Like other endurance athletes I am always looking for different activities that compliment all my endurance training so when I had the opportunity to try out a new rowing gym in Buckhead I didn’t hesitate. Total Row Fitness offers a couple different classes, but I did the Row30 class which is a rowing only class. While I was able to take the class free of charge all opinions in this post are my own.
There are so many benefits to rowing, but in my opinion the ones that really translate to running are the cardiovascular benefits and the fact that it’s a full body workout.
Somehow I forgot my watch the day I went to the Row30 class at Total Row Fitness so I wasn’t able to determine where my heart rate was, but I was able to judge the workout by my effort. There were minutes of what seemed like sprinting following by minutes at a more manageable pace. The workout felt a lot like a fartlek workout to me which kept things interesting. It also allowed me to recover so I could really push myself during the more challenging efforts.
I really enjoyed the fact that rowing is a full body workout. Your legs, arms, core and back are engaged at different times so it was a great way to work the entire body in a short amount of time. As a runner, I don’t always have time to devote an entire workout to a certain body part so I really enjoyed this aspect of the experience. Rowing is wonderful for people that want to change their body at the same rate because there isn’t as much muscle isolation. Essentially your body will tone and change all over.
You can read more about the benefits of rowing here.
Since Total Row Fitness uses water rowers you pull the resistance of the water so it truly feels like you are in a boat. I have never used an air rower, but pulling the weight of the water felt almost therapeutic to me and very natural.
I’m glad that the instructor went over proper form at the beginning of the class as well. There are so many common mistakes when it comes to rowing form. I was nervous that I would do it incorrectly, but after a couple minutes of practicing I got the hang of it.
There are so many cross training options, but you have to find what works for you and do what you enjoy. I love my spin bike, yoga and the occasion barre class, but I can honestly say now that I really enjoy rowing. I can see the benefits for implementing rowing into a training plan or utilizing it in the off season as a way to maintain aerobic fitness.
Have you ever taken a rowing class?
What types of cross training do you utilize?