With smooth strokes in fluid motion, group fitness class participants move together like teammates on a boat, rowing on individual machines with power at a cadence guided by an enthusiastic instructor. That’s the concept behind The Row House, a new indoor rowing studio now open in Southlake and coming soon to Keller.
“The rowing machine is the most efficient piece of fitness equipment,” says franchise owner Scott Lambert. “It works 85 percent of your muscle groups, with low impact and high intensity.”
Although other studios like OrangeTheory Fitness have rowing classes and many gyms have rowing machines, The Row House is the Fort Worth area's first gym dedicated entirely to indoor rowing. Rowing is a rapidly growing fitness trend around the country; some have called it the new "spin."
A history of heart disease is what initially drew Lambert to the format. With a tenured career in the refined fuel industry and no fitness background, Lambert learned of the franchise opportunity while seeking to achieve more a disciplined workout regimen. The group setting and the energy that comes with it appealed to him.
“We try to be authentic to the sport of rowing, which is about rowing in sync, or “in swing,” as it’s called,” Lambert says. “Each rower determines their intensity by the amount of effort they put into the push with their legs. It’s very communal and group focused, but everyone gets their own stats and history at the end of class.”
The concept was established in 2014 by a husband-and-wife duo in New York City who sought a format that folks of all shapes, sizes and abilities could do together.
“We’ve found that it appeals to both men and women, as well as different ages,” says Lambert. “We have rowers in their 70s as well as millennials.”
Classes at The Row House are 45 minutes long and vary by type. Some formats keep rowers on the machine for nearly 90 percent of the class, while other formats incorporate work off the rower. The “Body” class uses dumbbells for a sculpting and toning portion, while the “Power” class incorporates high-energy bursts of interval training to challenge the aerobic threshold. The “Restore” class offers portions of dynamic stretching in between rowing. Classes begin as early as 5:45 am.
“I go to the 5:45 am classes while my wife prefers the afternoon classes,” says Lambert.
Prices range from $29 for a single class to $143 per month for unlimited visits. Lambert will potentially open a third location in Flower Mound, but there are no locations planned for Fort Worth proper just yet.
The Southlake location is at 2600 E. Southlake Blvd., and the Keller location is expected to open at 1411 Keller Pkwy. by the end of October, Lambert says.