Sweat It Out: CityRow


I’ve been dying to try CityRow ever since I heard about it months and months ago. Which, when you think about it, makes zero sense because a)rowers terrified me, b)I’d never even been on a rower for fear of looking like an idiot, and c)my love for all things fitness was still lukewarm at best.

These days I’m full steam ahead. And in my quest to knock out the gyms on this list, I enlisted my coworker to tackle an hour of rowing with me.

Let me just say, I’m %100 sold.

I had no idea what to expect going into this class, in a studio tucked away on the 15th floor of some random office building in Union Square. Was I going to have to row the entire hour? That seems kind of impossible, even for someone in great shape. How do you even use the damn machine, let alone get in and out of it? When you say mat work, what exactly are we talking about?

Here’s the rundown:

A standard class is an hour, and they aim to keep you on the rower no more than 2:30/3min at a time. From 500 meter races to tabata and other intervals, you work in short bursts of energy. In between, there’s a lot of mat work. Planks, push-ups, lunges, weights, bear crawls, jumping jacks, you name it, we did it. It all adds up to an hour of intense (and really satisfying) work.

In trying out all these other fitness studios, this is the first one that’s left me with an intense desire to go back, matched only by my first Flywheel class. The staff was really friendly, and the space is beautiful yet intimate (I think our class was maybe 15 people). Because the classes run on the smaller side, you get individual attention from the instructors (shout out to Jared!). Proper form was explained for the first few minutes of class, and once we got started, our instructor walked around and made sure we maintained it (which can be difficult when you’re nearing the end of 500 meters and your arms are exhausted).

Also, can we just talk about the machines for a second? They’re water-based rowers, and I’ll agree with the website when describing them as sexy. Talk about a smooth ride. While I’d never been on one before, I’ve seen people at the gym use them, and based on what I’ve seen (and now experienced), the machines at CityRow are top notch.

Image from BurnThis

Single classes are $32 (pretty standard for the NYC boutique fitness scene), and if it’s your first time, you can purchase a pack of 3 for $90 (and trust me, you’ll want to go back). I was even given a discount off my first pack of five classes.

While I’m in the midst of training for two races later this year, I’m working hard to incorporate more strength training into my routine. I’ll definitely be back for some more #legscorearms soon!


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