If you’re looking to row, row, row your boat and get your butt kicked at the same time, head on over to Row Studios. I’ve been doing the month trial at this fitness studio and challenging myself with the unique combination of rowing and high intensity workouts.
Row Studios, located in the West U area, has two rooms–one with bars and weights for
torture strength classes and one filled with ergs (rowing machines) for endurance and all body classes.
Want to try out the Row Studios? Enter our Instagram giveaway on May 10 for a 1 month unlimited pass! Or use the code “ITSHOU20” for 20% off any of their New Client Special ($49 for 30 days!) on their website or in studio!
The Row Classes
The classes at Row Studios are a variety of CrossFit-esque strength training and rowing that focus on “endurance, strength, and mobility.” Here are my thoughts on the ones I’ve tried:
- Endurance: 100% Rowing – what I signed up to do in the first place! Expect sets of rowing that you do on your own time (e.g., row 120m followed by 30 sec rest for 10 minutes)
- Body: 50% Rowing, 50% strength – I think this is my favorite mix of the two flavors of activity because it’s part cardio on the ergs that alternates with HIIT like exercises. Consider this their signature class.
- Strength: 100% CrossFit – technically not CrossFit, but basically the same type of workout structure. It’s a learning curve for me since I’m normally super heavy on the cardio. But essentially the class is a series of sets of activities like squats (lawd knows they love their squats), lunges, mountain climbers, etc. One set during the workout is a pretty intense weight lifting experience. I did my first dead lift and back squat there.
In every class, there has been an AMRAP (“As Many Rounds As Possible”) activity where you do a series of exercises over and over until the time is called. Luckily, Row Studios doesn’t carry the crazy competitive vibe that plagues CrossFit gyms and there is a big emphasis on proper technique. As a beginner, I didn’t feel ashamed at lifting 10lb (instead of like 150) and felt grateful when they corrected my form.
What to Expect at Row
Parking. I’m a big fan of the parking situation. Nestled on the backside of a shopping complex off Wesleyan and Bissonnet, Row Studios has a massive parking lot all to itself, so when I’m rolling in at 5:58am and the class starts at 6:00am, there’s no stress-induced terror of trying to find a parking spot (literally) last minute.
Squats. I’ve done approximately a trillion squat variations over the past week. My hamstrings and glutse are totally feeling it. Going to have a Beyonce booty by the end of this month.
Chillness. The workouts are intense, don’t get me wrong. But the overall vibe of the place is pretty chill. The instructors aren’t screeching at you over the mics with dubstep music blaring as they dim the lights watching you sweat in darkness. It’s every bit as intense as an OrangeTheory Fitness or Soul Cycle–just without the theatrics.
Intense Athletes. Walking in you’re greeted by a spacious front desk area and a massive chalk wall where people mark their rowing distances. When you sign up, you can get a row card that can be inserted into the machine to track your mileage. I did an endurance class and hit about 6000m. Granted, I’m a newbie, but in order to get on that wall you have to have to be in the 100,000m range! Assuming you’re a beast and can hit 10K every class, that’s 100 classes to even make it onto the leaderboard. Clearly the marathon runners of rowing workout here.
Foam Rolling. Every work out class ever should include foam rolling at the end. Period. It’s magical and impactful way to loosen up muscles after a tough workout and help with recovery. I always say I’m going to do it after a run or other intense cardio activity, but sometimes life gets in the way and I forget. So that’s why I love that after every class there is solid time carved out to foam roll and stretch.
Take Home Workouts. On the Row Studios website, they have a downloadable 100 workouts to try! I’m obsessed with this because occasionally it’s tough to make it to gym or the class times don’t work, so it’s super cool to have a bunch of set options easily accessible on my phone! Scroll to the bottom of their website here.