Beer pong, flip cup, baseball.. Just a few of the games I've played in class at Throwback Fitness, a unique and thriving fitness studio in midtown east.
Their motto is: Old School Fitness. So much fun, you’ll forget you’re working out.
And that’s so true! Their workouts often have a rowing base, but they mix in so many other exercises, not to mention play innovative fitness games, you don’t even think about your legs and arms burning.
The “throwback” part of the studio comes in the form of the décor (amazing old school movie and music posters), the music (awesome old school soundtrack), and outfits of the instructors who also happen to be the co-founders.
I sat down with Brian and Ryan to find out why they started TBF and where they see it going in the future.
Ketanga: How did Throwback Fitness come to be?
Ryan: Brian and I would work out together and we would make it competitive, and we were looking at the other options out there in NYC, and there wasn’t really a studio where there was a competitive edge. We also had the idea of being just a rowing studio, because rowing is such an efficient exercise.
So we did some beta classes for friends and family, and kind of developed the model for TBF. The feedback was that people like rowing, but more so they liked the competitive aspect of the class. So we started making up some games to play, our first one was flip cup, and then jam, a basketball game we have. People really liked the “game-ification” of the workouts. So we took that competitive gaming concept, and ran with it.
Brian: And the games are a little bit of a distraction from the workout – you’re working out but you’re trying to get something done within the game while you’re competing against other people in the class. So you can kind of forget you’re working out. You’re thinking more about throwing the nerf ball during a dodgeball game, or getting around the bases in baseball before getting tagged by the other team.
Ketanga: Do you have a favorite game that you play in class?
Brian: My favorite game is dodgeball, for sure.
Ryan: We do outdoor classes in the summer, at the East River park, and we incorporate water guns. So I think my favorite is capture the flag.
Ketanga: How do you come up with the games?
Brian: Ryan definitely has more creativity than I do when it comes to the games. Many of them are his brainchild. But we’ll talk through them, make adjustments as we test them out. We go through and play them ourselves first to make sure they work. But we’ve been trying new games long enough now that we usually have a good idea of what will work and what won’t.
Ryan: We have an idea for a cornhole game we want to test out, so we’re working on that now.
Ketanga: So, why should people come to TBF? What do you offer that no other studio in NYC is offering?
Brian: A non-intimidating, fun, team-based, difficult, kick ass workout. Like most fitness classes, it’s only going to be as hard as you make it, by how much you work, but we add a different element to it. It’s fun, there’s a gaming aspect that nobody else has done.
Ryan: Also, we’re not trainers by trade, we’re just normal guys. People like being coached by normal people they can relate to.
Ketanga: What do you have in store for the future?
Brian: We would love to open more studios, look in other cities. We’re nine months into this studio, so we want to master this first, and get into a spot where we’re comfortable teaching someone else the TBF concept, and then expand.
Ketanga: Any parting words for our readers?
Brian: This brand, Throwback Fitness, is just us. It’s authentic. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we think that even though you’re an adult with adult responsibilities, you can still bring back those fun times you had during recess as a kid.
Written by Ros