KMB: Rō Fitness

By Monica Brant – July 1, 2022
Brian Fitzsimmons

As I drove to Rō Fitness, I had the cute little kids’ song from 1912 (yes, 1912!!) playing in my head. Remember? “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream… merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream…” It gave me a sense of an “easy peasy” Kick Mo’s Butt session.

Well, this was all wrong. Rō Fitness is NOT an “easy peasy” session, and I THRIVED on the intensity! 

I arrived at Rō Fitness 30 minutes early… only to find out I was at the wrong location—which wasn’t too far away, except for some regular Austin traffic; I made it just in time.

The downtown location sits off the main road, so if you plan accordingly for parking and walking the short distance to the beautiful studio, you will not have any major issues finding it and making it on time. I would plan 20 to 30 minutes extra for your first visit to ensure you arrive stress-free and can take in the beauty of the surrounding lake area. And if the great rowing workout on the balcony doesn’t bring you back, the destination and view should! 

Rowing class stretching.

Chelsea Moore, co-founder, instructor, chief of everything officer and HIGHLY decorated collegiate athlete, waited patiently for me to arrive, and we started only a few minutes behind. She had a small but strong group of “rowers,” and she guided me on the setup for my rowing machine. After a brief “hello,” off we went.

The rowing workout lasted about 50 minutes and was set up in intervals of a minute and 40 seconds of rowing with 20 seconds of rest. Chelsea started out by running us through three intervals at a time, where each interval was broken up a little differently and added a little intensity. What was unique is that she was on her machine leading the group to sync up the tempo for a portion of each interval, then let us independently sprint at the end of each one. 

Then, the hard part started. We kept running through intervals but we added a “PaceBoat” (this is basically a display option on the Concept2 rowing machines), which showed us our prior pace from the set before. Interval by interval, the PaceBoat got tougher to beat, and Chelsea kept encouraging us to “beat the PaceBoat,” aka develop a faster pace.

Class rowing.

We ended the workout with shorter meter intervals, which were set up like a mini race. I got to race others in the class and was motivated by them as it felt like we were in it together. There was a cool vibe about the races since we all had earned different meter totals at that time, so we all finished competitively, despite the different meter totals. That’s how they set up challenges for different fitness levels — they play off your personal stats instead of giving each person the same blanket challenge. 

Chelsea was encouraging, and I enjoyed her coaching style and skill at sharing the information in a way I could understand and apply. 

I have “rowed” for many years on and off but have not officially trained to use my legs while saving the upper body during the high-intensity sections. If you know anything about me, you know I thoroughly enjoy being challenged in any sprinting-type situation.

Rowing class posing.

For those of you interested in adding rowing to your exercise portfolio, I would investigate the free intro class offered at Rō Fitness to learn the terminology and understand how to program the rower. It helped that Chelsea configured my machine each time needed; otherwise, I would have held up the session trying to figure it out on my own.

This KMB exceeded my expectations, especially when I was singing that silly little song heading in! I believe I ended on a powerful stride and took the opportunity to fully maximize the session. I also learned that this balcony training prepares athletes to take it to the water, should that be the goal.

I highly recommend this training for all ages. Everyone can benefit. With summer already here and Austinites looking for new ways to enjoy the outdoors, this is one workout you do not want to miss.

Tell them Mo sent ya, and go enjoy! There is a cute little café next door as well, so feel free to take a book and enjoy some downtime afterward; I would next time.  

Until next month, stay fit and love life!



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