Do you ever catch yourself driving by the same spot over and over again and saying “one of these days, I am going to check that place out”?
Between visiting my siblings who live in the Hyde Park area, grabbing a cup of joe at Starbucks, lunching at Green Dog Cafe, or having drinks with friends at Pearl’s, I easily drive up and down Columbia Parkway twice a day. Which means I pass by It’s Working Out at least two times a day. I’ve always been so attracted to their signage and artsy mural in the parking lot, and have been wanting to give their classes a try for ages. So, you can imagine my excitement when we connected with the owner, Kristen McAuliffe, who invited us in to try a class.
This time, I was the one to drag Mer out of bed for a 5:45am class. We attended Nikki’s Row Mashup class, which primarily consisted of rowing drills on the water rower, with 4 minute “breaks” for mat work. Here are a few of my highlights and takeaways from class, and from our conversation with Kristen and Nikki.
IWO classes involve individual work with a team atmosphere. For the Row Mashup, each person gets an individual rower with a coaching monitor to keep track of their effort. (Side note: did you know that rowing works 85% of your muscles? Talk about a full body workout.) They have white boards on the wall that show member’s PRs, and during class the instructor pushes participants to do better than their last PR (rather than racing with the person next to you). The rowers are arranged in a circle, rather than in rows facing the instructor, to encourage community and a teamlike environment. During sprint drills where the goal is to, for example, get to .25 miles as quickly as possible, those who finished early turned to cheer the rest of the group on (yes, cheering at 5:45am can and does happen). After class, I learned that it was one of IWO’s key missions to build a supportive atmosphere, and they did it. They really did it.
The WaterRower trumps all other rowers. Yes, this is 100% opinion and people may argue otherwise. But I enjoyed (yes, I said enjoyed) this rower so much more than the air rower that I’m accustomed to using. So, I decided it was worth investigating why I felt this way. What I found out when googling comparisons between the WaterRower and air rowers is that the largest difference is resistance. With an air rower, you manually set your resistance, and the mechanics adjust resistance accordingly. The WaterRower’s resistance is provided by (drumroll, please)... water. Each machine has paddles suspended in a tank of water, and the rowing handles spin the paddles around in the tank. This creates drag/ resistance, and the faster you row, the faster the paddles must move the water. So, this faster pace requires more and more force, meaning the harder you row, the more resistance you feel and the more force you must apply. I somehow was able to avoid physics class in high school, but for all your science brains out there, this is directly correlated to the “rule of cubes”.
Their instructors are uber-qualified to train you, especially if you’re trying to improve your golf game. IWO trainers have a laundry list of certifications to train beginners to very advanced athletes. But there’s one specific certification that deserves a spotlight. It’s Working Out’s owner, Kristen, and trainer, Nikki, are two of the only Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Certified Trainers in the tri-state. Kristen and Nikki work with golfers to improve their game by focusing less on the swing mechanics, and more on individual body structure and capacity to support a proper swing. TPI’s philosophy is that they “believe there are an infinite number of ways to swing a club. [but they] believe there is one efficient way for everyone to swing a club, and it is based on what they can physically do.” This program teaches golfers the most efficient, effective way to swing a club based on their individual build. Do you dream of joining the PGA Tour? Well, 56 of the last 85 PGA TOUR events were won by players advised by a TPI Certified Expert, so here’s your chance.
IWO gives you the chance to try something new. They were one of the first places in Cincinnati to offer TRX classes, and have unique offerings that are sure to break up the monotony of your normal workout schedule. This includes a new Stretch and Roll recovery class, which I think we could all benefit from.
I think you’d enjoy It’s Working Out if you: a) are looking for a membership at a studio that offers a variety of classes (strength, cardio, stretch) b) are an aspiring PGA tour golfer, or simply want to be able to beat your father-in-law in a round, c) enjoy some peer to peer encouragement while you train, or d) drive down Columbia Parkway frequently and are looking for something convenient.