GoRecess Studio Spotlight: Rowbot Fitness; Smyrna, GA


Rowbot Fitness

Owners & Lead Instructors: Charles and Aubrey Anderson

What is indoor rowing and what makes it such a good workout? Indoor Rowing uses a machine to simulate rowing on the water. The exercise is a great workout because it uses all of the major muscle groups every stroke. It also happens to be a great combination of strength and cardio. The rowing stroke is like a compound lift starting with a leg press, going into a deadlift, and finishing with a row.  That strength work is paired with the on/off cycle with the power phase (called the "drive") and the recovery which makes it extremely good cardio work. But, in addition to all of that, it's a non-impact workout, which means that anybody can do it! It's great for athletes looking to get the strength and cardio workout, without the joint stress, and also great for those new to exercise or looking to lose weight!

What makes Rowbot Fitness unique and why should someone try it: Rowbot Fitness is unique because we teach exclusively on the rowing machine. Our trained instructors are great at identifying technique problems and working with clients to always improve their form, their strength, and their overall fitness. Our class style is interval based, with many variations. This keeps the classes enjoyable and prevents them from being repetitive.

One of the unique benefits of using the Concept2 Rowing machine in our studio is the performance monitor. The monitor gives you instant feedback about how you're doing throughout the class, and paired with a LogCard (which we include with your first class) can save your workouts to monitor your progress. This provides extra motivation because you can set goals within a workout, between workouts, and beyond.

The LogCard also works with the Concept2 LogBook online that tracks your workout summaries, and includes many rowing challenges throughout the year. The challenges can be great for clients who need the motivation to come regularly because they typically run for a month or less, and require a fair amount of distance to succeed. This means that clients usually need to attend two to three times per week during challenges to complete them. Because the challenges require such a commitment, we celebrate these accomplishments on our Wall of Fame, where we post certificates for the different challenges!

Why the emphasis on group classes? Group classes have many benefits. The biggest benefit is the social motivator, which comes in two parts: Motivation from other clients to come to class, and motivation to keep going once you're in class! The latter is probably the most important in rowing, because using the rowing machine on your own for an hour can be a chore. When you combine the music, the enthusiasm of the instructors and the clients, everybody works harder, goes further, and burns more calories!

Advice for first-timers? When somebody comes in for the first time, we have a few basic recommendations:

  • Wear good fitting clothing, nothing loose or baggy, as these can get caught in the machine.

  • Arrive 20-30 minutes early, that way you have plenty of time for a relaxed orientation. Rushing through the technique isn’t as much fun for our clients!

  • Relax. This is important for rowing, because the technique requires so much thought that often new clients over-think the action. Slow down and just relax. Our instructors will keep you on track!

  • Watch the monitor! This is one of the greatest things about our classes. We track everything. The monitor on the machine gives you instant feedback throughout the workout, as well as saving your workout for review.

Favorite things to do in Atlanta: Even outside of teaching, we are pretty active people. We love to run and row in our spare time. Living in Smyrna, the Silver Comet Trail is a great asset for our running, and we can often be found there on our off days. To keep ourselves motivated we are also always signed up for a race or two, to make sure we don't slack off.

We are also members of the Atlanta Rowing Club, a recreational rowing club in Roswell. We enjoy racing on the Masters circuit, though we don't get on the water as much as we used to with all of the classes we teach!

Ready for a great non-impact strength and cardio workout? Check out a rowing class at Rowbot Fitness!

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