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Class Action: Throwback Fitness


The Herald Square boutique fitness studio combines rowing and CrossFit-inspired strength training with an old-school, gym-class vibe.
(Photo: Throwback Fitness)
(Photo: Throwback Fitness)

If your grade school experience was anything like ours, your P.E. teacher probably wore a polo tucked into shorts with white socks pulled up, and an omnipresent whistle.

And that’s exactly what Throwback Fitness founders Brian Gallagher and Ryan Wilke look like during their gym-class–inspired workout classes. (Although they probably look a lot cuter than said PE teacher.)

Throwback Fitness—a workout that pairs rowing, CrossFit-inspired resistance training, and team drills that reference games and sports—moved into its own dedicated studio, near Herald Square, this past April. (They were previously offering classes out of Chelsea’s Titan Fitness Studios.)

In the simple space, you’ll find a small cubby area, the resistance training section, and rowing machines towards the back. Showers are missing, so plan on going home after (you don’t want to be like that kid no one wanted to sit next to in homeroom).

(Photo: Throwback Fitness)
(Photo: Throwback Fitness)

For our class, Gallagher led us through a brief warm up of jogging and lunging the length of the studio. Then we entered serious competition mode as pairs, with one person rowing while a partner ran through resistance-training exercises on the floor, like standing rows with weights and burpees. Then partners switch places. (Confession: At the end, this editor’s team did not row as far as the others, bringing back shameful memories of getting picked last in kickball.)

Afterwards, we went “bowling,” which involved rowing at full speed and trying to get as close to 100 meters as possible (a strike!), repeatedly. If you missed the mark, you made up the difference in medicine ball squats while everyone else waited—in plank position, of course.

Throughout, the ’90s hip-hop and ’80s rock ballad soundtrack kept the mood light and fun, and Well+Good editors agreed that the game aspect was very motivating (both to beat your opponent and support your teammate).

Plus, the workout was super tough, and the quick reps and changes between cardio and strength training kept us on our toes. Now only if our 13-year-old selves could’ve been that motivated. —Jamie McKillop

Throwback Fitness, 303 Fifth Ave., Suite 207, at 31st St., Herald Square, $32 per class, www.throwbackfit.com

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