Functional Training Improves Former Collegiate Athlete’s Performance

Emily’s PROur community is chalk full of awesome stories of inspiration and triumph, and we’ve got another example of this for you. Our very own Emily Russak, as you may or may not know, was an NCAA Division I rower at the University of San Diego. During her time with the team, she spent countless hours per day mastering her abilities in a boat or on an erg.

Now, training is fun for Emily.

This story begins well after her last season competing as a collegiate rower, however. Last month, Emily achieved a new personal record in the 2K row! What’s remarkable about this isn’t that she PRed. She’s fully capable of doing that. What’s remarkable is that this PR came over three years since her last season of competition.

What’s her training look like?

Just a handful of classes a week with us and over at our friend’s at CrossFit LA, quality nutrition, and a lot less rowing was the winning ticket for Emily. Given the importance of the 2K row in her time as an athlete, it’s a bit ironic that Emily’s current lifestyle (which doesn’t prioritize the need for specialization as a rower) has yielded a higher return in performance than her time when rowing meant the difference between winning and losing; a scholarship or not.


I wouldn’t go as far as saying training here or at CFLA was the catalyst in this impressive feat. I couldn’t say that Emily’s newly cleaned up diet or habitual fish oil regimen was responsible either. But, I do know that today Emily is a better rower (with more additional skills) than when her livelihood depended on it.

Well, done Embo!

Logan Gelbrich


Tuesday’s Workout:

Complete the following for time:

100 Air Squats
100M Farmers Carry
400M Run
50 Pushups
400M Run
100M Farmers Carry
100 Air Squats

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