Looking to break my weekly workout cycle of running, weight lifting and spinning, I tried Indo-Row, a group exercise class on rowing machines. Josh Crosby, creator of Indo-Row and our instructor, helped me and the other newbies set up the machines so we could get cranking. After a five-minute warm-up, we went through drills aimed to teach us the technique. Josh cheered us on as he moved around the room, motivating us with his energy, intensity and music.

Watching the display screen on my machine, I received automatic feedback on my intensity and distance. There were no resistance knobs to fiddle with; I was powering the machine with my own strength. As a runner, I tend to focus on speed, so it was hard for me to shift gears and work on pushing and pulling hard, not fast. My inclination was to stroke faster than the person next to me, but as Josh explained, the objective was to row in sync with the rest of the class, working together as a team would if they were rowing in a skull on the water.

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