The Upper East Side’s EVF Performance announced earlier this fall that they’d be opening a second, swankier CrossFit box near Columbus Circle. Now, they’ve revealed that the new space will also include Row House, a studio dedicated to rowing-based group fitness classes.
“I’ve been noticing the rowing trend build as CrossFit has been building,” says EVF owner Eric Von Frohlich, who’s opening the space with his wife, Debra. “There are people who want the benefits of CrossFit but are a little intimidated by the barbells and the skill set required. Rowing really hits a much larger section of the population, and it’s safe, efficient, and effective.”
Others would agree with him. New York’s seen the launch of three new rowing-based fitness brands in the past year—Brooklyn Crew, Throwback Fitness, and CityRow. EVF’s Row House will be the fourth. While the CrossFit floor at EVF is expected to open around January 1, Debra says Row House will most likely debut the weekend of January 12 or 19, with free demo classes.
The three types of Row House classes will include lots of intervals on the rowing machine. In Row House Cardio, you’ll also do cardio-based calisthentics like burpees and jumping rope; in Row House Core, expect planks galore; and for Row House Full Body you’ll encounter weights like kettlebells and resistance training like squats and push-ups. Classes will be capped at 10–15 people and have the motivating music and exciting vibe of a boutique class, say the Von Frohlichs. Single classes will cost $20–$35 depending on the package.
In the meantime, the fitness-focused couple is spreading the rowing gospel, and gushing about its benefits—it’s a full-body, non-impact, workout, that promotes better posture, and even tranquility found in the rhythmic, breath-centric motion, they say.
“We really identified what we think is an amazing workout, and we’re putting it in a really exciting atmosphere,” Debra says. “It’s our way of taking this great technique and reaching more people.” —Lisa Elaine Held