On this episode of the show, I am interviewing Brad Carr, franchise owner of Row House Chesterfield, and Jordan Richardson, the director of marketing. Row House is a boutique fitness concept focused on indoor rowing. Whether you’re young or old, active or non-active, experienced or a novice, Row House has a class that allows anyone to excel and reach their goals. Each class builds aerobic endurance and muscular strength all in one workout. With a challenging combination of classes that incorporate resistance training, rowing, and stretching, you will get the most out of a Row House workout.

Website: https://www.therowhouse.com/
Phone(314) 391-2136 

This episode has been transcribed by otter. ai.
Hello, and welcome to STL Active St Louis’s premier health and wellness podcast. STL active aims to give listeners in the St. Louis area the information they need to succeed and progress with their health and fitness. This podcast is brought to you by stlouispt.com and hosted by Doctor of Physical Therapy, Greg Judice.

Hey everyone, it’s Dr. Greg, owner, and physical therapist at Judice Sports & Rehab. On this episode of the show, I’m interviewing Brad Carr and Jordan Richardson from Row House here in Chesterfield, Missouri. Row House is a low impact boutique fitness facility based around rowing for a full-body workout. Brad and Jordan have developed a love for helping people with their fitness, and are excited to share this new type of fitness with the St. Louis area. Without further ado, let’s get into the interview with Brad Carr and Jordan Richardson.

Welcome to the show! Today we have Brad Carr and Jordan Richardson of Row House here in Chesterfield, Missouri. Welcome, guys. Thank you excited to be here. Very excited, super excited to have you. So we’re gonna start off just having you introduce yourself to the listeners. So we’ll start with Brad, tell us about you. Well, welcome, everybody. And thank you for listening. My name is Brad Carr had a corporate career for over 30 years with one company. after I retired from that, I started looking into different businesses and things that I could open up to kind of extend into retirement, etc. and came across Row House, which was a fairly new concept, which we’ll talk about as we go through this today. But took a couple of years to get the location opened. I have three kids who are spread out across the country who are not involved in the business, fortunately. But anyway, having a lot of fun with it, enjoying everything that we’re doing. And you know, we’ve been open now a few months and are really enjoying it and having a good time as our members are as well. Yeah, I can imagine with COVID and everything, just put a wrench in everything. So it did it pushed us back. You know, we were supposed to open originally March and push back then it was April than we’d like. Yeah, we better push back into. I thought by July we would be fine. Right? And here we are. Yeah. So it’s just been a crazy, crazy year. So. Alright, Jordan, let’s hear about Jordan. Absolutely. So I am. First of all, Brad, I don’t know if you said I’m sure it was implied that you’re the owner of Row House Chesterfield, and I am the Director of Marketing for Row House Chesterfield. I’ll also mention that my direct supervisor is also my wife, her name is Brandy. And so she’s just in charge all the time. She’s in charge at work at home and makes my life a whole lot easier. So that’s great, great dynamic for us. But my background is; is I originally come from higher education. I’m originally from Mississippi, I have a master’s degree in higher education, student personnel. But my last year of graduate school, I was overweight, pudgy looking, and decided I wanted to make a change in my life. So I decided to go on over and try out a group fitness place in Oxford, Mississippi, where I was in school. And I just fell in love with fitness and decided to take a little bit of a career move away from higher education. I was an academic advisor in the past. And here I am working in group fitness with Brad to give me the opportunity to work with my wife. So it’s been really great been a lot of fun. It’s been a challenge. I’m not particularly trained in these things, but I think Brad just saw something in me and I saw something in Row House. That was great. And here we are. Absolutely. And I mean, part of your role as a marketing director is just being able to never see your face you don’t want to meet you know, you’re able to make friends with anybody you talk to you probably I will say
So, I gotta ask Brad, the corporate world to Row House. How did we get here? Yeah, so the company I worked for, in a lot of ways was similar because we had 8000 locations across the world. And so I was used to dealing and I, my career started in just a branch. So you know, you start off as a, you know, management trainee, and then you become a branch manager, and you’ve got five or six employees. So I was kind of comfortable and familiar with that atmosphere. And I really liked that atmosphere. So, you know, I wanted something. So, you know, as I was looking, what, what am I going to do? You know, I’m, I don’t want to just sit around, I can’t play golf every day, that’d be too frustrating. So, you know, what am I going to do to you know, keep myself busy. And so I started looking at franchise businesses and things like that. And so then you start to look at, okay, what is going to be sort of Amazon-proof that, you know, can’t just be usurped by something Amazon decides to do at some point. And then what can help people also, and you know, as you look at sort of the nature of the environment that everybody’s living in, out, even outside of COVID, but just health. And so that’s where I started looking at, you know, fitness, and things like that. And so there’s all the, you know, all the different concepts out there. And even so, if you kind of get into kind of subcategories of that, it’s like what can appeal to the most people. And rowhouse was a fairly new concept. It’s, it’s owned by exponential brands. And exponential has, I think, eight different concepts, Club Pilates, and yoga, six and cycle bar. So a lot of different concepts. And they’ve been very successful with each of those concepts. But, what I liked about rowing was that it appealed to everybody. And so I also like kind of the little sense of community, you get out of it, by having that studio, having your members, you know, having a small team that and just creating a certain atmosphere. And the company I worked at, for all that time was, was really good at customer service, and really good at welcoming customers and making them feel at home. And you know, making sure that it was we were had a nice place to do business for them. And that’s kind of how I want our location to feel for customers as well. I really like going there, not just because it’s exercise, but because everybody says you have to Yeah, yeah, because you want to be there and, you know, we’ve done some things as well as we can with COVID and everything going on to just try to create kind of fun, fun little, whether it’s a little happy hour after or, you know, we call it meters and mimosas in the mornings’ things we do you know, where, you know, anything you can do involving alcohol is just going to be well received. So and you’ve earned that out. Yeah, you did, yeah, earn the Row House clamored for 45 minutes, and then you know, get to have a little Mimosa. So just different things like that to have fun. So it’s really kind of fun to, you know, in every sense of the word own that kind of process for, for us and for those members. And, and so far, so good. You know, it’s it’s very early on, and there’s we’ve had a lot of, you know, hurdles to leap over with, with COVID. And everything going on with that.
And, you know, certainly, when the process takes so long, I mean, to start, you know, any body listening out there that maybe has owned a business or started a business, I mean, it can take a long time to get that built up, you know, by the time you sign a franchise agreement, look for property, then you got to find a contractor, and then you got to go through, it’s taken two years, you know, to get this thing open. And we did push it back a few months, as we mentioned earlier, because of COVID. And, and I thought by, you know, the time we opened in July, oh, we’ll be at the very bottom of the downward slope of that. And it’ll just be all uphill. And here we are, you know, edging back up again. So in the middle of it anyway. So but it’s been, it’s been a great ride so far. And we’re, we’re having a lot of success, even despite the challenges of COVID. We do have these customers, and I’m gonna wait a little bit longer before I do something permanent and bright, etc. But so far, the response has been really good. And our growth rate in member growth has been great due to Jordan and Brandy and the job they are doing. Yeah, that’s great to hear. I know, this is, you know, a stressful time for everybody and whether it’s monetary or time or, you know, the anxiety of leaving the house and all that so it can kind of add up. Yeah, I mean, it’s good. That’s great that you’ve, you’ve found something that you’re passionate about and that you love. We’ve touched on it a little bit, but maybe let’s go into why Roadhouse. Right. You had eight options with the what was it extra? exponential, right. So why rowing and was presented with a lot of other ones as well. Yeah, that’s probably the key question is what I liked most about rowing was one, it was a little underappreciated. And we’ll talk probably at some point about
You came to a class and your experience there, but it was a little under-appreciated in terms of a total fitness routine rowing works 85 plus percent of your body’s muscles while you’re doing that activity. Now, the way the class structure is set up, and they are classes, so you’re not just coming in by yourself. But if you look across kind of the spectrum of all the different exercise routines, and all the different competitors that are out there, almost all of them have rowing as a component of it. So what Row House has kind of done is flipped the script a little bit and made rowing the primary part of the workout. And then we supplement that throughout the different class types that we have, with various body weights, you know, free weights and different exercises to enhance whether it’s certain muscle groups, whether it’s, you know, legs, core arms as primary, you know, what we talked about, we do different exercises, it’s going to enhance us with different free weights. And that may be as simple as you know, just doing curls, or it may be doing, you know, push ups, or it may be doing sit ups or whatever different things we do. And there’s a lot of different class types we’ll get into here, but, but the reason I liked it most of all was because it was low impact. And so it appealed to a broad demographic. So it was very as a different concept. under appreciated, I felt like it was kind of on an upward trend in terms of its popularity again. So I liked the timing of it, and I liked it, it was a little bit different, you know, I liked that it wasn’t just going and you had to, you know, start lifting up truck tires, and you’re gonna do box jumps and all that kind of stuff. I like that it appealed to a broad demographic. So, man, woman, you know, 15 years old, 85 years old. And we have members that are in their 80s men and women who can come in and do this and come and we have members who are in their 20s and 30s, who are very, very, very good shape, who also do it. But they just use a different amount of power. So that’s what’s nice about it is everybody rows, when we do a class, you row in what we call swing, so everybody’s in the same tempo in the same pace. And that same pace that they keep up in beats per minute. So with the songs that we play, during the classes, and it’s a fun class atmosphere, the lights, the music, that we play the role of the coach, who leads the class, it’s a really fun atmosphere. And so as I went through that, and you know, I took a class, before I had signed up to do a franchise, I’m like, Oh, my God, it’s just fun, you know, I’m getting a really, really good workout, you know, and I was sweating like crazy. So I knew that I’d had a really good cardio workout, the fact that they, you know, the way the weights were integrated with it, and, and all the different exercises with the rowing, I thought, wow, this is just a really good total body workout. And as we mentioned, it’s low impact on your joints. And I used to run, I don’t run anymore, I think I can’t even do a 5k. Now if I tried to do a 5k for a week, my knees and my hips are killing me. But I row and I feel better, you know, my joints feel better. And I can write. So I feel like I’m getting a lot higher heart rate and activity level. And we have heart rate monitors and different things that a lot of our members buy and use, you know, to measure that activity level. But again, we have folks that are, you know, a lady in her 80s, who does it almost daily. And then men who are in their 20s in really good shape who do it daily. And they can be in the same class and row together. They’re just pulling a different amount.
on the shelf at the moment, he hurt himself but not rowing, self running, running, not rowing. So don’t let the disc run, don’t run me. But anyway, that part of it, that’s so much fun is the coaches. And that’s where that whole class concept again, took it to another level, you’re not going to to one of those facilities where you’re just on your own, like you mentioned, and Okay, I’m going to grow this is so boring to row for 30 minutes, but you’re part of a class and the coaches are what get the energy up. And then we talk about accountability. So, you know, I was about to say that the team concept, yeah, right. There were there were components where it was like, Alright, we need to get this under such and such as an average for the whole group. Exactly. And that’s cool. Because it was like, I gotta, I gotta do my part, maybe a little more. And it goes by so fast, because the that’s part of what the coach does to one kind of encourage you to, you know, energize yourself at a higher level. But then secondly, you’re a part of the class and, okay, class, we’ve averaged 220. On this split time, let’s see if we can get down to 215. So everybody has to do their part to pull just that little bit harder. And then the coach kind of looks and says, Hey, Greg, you’re doing a great job. Hey, Jordan, come on, you can pick it up a little bit, I think you can, you know, you can lower that split time a little bit. And then so everybody has that accountability, they’re all swinging at the same time, we have it up on the board. So you can see that the stats and so you can see the number dropping or going up if we’re not putting in the effort, and talking about the power. So and I think a big component of that is one of the main things in Row House not just our location, but on a corporate structure as well is that we aim to be true to the sport of rowing. So that was going to be my next statement is that when I walked in, it wasn’t just walking into a rower machine. Right, you were teaching me the components of the boat? That’s right, actually talked about the room is the boat, the whole class, you know, so maybe touch on that a little bit? Absolutely. So when you come into our location, one of my first things that I do when I try to explain the concept to people, is I take them over to a diagram of a Olympic rowing or rowing crew if you’ve ever seen the social network with the Winklevoss twins, so that that is rowing crew, that is what we do during our classes. And so the idea is, is that if you’re rowing crew, every person in a boat has to row at the same stroke rate, in order to go in a straight line, if everybody in the boat is rowing at, say, 24 strokes per minute, but one person is rowing at 32 strokes per minute, you’re going to go in a zigzag or you might go in circles. So we translate that to class, when you have a coach that says, Okay, everyone, we’re currently rowing at 24 strokes per minute, or, hey, we’re going to crank it up to 32 strokes per minute. Because not only are we trying to keep their form down and trying to make sure that they’re expanding the right amount of effort and a certain part of class but also keeping it true to the sport of rowing. And, you know, you’re also teaching them a skill rolling is something that you have to get good at something that you learn. So I think that’s a big piece, being able to draw those two things together. Now, some people will say, Well, what if I can’t do as much as the person next to me, or what if I want to do more than the person next to me? And so the kind of the idea is, is that we’re going to keep you at a certain strokes per minute, but every person can put their own intensity. So the metaphor I use is, imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s in one rowboat, and then you’ve got my 95 year old
And But anyway, so yeah, all those things are very adjustable, how you get on and off how you tighten your feet, how you set that all up. And we spend a lot of time at the beginning, as Jordan mentioned, we why we have everybody, especially the first time come in early on the technique, because the technique is difficult. And like I said, we have a lot of current Row House members who maybe have done rowing at another place and come in and think they know all about it. And their their techniques not great. So one it kind of has reduced their enjoyment of rowing and getting the full experience for the exercise. But also it actually gets easier if you use the right technique and you can generate a lot more power. And therefore you would go technically a lot farther. If you use the right technique and you’re using your legs, not your arms as much and understanding. You know how, but the core is always a big part of that as well. And that’s what’s so important about it. Like I said legs, core arms. That core is always a significant part of the process. Absolutely. Anytime someone’s
And I’ll also say if you’re out there and you’re listening right now, and you’re somebody that just needs to make that first step to get yourself whether it be back on track or on track at all with your fitness journey. One thing that’s so great about rowhouse and our group fitness model is that you don’t have to do any of the programming of yourself. You, you go in, you can put yourself on autopilot and follow what the coach has there. For you. That’s another really big piece of what we do we bring the expertise for you, we allow you to walk in the door and not think about what you have to do. Other than just getting yourself that is a great point. Because I know a lot of folks will walk into a big box gym with greatest intentions, and they do something that’s a little bit more uncomfortable than they expected. They cut it short a little bit and then they they run a little bit till it gets a little bit more uncomfortable than they expected. And they cut it short. And then they’re they’re great aspirations to do this hour long, high intensity workout turns into a 20 minute trip to the gym. And yeah, they went but did they get much out of it? Absolutely. And having that, you know, tuned up for him walking in the door makes it so much easier. Absolutely. And there’s a lot of people that will also say, I would go if I had somebody to do it with me if I had someone to hold me accountable. Well, we have that we have that right there. We’ve developed that community, you’ll get that not just in our staff, but also the people around you. as well. I promise you, if you come to Roadhouse, you’re going to find some some new best friends. And those are going to be the people that are really at the end of the day. It is our people that set us apart from other from other fitness brands. It is our members and developing that community with them. So please, if you have reservations as far as those things go, I would really encourage you try rowhouse, you’ll see something different. Very cool. Well, gentlemen, I appreciate you coming in. I’ve got Brad Carr, Jordan Richardson from row house in Chesterfield, soon to be Row House and other parts of West County. Yes. But super happy to have you guys. Thank you very much. We appreciate the time and thanks to all your listeners and hope to see him soon. All right. Thank you, Dr. Greg, you got it. This has been STL Active. Thank you for listening to the STL Active podcast from stlouispt.com. If you enjoyed the show, please spread the word. Thanks again and see you next time.
other people play the guitar, some people can sing, I can talk. And so connecting with people and communicating and making them business relationships, and personal relationships is something that comes a little easier to me. Now there’s other pieces that can be hard that I need to learn and it’s great to have Brad along the way to point me in the right direction. Because this is my first step in something like this, but I think it’s been great so far. It’s been really fun. Yeah, Jordans extrovert
characteristics are certainly helpful in his role. So
absolutely. And and heck, just being able to converse with people, you know, you don’t come off as that. That hard sell that pushy guy, so just want to commend you there. Well, I
appreciate that. Maybe I’ve just fooled you, Greg. Well, maybe
sir. You don’t feel connected more as like as what what friends would connect with as opposed to like, oh, we’re just business partners.
Well, I appreciate that, hey, you’re one of my best friends.
And, you know, again, it’s it’s primarily, and as you look at fitness, and this is something that you will know, as you look at Fitness a lot, a lot of people misunderstand the role of your legs and your core in any exercise, and spend a lot of time focused on your upper body and things like that. And ours is primarily legs, 60% legs, 30% core and 10% arms. And most people when they start it, and they maybe have done it, like I said it another fitness concept or you know, another fitness competitor of ours.
They don’t have the right technique. So we spend a lot of time about the technique. And there’s a reason why when you see rowers on whether it’s, you know, the United States rowing team, or all these different all sorts of different athletic endeavors use rowing as a part of their workout is because it works all those muscle groups, but with a low impact, so you don’t have injuries. And like I said, I feel better after I wrote, you know, my legs feel, you know, my back is stretched out. We have a number of customers who have back issues, who like I’m gonna give it a try, because I’ve had back issues so I can’t do other forms of exercise. I can’t run anymore. And then they leave the rowing class like, wow, I feel stretched out. I feel like it’s loose. I felt you know, the pain is gone.
Yeah, I mean, I think the biggest takeaway for me there is that you kind of identified that rowing is a component of a lot of different types of exercise. And, you know, I was thinking about when you said that, what does that really mean? Well, some people are using rowing as their cardio, right? Yeah. Instead of running, they’re doing right. Yeah. And they’ll do that just 30 minutes of rowing in the morning as their workout for the day. Yeah. But there’s not necessarily the same feel as being in a class, they are going to go the same pace, they may slow down, if they get tired, they may speed up a little bit, but they’re not going at specific strokes per minute. Yeah, they do in the class. So I think that’s huge. Another another thing that, you know, that it’s a huge component of is CrossFit. Even in the CrossFit Games, I mean, a very well structured workout could have a ton of rowing as part of a part of the programming there. So that’s, uh, I really enjoy that. That’s, that was kind of what drew you in is that maybe it is a little bit hipster to pick the one that’s, that’s underappreciated. But you don’t have to wear the right word for you
hipster. Yes. Don’t have to wear flannel. Every day, I’m every bit of hipster in California. That’s true. That’s true, dude.

I am gonna start every sentence would do just to make sure. Okay,
perfect. I’ll keep that dude. But you know, it’s it’s funny you say that. Because as you the class piece of that, too. And I know you were there. And Jordan, also coaches. So Jordan is not only our Director of Marketing, he’s, he’s a coach as well. He’s actually
girl. Grandmother, she’s in another rowboat, and they both did a big powerful poll at the exact same time one stroke. It’s not a trick question, Who would you imagine would go further, hopefully, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The reason for that is is he was able to put more intensity into his one single poll, even though they both pulled at the same stroke rate, one stroke, right, he was able to go further. So that’s the idea of being able to everyone rose at the same stroke rate, but each person puts in their own level of intensity, but allowing you to keep that team mentality throughout the workout.
Absolutely. I think I’m trying to picture this as someone who’s never been to a class. Sure. So if I walk in, and I don’t know anything about the machine, I don’t quite understand how it works. And obviously, you guys would instruct me on that while I’m there. But maybe explain that a little bit. Is the machine adjustable? How you set it? Is it? Can it fit all body style? body types and sizes? Sure,
absolutely. So one big thing is for all the listeners out there, if you come try rowhouse class, please show up to your first class at least 15 minutes early. That’s where you will do what’s called a first timer setup with a coach. So the coach will get your shoe size so that we can make sure that your foot plates are in the correct place. Don’t let my jargon go over your head, you would see it at our location. But the coach goes through and makes sure that you can fit into the machine. And yes, hi. And you know, some people say, Oh, well, I’m so short, I’m not going to be able to do it, or I’m so tall, it’s going to take me longer to get a pull. Our machines are great for any body type. But also at the same time, you know, we all have our coaches, our group fitness and or personal trainers. So they all know how to offer modifications
and certified and
yes, yes, yes, yes, that that’s what I meant. Sorry. They’re all certified group, fitness instructors and personal trainers. And so they all have that knowledge base to say, if you come in, say, Oh, I dislocated her shoulder. And I’m still feeling that a little bit or, you know, I’ve got a bad knee I want to, and we can offer modifications, whether it be with the rowing machine, or with our floor exercises as well with the dumbbells, body weights, and yoga poses as well. Perfect.
Yeah, I know those concept two machines are
top notch, what I was just gonna mention, yeah, right top of the line used by the Olympic team, that’s what they train on. St. Louis Rowing Club here in town, who we have several members and vice versa, we have several folks that have become more interested in rowing as a sport, since they’ve come to our classes and are going out to St. Louis Rowing Club, on the lake and learning how to be a part of a crew and, and go to regattas and different things like that. And vice versa. We have now several members of St. Louis Rowing Club that are coming to us and will through the winter. Because we use those concept to ergometers, which we call them herbs for short, which is what the Olympics team use what anytime they do indoor rowing competitions and classes they use the concept to, they’re really, really sturdy, and they are very much adjustable. So again, as Jordan mentioned, not only the foot plates with how you get into it, but there’s also adjustments and the damper. So how hard it is to pull. We recommend your you know, again, this is all part of our first timer set up, we set it around three or four for most first timers. There’s some who are pretty experienced rowers that come to our classes that may have at it at a six or a seven. Even the best rowers in the world suggest that you not put the damper above a six or a seven at max, it goes up to a 10. And it just makes it it just creates a harder pole. It’s a little bit harder to pull harder to stay in swing. Yeah, but you can’t Yeah, so that’s why you want to keep it because it’s people think honestly, I need a harder workout, I need to put it up higher, it really doesn’t work that way. Because so much of it is your legs anyway.
says I just don’t feel like I’m getting enough power. Typically, that’s because they’re not engaging their core in the correct way. And, and I’ve seen this, in all of my experience with fitness, typically your core is one of those last things to come along, it’s one of those last things to develop in your journey. So that’s a really a big piece. So if you’re, if you’re looking to work out that core, getting your steps towards those six pack abs Rowan’s a great place for you, very good. And the coaches do a great job of continuing to help our members refine their technique. I was in a class yesterday, and, and I’m in a class pretty much every day. And our coach, you know, during one of the exercises, got off her, you know, she usually sets the stroke rate and gets everybody in swing, and so they’re all in sync. And then occasionally, she’ll get off if she notices. So we have big mirrors all the way across the front of the room. So that and the point of that is so the coach can kind of look back and see how everybody’s doing, see who’s not in swing, see if somebody may be struggling a little bit. And then that gives them the opportunity during one of our you know, sometimes we have kind of a free row for a minute or two, or we have what we call sprints or distance pieces, where we’re rolling kind of on our own, not necessarily in swing at it for a short period of time. And that’s when that coach can get off and help and say, Hey, you know, I’ve noticed, and even someone like me, that now has been rowing, you know, several months, pretty consistently, I tend to hunch over or, you know, if your body does get a little tired, your technique starts to suffer a little bit. And, you know, they they’re not gonna let you cheat. Yeah, you know, hey, you know, make sure you’re in the other thing, there’s, there’s so many side benefits to this too, besides just the cardio piece, and besides just the general exercise, but it can really help your posture. One of the things you know, we talk about a lot is having a proud chest. So you know, being upright, instead of hunched over, I tend to hunched over a little bit, which I naturally do.
So I tend to I you know, when she says, Hey, have a proud chest, I drop your shoulders and ever proud chest, I immediately kind of sit up, and then I’m making sure you know, I have that that upright posture all the way through, which again, you know, with some of our other partners that are, you know, health conscious, and whether it’s nutrition, as Jordan mentioned, or some of the other things we talked about, you know, with bone density and different things that they do for folks. All these things with posture are also very, very important. And like we mentioned, a lot of issues for folks, when it comes to health is their legs, their core, they don’t have a strong core. So therefore they don’t have great posture and different things like that. So this is just a really good way for them to help build that core up without having to do 100 sit ups. Sorry.
And also just a little tag on there talking about form and coaches helping people with their form. We also have what’s called performance workshops, where someone can we have them probably I’d say, in the beginning, we had them about once a month. Now we’re doing them about once every other month, where we allow people to come into the studio bring their problems that they have, whether it’s trying to put more intensity into their pool, or if they feel like they aren’t quite getting the swing down or what have you, whatever their problem might be. They can bring that to the performance workshop, and our head coach, Christy, she’s great. She’s actually a board member of the St. Louis Rowing Club. She and our other coaches will, yes, it’s a workout in and of itself. But we also focus on rowing form, and we’ll also do some floor exercises that translate to better rolling form as well. So that’s a really big thing. You don’t come to Roadhouse to just grip it and rip it, you come to Roadhouse to have good form, get the most out of a single pole, so that it’s sustainable, and you’re doing it correctly and getting the most out of the experience.
Yeah, I think that’s huge. And I know we’ve touched on it a couple times here. But you know, we were talking earlier about that it’s a component of other workouts. If you’re doing a row workout on your own, you have a concept to at home, right? You’re gonna be doing it without music, probably. And if you are, you’re not necessarily aware of the perfect workout that fits your body or what you need that day. So maybe go into the different types of classes because I think the class that I did, it was a power class, but there’s even just mentioned that there was a what’s the word you just used for the class?
performance workshop performance workshop,
so we’ve got a power class performance workshop, what other kind of classes and then what’s the difference? Sure, sure.
And just to go a little bit into that, you know, you mentioned people using it at home or going to a gym and use it. If you have a gym, excuse me if you have a rower at home or you use the rower at a big box gym. I’m sure it’s a great workout for you but I can tell you I have never seen someone without instruction. Use the rowing machine correctly. So that’s one really big thing that I think is a big component of what we do at Roadhouse is making sure you know how to use it so that it does translate correctly to our class types that you were just talking about. So we mentioned the performance workshop. Again, we only offer those about once every month or once every other month. And so we plan those out. And we tell people about them far in advance so that they will schedule a time, but throughout the week, we have what’s called the power class, that’s what you took. So that class, if you look at it, or if you were to read a description of it, that is our version of high intensity interval training, or HIIT training. So that class is going to feature more sprint type rowing on the rowing machine. But then also more floor work as well with bodyweight exercises, dumbbells and those sorts of things, it’s going to be more of an explosive workout, still low impact, but more of an explosive workout trying to get that heart rate up and getting getting those intervals going. But then we also have what’s called a full row class, that class is more cross country style rowing, where you’re going more at a steady pace for a longer amount of time, ending the class with sprints, and the same way you would at a cross country meet, you know, at the right at the very end, you sprint at the end. But that class features less floor exercises, and it’s more about keeping that jog pace for a certain amount of time.
Yeah, just to add in. So in the power class, you’re off the rower four times. Yeah, so you would do four different roughly four to five minute you know, intervals off, so you might be on the rower for six or seven minutes and off for four or five back on for six or seven, full row, right is called full row for a reason, you only get off once, which is primarily to stretch for about three or four minutes. So
yeah. And then after that, we also have what’s called a restore class. Now, this actually might be one of my favorite class types, because this one, because a big thing, and this is kind of a, an issue in boutique group fitness people, they join the, for lack of a better term, they joined the cult, they love it, and they want to do it every single day, you know. And sometimes they don’t get that rest and they don’t get that restoration. And that’s so important to your muscle development and your overall health. So we have a class that’s called the Restore class, that class is more steady state rowing. And then rather than dumbbell exercises, we do yoga, and mobility exercises in that class. So kind of a good way for you to say alright, film a little sore, but want to keep my calorie burn go going. What can I do for that, that’s what the Restore class,
it’s a little bit lower intensity overall, too. So you’re, you’re you’re building up a little bit longer. So it’s just, it’s almost more of a relaxed row, we’ll build up the intensity through it and drop it back down. Whereas like the full row, you’re keeping your intensity pretty high for a long period of time, which isn’t difficult. Again, you’re still pulling what you’re pulling in what you’re able to generate and the power, but the Restore, you’re kind of up and down, just kind of letting your body you know, again, kind of absorb that and then getting off, as he said to do the yoga and the stretching, and all that so you feel restored, you know not not as maybe like, Oh my God, I’ve had a extremely difficult workout today. You feel like that was more like a yoga class in some ways.
Gotcha. So it’s not like in and I guess you would only do that. Occasionally, you’re not going to do the restore all the time, or the power all the time or the full room. Most
people will do that once a week. So if you have if someone goes say four days a week, which most of our members are there, three, four days a week, at a minimum a day, you might do that class once during the week. We’ve had a lot of members ask us, which we do to do it on Friday. So maybe they do hard workouts Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, then Friday morning, they do the Restore class to kind of take take it down a notch for the Mimosa set. Yeah, exactly.
That’s top
Yeah. Friday Night Margarita is in a Sunday morning.
And there is a I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this. So we do have one more class type. And that is the signature class. And so that class is a buffet of everything that you could possibly see it’s it’s got some full row in it. It’s got some restore, and it’s got some power in it. It’s a little just kind of a mix of everything. And really typically, that’s what we would recommend for a first timer to take to either take the signature class, there’s also a class called a foundation don’t want to go too deep into that where we focus a little bit more on form. It’s specifically for first timers, but the signature really is a great way to get a little bit of taste of everything that you could possibly see from any rowhouse class.
Gotcha. Very cool. I like it. So we talked. Well, you mentioned cult, so let’s call it a community. You know, illegal It
sure sure,
let’s call it community, you mentioned that that’s, you know, something that you guys are trying to, to develop, talk, talk to us about that, because that’s, that is a huge component that a lot of my listeners enjoy about their fitness facility is that sense of community, the gym that I belong to, I feel like I’m part of the community. So it’s more about that accountability to the other people. The sense of Alright, I’m gonna see my friends when I go to the gym. It’s not just, I’m gonna go get my butt kicked at the gym today.
Yeah, I think I think that starts with the the class concept. And I think that’s one of the reasons in general, if you look back, and this is, again, if we’re certainly a selling point, for me, as I was looking at all these different opportunities in which franchise I might buy, and what the concept was, was boutique fitness over the last 15 years has grown dramatically compared to big box fitness, in terms of memberships, in terms of locations, and all those things. So that was really important to me as well. And you know, people are a little nomadic, though, when it comes to when it comes to fitness, because they may try something for a year or two, and or even less, they may try it for three or four months up, I’m gonna move on to the next thing, I’m going to try that for three or four months and up, I’m gonna move on to the next thing. So we kind of understand that going in. So what’s important for us is is member retention and the member retention, what we feel is a big component of that is the community aspect and how we develop that in what we do. And so that starts obviously, with with how we conduct ourselves and how we greet our members and how we know each one of them by name, and Jordan and brandy and brandy at the front. You know, so often as the general manager knows, every single person knows every single thing about him, Jordan, a, you know, is very close to her in that respect as well. And so everybody feels welcome when they come in. Part Two of that is the classes themselves where members are getting to know each other. We do little events as well outside of the the alcohol part of it. The other events we do are a little more competition. We call them benchmarks, where we’ll set up special classes that they can come into and get the best time they can get. So again, another little thing to kind of pull them into the community of rowing and in understanding and getting involved in that. We’ve talked a little bit about our there’s a there’s a book that we talked about with our members, and that rowhouse talks about which is called boys in the boat, which is about the Olympic team back in the 19. Everybody knows the Jesse Owens Olympics and in Germany, well, a lesser known story was about the Olympic team, which was a bunch of kind of ragtag kids from from the state of Washington, not from Harvard or Yale, which by the way, I would have probably gotten into Harvard if I had done rowing and done crew and,
Brad. Yeah,
yeah, it that. That was the one thing probably missing on my resume. But anyway, there’s a lesser known story about this, this group of kids that were near do well, kids, and it’s a great book, and was actually made into a movie a few years ago, as well. And they went and they won the gold at that Olympics. That’s, that’s kind of what this is all about. Because it’s such, it’s almost like being on a football team or something where most workouts are an individual concept. This is a team concept, as we’ve talked about already, and about everybody rowing together, and about the coach holding everybody accountable. And about, you know, you kind of doing your part, whether you’re at the front of the boat or the back of the boat. And there’s all sorts of those terms, whether it’s Coxon or whatever, you know, with, with the different positions in the boat. Everybody has their little part that they play with that just like you would have a quarterback and a center and an offensive lineman or wide receiver or whatever that may be, you know, everybody’s a part of this team. And, and then on top of that, this is probably Item Number 19 that I’ve mentioned about the community piece. But besides that, what we do within the studio to make people feel comfortable and to feel welcomed, you know, Jordan has gone out and as his role has developed relationships with a bunch of other complementary businesses, and that’s what we’ve talked about, whether it’s nutrition, whether it’s different things that can help you with your bone density, whether it’s different things that can help you with other areas of fitness. You know, we have other relationships like that we have a community table in our lobby, and I and our members stop at that daily and look at Oh, gosh, here’s here’s a discount I can get at this place, or I can get at this place. And we’re serving that up to them. Now, hopefully that gets reciprocated by those partners that that, you know, send us business as well. You know, that we get members out of it as well as them getting but it in our opinion, it’s for the best interests of everybody. It’s like we want to be more than just you coming in and doing a workout. We want this to be a part of your life and to be you know, kind of woven into the fabric of what we do and and I think we’re accomplishing that and I think our satisfaction rate among we haven’t done a survey, a satisfaction survey recently, but I believe our membership satisfaction is really high. And I think, you know, all the different elements of that, you know, like I said, the coaching to how we, you know, work with customers and the lobby and all those folks that are members of ours, and then the other pieces that that we’ve pulled into it, to just make it a really fun atmosphere to be a part of.
And that’s, I mean, that’s a huge component is just being client centered. You know, you’re not just saying like, Oh, well, we can help you with everything. you’re providing those resources that can help them with whatever their need is that day. Yeah. I kind of want to hear from Jordan about like, Was this your idea? Is this a Roadhouse idea, these this relationship building?
Um, you know, it just kind of made sense to do it. I would say that coming from corporate top down. A lot of times they tell us get in with people like yourself, physical therapist or chiropractors. And you know, and we, you know, this is, you know, an example of something like that. We do. We’re currently developing relationship with a chiropractor. But I kind of took that, and I ran with it, and started thinking about, well, what else are people’s needs within the fitness community? And what is it that our model specifically offers? And what are their what businesses are there that can help? You know, with our specific model, one of the big things is the fact that we are low impact, everything we do is low impact, not only because the rowing machine you use your body weight rather than working against your body weight. To create the cardio motion, even our floor exercises are low impact. So a place like for instance, osteo, strong located in Chesterfield, we have a current business partnership with them. And everything they do is focused around bone density, and making sure that you know, you don’t injure yourself, whether it’s someone who has osteoporosis or someone who’s trying to prevent getting to a point like that our workout meshes so well with their, with what they do, because, you know, they go to osteo strong to build up their bones, and then they can come to row house to not take a step back from what they did at osteo strong. And it just kind of made sense to do those kinds of relationships. We also have a relationship with restore hyper wellness and cryo therapy. All of our members get exclusive discounts over there and vice versa. They do cryotherapy, they do IV therapy, basically everything they do is about muscle recovery. And hey, that’s what we did we work your muscles every day, you’re gonna feel a little sore after a rowhouse class good sore, but what can we do to help you get past that. And so we have a lot of things we have people that are in skincare, that we do business partnerships well with. Also one of other one of Brad’s other businesses profile, nutrition based out of wentzville, we’ve had their dieticians come in and do consultations with our people. So it just really just made sense to continue that because we don’t want to be just the place where you work out. Right, we also want to be kind of that one stop place for wellness for someone. So yeah, sure, there’s, there’s business benefits to it, but also at the same time, what you just said, being client centered and serving them,
part of that is awareness to to add to what Jordans saying is some some of these folks aren’t aware that there’s these other businesses out there that could potentially help them. So you know, again, part of the community of just offering those things up without, you know, no cost to them, or no, you know, anything they have to invest in that it’s just there. And they can go take advantage of that we just think that it’s important. I mean, from from a selfish standpoint for us, you know, like I mentioned before, is we have a broad demographic. So if we have, you know, a demographic, you know, we have some members that skew a little older, well, hey, let’s make them aware of some of the things that osteo strong may be able to do for them. Like I said, one of the things that, you know, can could be a little bit of a trick bag for us is that you don’t want people to think, Oh, well, rowing is not a good enough workout for me. And we have guys that you would think were NFL tight ends that come into our classes and row and get a very, very good workout. And they may have, you know, they may have other issues and the more and more you read about rowing, the more you know, you understand the benefits to the body because of the low impact whether you’re an NFL tight end or you’re a 75 year old woman, you know, it’s it’s beneficial to your muscles to not impact your joints and have those kinds of issues going on. So
just the nature the nature of the machine is the user is providing the resistant Yep. And so you’re not using power. Yeah, right. So it’s not necessarily that you can’t get a heavy workout. If you put it on the seven, you can still get a heck of a workout. Even if the 75 year old woman has it on seven. Yeah, you know, the force that you pull with is what it gives you back.
Yeah, exactly. Very cool. Yeah. Okay, what else? Was there anything else you were gonna add on that?
No, I just, I think you hit the nail on the head there. I mean, the big thing is, is what Brett said it’s awareness of our client base and making sure that we’re serving them not just with the tools that we have, but also the resources that the people around us have. And it’s been great for business. And it’s been great for our people to
well, and I mentioned before, you know, for us, especially now, with everything going on, we want to retain our clients. So you know, the more we can do for them. So that they’re, you know, not inclined to try something else, or, you know, we want them to stick with us, and we want them to, you know, be members a long time. And, and, you know, reduce our turnover of members, you’re going to have some it’s fitness. And that’s that is a normal thing that happens. But you know, the other side, the other piece of that is not just wellness too, but also understand, you know, because a lot of people do it to lose weight. And so that’s where the profile, you know, I own another franchise business. I’m just looking to buy up everyone, I can’t go Yeah, so I own another one called profile, which is, was developed by Stanford hospital that Jordan mentioned, which is my locations in wentzville. And that’s shameless plug. Yeah, well, that’s about nutrition. So my point was circling back to, you know, nutrition is a bigger factor, even than just the workout that you do for fitness, you know, when it comes to weight loss and stuff. So we, so that’s part of just the education again, and making sure people know, you know, hey, you know, this is great that this is a part of it. What are you doing on the nutrition side, because we have some other partners here that can maybe help you with that, if you’re looking to lose weight, or those kinds of things, you know, reduced medications and all sorts of different manner of things for that. Absolutely.
So, I know we had touched on a couple of couple of things earlier, we’ve talked about the, the, you know, lower weight bearing less impact, lower impact exercise, is there any evidence or studies or anything on rowing, specifically, or on row house?
Do you want to take that or?
Yes, so pardon me, I don’t want to pull statistics right out of the air right now. So I will give you some anecdotal evidence and
67% of statistics are made up on the spot.
Yeah, we will look that one up too. But just to give you a little bit of anecdotal evidence, and I’ll refrain from mentioning any one specific names. But we do have one member, that’s an 80 year old woman, and she has had two knee replacements, I mean, you can see the scars on her knees, she wears them proudly. And that’s almost a bragging point for her that she loves to come in and say, Hey, I can come in here. And I can do this workout, even with, even with these two knee replacements that I’ve had. So I think that that’s just a testament to really how versatile rowing is, you know, you can see someone like her come in and do that. But then also someone who, whose interest in rowing has sparked from coming to Roadhouse, and now they’re going to the St. Louis Rowing Club, you know, we’ve had people that have done those kinds of things. So I think that, you know, just seeing the way our people utilize our workout is evidence in and of itself, when you come into our department come into our store,
the thing we talk about most often is in comparing it to other types of fitness and other workouts is that it works out more than 85% of your muscles, that’s probably the most important thing. The studies etc. that rowhouse is done. Compared to other fitness types, there really isn’t I mean, if you, you know, something like soulcycle, or the cycling concepts that are very popular, and for a reason, and people lose weight with those as well, because you’re you’re really driving up your, your heartbeat, and you’re really driving up, you know, your your cardio, but they’re only working your legs. So we kind of add that concept in of using, you know, you’re getting every bit of the leg drive, but adding the core and then the upper body, the arms and the shoulders and all that into it. And so, you know, that’s one of the things that I think they, you know, we emphasize a lot is just your total body. And like I said, What we try to do is make sure we make up the other 15% of your body. And again, I think, you know, I talked about it earlier, where, whether you’re 25 years old, you know, I don’t want people to think that well, it’s probably not for me, it’s not enough of workout like we said, you know, it’s because you can, you’d be surprised just using a 10 or 12 pound weight with how many reps you may do just doing squat thrusts. You know, and again, we have modifications. So someone who’s, you know, maybe can’t do the squat for us, we have a modification for you to do that our coaches take you through, versus, you know, the 25 year old that they wants the toughest workout they can do. And so, you know, one of the things that we’re also doing is, we’ve partnered with various high school football programs, they’re having their because those high school football coaches recognize that this is a really good workout we’ve and we’ve done it with, with other high school sports teams that we’re creating relationships with, for them to come in and do additional training for the stuff that they’re already doing. Because they know it works all those muscle groups. And so I think that’s the thing I mean, it’s hard to compare and say, Oh, well, if you do this high intensity workout versus this one, this one’s going to give you this versus that. I think ours is is what makes it so unique is just the fact that it it you get out of it, what you put into it when it comes to the energy and the power that you generate. And that’s what makes it work at every level. And works. All those different muscle groups. I think that’s the most important part of it. Absolutely. Yeah.
I like that. And you know, touching on your story. You used to run you used to enjoy running.
Yeah, I ran cross country through junior high in high school. So for like six years. Yeah.
Right. So this is a great alternative to running for you. But it also prevents that keeps the pain away. Right.
Yeah. So yeah, like I said, I can’t do a five k anymore. Because I’m in pain, my knees and my hips. I had a torn patellar tendon a few years ago trying to dunk, which I would have, I would have made Oh, by the way.
It was he Duncan at Harvard,
I probably shouldn’t. If I just gone up for a standard two hander instead of trying to do the reverse. Probably better, but anyway, so yeah, so anything I do like that with pounding, even walking, you know, I for a while was trying to do you know, kind of fast walking, I mean, my hips and knees, were killing me, I can go into this class and go as hard as I can go and try to keep up with people 20 years younger than me. And but I don’t have pain. In fact, I feel better. So this is one of the really important things I think about low impact is in and I’ve had this discussion with some of our members who’ve maybe hadn’t, like Jordan said, hip replacements, knee replacements. And then you have the fear of arthritis coming in, which I’m sure you know all about. And I have arthritis in my knees and my hips. And I don’t feel it one bit, after I’ve done a workout, it’s so feels so much better, it’s loosened up, I’ve moved it all around, maybe you can kind of describe what’s happening.
exactly what I was about to do is just kind of for folks who don’t know what arthritis is, it’s you know, the, the root words are joint inflammation, so arthritis. So basically, you’re dealing with joint inflammation from typically a breakdown of cartilage. So the cartilage is what protects the bones from each other. If the bones are rubbing on each other, it can cause pain. But one of the biggest side effects of arthritis is a lack of range of motion. So stiff knee, and it gets a little bit swollen, so you use it less. So you use it less, it gets a little stiffer. So it gets a little stiffer, hurts more, you use it less. And so it becomes this terrible cycle. And the best thing that you can do for arthritis is to move, move it more, get it straighter, get it more bent. If we’re talking about a knee, right, get it moving as much as possible. The more mobility you have, the less stiff it feels, the less pain you have, the more you can move. And so if walking and running your normal activities, I’ll use quotation marks here, your normal activities hurt, and having something that you can go out on and fully use that knee. I mean, that’s a great way to prevent a knee replacement, whether that’s five years or 20 years from now, just getting a movement is going to be crucial. And that applies to any activity. But if you can find something where you can use your joint that has arthritis fully, you’re going to do much better long term.
And I’ll also say, you know, rowing it’s not to say that when you come in and you take a rowhouse class that you’re not going to feel some parts of your body that you didn’t know you had originally. One thing a lot of people will come and say after they take a first class is I am kind of feeling a little bit in my lower back, what is that? Well, you got to realize is that your lower back is another piece of your core. And that’s, that’s something that you have to develop in and of itself. So also educating people on the difference between being injured and just feeling sore is also a big piece of that as well. So that’s, that’s a really common factor. You know, when we’re pitching and talking about the concept to people and then the next day, they say, I’m feeling a little bit about in my back, well, hey, that’s just another piece of your,
your glutes which attach to to your legs, which you know, all that stuff, the more you’re working on. And that’s where the stretching part and you know, I was gonna say when you were talking about safe my knees for instance, mean the fact I can do squats now where I was, you know, not getting at all, even as I would go to now I can almost go down like I’m a catcher, because I’ve worked my knees so much, you know, just constantly when, you know, we do squats a lot, you know, and again, you just go down as far as you feel comfortable. But I can go down a lot deeper now into a squat than I used to be able to. Just because I’m doing this workout.
That’s awesome. Yeah, I certainly appreciate that. And I, I love the fact that you, you’re seeing it, you know, as a as a patient, you know, I’m in a medical sign, you know, you’re feeling it as one of my patients would feel. So that’s definitely a good thing to hear. Yeah. So changing topics a little bit here. When Jordan invited me, I was like,
I’ll come. I’m a little skeptical rowing right now. But now that I’ve been and you guys have described it, I get it. But like, for someone who doesn’t know anything about rowhouse doesn’t know much about rowing. But you’re sitting on a piece of machinery for half an hour, that seems kind of boring, what would you What would you say to kind of folks that have that mindset, or that skeptical? thought process?
Yeah, that’s, you know, as I mentioned, you know, I was looking for something that was unique, and, you know, rolling has been around forever, you know, hundreds of years, literally. So it’s a, you know, it’s, it’s a tried and true concept, but things like that sometimes get kind of pushed to the side, like, that’s just not as you know. So really, our aim is to, again, kind of raise the awareness level of rowing as a really, really good workout. So you know, where we’ve taken it to another level is the class concept with the music, the lights, it really is, you know, it’s kind of like you’re rowing in a disco room, in some ways, because the lights are on and off, and different colors. And the music’s, you know, as loud as is, you know, it needs to be for, you know, you can still hear the coach who’s who’s, you know, giving you instructions on stroke rate and different things. But it’s just fun. And the time and there’s not been a single person. So far, even those that have come and maybe tried it and haven’t joined, there’s not been a single person that said, they didn’t like it. And mostly because it’s fun, they felt like they got a good workout. They liked the environment, I think a lot of them like yourself are kind of surprised that it’s rowing, whatever, you know, people that I did rowing it another fitness concept, and I just didn’t like it. It’s different. And lots and lots of our members have come from other fitness concepts that some that are very popular, and not been a big fan of rowing. And now love rowing, just because it’s a totally different way we go about it, as Jordan talked earlier about the proper technique is also important. And all those things, all those things make a difference. It’s you know, if you’re a Russian weightlifter, and if you’re using the wrong technique, when you’re trying to do as you know, a snatch or whatever, you know, you’re going to hurt yourself. It’s the same thing with with anything else. So we got to teach you how to do it correctly. And it’s not a complicated process, but from a coordination standpoint, with how you use your legs, core a