Adam Gruen is an Area Developer of Row House and the owner of Row House Santa Monica. We had the privilege to speak with him about his fitness passion and how he became an advocate for rowing.
What made you decide to get into the fitness business with Row House?
Gruen: The point that I joined the franchise, I was looking for life change, but still wanted to be in business for myself. I looked at a lot of different franchises and fitness had always been a personal passion for both my wife and me. When I found Row House, I thought it was really intriguing and upon Discovery Day and taking a class, I realized how awesome of a workout it was and decided to roll with it.
What is the most intriguing part about a Row House workout?
Gruen: I love how effective, yet safe the workout is for your body, and I really love the community atmosphere. The sport of crew is one where camaraderie, being in sync, and being there for your teammates is crucially important, more so than almost any other sport. You can't have your stroke be off by a millisecond, relative to that person who's in front of you or behind you in that same boat. We really embody that togetherness and that team spirit in our fitness studio. Not just in our classes, but in terms of how we interact with our fellow team members and our membership community.
Why did you choose Row House?
Gruen: Being attracted to fitness, obviously it kind of piqued my interest there. I have to say what really, really got me was the Discovery Day experience and just meeting the corporate team. Then the workout was so fun. When I talk to a lot of members and or potential members, I'm always trying to tell them that working out a lot of times can feel tedious, it can feel like work, but it's our job to make it feel like play. That was my first Row House experience and that was what sealed the deal for me.
If someone were to ask you about Row House, what would you want them to know?
Gruen: I would want them to come in and know you only need regular exercise clothes, no special equipment, and just come with an open mind as to what to expect. Rowing is kind of a newer modality for most people. The reality is most people haven't taken a rowing class. I want them to come with an open mind and get ready for a really fun workout.
What should someone expect at their first class?
Gruen: I always tell people to come 15 minutes early because at our studio, we always want to give somebody one-on-one time beforehand to get comfortable. We're low impact, but we're just as effective, if not more so, than anything else out there and it's going to be a good time. It's effort based, if the workout ever feels too easy, it's because they're holding something back and need to put a little more into it and if it ever feels too hard, don't hesitate to pull a little bit back. You don't want to gas yourself out too early.
What makes a Row House workout so effective?
Gruen: I often let people know I can give you a drill that in a minute and a half to two minutes is going to leave you just totally wasted for the next couple days, or I can show you how to row for four days straight without taking a break and anywhere in between. The quality of the workout that you get from us is largely dependent on you. Yes, our coaches are there to motivate you and help hold you accountable, but because it's effort based, the rowing machine is a real-time accountability machine. Every single stroke it's essentially readjusting based on how hard you're pushing off of the foot plates. So, if it's too easy, you just have to push harder. It's not like a spin bike where you can crank the dial and then you feel that amount of resistance. You have to continually apply yourself.
How does ClubReady help you manage your operations?
Gruen: Well, because ClubReady is so intertwined with Xponential, everything that we do is ClubReady. It’s sort of our lifeblood. It's our data management, so it helps us to really be on top of things. It's inventory management, it's our database. Using [the product] iKizmet allows me to have a higher-level data look at my business because it's really detailed. It allows me to get in there on a granular level. The PIQ [product] is for our seating chart and statistics for all our rowers. That's a huge part of what we do. It's how we maintain and encourage our community because we keep track of milestones to celebrate members and we get that data from PIQ.
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