Austin Fit Field Trip: Rō Fitness

By AFM Staff – May 1, 2014

Recently, the Austin Fit Magazine team had the opportunity to visit Rō Fitness, an indoor rowing facility situated in the Waller Creek Boathouse, which overlooks Lady Bird Lake;  it provides high intensity, low impact indoor rowing workouts for people of all fitness levels in small, group classes.

Take a look at our thoughts after the workout.

Alex: What an amazing back drop for a workout, located in the Waller Creek Boathouse, next to the Four Seasons Hotel. This workout is all about learning correct technique, rhythm in your rowing strokes, and getting a great whole body workout. Owner Chelsea Moore is a former collegiate rower and coach, and was hands-on in teaching us proper technique on stationery Concept 2 rowing machines. The group class on the balcony of the boathouse overlooking the lake couldn’t be more peaceful.  We focused first on proper form, and then worked our way into building cadence in our strokes over six, four-minute minute intervals. You feel this type of workout in your quads, lats, core, just about everywhere!  It’s something I would recommend to everyone, because you’re building strength while also working in an aerobic capacity. And don’t be shy, the first workout is on them, so take advantage and give them a try.

Allegra: The recent rowing workout was an incredibly engaging experience, where we not only worked our entire bodies, but our lively instructor, Chelsea, also encouraged us to reach deep and give every ounce of energy we had. “Leave it all here,” she said—and we did! The hour-long row at Austin’s indoor rowing studio focused on high-intensity interval training, which we were able to adapt to each of our fitness levels. By Round Two my arms were burning, and the proper rowing form Chelsea had taught us prior to the workout was beginning to slack. Yet, with a beautiful scenic view of the lake and an early morning breeze, it was easy to forget the pain, push on, and enjoy a great workout with great people.

Jackie: After only one class at Rō Fitness, I can safely say indoor rowing is now my new favorite workout. Our wonderful instructor, Chelsea, set up the rowing machines out on the back patio so we could enjoy the lake scenery and breezy weather during our class. We started out with a five-minute warm up, followed by a series of intense intervals with quick active cool-downs in between. By the end of the class, I was really feeling it; I never realized that rowing could be a full body workout. The indoor rowing machines provide almost the same workout you would get from actually rowing on the lake. And the fans from the machines even sounded like waves crashing, so I felt like I was getting the full experience! I love when I can get a great workout and have fun doing it. Thanks Rō Fitness.

Natalie: Beautiful setting and active instructor notwithstanding, indoor rowing needs to somehow find a place in your fitness plan. And I’m saying this as much for myself as anyone.

I’ve used the ergometer before as a means to high-intensity cardio to cap off  a strength workout, but never been properly instructed on form, particularly the importance of the hands in the stroke. Our instructor, Chelsea Moore, offered appropriate feedback and also motivated us to find our limits during the workout. The row itself offers a nice full-body workout, as you push or drive with the legs and then finish by pulling with the arms, back, and core. With so many muscles engaged, the need for oxygen is quickly apparent and the heart rate quickens.

Our session of six, four-minute rounds left me with the flush of a track workout, but without pounded legs and joints. Feel it to believe it.

Sarah: I'm not typically a fan of a stationary workout, so my skepticism of a 45-minute rowing machine workout was understandable. However, my reservations were quickly set aside when I arrived at the lovely Waller Creek Boathouse. With a lake-facing view and perfect spring breeze, I almost forgot I was working out. Almost.

The interval workout that our instructor, Chelsea, put us through definitely got my heart racing and my muscles burning. My favorite thing about rowing is the full-body workout you receive in the process, and our instructor's background in collegiate rowing meant we weren't getting away with any bad form, so we got the most out of each stroke. This is a great option for anyone who is looking for a low impact sweat session or even just some regular conditioning in addition to their regular fitness regime. I'd love to visit again in the future; in fact, I might just go later this week.


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