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Class Action: Signature Row at CityRow


CITYROW_row_new_york_city“You have to strength train to really change your body and to maintain it over time. That’s the philosophy behind CityRow,” says program director Annie Mulgrew, who designs the total-body-burning, part-cardio, part-strength-training workouts for the studio.

CityRow opened about a year ago, joining a regatta of fitness studios pushing to make rowing New York’s latest hottest workout—and it continues to make waves, as the city’s most popular spot for group rowing classes.

CityRow’s signature class exemplifies why. You get a sweat-dripping cardio workout, along with some strength training, while listening to fun music, all in just about an hour.

During a sweat session with Mulgrew, we did a series of intervals, starting with rowing drills—like power pulls, timed metered pushes, and oblique isolations. Then we jumped off the rowing machine for weight training on a mat right next to it, a cycle that happened three times over the class.

“Each sculpting interval is focused on a different area of the body—the first is core-focused, the second is legs- and lower body-focused, and the final is arm- and upper body-focused,” says Mulgrew, who mixed in moves like push-ups, crunches, and squats. Transitions are fast and leave you breathless.

Mulgrew is generous with encouragement—and she comes around during class to give each rower personal corrections. After each interval, she’ll ask a few people what their time was—adding some friendly competition into the mix. And class flies by in the open, light-filled studio.

Plus, CityRow is right next to Hu Kitchen, which is very convenient after you’ve wrung out all your energy for cooking, and where you’ll spy a lot of your ravenous classmates afterward. —Molly Gallagher

Who’s it for: The cardio junkie looking to rock his or her fitness boat and add some strength training into the mix.

Need-to-know details: The bathrooms are outside of the studio, shared with other offices on the floor, and there aren’t any showers. There are cubbies in the classroom, for bags and jackets, but no lockers.

CityRow, 80 Fifth Avenue at 14th Street, 15th floor, $32, www.cityrow.com