We're chatting with Row House Columbus Circle member Tony about what keeps him coming back, how his fitness has improved in his 2 years on our crew, and how progress keeps him dedicated.
How/when did you get involved in Row House?
February 2017. My partner kept telling me what a great workout rowing classes were and finally convinced me to give it a try. (Although, we’ve never taken a rowing class together. We don’t work out together … it wouldn’t go well 😊)
Do you remember your first workout? How was it?
I remember thinking about 5 minutes into my first class that there was no way I was going to be able to make it through a 45-minute class. I did finish it, but it was a struggle. I’ve done a lot of cardio for as long as I can remember (running, stairclimbers, etc.) and always thought I was in good cardio shape, but that first rowing class caught me a bit off guard.
How have you grown in that time — health, body, mind, etc.?
Well, it’s been a little over 2 years now and luckily worrying about finishing a class hasn’t been an issue for quite a while. Both my endurance and my technique has improved considerably since I started. It’s a great way to clear your mind from everything else going on in a normal day. I love taking a morning class because afterwards I feel great and really hit the ground running for my workday … much more so than a morning when I don’t row.
What's your workout history like? How is Row House different than what you've done before?
Before Row House, I would work out on my own at a gym about 5 days a week. Once I started rowing, I would row a few days and go to the gym a few days to mix up the week. I eventually cancelled my gym membership completely and just focused on rowing, to the point where I was rowing 5 days a week. After doing that for a while, I felt like I wanted to get back into doing some strength and weight work again, so I took a free CrossFit class at EVF Performance and 6 months later I’m typically doing 3 rowing classes and 3 EVF classes during the workweek and riding my Peloton bike on the weekend. Today, I feel like I have the most complete workout routine I’ve ever had and am probably in the best shape of my life.
What do you enjoy most about Row House?
A couple things. First, all the coaches are amazing so it’s great to be able to pick any class at any time and know you’re going to have a great experience. Second, whether it’s the music, my fellow rowers, the motivational speaking/yelling of the coach, or the push to get the group split time on the board even lower, I feel I get more out of myself here than if I was working out on my own.
What keeps you coming back?
It becomes contagious. You want to come back because it’s the most complete workout you could get in 45 minutes, and the more you come back the more you improve as a rower. Plus, the entire staff is awesome: friendly, encouraging, and helpful.
What's your favorite class type and movement?
I love the House class the most. I enjoy the interval portion (go from paddle to push pace to full power a few times during one song) of class the best. Each time it comes up it really seems to give me an extra boost of energy and strength that I carry through the rest of class.
Do you have any advice for new members?
The first few classes may seem a little overwhelming with getting the technique, the terminology, the flow of the class all down (also the stamina as I mentioned earlier). So, stick with it and you’ll be surprised how quickly you start to get everything down. And don’t ever be afraid to ask for assistance or advice from any coach … They are always eager to help.
What do you hope to achieve in the coming year?
Continuing to master the technique and to hit a sub 1:40 split time. Since I started rowing and doing EVF my legs and core have strengthened, and I’m reaching lower splits and keeping them for a longer period of time … so 1:30-something isn’t out of the question.
How would you describe yourself?
I’ve been told by a few people at Row House that I always seem so serious. I think it’s just the setting: it’s my workout so I do take that seriously, and I’m there either first thing in the morning or at night, and either time I’m probably thinking about work when I first walk in. In reality, I’m extremely mellow and love to joke around with my friends and to make people laugh.