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Camaraderie is one of rowing’s best qualities as a sport—motivating individual athletes to push beyond their limits, even on days when they might have otherwise settled for a subpar performance. In fact, with its intense but low-impact training, team support, competitive spirit, and rhythmic stroke, rowing is truly an ideal form of indoor exercise for people of all ages and endurance levels. If only someone could transport the erg machine to the middle of the Thames during The Henley Regatta…
That’s exactly the experience you’ll get at EngineRm, an indoor rowing studio in Manhattan that recreates rowing at monumental regattas and gives participants—both seasoned on-water rowers and newcomers to the sport—a challenging full-body workout in the process. EngineRm founders Michael Ives and Laura Adams are banking on the belief that non-rowing exercise aficionados will become as enamored with all the sport has to offer as they (and we) are.
In fact, that’s how the idea for the studio came about—Adams, in need of a low-impact workout that wouldn’t strain her injured knee, discovered one of Ives’s indoor rowing classes. (For the uninitiated, master rower Michael Ives is a prominent figure in the competitive rowing world. In fact, he and his brother Chris, who is also an EngineRm coach, are credited with developing the first group indoor rowing program.) Adams was hooked.
Fast-forward a few years and many meters to the debut of EngineRm, New York’s only indoor rowing studio owned and operated by seasoned rowing pros.
And here’s the part we at RowingPad are especially proud of: The space is outfitted with top-of-the-line Concept2 machines, which feature custom ErgPads from RowingPad.
As another company founded by competitive rowers, RowingPad was thrilled at the opportunity to work with EngineRm to create pads for its machines. As Michael Ives says, “The challenge with all ergs, but in particular those used by multiple rowers, is that the erg has one design, one seat, but every rower’s body is unique. We like that RowingPad’s ErgPads are made from thick, laminated polymer foam layered in varying densities. It’s definitely a performance-oriented design.”
Soft layers provide EngineRm rowers with added comfort and a non-slip grip, while more dense layers allow for optimal rowing geometry. It’s a design that originated from years of on-water experience, one that has won over high-caliber rowing fans from Olympic athletes to premier boat clubs and collegiate programs.
“If our clients aren’t comfortable, they won’t perform well and they won’t want to come back,” Ives says. “These pads encourage excellent form. They have kept our rowers feeling good and paying attention to the experience, not the equipment.”
Here are a few more highlights about EngineRm.
It Has a Great Name.
Pro rowers will immediately get the reference: The Engine Room refers to the seats in the middle of the boat (in an 8-oared shell, seats 3,4,5,6) that are typically occupied by the most powerful rowers.
It Has an Impressive Rowing Heritage.
The Ives family has been making waves in the sport of rowing for generations, including a grandfather, Kenneth, who was a member of the Yale team representing the USA at the 1924 Olympics, and a brother, Ed, who rowed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.
Michael was a member of the Yale University Men’s Heavyweight Crew from 1976-1980, competing in two Eastern Sprints Championships and two Henley Royal Regatta wins (1979 and 1980). Chris rowed with the University of Massachusetts varsity crew that won the Dad Vail Championship in 1980, and, as Concept 2’s first Master Instructor, has helped implement indoor rowing programs at fitness centers around the world. (Read more about their backgrounds here.)
It Is a Truly Transportive Experience.
Anyone who has ever struggled through a lackluster indoor rowing set will appreciate the challenge of injecting energy into an erg workout. The EngineRm experience takes your mind out of the gym and into a boat on the water. For 45 minutes, participants row as if they are at Henley, The Head of the Charles, The Boat Race (Cambridge vs Oxford), the San Diego Crew Classic, and more. Ives says, “Our workouts are designed to emulate rowing on the water. There is no loud music—the energy comes from rowing together as a group through these legendary regattas. We row in unison, guided by the coach, your coxswain.”
It Has Something for Everyone.
All participants without on-water experience are required to take a beginner class to learn proper technique and form. The core EngineRm session is 45 minutes, and a one-hour Endurance class gives advanced class participants and on-water rowers a run for their money.
An extra-cool offering, especially in Manhattan, which has limited access to boathouses, is EngineRm’s youth program, available for kids ages 12 to 17, which includes 2k clinics and private training sessions. Solo training plans and insight from a guru like Chris Ives? Where was this studio when we were teens?
Find EngineRm at 1841 Broadway, Suite 320, New York, NY; rowenginerm.com.