Do you want to break a sweat, push yourself, build a community of new parents and have fun? Oh, do you want to bring your baby too? No problem, because Cru Row Club in Minneapolis checks every one of those boxes.
Betsy Koch and Elizabeth Fulmer started Cru to fill a need in the Twin Cities fitness community: low-impact workouts that still get your hear racing. Another big need? Workouts that cater to new parents who might not have the luxury of leaving their little one for a workout.
Cru classes center around using a rowing machine, which offers the opportunity for an aerobic and anaerobic workout while using numerous muscles groups, all at the same time. These classes offer the ability to push yourself or listen to your body and slow down.
Currently, Cru offers a Row and Sculpt class several times a week, as well as a Postpartum Core and Cardio Class. The latter of the two is meant to ease new parents into working out, all while focusing on rebuilding your core after birth. Attendees can even bring their little one, setting them next to their rowing machine and spending time on the mat with them during the workout. For parents that want a little me-time, Cru also offers child care in their play lounge with advanced sign-up.
I was invited by Cru co-founder, Betsy Koch, to strap into a rowing machine and check out what their classes are all about. I chose the Row and Sculpt class and I'll tell you from the jump, it was hard work, but it was well worth it.
Fun fact about me, I was a rower in college. I have spent many, many hours on a rowing machine. I was both excited about this class and terrified; I hadn't rowed in almost a decade. Luckily, everything came back quickly. Not so lucky, I am way too competitive and pushed myself to row like I was 20 again.
Betsy does an amazing job of setting up a class that is going to be both challenging and allow you to take it at your own pace. At a Cru class, you're competing with yourself, which only further helps to build a sense of community with your fellow classmates.
My class alternated between 500 meter sets on the rowing machine and toning moves on the mat. I loved that I was able to break up my time on the rowing machine and still keep my heart rate up. Pro tip: you feel amazing when you start your 500 meter set, then half way through you realize you started way too fast. Always take it slow to start and build up intensity as you go.
I also loved that Betsy really motivated us through out the class; she had a way of saying just the right thing at the right time. In rowing, there is a position called the coxswain. The coxswain steers the boat, but they also encourage you through the race, giving you instructions on how to row given what's happening. Folks, it's a doula. A rowing doula. I was a rower and a coxswain in college, so it's really not a stretch to see how I found myself as a doula today.
Cru makes it really easy to try out their classes. You can checkout their schedules and register for class online. They also offer an introductory package that essentially allows you to try three classes for the price of two! Love me some deals.
I highly recommend dropping in for a class. I'm sure you'll be walking out with more confidence, lots of sweat and a few new parent friends to add to your village.
Huge shout out to Meredith Westin Photography for taking photos of me while I sweat my ass off.