By Chris McKinnon


CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — If the idea of rowing down the Charles River sounds like a great workout with a bit too much hassle, a Cambridge startup says it has found the perfect solution. “Crew” by True Rowing has created a rowing machine that connects in-home rowers with crew instructors who will coach you through a workout while they cruise in real time live on the Charles.

Crew by True Rowing offers allows you to focus on a virtual reality while you row in your home (WBZ-TV)

The Cambridge-based company hopes to bring to rowing what the popular Peloton bike has done for in-home spinning. But instead of following instructors in a studio, these instructors will be dodging sailboats and raindrops and anything else they may encounter on the river.

Like Peloton, there are classes for all fitness levels that use music to regulate the intensity of the exercise. But if you prefer a peaceful ride, you can take a quiet cruise through Boston Harbor.

The Crew in-home rower (WBZ-TV)

The idea is the brain-child of True Rowing CEO Bruce Smith, who believes rowing is a superior workout to cycling. “Eighty-six percent of the muscles in your body get used when you take a stroke on a rowing machine. When you are biking, you use about 44 percent,” he said.

True Rowing CEO Bruce Smith (WBZ-TV)

Eventually, the company hopes to take at-home rowers all over the world, but when the first machines are delivered early next year, most of the rides will be based in Boston. “Boston is the cradle of American rowing and this machine is coming straight from the waters of the Charles to the world,” Smith said.

Like the Peloton, this piece of equipment is an investment. It’s just shy of $2,000 plus another membership that is about $40 a month.

Chris McKinnon

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