fitness

Forget the Underwoods, everyone's obsessed with the House of Cards rowing machine.

Even if you’ve never watched a single episode of House of Cards, you’ve probably overhead plenty of breathless conversations about the latest plot turns and dramatic character antics.

After months of listening to my HOC-obsessed colleagues dissecting the show, I’m across all the main details: Frank and Claire Underwood are terrifying, Robin Wright has well and truly moved past her Princess Buttercup days, and Meechum. Whatever a Meechum is.

However, it seems the show’s biggest scene-stealer doesn’t utter a single line of dialogue. Because it happens to be an inanimate object.

Image: Netflix

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the rowing machine frequently used (and at one point broken) by Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood has grown quite the cult following.

The distinctive piece of fitness equipment — FYI, non-watchers, it's wooden with a tyre-shaped water tank at the front — has generated so much interest among viewers that Google searchers for 'House of Cards rowing machine' have spiked with each new series.

According to the WSJ, searches peaked in March this year when the fourth round of episodes dropped.

This magical creation is called the WaterRower, and it's handcrafted in Rhode Island using sustainable wood.

Watch: Haven't watched season four yet? Here's the trailer. (Post continues after video.)

Video via Netflix

The rower grabbed the attention of House of Cards producers back in 2013, after they'd approached a number of equipment companies. They were "won over" by the design of the machine, WaterRower's director of sales and marketing David Jones explains.

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It seems the Netflix crew aren't the only ones enamoured with the machine's unique, hand-crafted aesthetic. It happens to be the only piece of fitness equipment to be sold at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, at least for the past 16 years — and it's been popular among shoppers.

That's quite a feat for a humble piece of home exercise gear. Let's face it, most of the objects found in your average gym wouldn't get a nod from the artistic community. Functional, yes — but MOMA-worthy? Not exactly.

The latest season of House of Cards was discussed on The Binge. Listen here. (Post continues after link.)

If you're considering giving your fitness routine an injection of Underwood, the classic WaterRower will set you back a tidy $2,299.

Are we safe in saying this is the first time a fitness machine has been popularised by a TV series?

At the rate it's going, the WaterRower will immortalised in television history alongside Manolo Blahniks and Cosmopolitans (thanks, Carrie Bradshaw), Central Perk (one for the Friends fans), and Nashville's infamous boot cuffs.

Have you been watching House of Cards? Did the rower pique your interest at all?

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