Chicago Fitness Studio Review: Go Row Chicago

High-Intensity Interval Training is so hot right now, and there are tons of studios across Chicago offering that style of class. One such studio is Go Row, however, they are one of the few studios I have come across that include rowing as part of their class. Emo Knee likes rowing. These classes are also a tough workout. But enjoyable! This has been one of my favorite ClassPass finds.

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Picture from the Go Row Facebook page

Until discovering Go Row, my rowing experience has been limited to:

  • Using the rowing machine at the gym but not really knowing what I’m doing
  • A couple of kayak excursions on the Chicago River (more paddling than rowing)

In a nutshell: Circuit class using rowing as the cardio.

The workout: Every class at Go Row starts with the instructor reviewing proper rowing form. Apparently, rowing is not all about the arms. 60% of you power should actually come from your legs. But given how you row, it won’t aggravate runner’s knee. The other 40% of your power should equally come from your core and your arms.

The typical Go Row class format alternates between rowing intervals and strength exercises on the floor using weights, kettlebells, bands, a bench and bodyweight. I usually end class dripping in sweat, exhausted from the rowing, and my arms are quivering from the weights. I love it. FEEL THE BURN. They also offer a Go All Row format which spends more time rowing and a little bit of core work, and a Go Row Circut which moves through rowing, strength and aerobic stations.

Level: All levels welcome! You pick your weights and you can row as hard or as leisurely as you need to.

Instructors: Very friendly and encouraging.

Workout space: The rowers are up on a platform, and the floor has a weightbench for each “station,” with TRX straps that can come down. There are dumbbells, kettlebells and bands available.

The rest of the space: The rowing studio is in the basement, with their own one-person restroom and cubbies for your stuff. Upstairs is a locker/changing/shower room, another one-person bathroom, water and some goodies for sale.


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Overall: This is one of my favorite studios in Chicago. I love that I can get a great workout with both cardio and strength without aggravating my Emo Knee, or dealing with the butt strain of a spin class.

Workouts: HIIT Circuit with rowing
Showers: yes
Lockers and/or cubbies: both
Towels: yes for workout, I believe provide your own for showers
Water: water cooler
Food: I believe they sell some goodies

Picture from the Go Row Facebook page

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4 Comments on “Chicago Fitness Studio Review: Go Row Chicago”

  1. “HIIT is so hot right now” – and this is why I was doing it a couple years ago. I’m SO on-trend 🙂 An all-rowing class sounds pretty cool!

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