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Coker Drills

Rowing Remembrances from NavyLights Yore
(♫ in the key of crazy eights ♫)

Remember Coker Drills…?
…Circuit training was relatively new in the 1960s and 1970s,
and at least from 1971 – 1975, “Coker drills” aka Cokers was what all Navy rowers – heavies and lights – called the aerobic-strength circuit training routine performed as part of their off-water training program. The name was taken from track & field coach Charles (Chuck) Coker who was one of America’s first promoters of circuit training.

With regard to Navy lightweight crew during that period, rowers from those eights would gather in the Hubbard Hall third deck weight room where there was a Universal Gym and a separate leg press machine. A weight room on the main deck had two bench row stations, two barbells for deadlifts, two pull-up stations, and one dip station.

The drill began with the rower performing reps on the third deck leg press machine and then sprinting down three flights of stairs to the main deck weight room and immediately performing reps on a bench row followed with a sprint up three decks to the next station and so on.

Three circuits were completed. Ten reps were performed at twelve stations with the exception of pull-ups and dips which were targeted for twenty reps each. An example Coker consisted of (Third deck, Main deck):

1. Leg press (10)
2. Three-floor sprint down
3. Bench row (10)
4. Three-floor sprint up
5. Universal leg curls (10)
6. Three-floor sprint down
7. Pull-ups (20)
8. Three-floor sprint up
9. Universal leg lifts (10)
10. Three-floor sprint down
11. Dips (20)
12. Three-floor sprint up
13. Universal lats (10)
14. Three-floor sprint down
15. Dead lifts (10)
16. Three-floor sprint up
17. Universal front row (10)
18. Three-floor sprint down
19. Pull-ups (20)
20. Three-floor sprint up
21. Universal upright row (10)
22. Three-floor sprint down
23. Dips (20)
24. Three-floor sprint up
25. Begin second circuit, Leg press (10)…
49. Begin third circuit, Leg press (10)…
71. End Coker on main deck with third circuit dips (20)

Aye! We was crazy eights, we was, in them days!