Move over SoulCycle, there’s a new studio workout coming to town.
Group rowing studios are popping up around the nation and enthusiasts say the trend is all about getting back to basics.
"Rowing used to be the most popular sport in the US.," said Eric von Frohlich, co-founder and owner of Row House in New York City. "I think there’s this resurgence coming back, finding the things that really work, the things that are really authentic, and we’ve tapped into that and we’re riding that wave."
Row House is so popular, Von Frohlich said, that classes are often sold out.
The studio is about to open a third New York City location and is talking about expanding.
No longer the dusty machine in the gym corner, rowing is having a major resurgence, even among people -- like me – who’ve never been on a machine before.
"We get new people all the time and we consider that part of our job and get them familiar with the benefits of the rowing machine and get them acquainted with why it’s the best piece of rowing equipment out there," said Debra Strougo Frohlich , co-founder and owner of Row House.
But not everyone in class is new. Where water’s hard to find these new studios give seasoned rowers a place to practice the sport they love.
One woman who rowed competitively in college told me she comes to the class because it has "has all the camaraderie of rowing in an indoor, urban setting."
"We’ve had gold medal winners, ocean rowers, people who are overweight, " said Von Frohlich. "We’ve had those people in the same class working as hard as they want to work at the same tempo."
Strougo Frohlich added, "When you row you work every single muscle in every stroke. // 4:15: We find people saying they’re getting their hard-to-reach areas. For a lot of women that tends to be the back of their body, arm area, their butt their abs."
A class participant who said she just turned 48 but looked much closer to 38 told me " I started coming a year ago and I couldn’t finish a class. It changed my body, I dropped 10 pounds and dropped three dress sizes."
"The beauty of rowing when it’s done in a team is that an individual can’t exceed his team," said Von Frohlich. "You have to be in sync,synergy happens in this class."
The class is safe for all fitness levels -- even pregnant people like me. Strougo Frohlich said she rowed until she was eight months pregnant because it's a whole-body, low-impact workout.