t you also go to a gym where all you do is row?

Shane Farmer: [00:50:08] Yeah, Row House. CITYROW. I mean I even started one in Houston back in the day before CITYROW and Row House actually figured out how to do it well. So it has been beneficial for rowing in so much as it’s putting more visibility in front of people. The unfortunate side of it is I don’t know how many of these companies will be around five years from now, eight years from now when funding runs out and when they may not be able to continue to deliver what they once promised. I would like to think that they all will be because that means that the ecosystem will continue to grow and evolve and it will elevate rowing further and further. As what machine I think people should be leaning into, I still just go back to Concept2 for most people. It’s the Toyota of workout equipment.

Kelly: [00:51:00] Juliet and I get to travel for work and one of our great delights is to uncover some model A, model B. We’ve seen the bike tires in the corner of some gym in Korea, some place in South Africa there is an old erg and Juliet and I are like it’s going to be fine. We’re right at home.

Juliet: [00:51:18] Yeah. I agree. I think if Kelly and I ever get asked what home gym equipment should I have, a rower would be extremely high on that list. I mean those Concept2 machines are complete workhorses. You can move them around a lot and they survive and they last and maybe every five years you need to get a new monitor or something like that but I mean those things are just workhorses.

Kelly: [00:51:39] Our children, they’ll go out of their way not to touch-

Juliet: [00:51:42] They’re amazing workhorses and I mean I guess for a lot of people they’re still very expensive but I mean compared to these connected rowing devices they’re-

Shane Farmer: [00:51:51] Half the price.

Juliet: [00:51:52] Very affordable.

Shane Farmer: [00:51:53] It’s funny that you said South Africa. I was on a Safari in South Africa and I got invited to the Rangers Clubhouse because they had a gym and I got to know one of the Rangers. And I was like, “Can I work out in the gym with you?” And he was like, “I’m going to have to get special permission for that.” We get there, there’s a Concept2 sitting outside. Half the seat had been chewed away by a hyena one night overnight. So there was half a seat.

Juliet: [00:52:17] Please tell me you have a photo of that.

Shane Farmer: [00:52:19] I do somewhere. I don’t know where I would find it now but I know it’s safe somewhere. And then half of the handle had been eaten as well. And they still used it. I rode on it; I did a workout. It was fantastic.

Kelly: [00:52:17] I hate it when that happens.

Juliet: [00:52:29] I have one more story to tell you. Maybe four years ago or something Erin Cafaro gave me this program she’d written up called the row2k program. So it was, I don’t know, six or eight weeks, and everyone was PR on your 2k. So I did the whole program dutifully. It was so much rowing. I’d go in my garage and just row by myself for like an hour and 20 minutes. And at the end of it I felt so good and I was so fit but because of my history and psychology around rowing, I couldn’t actually bring myself to do the test at the end. 

Shane Farmer: [00:53:04] I know the feeling.

Juliet: [00:53:10] I had this whole plan. I’m going to hold it 151 for this long and then 153 and this whole thing and I could not bring myself to do it. But I was real fit by the end of that.

Shane Farmer: [00:53:18] I still get back into a boat usually twice a year: Once in the fall, once in the spring for races. And last spring, we were putting together a really competitive boat, had a few former national team athletes and Olympians in there, and so we similarly went down the path of actual 2K training because we just wanted to womp on the competition. Like we did not want to show up and even there be a thought that we wouldn’t win the thing. It was so mind numbing to get back on the machine. I wanted to get on the water and hit our 2K but I did not want to test that 2K.

Kelly: [00:53:56] It’s the psychology. It’s always there for you. If you hurt a little bit. Shoutout to my mother, who loves to row. She is a huge rower. She continues to row a ton. Can you give everyone listening who has never been on an erg one reason why they should start rowing?

Shane Farmer: [00:54:13] One singular reason for all people?

Kelly: [00:54:14] Yeah. Why should we start rowing? Why should we care? Because sometimes I’d look at that thing and I’m like I don’t want to care.

Shane Farmer: [00:54:20] I think it comes down to the completeness of the movement and how much is accomplished in a singular stroke, let alone repeating the stroke over and over. But the fact that there are strength demands, there are kinesthetic demands, there is the aerobic demand, there’s so much that can be accomplished in one singular movement with little risk, to keep it short.

Juliet: [00:54:42] Great answer.

Kelly: [00:54:42] It’s true. I don’t know many people who’ve exploded rowing. I mean I know rowers who’ve exploded rowing pulling on a 16-meter-long erg lever but I mean that’s different.

Shane Farmer: [00:54:52] And rotating on one side for 10 years. 

Juliet: [00:54:57] So tell us what’s next. What are you looking forward to? What are you working on? What’s next?

Shane Farmer: [00:55:02] So we are currently launching affiliate programming, so we’re dropping onto every gym software platform currently: Watify, PushPress, SugarWOD, Beyond the Whiteboard , so we’re launching an endurance program that includes and ties in any endurance machine. So air bike, bikes, ergs, skiers, rower, treads. That’s our current trajectory. Making sure we get that launched on all those platforms as efficiently as we can. Learning four different software’s at the same time, so my team’s pretty busy. And then I’m working on spinning back up into the YouTube content. I took about a year hiatus. Starting that journey again and having fun again creating new content and starting to rethink the way that I shoot content.

Kelly: [00:55:50] Keep telling yourself that you’re having fun. It’s so fun. It’s so fun.

Shane Farmer: [00:55:54] I enjoy it because I know it’s my outreach to coach since I don’t have an actual coaching facility anymore. That’s the one thing that keeps me going on that.

Juliet: [00:56:05] So Shane, where do people find you on the internet and socials and how can people find more and learn more about what you’re up to and become a more awesome rower?

Shane Farmer: [00:56:14]’s our website. And probably the best place you can find my mug is And that’s probably our most prolific platform. We are on Instagram and others. But I really enjoy YouTube so that’s where we put the majority of our focus.

Kelly: [00:56:29] Very nice. Well, thank you so much for joining us. It is so fun for us to have this experience where we’re all kind of teenagers in a garage together and then to see people grow up and have these mature businesses and evolve into legit people, it just tickles us. And it is so fun to see what you’re doing and we so appreciate it, man.

Shane Farmer: [00:56:52] Thank you guys for having me on.

Juliet: [00:56:53] Thank you so much for being here.

Shane Farmer: [00:56:54] Appreciate it.


Kelly: [00:57:01] Thank you for listening to The Ready State Podcast. If you like what you’re hearing, check out all our episodes here or at And be sure to subscribe or leave a review on iTunes to help others find our show. 

Juliet: [00:57:12] Check us out and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @thereadystate.

Kelly: [00:57:17] Until next time, cheers everyone. 

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