I Would Be So Buff If I Rowed Every Day

One of my favorites thing about this blog (and now my job) is the ability to try out a bunch of workout classes. It’s like adult playtime!

This morning, I had the opportunity to try CityRow. 

Let me first say: I did Uplift Strength Monday and Uplift Cardio yesterday. I. am. sore.

Moving on.

Remember how I fell in love with yoga last year because I found an AMAZING instructor, Annie? Well, she just opened a hot new rowing/yoga studio.


It’s already been profiled in Well + Good and the New York Times. From the attention I’ve seen rowing workouts getting lately, it looks like they will be A Thing in 2014. 

City Row



















A few months ago, I tried a rowing workout at CrossFit and loved it. I don’t currently belong to a gym, but I would always remember the rowing machine being the redheaded stepchild that nobody ever used. When I was burnt out on every other machine, I’d go over to the rower and give it some loving for a little while, and every time, I’d forget what a good workout it is.

This morning, we tried their Signature Row class, a 50-minute class that alternates intervals of rowing and strength moves. I couldn’t see any kind of clock, but I’d assume each interval was about six minutes long?

During the rowing intervals, we’d alternate between steady-state rowing and sprints. At the end of each interval, before moving on to the mat, we’d rack the rowing bar thingy (technical term) and do some rowing without our arms to stretch our legs out a bit.

On the mat, we’d do push-ups, lunges, squats (ow, ow) and yes, even some rows. 

I’ve tried a lot of classes in my day, some hard, some easy, but very few where I think “damn! I would be STRONG if I did this class all the time.”

The rowers were on the Indorow, which makes a really cool, wave-like sound. You can’t really hear it during class because of the music, but it’s a cool idea. 

City Row Views

Oh, and the view is terrible, right?

Shaun Jenkins City Row

Our instructor was the super-charismatic Shaun Jenkins. I would like to have a quarter of the energy of this man. He was funny and engaging as he literally bounced around the room.

Annie is teaching a Row and Flow class – 15 minutes of rowing and 30 minutes of Vinyasa that I am DYING to take as soon as my schedule allows. 


For now, I’ll just take pics with her.

What’s your favorite neglected machine at the gym? Have you ever taken/would you take a rowing class? 

30 comments on “I Would Be So Buff If I Rowed Every Day

  1. Traci

    I would be interested in trying that class! I LOVE a rowing workout, but unfortunately my gym doesn’t have a rowing machine. Ideally, I’d have one at home.

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  2. Suzanne

    I LOVE rowing. I wish I could do it more, but I’m not really into CrossFit, which is where I first realized that I love rowing. That place looks AWESOME!

  3. Jen

    Love the idea of this place. The closest place even sort of like this is an hour and a half away. I too learned I like rowing at cross fit but cross fit did not work for my body. I will at least hop on the rowing machine more at the gym. Still not as cool as this but a good one to add into the rotation.

  4. Ash Bear

    I can tell you that when Bo and I return to NYC we will both be living here! As rowers we both love the rowing machine and the workout you get is incredible. I love the point that you make in the comments about the 60, 20, 20 – you should add it to the review. It’s so true as I often watch people at the gym rowing all wrong as they’re using their arms and shoulders or flopping around. I’d love to do a 30:30 class – 30 rowing and 30 yoga but the 30:15 sounds great too!!

  5. Melissa Burton

    I saw City Row featured on Well + Good today and it seems that rowing is the new thing. Friends here in LA take an IndoRow class but since my back is still wonky, I’ve skipped it.

    However, I’d love to try a 15 minute class followed by 30 minutes of yoga! Nice!

    PS – In answer to your email that I haven’t answered yet (sorry!), I’m not sure when I’ll be back in town but I’m hoping for an early spring visit.

  6. Betsy

    What an amazing combination! I’d love for something like that to open in Chicago. I broke my pelvis and rowing is one of the only cardio workouts I can do, it’s crazy how hard it is!

  7. Kristin

    Same thing at my gym, NO ONE ever uses them. Will have to give them a try this week. What is your favorite workout class that you have taken in the past year or so?

  8. Annie @ Annie Get Your Run

    Love rowing! Philly has a similar gym called Row Zone that I was really addicted to for awhile. It’s kind of expensive, which is what deterred me from continuing, but it was a great time! Full body workout in a quick 50 minutes!

  9. Nicole

    Great idea for a class!
    I need to learn proper form on the erg machine…For the past few weeks I’ve ended gym workouts with 10-15 minutes on the machine. Ouch…that is quite a workout!

  10. Cheri @ Overactive Blogger

    The rowing machine is definitely my favorite neglected machine at the gym – I usually leave it feeling like I got a total body workout, which is really, really important to me if I’m gonna be stuck inside on a machine.

    Unfortunately, I live in North Carolina, and I don’t think we’re progressive enough to be getting any rowing classes around here anytime soon 🙂

  11. Dori

    When I did CrossFit for a month they taught us how to use the rowing machine and incorporated it into some of the workouts. My problem with it was when I tried to shower after and found out ALL THE SKIN WAS GONE FROM MY BUTT. I couldn’t wear jeans or sit down without pain for a week. So, no rowing for me. That said, it is definitely an awesome workout for those with tougher skin than me!

  12. Ashley

    The rower is actually the one piece of equipment I REALLY wish our little apartment gym had. It’s the one piece that I feel gives me a cardio work out using my legs so much.

  13. Katie D.

    We have those rowers at my gym and use them as part of our combine/circuit class. We usually did sprints (300 m or 1 minute) and then move on. Sometimes we’d be use the person rowing as our timer – when the rower hits 300m, we rotate circuits.

    My worst was going from rowing to box jumps. Talk about shaking legs!!

  14. Laura Yamin

    I so need to try this class out this month. Thanks for the review.

    Yes everytime I use the rowing machine I felt like a total workout. My old trainer used to make me do it as a “warm up” and I remember I can feel it in my body. Rowing is no joke!

  15. Jane

    I love this! You’ve been having a serious workout week! I’m slowly but surely making my rounds through all the rower based workouts in the city – Brooklyn Crew, Exceed, Throwback Fitness, Shockwave at Equinox. This place is also on my list.

    I did crew throughout high school, college and after college in Boston. I miss how ripped my back, shoulders, arms were.

  16. George Godin

    I actually love rowing because it makes me fit and healthy. I do suggest that others who also want to try something new, they should try this fun activity which is rowing.


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