This is more of a personal review about my quest (26, non-athlete looking for something long term to maintain good health). Most of the reviews here rave about this thing’s sturdy build, proven excellent reputation, good customer service, and other facts that clearly set this machine apart from any other… so my review is more geared for regular people wondering whether they are going to have issues with motivation. Are you afraid this is going to end up sitting in your closet?
I was on the crew team in college, and while I loved rowing out on the water, I loathed these machines mostly because we were forced to train so hard on them. After my brief time on the team, I didn’t touch these machines (or row) for 8 years. These machines can be something brutal and slavish, or they can be tools for gaining real physical and mental power in your life. Your relationship with the machine simply depends on how you use it!
Technique and good posture are KEY. They will ultimately make or break your desire to row. Rowing is a full body exercise that really comes alive through coordination and equal use and force distribution between all muscle groups, especially the breathing muscles. If you use the machine with improper technique, parts of your body will be overworked and you will always be battling a sort of premature fatigue, progress may feel difficult, and you won’t want to row. With the right mechanics and coordination, you will experience: a meditative state of mind, a supremely more powerful and efficient stroke (it will feel like less effort), and of course meanwhile your body receives an excellent cardiovascular and strength training workout. To me, the feeling is similar to experiencing a breakthrough in yoga once you begin breathing properly. But really, don’t take it from me, you can read plenty of articles by biomechanics/kinesiology professionals that explain these things in more detail. And why rowers are renown for having huge lung capacity (horse lungs!), low resting heart rates, and so forth. And it’s very easy to watch videos to learn proper rowing technique.
There is no limit to how hard you can pull with this machine (Olympic athletes train on it!), which is why it tends to be so brutal for people: it is easy to push yourself too hard! What’s really important to keep in mind is that you can row as little as you like, as slowly as you want. EVEN JUST 10 MINUTES A DAY IS BETTER THAN NOTHING! That is how good habits start: a little bit every day. The machine isn’t going anywhere, it’s paid for, and it isn’t laughing at you for not doing more. Do more and go harder on days when you feel like it, but the key is doing at least a little each day, with proper technique. There is a log card that is inserted in the machine which records all your workouts. The times and meters really add up, and it is satisfying to see your progress!!
Ok last thing, which someone else already said: If worse comes to worse, and the machine just isn’t for you, you can always sell it at nearly the same price you paid for. The machine lasts a long time, so it doesn’t lose much value.
7 month UPDATE: Confession! When I wrote this review, I really didn’t actually believe 10 minutes was a long enough workout, so I ended up pushing myself too hard, burning out, and having long lulls between rows. Finally I ignored my ego and just restricted myself to 10 minutes a day, and WOW. Now I consider my 10 minute row just as important a habit as brushing my teeth! My posture and overall energy and strength has improved vastly. How awesome is that?! You really don’t need to kill yourself to be in shape!!
13 month update: I am now rowing 5k’s regularly… a much longer distance than 10 mins worth of rowing. My intensity is very low– that was the key: not pulling crazy hard. I row while I watch Netflix and just enjoy the ride. It still gets my target heart rate in just the right zone though and it is enough to maintain great postural muscle tone. All in all, this machine is the best investment I’ve made. Of course, the machine itself is still in excellent condition and I haven’t needed to clean the chain yet or do any maintenance other than wipe the track clean.
15 month update: I finally got a copy of Row Daily, Breathe Deeper, Live Better: A Guide to Moderate Exercise and now I have been rowing over 5k every day, no days skipped, over the last 3 weeks… I can honestly say this book is a must-have if you become serious about wanting to develop the habit of exercising every single day. I LOVE rowing now and I don’t see myself stopping this habit. So all in all, it has taken over a year for me, since I bought the machine, to get to the point of truly appreciating it.
We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Indoor rowing machine with sliding seat for complete total body workouts. Flywheel design minimizes noise while maximizing a smooth feel.
14-Inch (35.6 cm) seat height, nickel-plated chain and PM3 monitor.
Separates easily into two pieces for storage with a quick-release frame lock. Caster wheels make it mobile.
Adjustable footrests accommodate a wide range of shoe sizes. Ergonomic handle for natural position.
Requires footprint of 9 x 4 feet; 500-pound capacity; 1 YEARS WARRANTY