Group cycling has been the hot topic in group exercise for the past few years, its growth fueled by a celebrity following, a plethora of class formats and continually improving technology that allows for better tracking and more engaging audio/visual elements. But when the American College of Sports Medicine released its list of top 20 fitness trends for 2014, group cycling was nowhere to be found, suggesting to many that it was a fading craze. Meanwhile, whispers of a competitor have been growing from out of the shadows of the cardio floor. The rowing machine, a tried-and-true — if somewhat neglected — staple is being hailed by some as the successor to group cycling.
Is a rowing revolution upon us? Though still in its infancy in the Midwest, rowing has a stronger following on the East Coast, where rowing studios are popping up and rowing-based group exercise classes are finding their way onto health clubs’ schedules. The trend is driven in part by a change in workout expectations. While traditional cardio workouts will always have their followers — members who come in and grab an elliptical, bike or treadmill, pop in their ear buds and zone out for an hour — more fitness enthusiasts are looking for new ways to get the most from their workouts, and rowing is certainly one way to do that, offering an intense full-body workout.
While most fitness club owners might still laugh at the idea of investing in a fleet of rowers or clearing a space on the group exercise schedule for group rowing, many do feel comfortable adding a few more to the cardio floor. “We’re seeing more places putting in areas of 6 to 12 rowers that people can use in groups, but not formal class setups,” says the industry veteran.
The growing popularity of rowing doesn’t spell doom for the group cycling studio. “Group cycling seems to be stable and strong, contrary to the American College of Sports Medicine rankings for 2014,” the industry veteran says. “Part of that trend is the introduction of technology in both video and computer tracking of workout data.”
From higher-end studios with bigger and better video and audio enhancements to stretching the definition of what constitutes a “stationary” bike, when it comes to technology, group cycling still has plenty of room to grow and more to offer to its participants. With so many class format variations available and more to come, it will likely be a while before group cycling classes reach the end of their life cycle.
For any fitness facility, keeping up on the latest workout trends is pointless if it isn’t also keeping up on the latest technology.
To keep the trend of group cycling growing, technology plays an important aspect. People who normally exercise in traditional cardio equipment such as treadmills and ellipticals can pop in their ear buds and zone out to music or television shows for an hour. Group cycling however doesn’t necessarily have that option in most fitness facilities. And who’s to say that it’s only for adults.
Exergame fitness takes the rowing machine into a whole other level. We offer the rowing machine to children and adults in either a club, school, or community center. But that’s not all. Included is a virtual rowing software where it combines the rowing stroke to a virtual reality rowing course on which you can play against other people or test yourself. Its high resolution 3D graphichs capture the look and feel of the great outdoors.
Perfect for any facility, Water Rower VGS will let your members escape into a total immersion world and keeps them coming back.