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Rowing To The Top With John Nunn

This Interview Was Published In The January 2014 Issue Of The Long Beach Junior Crew ‘Cox Box’ Publication 

john 3Introducing The LBJC Chairman Of The Board, John Nunn.

 John has had a long involvement with the sport of rowing stretching back 54 years. He began rowing on the Cornell University Team in 1960. He had considerable success winning the Varsity Eight IRA Championship in 1962 and 1963. He currently is a member of the Cornell University Athletic Hall of Fame. After graduation John moved to California and took up sculling. He won a Silver Medal in the Single at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada in 1967. At the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 he was a Bronze Medal winner in the Double Sculls. In 1971 at the Pan American Games in Cali johnColumbia he won a Bronze Medal in the Double Sculls. Over the past 23 years he has won medals in numerous Masters Races all around the world. In 2013 John won Gold in the Club Masters Race at the San Diego Crew Classic. He also won Gold again with the Cornell Alumni boat at the IRA Regatta at Lake Natoma.  

Why and when did you start rowing? 

My involvement with rowing began totally by chance. I played football and basketball at my high school, Ridley in Saint Catharine’s, Ontario, Canada. When I was there they had no rowing team. Today they have one of the top high school rowing programs in Canada. My Dad played football and lacrosse for Cornell. After graduation he played professional football for the Boston Shamrocks of the original American Football League. In 1936 they won the League Championship. This was the path that I intended to follow. However when I arrived for Freshmen Registration the Football Coach told me he had his team already picked and he didn’t need any walk- on wasting his time. I still intended to pursue playing football, but I walked right from the Football Coach’s office over to Barton Hall for registration. The building was john 2massive, accommodating an indoor 400 meter running track. Computers didn’t exist in those days, so everyone had to mill around in a huge crowd to get the classes they needed. Members of the Crew Team were strategically placed around the hall, looking for lost looking tall students to find Freshman Recruits for the Crew Team. Bill Stowe asked me to accompany him to the crew table and talk to the coach. On our way there he said to me.” Your Graduation year 1964 is an Olympic Year and Cornell is going for Gold at the Olympics. Right there Bill planted a seed that stayed with me for eight years. I wanted to make the Olympic Team and go for Gold! When I got to the crew table the Coach asked “how tall are you and how much do you weigh” I replied” 6’6” and 197.” Coach said” that’s perfect” and then he asked” Have you had an experience?” I replied “No.” He then said “that’s the way we like ’em.” I started the next day and found rowing was a sport that I very much enjoyed and I was naturally suited for. Later I discovered that rowing wasn’t foreign to my family at all. My grandfather rowed for Columbia University in the IRA National Championships on the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie in 1910. 

How did you end up rowing for the Long Beach Rowing Association? 

After graduating from Cornell I went to the University john 1of Michigan to work on my MBA. In my first year at Michigan I had no single to row so I started practicing with Olympic Flat- water Kayakers who were also studying at the University of Michigan. Olympic Kayaks are incredibly tippy so I spent a lot of time swimming until I got the hang of it. In my second year I bought a single and began my sculling training. At that time MBA degrees were highly desirable and I was offered multiple jobs. Companies were flying me around the country. It was a much different environment than what exists now. I had in mind what would be the best place to fulfill my Olympic dreams. So when I was offered a job with Dart industries in Beverly Hills, I knew this was It. Long Beach was perfect because it was the 1932 Olympic venue and rowing conditions were ideal. What I didn’t know at the time was that U.S. Olympic teams on the way to Melbourne in 1956 and Tokyo in 1964 had both used the Marine jack rowStadium for Olympic preparations. In 1966 I rowed out of the Olympic Boathouse at the end of Marine Stadium. However in 1967 the city of Long Beach filled in the end of Marine Stadium land locking the Olympic Boathouse. They were in the process of building a new boathouse at the 800M Mark of the Olympic Course. However it was not available for use in 1967, so I had to find an alternate boathouse to use. The USC coach was nice enough to let me use the USC Boathouse in the Port of Los Angeles. That was an adventure. Dealing with massive ships in the dark and in the fog was scary and life threatening at times. Eventually the Long Beach Boathouse was completed and I moved back to train in Long Beach for most of 1968. 

How did you become the Olympic Sculling Coach in Montreal in 1976? 

From 1972 through 1975 I was the Junior Varsity Rowing Coach at USC. In 1974 the USC pair that I coached won Gold at the IRA Regatta in Syracuse, New York. A.C. DuPont was one of the USC rowers that  I coached. In 1975 I moved over to Long Beach to train. A large group of women showed up at Long Beach, because rowing had become an Olympic sport for women for the first time and Long Beach was the Training Center. As I was rowing around the John Nunnisland in my single, I would give some of the women coaching on their technique. Apparently they felt it was helpful, because when Ernie Arlett was medically unable to continue as men sculling coach, I was selected to replace him based on their recommendations. The USA Olympic Men’s Quad that I coached made the Finals in Montreal. Since then the only other USA Men’s Quad to make the finals was in Atlanta in 1996 when they won the silver medal. 

What are the current prospects for an LBJC rower making a college team

The prospects for college admission and varsity crew participation have never been better. The number of Colleges and Universities with LBJCRowing Programs is an all-time high. At the same time the number of Junior Crews is way fewer than the High School Teams in Football, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Volleyball and Softball. In addition LBJC has established itself over the years as a top junior program. It has produced Champions at the Head of the Charles Regatta, Nationals and Worlds. A college coach greatly values the quality of the program that the junior rower comes from. Rowers that learn good technique from the start are much easier to coach than the ones who have to change bad habits. Just as my Cornell Coach in the old days, said when he first met me, he would rather have recruits with no experience than try to retrain established defective muscle memory. 

What are College Coaches looking for? First-what is your Academic Record? What is your GPA, SAT Math, SAT Critical Reading, SAT Writing, SAT 11{subject and score}, ACT Math, ACT English, Academic Honors and Interests. Second-College Coaches will look at your height, weight, rowing program, coach’s name, your years of experience, port, and starboard or sculling. Third-what are your best ERG scores: 2K, 5K&6K? Fourth-what have been your Race Results? 

lbjc 4The more you concentrate on improving your academic record, the more choices you will have of schools with both the programs of study and the rowing program that are best for you. A crew coach can definitely improve your odds of admission if he designates you as someone he wants. Having worked for Cornell University Admissions for a number of years, I can attest to the capriciousness of the process. If a coach wants you, he can definitely tip the odds of admission in your favor. 

How does Long Beach stack up as a Venue for the Sport of Rowing? 

Starting my rowing career at Cornell, I became keenly aware of the limitations of many rowing venues. Whistling winds, towering waves, freezing temperatures, ice and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are all things we don’t have to deal with in Long Beach. At the World Master Games in Melbourne in 2002, I met a young lady from the Anchorage Rowing Club of Alaska. I asked her,” What is your training program in the winter.” She replied,” We Cross Country Ski.” I asked,” How do you cross country ski in the dark?” she replied,” We wear Miners Lights on our heads, and last year my dog saved my life.” I asked,” What happened.” She continued,” As I was cross country skiing in the dark, I came around a bend in the trail and there in the middle of the trail was a 4000 pound Bull Moose. My dog, which was with me, started barking the moose started pawing the ground. I slowly started backing up and managed to escape without the moose charging.” I keep myself on the Anchorage Rowing Club E-mail Bulletin list just to keep my sense of perspective and reality. Sand Lake froze over on October 13 and they believe all the ice will be gone by May 28 and they will be back on the water. Since the whole Junior Racing Season is over by May 28, it makes one appreciate how great we have it here.

For More Information On How To Get Your Children Involved In Junior Rowing Either On Or Off The Water Please Contact The Long Beach Junior Crew Organization At http://longbeachjuniorcrew.org/  Or Contact Keith Johnson At johnson.dk@hotmail.com 

If You Would Like Indoor Class Lessons On The Concept 2 Rowing Machine Or For Those Interested In Rowing Class Workouts Please Visit www.roworx.com Or Contact Jack Nunn at roworx@gmail.com

Location For The Long Beach Junior Crew And Roworx Indoor Rowing Are At:  Pete Archer Rowing Center, 5750 Boathouse Lane, Long Beach, CA 90803

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Top 5 Ways To Prevent Stress Fractures, Sprains, And Strains

 strain 2My goal is to run and train for a marathon this year

… Sound familiar?

This is probably the most common statement I hear from individuals who are looking for a new year’s resolution in order to get them moving again and working out. This can be a very invigorating and motivating goal to attain. However, most people end up training too hard while not listening to their bodies and in the process get stress fractures, sprains, and strains.

Here is a list of my top 5 ways to prevent stress fractures, sprains, and strains throughout the body during certain types of high impact exercise:

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Exercising With An Injury

Texercise through painhe idea of exercising while being injured is generally a bad idea because you can always make the injury worse. However, for active people and athletes training daily, the effects of resting or being inactive for an extended period of time can lead to a rapid loss of strength and endurance. Endurance athletes have shown a decrease of nearly 30% in physical performance in as little two weeks. Furthermore, at a resting state of only two months can leave an individual/athlete back to their original untrained platform. Following these statements, next time an individual thinks about stopping physical exercise completely; think about modifying your workouts first. For lower body injuries think about using the Concept 2 Rowing Machine and/or a Evo Indoor Cycling Bike which causes virtually zero impact on the joints. Try referring to the Roworx Indoor Rowing workouts or the TriCore Indoor Cycling workouts in order to get the most out of your training time. These cardio machines will cause much less stress on the joints and will help you strengthen your core and help you get back stronger from your injuries faster than you thought possible. Research has shown strength and power gains to those individuals who exercise the muscle groups opposite to their injuries. For example, for a mid to lower back injury try training your core and abdominal muscles in order to help support your back.

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Jack Nunn Is The 2013 Masters Athlete Of The Year

jack 11Published On The US Rowing Website, The 3rd Annual Golden Oars Event Broacher, And The Long Beach Grunion/Gazette November, 2013

Jack Nunn’s Long Beach, Calif., rowing and fitness training center, Roworx, was doing well until the economic downturn began cutting into his business. Nunn operated two locations, one inside the Long Beach Rowing Association boathouse and at a second location in a warehouse in downtown Long Beach where he taught indoor rowing and indoor cycling. When he started, his business called Power House Fitness and as he began to lose clients he decided that the way to bring them back was to do something inspiring. So he began training for an Ironman competition. Nunn is the son of 1968 Olympic bronze-medalist John Nunn, and rowed at Long Beach Juniors, the University of California at Berkeley, the United States Under 23 National Team, and the United States Senior National Team.

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School News Roll Call And LBJC: Logan Carter Displays Hard Work And Determination

school news loganPublished In The Oct-Nov 2013 Issue Of The Long Beach School News Roll Call And Written By Jack Nunn, Owner Of Roworx Indoor Rowing Classes, Boot Camp, And Yoga At The Long Beach Rowing Association.

Coming into the sport of rowing, Logan Carter had no idea what to expect. Many great rowers have some illustrious family history within the sport. In Logan’s case, all he knew was that rowing meant water. But once he started rowing, he dove right into the whole experience head first. Under the guidance of his coaches, Val Stepanchuk, Nick Trojan, Thomas Graves, Logan improved his training regimen, including correct weight-lifting technique, beneficial erg workouts, and cross-training exercises with Jack Nunn from Roworx Indoor Rowing And Fitness. Through countless hours at the boathouse, he earned a spot in the Men’s Varsity Quad with the Long Beach Junior Crew and an opportunity to compete at US Rowing Youth National Championships.

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Good Fat vs. Bad Fat

muscle vs fat 1Throughout the following blog I will display another reason why there is yet another good reason to start an exercise program. There are new scientific research studies that prove exercising throughout the day can modify the activity in which a fat cell is stored in the body. The two different kinds of fats in the body are easily described as ‘white’ fats and ‘brown’ fats. The white fatty tissues in the body seemed to be less metabolic in the human body. One study showed that when an individual was exercising on a daily basis there was a ‘browning’ effect in the fat cells which caused it to be much more metabolic. This browning effect of the fat cells caused by exercise suggests that it is associated with increased glucose uptake, improved body composition, decreased fat mass, and increased insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, even if you are not losing weight while exercising, the positive effects of physical training lead to the brown fat to be more metabolically active throughout the body.


The Power Of Group Exercise And Working Out Together

jack 2Roworx Indoor Rowing, Bootcamp, and Yoga Classes are in full ‘swing’ in Long Beach, CA at 5750 Boathouse Lane. Recently, there have been more and more members displaying huge success stories with weight loss, better nutrition habits, higher energy levels, and muscle endurance and tone. Most of the members at Roworx in Long Beach are seeing these results in less than two months of participation since beginning the group classes! Nearly half of the Roworx members attend these group indoor rowing, bootcamp, and yoga classes an average of three to four times per week at the Boathouse location. The power of group exercise was how Jack Nunn, Owner of Roworx, got started in the field of group instruction. Jack was burned out by long hours and training alone most of the time while trying endlessly to make the US National Rowing Team year after year. After a couple years of disappointing finishes and losing by .034 seconds to make the 2003 World Championships, Jack needed motivation to keep moving forward and stay in shape. Jack’s father John Nunn always conveyed the notion that ‘anyone can work out on a good day, it’s the bad days that get you and wear you down and make you want to stay in bed.’ However, with group training and instruction you are held accountable while working out with friends that drive your motivation, give you a variety and make it fun while learning better technique in any activity you do.


Row-athon At Roworx To Help Support Angela Madsen Row Solo Across The Pacific Ocean To Hawaii

ROWORX INDOOR ROWING IN LONG BEACH Will Be Holding A Fundraiser For Angela Madsen At The Boathouse As We Row A Half Marathon Distance On The Concept 2 Indoor Rowing Machine In Order To Show Our Support For Her Solo Row Across The Pacific On Sunday June 16th From Noon-3pm!

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Powerhouse Fitness Is Now ROWORX Indoor Rowing!

roworx 1At ROWORX we have the high quality and quantity of highly trained fitness professionals with us. Over the last couple years we have had at least 5 different Olympic Rowers teach our indoor rowing classes at Powerhouse Fitness. This is what ROWORX strives for, excellence in fitness and nutrition. Most trainers/instructors have qualified certifications but only a few have the actual high level of fitness experience to really get you motivated to train and be at your best.

phfit-logo[1]I have always believed you need to practice what you preach and in fitness if I have an overweight trainer guiding me through a workout I’m not going to be motivated at all. If I had an Olympian training me I would be honored and encouraged to work harder than I ever thought possible.

Knowing what it takes to become an Olympian and being involved with the National Team for any sport is incredible. In my opinion the amount of hard work and training it takes to be recognized to be on the U.S. National Team is still harder than completing all 3 of my Full Ironman competitions combined. The difference is you have to qualify yourself to be recognised as the best.

Many trainers will do an extreme competition just to say they did it and anyone can sign up. Being an Olympian, the few and far between, and having the honor to be trained by one is a chance of a lifetime. Take that opportunity and train with us at ROWORX in Long Beach and see what everyone is talking about.

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Small Group Specialized Training With Roworx vs. The Big Gym And Other Personal Trainers

Roworx Flyer 1It’s becoming personal and these days it’s the battle of the fitness centers … Big Gym vs. Small Gym!

I came across something very interesting the other day as I was walking around Long Beach. Several larger fitness centers offering low membership prices but with an added extra cost for classes. Over the past 10 years of being involved in the fitness industry in California I’ve noticed smaller gyms and fitness centers gaining more and more popularity. Specialized workout centers such as my own (Roworx) are opening their doors to inviduals who want a better workout and more qualified instructors. I realize that even though I am a small business owner going head to head with bigger more commercialized gyms I am no way giving a biased opinion…just an honest one. I want to lay down the facts for people who compare our prices and our facilites. I am here to state the facts and the pros and cons of becoming a member at either facility. You can make the decision yourself on what you think is best or ‘worth’ your time as you exercise.

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