A workout hybrid that blends reformer Pilates and rowing has arrived in Adelaide after debuting in Melbourne in 2020. Strong opened in a Henley Beach warehouse in November with four more locations to follow in 2022 – in Unley, Norwood, Somerton Park and Port Adelaide.

Classes use what’s called a Rowformer – a reformer Pilates bed on one side and a rowing machine on the other. This combination makes for an intense full-body workout that fuses cardio training (the rower) with strength and resistance (Pilates).

The studio offers various 45-minute classes, which can be adjusted to suit your preferred pace. The classes alternate between upper body, lower body, core, obliques or a combination, all paired with interval rowing sessions.

“Strong provides a full body workout that is both high intensity and low impact, bridging the gap between the HIIT group fitness space and Pilates,” says co-founder Michael Ramsey.

He and business partner Mark Armstrong are personal trainers who have previously owned six F45 outlets, and together co-founded a Melbourne yoga studio.

The inspiration for Strong stems from Newport Beach in California, where the concept goes by the name Hardtfit. After discovering it on Instagram, Ramsey and Armstrong travelled overseas to test out the Rowformer before acquiring the rights to use the patented machine in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. There are currently seven studios across Victoria and Queensland and that number will soon balloon to 50 sites across Australia and New Zealand.

Adelaide's first outpost, located in a large industrial-style studio just off Grange Road, has showers and hair dryers for post-workout, and phone chargers in every locker. At the end of each class, the instructor hands out chilled towels soaked in eucalyptus oil.

The two-part workouts will be paired with playlists curated by Aussie DJs. Expect R’n’B for reformer, and when it’s time to row, deep house and electro.

60-62 Mitton Avenue, Henley Beach


Additional reporting by Casey Vassallo.