Rowbots is a new workout studio in Fitzrovia, Central London that opened up a few months ago, I did one of their workouts and here’s my verdict
First off, the name is genius – if you haven’t guessed this yet, the workout is all about rowing. The rowing machine is actually an excellent way to do cardio, and if you hate running this might just be the one.
All the classes at ROWBOTS are 45 minutes long and are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes. If you don’t know what HIIT is, imagine it as a very intense workout that would normally last between 30 and 45 minutes, and is a mix of cardio and weights. The sets are quite quick and back to back, you rarely get to rest more than 60-90 seconds in between sets, meaning your body is active for longer. This type of training is the one that gives much better results than plain cardio, because of the quick and intense exercises. I personally prefer it to just cardio and try and get a HIIT workout at least once a week.
I tried out the Stamina Full Body workout with Sana. There is a mix of rowing and floor/weights exercises, which I believe is the case with all of the classes, no matter their focus. We started with a few minutes of warm-up, then sprint rowing for a few sets. For the floor exercises, we had a mix of squats, burpees, press-ups, jump squats, you get the gist.
They offer five different workout concepts:
- Reset: Endurance based, longer rounds, designed to build resilience
- Action: Power based, shorter rounds, designed to aid goal setting
- Stamina: Endurance based, longer rounds, designed to enhance patience and focus
- Energy: Power based, shorter rounds, designed to achieve productivity
- Switch On: Signature full body class designed to uplift and empower
Cool studio vibes throughout, the space used to be an old garage! They’ve turned it into a cool, LA-style studio (never been to LA but that’s the vibe I got), and the attention to detail is seriously amazing.
The changing rooms are chic and sleek in dark grey and beige complete with excellent toiletries. Every locker has a USB port so you can leave your phone to charge while you workout.
In terms of the beauty selection, (because let’s be honest, if you care even a little bit about beauty, then you want to know) they have Byredo hand soaps, ohne organic tampons (recently met the founders and their brand ethos is great, and so are their products), Grown Alchemist hair/body soaps and body cream and perhaps my favourite detail; Dyson hairdryers and ghd straighteners.
It’s the little details that make the whole experience more special. I usually never wash my hair in workout studios because I prefer to use my own hair products, but with this great selection, I was happy to wash my hair at ROWBOTS.
They also have recycled and biodegradable cotton pads, made with charcoal if you wish to remove your makeup and the whole studio is plastic-free including their juice/smoothie area.
About the studio
ROWBOTS has been co-founded and developed by star footballer and athlete Gareth Bale together with fitness experts. The mental health aspect is very important for ROWBOTS, and psychotherapist Zoë Aston has developed the Mental Health Workout™ to help the workout go beyond your typical exercise routine.
“Most fitness studios are aware of the short-and long-term effects of exercise on mental health, and they rely on it as a secondary gain. At ROWBOTS we offer specific and targeted Mental Health Workouts, alongside the high intensity physical workout to strengthen, change and challenge your mindset, as well as your body. The core team is informed and educated around people’s emotional needs and wants so our users will feel safe, challenged and accountable, and therefore able to fulfill previously blocked potential” Zoë Aston said.
It’s not a huge space but they have taken advantage of every single bit of space. The workout is intense but good. Perhaps not suitable for people not used to high intensity workouts or complete beginners, as you’d need to have built your stamina up for this type of workout. It’s a great challenge either way!
I liked the fact the class wasn’t too crowded, so if that’s you, avoid 7:30 and 17:30 classes which are the busiest. If you are in the area 12:30 is ideal, and I believe they will be adding more classes soon.
They have an intro offer for £25 for 7 days of unlimited classes for new customers