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Fitt Insider

Dec 7, 2021

Today I’m joined by Helaine Knapp, CEO of CITYROW.


In this episode, we discuss the company’s origin as a single boutique fitness studio, the decision to launch a connected rower and digital app, and Helaine’s plan to scale an omnichannel experience. 


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More from Helaine 


After spending years climbing the corporate ladder, Helaine Knapp left the world of

publishing for tech start-up life. Group fitness was her outlet while working hard and

taking on the hustle and bustle of New York City. Months of spin and boot camp

classes left her with a lower back injury, however, and she began searching for a

workout that was low impact, but super effective. After a friend suggested rowing,

Helaine initially rejected it as something “my dad did in college,” but following a few

workouts on a sexy machine, pairing it with total body sculpting moves off the

machine, changed her mind and the concept for CITYROW was born.


With a mission of delivering a smart, fun, effective workout to all fitness levels, under

Knapp’s leadership, CITYROW has grown from one studio in New York City to a

national omnichannel fitness brand a top-ranked on-demand global program

featuring at-home rowers and a fast-growing digital subscription business alongside

12 open studios and 65 franchises sold nationwide!


Knapp has yet to row on the water and has been featured as a business leader and a

wellness expert on TODAY, Women’s Health, ABC, Harper’s Bazaar, Shape, Well +

Good, Vogue, Yahoo! Finance, and PEOPLE, among many others.