Credit: Youtube
While you wouldn’t describe my personal fitness routine as dedicated to the cause, I am partial to a fitness trend. Yoga is an enduring love, I’ve flirted with barre, attempted reformer pilates, intermittently revisit cross-fit, and have now learnt that when it comes to stress-relief a good run is more therapeutic than browsing Net-a-Porter or ASOS. 

So I was keen to ride the wave of the latest fitness craze to hit our shores – Rowing. Boutique rowing studios have been slowly nipping at the heels of cult sweat centres like Soul Cycle and CrossFit in the fitness motherland, New York. Combining a cardio heavy workout with arm and back toning capabilities, this next-gen rowing craze is starting to make the same impression on Australian shores too.  

Credit: Instagram @cityrow
Owner of Sydney’s first rowing-based gym ‘Crew’, Mike Aldridge – an ex-pro Rugby player turned personal trainer, says that “there’s nothing like it. I went to New York, and joined up with Class Pass, and did all the classes. I discovered the fleet of boutique rowing studios like CITYROW, and Row House, and knew that there was nothing like that over here, so I thought that I’d bring it back home.”

Nested in the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s CBD, despite being only three months old, the studio has already amassed a dedicated following. It’s main point of difference? The whirling, metal machines found tucked away in the abandoner corner of the gyms are gone, and instead replaced with a water-operated rower so you can actually hear and feel the sensation of rowing on water. The result is a noticeably more enjoyable workout. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t pack a punch. Five minutes in and you could feel the burn in your glutes, quads and arms.

Credit: Instagram @cityrow

So how what’s the caloric damage each session? In a 45 minute session you can expect to burn “300 to 400 calories per 45 minute session which is great considering it’s a toning and cardio session”, while a 45-minute, strictly cardio, rowing session can burn 500 plus calories. “Each stroke is 60% legs, 20% core, 20% arms,” says Aldridge, “you’re going to get a total-body, high-intensity workout, that’s still low-impact on the joints”.