Meet Rowing Pro and Shockwave Creator Josh Crosby

Josh Crosby

As the co-creator of the popular ShockWave and Indo-Row workouts and a former professional ultra-endurance athlete and Ironman World Champion, Josh Crosby uses his athletic background to help others get fit.

24Life recently asked Crosby about life and his healthy-living rituals …

24Life: What is your top training tip for spring? Does your workout routine change with the season?

Josh Crosby (JC): Roll with the season. By now, my skis are hung up and the bikes, paddle-boards and goggles are starting to see the light of day. Unless you’re training for something specific like a marathon, adapting your workout to the seasons can be a fantastic way to move and develop in new ways, while giving the mind and body a break from a routine. Your body benefits from some confusion. You want to mix it up.

24Life: What are the three most beneficial exercises people should include in their workout routine?

JC: You don’t need to add three to your routine – just one – indoor rowing. It’s simply so efficient. It hits all three key areas – strength, cardiovascular and flexibility – all at once.

Indoor rowing works more than 80 percent of your muscle mass with every stroke, while improving range of motion and posture.

The movement helps relieve the negative impact of sitting at your desk all day and is great for injury prevention, rehab, weight-loss, and cross-training, because it’s a low-impact alternative to other activities.

People appreciate it because it’s very easy to pick up – and fun – especially on the WaterRowerGX machine (like the one Frank Underwood uses on “House of Cards”) in a group setting like Indo-Row and ShockWave classes. This video offers quick indoor-rowing tips and follows me through a workout.

24Life: How do you regenerate or revitalize?

JC: The ocean, surfing, a trip to Burning Man, HeadSpace, “getting lost” in the woods while on a bike or run, playing a monster game with my little girls, dancing (hard), and sipping an Omission beer … or two.

24Life: What book is on your night-stand?

JC: I’m currently reading “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life” by William Finnegan. It’s fun to follow his journey around the world in search of culture, and of course, the perfect wave.
24Life: What is your go-to pre-workout or post-workout snack for nourishment?

JC: Pre-workout would be Yerba Mate tea, yogurt and Paleonola or gluten-free toast with a nut butter and honey. Post-workout would be mango, my neighbor’s farm eggs with cheese or some strong dark chocolate.

24Life: Do you have any rituals around sleep? How much do you sleep each night?

JC: “Don’t mess with my sleep!” is something my wife and kids know too well. I am bit “particular” when it comes to sleep — white noise, a little reading and then darkness.

I learned it is restorative power from my days as a competitive rower and Ironman athlete. To recover from a tough workout, to keep the immune system strong and to have a clear head for work and play, seven to nine hours of sleep each night is key.

With that said, don’t freak out if sleep isn’t perfect one night. Just like workouts, it’s all about consistency.

24Life: What are you most passionate about, outside of fitness?

JC: Nature, and in particular, the ocean, which is my life force, my energy-giver and stress reliever. I love that every day, the sea looks, feels and even tastes differently. Sometimes placid, sometimes churning, always beautiful.
24Life: What’s one new thing you want to learn to do or one new thing you’d like to try this year?

JC: I think I am going to jump out of an airplane.

24Life: How do you make sure you’re being your best self every day?
JC: I surround myself with loved ones who will call me on my B.S. (my wife makes a sport of it), but who also offer me unconditional support and guidance. I also remind myself not to be too hard on myself. That just gets in my way. With everything I do, I strive to follow Steve Prefontaine’s philosophy: “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine. That’s the best advice I’ve ever gotten.

24Life: What’s the biggest lesson you learned while developing ShockWave or Indo-Row?

JC: I often use the traits and lessons learned from my athletic career to guide my business. Those are discipline, work ethic, determination, focus, teamwork, acceptance of victory and defeat. However, it is the relationship between persistence and passion that have been the foundation of ShockWave and Indo-Row’s success. Without the passion for the sport of rowing and wanting to help others become the healthiest they can be, I would never have started either fitness program. Without persistence, my team and I would never have made it for 12 years, in 400 locations, in a very competitive market.

Passion keeps me going. I resolve to commit and continue even when things hurt, look bleak or broke. It makes the victory all the sweeter.

To see more from Josh Crosby, check out this 20-minute rowing workout.