Total Beauty

Posted by Total Beauty 06/05/12 at 03:40PM

When I signed up to check out a preview of Equinox's newest class, ShockWave, I was petrified. The invitation mentioned rowing, which has intimidated me ever since I went to a liberal arts college in New England and had rower friends. They were beyond fit. Plus, it said that Josh Crosby, a world champion rower, would be leading the class. And a quick Google search revealed that not only is he a rower and a triathlon winner -- he's also incredibly good looking.

I walked into class and was relieved to see only eight rowing machines and thirty people -- maybe I wouldn't be subjected to a full hour of torture on the contraption. Crosby and his ShockWave co-creator, Jay Blahnik, explained that the class is set up into four different intervals, and only one station is rowing. You're on a team with the other people at the same station, and you can't switch until the last rower finishes the mandatory distance. So, basically, if you're a bad rower you'll have the entire room yelling at you to hurry up.

Needless to say, by the time we got started I was even more nervous. I joined my team and made my way through all four stations (abs, arms, legs and then the dreaded rower) without an issue. But that was just the practice round. Three actual rounds followed -- and the race-like atmosphere made the 30-minute class whiz by in a blur. I became uncharacteristically competitive -- trying to beat my fellow rowers to the finish line -- and somehow that was the station I looked forward to each round. I actually liked the rowing machine! (And sure, the hot instructor may have helped.)

Classes are already open in Southern California, and they're just starting to hit schedules in New York and other Equinox gyms around the country. If you're a member, check it out -- and if you're not, consider dusting off the rowing machine in the back of your local gym. It's a lot more fun than it looks -- and you'll get an amazing workout.
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