If you have been to Power Rowing, you might have noticed it is a little different than other studios that you have attended. First off, we talk a lot more. We don’t simply say ten repetitions of this and let you have at it. We explain why we are doing each particular workout, what it will do to your body, and why it is good for you. But, one of the most striking differences might be our overall view of working out in general. We at Power Rowing take the long view of your health. Our goal isn’t just to get you sweaty and kick you out the door. Our goal is to make your healthier, make your heart, bones, and muscles stronger and to sustain that health over your lifetime. These may seem like lofty goals, but we believe they should be the baseline goals of any fitness studio. The paradigm needs to change from working out today to becoming sustainably fit for life.
After 12 years in accounting, Bryan put down his laptop and found his calling by bringing the sport of rowing to the masses.
Bryan graduated with a degree in politics from UMass Amherst and then spent five years in the Army as a counterintelligence agent with training in interrogation. During his career in the US Army, he taught group exercises in a boot camp fashion, pushing his fellow soldiers to enhance their unit’s overall fitness. After the military, Bryan obtained his MBA from Boston University and later his CPA. Bryan began rowing in 2011, joining a new Veteran outreach team at Community Rowing, Inc. in Brighton. In 2012, he promoted the program by rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in 34 days, 15 hours, and 39 minutes aboard an 8-man rowboat, the Titan. He became the fastest American to row across the Atlantic. Feel free to ask Bryan about his time at sea or read about it in his upcoming book, ‘Rowing the Atlantic Ocean, a Love Story’.
For Bryan, Power Rowing is more than just fitness. Rowing changed Bryan's life. It helped him transition from military to civilian life – that is the power of the sport. His personal experience has shaped the business as a community of people that are committed, driven, passionate, and good. They understand that healthy individuals form healthy communities. The vision for this studio has always been to build and support a healthier community, individual by individual, and family by family. The good of one is meant to strengthen and contribute to the whole. When we all pull together, we can row an ocean.
Rowing can enhance your posture: by targeting the posterior deltoids, middle trapezius, and rhomboids. These muscles counter the large pectoral muscles, and will keep you standing tall.
Approximately 86% of your muscle groups are utilized in each stroke, while remaining very low impact. Rowers suffer fewer repetitive joint injuries than runners or cyclist due to the controlled nature of the movement and the far slower speeds of rotation.
Rowing is one of the top exercises to promote a strong cardiovascular system due to oxygen levels needed for so many muscle groups.
Rowing is the second best exercise to promote bone density (after power lifting). Like swimming, rowing can be a lifetime exercise as rowers often compete into their 70’s, 80’s, and even 90’s.
"If there is no wind, row." – Roman Proverb
Spin – burns about a third fewer calories per hour than rowing. It is an excellent cardiovascular exercise; however, cycling promotes poor posture due to the nature of the equipment. Cyclists can also suffer from injuries caused by joint overuse due in part to the speed of the rotation of the flywheel, which leads to cumulative tissue micro-trauma and consequential symptoms. In overuse injuries, the problem is often not acute tissue inflammation, but chronic degeneration.
Running – burns a close number of calories as rowing and is an excellent cardiovascular exercise; however, runners suffer from a variety of impact related injuries that include plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, IT band syndrome, runner’s knee, and shin splints due to the high impact nature of the activity, which can be 2 to 3 times ones body weight per step. Additionally, running doesn’t do as much to strengthen your core or upper body.
Boxing, CrossFit, Bootcamp, and other challenging sorts of classes – burn a similar amount of calories as rowing; however, the class participants often suffer from a wide variety of injuries related to the uncontrolled nature of the exercises. Often participants are run to exhaustion and then asked to use weights or perform a high impact exercise like burpees or power lifting with little supervision. Common injuries for these high intensity classes are back injuries, sore joints, pulled muscles, and strained tendons. Admittedly, these classes are fun, but they should be taken in moderation. These classes do promote good bone density, but if you are over 40 you’ll likely be sore for a week after taking them and they are not sustainable.
Swimming – burns roughly the same amount of calories as rowing. Swimming is an extremely low impact exercise that promotes an extremely high cardiovascular system. There are few injuries related to swimming and it is activity that can be done for a lifetime; however, rowing does much more to promote bone density.
Power lifting – burns a very limited amount of calories per hour and doesn’t do much to promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Power lifting is an extremely high impact exercise, which will maximize muscular development and bone density more so than any other. Power lifters suffer from a variety of injuries primarily related to pushing themselves to lift just a little more to see continued results. The main risk is that these efforts eventually exceed the limitations of the joints and soft tissues and can result in some long-term or permanent damage.
Yoga – burns about a third of the calories of rowing. Yoga is a very low impact exercise; despite this, performing yoga poses over and over again can lead to repetitive strain and predispose you to musculoskeletal conditions. The biggest risk factor is injuries related to trying to reach the full extent of the pose. However, yoga is a great complimentary exercise to rowing.