This spring, Houstonians can add a new workout to their repertoire when Mobile, Alabama-based Crew Fitness opens its first Texas studio in the Heights.
This is the first expansion for Dan and Marcia Strange, the husband-and-wife team behind the rowing studio planned for West 22nd Street between Shepherd and Durham. Project co-developers Randy Wile of Wile Interests and Capital Retail Properties have planned a 1930s California bungalow style offering, and Crew Fitness will anchor the 10,000-square-foot site currently under construction, occupying the first two structures designed to evoke a “classic boathouse” feel.
That’s in keeping with the workout itself: Crew Fitness offers low-impact, high-intensity 45-minute indoor rowing classes set to high-energy music. Rowing enjoys popularity in the fitness community for its fat-blasting, body-sculpting benefits and reduced risk of aches and injury to joints.
Technically a HIIT workout–high intensity interval training–studio rowing incorporates both cardio and strength exercise. “Is rowing the new spinning?” Cosmopolitan wondered in 2014 after celebrity trainer Hannah Davis described it as a “safe, efficient, and effective” workout that spares your—ahem—nether regions more than the bike. Two years later, InStyle took up a similar argument. Celebrities tout the benefits, too: Hugh Jackman credits the fitness phenomenon for his Wolverine physique, and fighter Conor McGregor’s training program actually requires a rowing machine.
“[Studio rowing] is a newer and far from saturated option in Houston,” Marcia Strange said in a press release. “I’m excited to be back in this thriving city, where fitness is an integral part of so many people’s lives.”
The couple are both Texas natives–Marcia grew up around Richmond and Rosenberg, and Dan hails from New Braunfels. They relocated from Alabama, where Dan was a Coast Guard rescue swimmer, and chose the Heights as Crew Fitness’ Houston flagship for the neighborhood’s unique ambience, they said.
“As a brand, Crew Fitness values health, character, acceptance, and community, all elements that seemed to line up perfectly with the area,” Dan added.
With a single-story, 2,000-square-foot open floorplan, the project plans for a reception area, workout space, and retail to offer fitness apparel and accessories. Initial staff is planned at six employees.
“We see great growth potential for future locations,” Marcia said.
In Mobile, pricing begins at $20 for a single session with options for class packages and monthly memberships up to $150 for unlimited use. Though set for next season, the Houston studio’s grand opening is TBD.