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Fit Review: D.C.'s First Indoor Rowing Studio - RowVigor!

Fit Review: D.C.'s First Indoor Rowing Studio - RowVigor!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 9:08am
Overall Score: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Fun Factor: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Date Attended: 
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 5:45pm
$30 per class (but there are always specials!)
Class Title: 
To The Core
Class Description: 

Last week, I set out to check out D.C.'s newest--and only--rowing studio, RowVigor! D.C. area residents have been fortunate enough to try out some indoor rowing thanks to the Cross Fit movement and Orange Theory studios. But we have not seen a studio devoted solely to indoor rowing--until now.

I found out about the RowVigor studio on Active Life DC, and I quickly took advantage of the discounted class as a first-time student. I was fairly certain that I would enjoy the workout (can't think of one I dislike), but I didn't know how much the rest of my body would "enjoy" the workout! After the first five minutes, I could already feel my abs working, and the day after the workout, I realized my entire lower body got in on the fun as well.

My friend and I tried out the "To The Core" class led by Fola. As the name suggests, this class incorporated lots of core work with heart pumping rowing. The workout consisted of progressively longer rounds of rowing (1 minutes, then 2 minutes, 3 minutes, etc). Between each round of rowing, we'd hop off our machines and on onto our adjacent mats for planks and crunches, and some more planks. Even without the mat work, I noticed my core was on fire with every pull of the cable. (Please excuse my novice rowing lingo, my follow up post will sound more like I know what I'm talking about, maybe).

The workout was intense but still low-impact, which is probably great for anyone coming out of an injury. It was a nice change of pace for me and my usual routines of jumping and running all over the place. Fola, our instructor, was very laid back, but obviously very knowledgeable about technique. He took the time to correct our form, throughout the class. The classes are always small, since there are no more than 10 machines ("Ergs") in the studio. This way you know you'll get plenty of attention from the instructor and you won't be stuffed into a tiny space fighting for air. The smaller class size also made it easier to talk smack to fellow students as we "raced" in an all out rowing sprint to close out class!

My favorite part of the class, by far, was the "Power 10" segment, where we would interrupt our steady rowing for 10 super powerful rows, aiming to double or triple our normal wattage/power. I don't know where my extra burst of power came from, but I managed to double my wattage each time! Apparently, I have a long way to go since my average wattage reached about 250, and Fola tells me about professionals and RowVigor regulars who hit 800 in a just few minutes. (umm what??)

If you follow the blog, you know I'm always up for a new challenge, so I will most definitely return to see if I an outdo myself. The next class on my list is Heart to Heart, which is a mix of powerful rowing with HIIT circuits and BURPEES!! yay!!

To check out the studio yourself, visit for class specials! Tell them I sent you!

Instructor Name: 
Coach Fola
A towel and a competitive spirit!
Tight fitting, comfortable clothing. You don't want anything holding your stroke back!
About the Author

Sharita Jennings is a group fitness instructor in the Washington D.C. area with a passion for creating fun and challenging workouts for people of all fitness levels.

Sharita teaches indoor rowing, boot camps, cardio, resistance training, and circuit training classes at RowVigor and VFitDC a fitness concierge service for residences and companies across the D.C metro area. Additionally, Sharita is the creator and author of the blog where she offers tips and tricks to help people stay healthy and fit. You can join one of her workouts or contact her online coaching! To learn more about Sharita, visit her on Twitter and Instagram (@GetFitLikeThat) and check out her blog at