Rowing classes have become increasingly popular in NYC as of late–studios like Row House and City Row have been popping up left and right. However, Current Fitness distinguishes itself by taking a new, choreography-based approach to rowing. I was hesitant to take a rowing class because I’m not particularly good at it (#comfortzones), but the choreography-approach to it drew me in, so I trekked down to Tribeca to rock and row.
Current is a short walk from the Canal Street subway stations. Right at the point when you think you’re lost, you’ll see the sign outside their building. The studio is up a flight of stairs and the waiting area is bright, open, and spacious. Given the small class sizes, you probably won’t end up body-to-body between classes, which is great. Walls are decorated with branded tote bags and Polaroids of students and teachers after classes. The rowing room is dark and lit with candles–a stark contrast from the waiting area.
Lockers are available, as are a few beauty products in the bathroom, but the studio doesn’t have showers, unfortunately.
I took class with Simoné, who was great. We’d previously chatted on Instagram, so when she invited me to class, I couldn’t wait! Simoné was super friendly, played great music, encouraged class participants to push themselves, and did a great job explaining how to use the rowers.
First thing’s first–this class is a ton of fun. As noted, you’re rowing to the beat of the music and throwing some choreography into the mix–for example, rowing double time, smaller vs. larger movements, leaning back more to engage your core, etc. The instructor will call out which move(s) to do, or you can just follow her lead. There’s lots of cheering and positive vibes–think Soul Cycle on a rower. The intimate vibe of the studio was also appealing–classes maxed out at 10 or 12 rowers, which is nice.
However, there were a number of things I didn’t like about this class. First, the instructor played the music WAY too loud. While this increases the energy in the room, which is great, it made it nearly impossible to hear her instructions, which was a bit frustrating. Second, the “mood lighting” was so dark that I couldn’t see the resistance knob on the rower, so when she said to “turn it up a couple of notches,” I had no idea how to gauge the size of a “notch”. This could be fixed with some sort of glow-in-the-dark labeling or slightly brighter lights. The lighting also made it difficult to find my weights during the weight section of class (side note–while I appreciate mixing it up, I’m not quite sure why we’re breaking into an arm weights series in a rowing class that focuses a lot on arm work!).
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I didn’t think this class was particularly difficult. While I’ve never taken a rowing class in NYC, I have taken classes with rowing elements (The Fhitting Room, Throwback Fitness), and standard rowers are hard. This was a different type of rower that seemed to focus more on arms than a full body workout. Even when I’d maxed out the resistance on the rower, I still didn’t find the workout particularly challenging (though I did break a sweat). I’m definitely in shape, but I’m by no means the fittest person ever; I regularly find myself out of my comfort zone in strength training/HIIT classes! As someone who does mostly barre and dance, I was hoping for a bit more challenge.
Overall, I did feel some burn in my arms and abs, so this would be a good studio to check out after leg day. I left (sort of) sweaty and had a great time, so I’d come back for a fun date with a friend if I’m in the area, but I probably wouldn’t incorporate this studio into a serious workout regimen.
Everyone at Current was super friendly, from the person working front desk, to the instructor, to the other students. It was hard to gauge the vibe given the small class size, though–we only had about 5 people in class, and I think all but two of them were new.
A single, 45-minute class is $34–kind of steep, but comparable to SoulCycle, I guess. It doesn’t look like the studio has intro specials at the moment, but it may be worth an inquiry since they are relatively new!