Shane Farmer: Finding Grounding Through Sport, The Ability to Suffer, And Why You Should Care About Indoor Rowing

Shane Farmer Indoor Rowing

Shane Farmer
Finding Grounding Through Sport, The Ability to Suffer, And Why You Should Care About Indoor Rowing

Shane Farmer is the founder of Dark Horse Rowing. He’s a rower, a 4X CrossFit Games athlete, former gym owner, Concept2 Master Instructor and has made his career de-mystifying 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.

We go way back and hear how Shane first started rowing, almost by accident, and then was exposed to CrossFit as his rowing team’s exclusive strength and conditioning program. Fast forward to post-college life and Shane has turned his passion for rowing into a business instilling a love of indoor rowing in non-rowers and rowers alike.

For more info about Shane, check out Dark Horse Rowing and follow them on YouTube.

Coaches, Docs, and 80s Protein Bars mentioned in the episode: 

04:10  Juliet and Shane were both rowers in college, Juliet at UC Berkeley, and Shane at University of San Diego
04:40  Shane’s background in sport and how he got into rowing
06:30  Rowing and indoor rowing are suffer sports
07:15  Shane was not a good student in highschool and always assumed he wouldn’t be successful in life
08:40  Shane’s first test at rowing tryouts was a 6k
10:00  When Shane found rowing, he had nothing grounding in his life, and finding some early success in rowing was very grounding
11:40  Lots of people uncover latent aerobic capacity and discover they are great at sports they hadn’t previously tried ; Evelyn Stevens
13:05  Shane credits his aerobic capacity to his ski racing training
13:49  Shane has great attention to detail which has enabled him to become a great technical athlete
16:45  Historically the USD Rowing team had not had much success until Shane’s team
18:00  After getting bronze in their first east coast race, their coaches told them to not get used to it because USD was not a winning school
19:40  Bad coaching led to Shane’s team taking over the program and setting a goal of competing against Cal; They used the documentary All For One as their inspiration and motivation
20:35  Stephane Rochet was the strength and conditioning coach for USD Rowing and he used CrossFit as the S&C program or
21:15  Shane’s team finally got to go to IRAs his senior year and competed against Cal – and they made it through the 3rd final and took out their long time rivals, UCSD
22:40  Back when Kelly was paddling, they reached out to MET-Rx to get sponsored and their rep sent them all kinds of bars and shakes – turns out the rep was Stephane Rochet
23:40  Rowing is notoriously terrible with strength and conditioning and Shane credits Stephane with making a huge difference in their team’s success
30:06  Somehow many parents believe that their kid needs to do a sport specific training program which
31:00  Non-sport specific training like CrossFit is the perfect kind of training for athletes
34:25  The void after your college athletic career ends
34:55  Shane sold life insurance after college and was miserable
35:20  Shane didn’t really know there were actual CrossFit gyms but happened upon one while walking in San Diego – and it happened to be Invictus
36:55  Shane quit his life insurance job with no plan
37:40  Juliet got an indoor rowing machine as her 2nd child push gift
38:20  Kelly is actually wearing a clip on tooth while recording this podcast, long story
39:58  In the early days of CrossFit, you compete at a high level just on the ability to suffer
43:50  What a Dark Horse membership looks like
45:30  Shane credits his success in part to exposure to the best coaches in the world in the early days of CrossFit; Erin Cafaro; Coach Burgener; Carl Paoli
48:38  Hot takes on connected rowing and the mainstream; Ergatta; Hydrow; Aviron; Whipr; Concept2; Water Rower; Row House; City Row
51:55  Shane was traveling in South Africa and got invited to work out at the ranger’s gym in which he found a Concept2 rower who’s seat had been chewed off by a hyena
53:20  Shane gets back into an actual boat a couple times a year for races
54:09  Why should you try indoor rowing?
55:00  What’s next for Shane
56:06  Shane’s socials

Full Transcript


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