People chat quietly, adjusting settings as the instructor introduces herself. Moments later, the lights dim, music fills the room, and the class surges into action. With smooth strokes, the group row like teammates on an enormous boat, changing cadence at the instructor’s urging.
The class is one of six different workouts offered at Row House, a new fitness boutique in Long Beach. Located at 6541 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Suite C-7 in the Marketplace Long Beach complex, near Trader Joe’s and Veggie Grill, the recently opened site has already cultivated a following.
“I hate cardio, but I love this place. It gives me energy,” Carol Ranada said after her session.
Rowing is part of Long Beach history. In 1932, Marine Stadium was the site of the Olympic rowing competition. After the Olympics, Wilson High launched the first high school rowing team in the state. Through the years, Long Beach athletes have made key contributions to Olympic rowing teams.
When rowers are not on the water, they train on indoor devices called ergometers. These machines give a precise measurement of the user’s distance and pace, mimicking the movement of rowing and engaging 85% of the body’s muscles. The popularity of ergometer workouts has turned indoor rowing into a sport of its own. This February, 700 international athletes competed in the World Rowing Indoor Championships at Long Beach State’s Walter Pyramid.
Although rowing provides an upper body workout, leg and core strength are also crucial to successful execution. Stroke movements strengthen and lengthen the body, activating the core, and maximizing calorie burn. The low impact, efficiency of indoor rowing appeals to people of all levels and abilities.
Owners Niket Patel and Angel Albert say that in addition to offering physical benefits, Row House helps people have fun while they exercise. Similar to indoor cycling classes, their sessions combine music and camaraderie in an upbeat group setting. Mounted monitors show the group’s cumulative achievements, encouraging individuals to push themselves and contribute to the team’s success.
“I like the teamwork aspect,” rower Tim Davis said. “The whole class works together as a unit. Then afterward, you can check the app and see your personal stats.”
“They play good music and it’s a great workout,” Long Beach resident Rachelle Moniz commented as she exited the gym. “I highly recommend it.”
Long Beach locals and newlyweds, Patel and Albert continue to grow the business. The Row House currently offers five classes a day, with start times ranging from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. After the gym’s official grand opening on July 1, seven classes will be available each day.
Some sessions emphasize cardio and endurance, while others focus on fat burning or toning and sculpting. The studio has free lockers, filtered water, and 25 state-of-the-art ergometers that can be reserved in advance through the app. And the first class is free.
To find out more about Row House classes and prices, go to www.therowhouse.com.