MONTVALE, N.J. — There’s something about digging deep and pulling back that keeps Montvale's Anyssa Lucena coming back to the rower.
The longtime runner and fitness instructor tried the machine at a gym in 2013 to see what it was all about.
And she hasn't looked back since.
“There’s something Zen and smooth about rowing that I like,” said Lucena, who leads a rowing class for half a dozen people out of her home studio, as well as a women’s climbing class at Gravity Vault in Upper Saddle River.
Popularized in the Netflix exclusive “House of Cards" starring Kevin Spacey, rowing machines are making their comeback.
What Lucena likes most about rowing classes is how they foster camaraderie while allowing athletes to work at their own pace.
“Being in a giant room with a million people — there’s no connection,” said Lucena, the owner of Genuine Self Wellness, LLC.
“People want to feel supported and they can get that in a rowing class with someone standing behind them telling them they did well.
“That’s what people remember,” she said.
Montvale mother Christina Rottinger has lost more than 50 pounds in Lucena’s class.
“I never get bored — it never gets stagnant,” she said. “Each rower works and improves at their own pace in a music- filled, non-judgmental and intimate atmosphere.
“The small class size ensures a lot of attention and encouragement,” she said.
It all adds up to a total win for Rottinger, “and I couldn’t live without it,” she said.
Lucena runs classes on Monday mornings and Wednesday evenings.