By now you should have read The Exact Correlation Between Height and Burpee Performance and The Pros & Cons of Being a Tall Crossfit Athlete
Now that the taller people have their proof it’s now time for the short people to get theirs.
Rowing is perhaps the most hated movement among shorter Crossfit athletes, along with wall balls and rope climbs. Just like with tall people and burpees this doesn’t mean that the individual is necessarily bad at the movement.
This just means that in order to get the same result they either have to be substantially fitter than the person with the advantage or they have to exert more energy than the other person.
Both the shorter athlete and the taller athlete can row 27 calories in one minute but the shorter athlete must work harder to do it.
With women things actually change a little bit. The advantage in variance comes not in their height but in their weight. The heavier women row better than the lighter women.
So exactly how much of an advantage do taller men and heavier women have when it comes to rowing?
“In Crossfit a male’s height accounts for 36%-41% of the performance variance in rowing.”@fitness.analytics
This is quite a large advantage for taller athletes and it actually turns out to be a 1% further row for every 1.2 inch increase in height.
Three of the top 5 finishers of the Marathon Row event at the 2018 Crossfit Games were all over 6’0 tall.
Meanwhile reigning fittest man on earth Mat Fraser (5’7) took 11th in the marathon row, which happened to be his worst finish at the 2018 Games.
The chart above displays just how well tall people did in Wodapalooza event 6: AMRAP 8 – max meters.
As you can see there are a lot of blue dots in the lower left with very few after the 72inches (6’2) mark.
Interesting enough as we said earlier, the women actually get their advantage from their weight.
“A female’s weight accounts for 30%-43% of the performance variance in rowing.”@fitness.analytics
This equates roughly to a 6 pound increase = 1% further row.
It is true that taller people typically weigh more, but in this workout the more important factor was weight.
To correlate it with our data from the marathon row, we can see that again the data does not lie.
Marathon Row Top 3:
- Margaux Alvarez – 152lbs
- Whitney Gelin – 165lbs
- Annie Thorisdottir – 152lbs
And what about lightweight champ Tia Clair-Toomey? (Only weighing 127lbs).
The marathon row was by far her worst finish of the 2018 Crossfit Games with a 14th place finish.
This is very interesting data to validate what most of us already knew. It is always nice to have the numbers to back up your claims.
Short people you have your ammo.