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Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower Review

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower Review

Looking for a great, low-cost magnetic rowing machine?

Well look no further than the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower!

This model has been a top seller since it was released in early 2019 and sales are showing no signs of slowing down.

It’s crazy to think that when I first started reviewing rowing machines there were NO budget magnetic rowers. Now there are great options coming out all the time!

The Fitness Reality 1000 Rower has a ton of great features like 14 different resistance levels, multiple non-rowing workouts, and a fitness app!

However, some of these “flashy” features aren’t as great as they appear. So check out the full list of pros & cons in my full Fitness Reality Rower review below!

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Table of Contents
(click a title to jump ahead!)

1. Resistance Type
2. Monitor/Control Panel
3. Build Quality
4. Comfort
5. Storage
6. Capacity
7. Dimensions
8. Assembly
9. Pros and Cons
10. Consumer Reviews
11. Warranty
12. Price
13. Overall Review

Resistance Type

The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rowing Machine is a magnetic resistance rower.

This means the resistance is controlled by moving a magnet closer or farther from a metal flywheel.

As the user sits on the rowing machine, they pull the handle during the rowing stroke, which spins the flywheel.

The closer the magnet is to the metal flywheel, the harder the resistance!

We call this “adjustable” resistance because a user can turn a dial to move the magnetic closer or farther from the flywheel – thus increasing or decreasing the resistance.

I hope this makes sense!

If not, here is a video that can help you visually see what I am describing above:

If you want to learn more about each resistance type, you can read an article I wrote here.

I also have a great article describing the difference between magnetic and air resistance, you can read that article by clicking here.

Resistance Benefits

The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower comes fully equipped with 14 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance!

This is a great feature considering many competitors have around 8-10 resistance levels.

While having 14 levels of resistance doesn’t mean the overall resistance strength is greater, it does mean you can find a more exact level for you to complete your workout.

The flywheel is 6.4 lbs which is about average for a magnetic rowing machine in this price range.

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rowing Machine Resistance

Most users felt the resistance was adequate for their needs and were happy with the overall resistance strength.

There were a few users who mentioned they wish it had more levels/strength, but this is common to see on budget magnetic rowers. If you are a very experienced athlete, weight lifter, or crossfitter, then you may want to invest in a model with stronger overall resistance.

See my final review section for more recommendations.

With that being said, users were generally happy with the rowing stroke and felt it was smooth, strong, and quiet!

Users were able to watch TV without turning the volume up and use the rower early in the morning without waking anyone!

Additional Exercises

One feature that is highly promoted on the Fitness Realty Plus Rower is the “Additional Exercises” that can be performed using the magnetic resistance.

According to Fitness Reality, you can perform exercises such as curls, upright rows, bent over rows, front raises, shrugs, triceps extensions, standing shoulder presses and more.

Check out the photo below of the different exercises being performed:

Fitness Reality Rower Additional Exercises

However, Fitness Reality also claims the 1000 Plus Rower is the “ONLY ROWER WITH ADDITIONAL EXERCISES on the market”.

I know this to be false and I can point you to another model in my final review section.

They also use jargon in their description such as “Patent Pending front stabilizer foot pads”. Patent Pending just means they filed for a patent but it doesn’t mean it will be approved or that it’s something 100% new or unique.

I think the front foot pads for additional exercises are a great addition but they are also being used as a marketing ploy to differentiate this model from other low cost magnetic rowers.

I have nothing against it but I am just pointing it out!

Also, know that for about $20-$30 you can buy a kettlebell or some free weights to do all of these exercises!

Check out my article on kettlebell and rowing exercises!

Resistance Overall

Overall, the resistance on the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower is great for this price range and the right person!

People who are new to rowing or not super advanced athletes will love the resistance strength and should have no complaints!

If you want strong resistance, then you will have to move up in price, as all other budget magnetic rowers will have the same level of resistance.

Monitor/Control Panel

The Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower comes equipped with a large 3.5″ LCD monitor. The monitor tracks the following workout data:

  • Distance
  • Time
  • Total Count (strokes)
  • Calories Burned
  • Strokes/Minute

As you can see from the photo below, the monitor is fairly basic.

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Monitor

There is only one button on the monitor which can be used to switch the “Mode” or what information is being displayed on the monitor.

There is also a “scan” mode, which rotates through all of the data points.

The monitor uses 4AA batteries which are included and turns on by pressing the button or beginning to row. It will turn off automatically after a few minutes of inactivity.

Bluetooth Smart Fitness with MyCloudFitness App

One cool feature about this model is the “Bluetooth Smart Fitness” capabilities it has to sync with the “MyCloudFitness” app.

Basically, you don’t even need the monitor if you have a smartphone because all of the data will be displayed on your phone.

As you can see from the photo above, there is a smartphone holder which nicely places your phone over the monitor.

Fitness Reality Rowing Machine Bluetooth Free App

All you have to do is download the app, create a profile, and sync the app to your rower when you start a workout.The app works for all iOS and Android devices.

You can use the app to track the stats of each workout or create a workout goal such as “time”, “distance”, and “calories burned”. Meaning – you set a goal and the app will tell you once it is achieved!

The app will also allow you to input your weight each week to keep track of your progress.

Another cool feature is the app will allow you to track your heart rate if you have a compatible bluetooth heart rate monitor. One popular choice is the Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor.

MyCloudFitness App Feedback

Ok, the app isn’t perfect and there were a lot of complaints. However, I think you have to think of it as a bonus more than anything.

Any other rower in this price range will have the same basic monitor as the Fitness Reality Plus Rower, so this is really just a great bonus!

Plus, I think fitness apps are the future of rowing machines and most rowers in a few years won’t even have a monitor at all! They will all sync to an app.

Some complaints about the app are:

  1. It tracks the exact same info as the monitor and doesn’t store individual workouts – only calories burned.
  2. The calories burned info isn’t accurate because you don’t input your age or weight, which is critical for accurately calculating calories burned.
  3. Some users had trouble getting the Bluetooth to sync every workout

While there were a few complaints about the app, there were just as many people who said they absolutely love it and it’s one of the best features!

I just wanted to point out that while there is a great app included with the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower, it does have a few downsides.

I would also like to note that because it’s an app, it can come out with future updates to make it even better!

Monitor Overall

Overall, the Fitness Reality 1000 Rowing Machine monitor is a great feature on this model.

The monitor alone is equivalent to any other found on rowers in this price range and tracks the same data.

A bonus is the bluetooth capabilities and the app! The app allows you to track and store workout data and display heart rate – features not available on other budget rowing machines.

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Build Quality

The Fitness Reality Plus 1000 Rowing Machine has all the high quality parts to enjoy a smooth, quiet rowing stroke during an intense rowing session.

The large, contoured seat is made of soft, high-quality material that glides on industrial ball-bearing rollers. There is also a high-grade aluminum seat rail which ensures a sturdy rowing stroke.

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower Review

A nylon rowing strap is used to reduce noise but there were no signs of it fraying after extended use (although a nylon strap is usually less durable than a metal rowing chain).

There are “adjusters” on the rear floor stabilizers so you can make sure the rowing machine sits flat on any surface and doesn’t wobble while being used.

Users mentioned the foot pedals, handles, and other parts of the rower felt like good quality for the price of this model.

Overall, users were satisfied with the build quality of the Fitness Reality 1000 Rower. Check out the rower in action below:

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One thing people really need to check on budget rowers is the level of comfort provided. Luckily, the Fitness Reality Rower seems to pass most of the comfort checks!

The seat is considered to be “extra-wide” and measures 3.5”L x 11.0”W. This helps for longer rowing sessions but some users did mention it was a little hard. However, there are complaints about “hard seats” on every model.

The extra-wide handlebar measures 21.5″ long and has a foam grip. This makes it great for changing up your grip while rowing and doing the “additional exercises”.

As I mentioned previously, the rowing stroke is smooth and quiet with no jarring or jerkiness.

There is a slight incline in the seat rail which allows for a little more resistance on the push “up” and a smoother return on the way “down”. The seat rail height ranges from 9.5″ – 12.0″ high.

The footrests do pivot, which some people like and some people dislike. Usually beginner rowers like the pivoting footrests because it allows for a full range of motion without being super flexible in the hips and ankles.

Forward Mobility

One of my favorite features on this rower, and not talked about much, is the forward mobility of the rower. If you look at some rowing machine models, the handle enters the “housing” right above the users feet. This means a user can’t fully extend their arms forward or lean forward, like a normal rowing stroke.

However, the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower has an entry point a little bit in front of the users feet, which allows for a more natural rowing stroke. It also makes it better for taller users!

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Storing the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus is super easy and only take a few seconds to perform.

Plus, it has built in transportation wheels so you can roll the rower into the corner of the room or a large closet.

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower Storage

The seat rail can be folded in 3 easy steps:

  1. Unscrew the locking knob and pull the safety pin
  2. Fold the seat rail up
  3. Then reinsert the pin and screw in the locking knob

That’s it! You can then tilt the rower and roll it around on the caster wheels.

When folded, the dimensions are: 39.5” x 21.5” x 53.5” (L x W x H)

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For the average person, capacity is usually not a worry when buying fitness equipment. However, for bigger or even smaller people, this can be a major concern.

Luckily, the Fitness Reality Rower has a decent capacity.

The manufacturer listed weight capacity is 250 lbs. which is fairly normal in this price range. I usually see users a little heavier than the capacity use the rowers without an issue but this would void the warranty.

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rowing Machine Capacity

The seat rail length can accommodate an inseam length of 39.0″. This means users as tall as 6’6″ can use the rower. The manufacturer recommends a lower-end height limit of 4’9″ but I believe someone shorter could easily use this model without an issue.

Basically, anyone weighing around 250 lbs. or less and 6’6″ or shorter can use this rowing machine.

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  • Assembled Dimensions (L x W x H):
    • 88.5” x 21.5” x 21.5”
  • Folded Dimensions (L x W x H):
    • 39.5” x 21.5” x 53.5”
  • Assembled Weight:
    • 63.6 lbs.
  • Shipping Weight:
    • 77.8 lbs.
  • Shipping Carton Dimensions (L x W x H):
    • 51.2” x 25.6” x 9.6”

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Normally, the reviews on the assembly of a rowing machine are bad or average. However, there were a ton of positive reviews about how easy the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower is to assemble!

Users said the instructions were super easy to follow and took on average about 20-30 minutes.

All of the parts are clearly labeled and all off the tools come with the packaging for assembly. The 4AA batteries are even included!

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Pros and Cons


  • 14 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance
  • Smooth, quiet rowing stroke
  • Bluetooth capabilities (possible future upgrades)
  • Free App to track workout metrics
  • Durable build quality
  • Very easy assembly
  • Great price point!
  • Designed to perform additional workouts


  • “Free App” isn’t great and doesn’t add a lot of benefits
  • Additional workouts aren’t great and purchasing free-weights is better
  • Bluetooth can sometimes have connection issues
  • Transportation wheels can be difficult on some surfaces
  • Short warranty period

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Consumer Reviews

Overall, consumer reviews of the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower have been very positive. Even though the rowing machine is fairly new, users seem to really like it!

Users enjoy the smooth, strong magnetic resistance and the included free workout app. While the app may not be the best, the monitor itself is the exact same as other rowers in this price range.

The build quality is also right in line with other rowers in this price range and the “additional exercise” station should be seen as a bonus.

At this price, users felt they were getting a great beginner rower that will last them long enough until they decide if they want to purchase a more expensive model.

Check out more Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower reviews here.

Average Rating: 4.6

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One small downside is the short warranty period on the “parts” and “wearable parts”.

Other rowing machines in the price range also have short warranty periods and it is possible to buy extended warranties for a small price.

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Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower Price

One of the major selling points of the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower is the price!

It’s one of the least expensive magnetic rowing machines on the market and still has great resistance and good build quality.

This great blend of price and quality is why it has received so many positive reviews!

A great place to buy rowing machines is on Amazon if you cannot find the model in a local retailer. They offer a very large selection, competitive pricing, free shipping on qualified orders, and they act as a layer of protection between the consumer and retailer/manufacturer.

Check Lowest Price

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Overall Review

As you can tell from my review, the Fitness Reality Rower is an excellent budget magnetic rowing machine.

It has 14 levels of resistance, a good monitor/app, quiet rowing stroke, and good build quality. It’s hard to ask for more at this price point.

If you aren’t sure whether you want an air or magnetic rower, then read my comparison article here.

If you are certain you want a magnetic rower, here are 3 more options in the lower price range and how they differ:

  1. Sunny Health & Fitness Dual Function Magnetic Rowing Machine
    • Also has footplates for additional workouts
    • No review but here is a link to the Amazon sales page
  2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rower
    • This model has been the most popular budget magnetic rower for a few years
    • It does not have additional workout footplates or an app
    • It does have a slightly longer warranty and track record
    • Check out my full review here

If you are looking for a good budget magnetic rower, these are your best options. I think the Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower and the Sunny Heath & Fitness SF-RW5515 are two great choices.

If you think the app and additional workouts are cool, then go with Fitness Reality. If you like a rower with a bit more history and longer warranty, then go with Sunny Health & Fitness.

I hope you enjoyed my Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Rower review! Leave any questions in the comment section below!

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  1. Too bad the seat height is limited and compared to the Concert E at 20″ from the ground up, it is not a good option for people with knee challenges. Would love to see some options for raising the seat height on this machine or others in the same price range.

    1. Hi Rob – Thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately, most lower cost models have low seat heights. I think it’s to make them more compact. I don’t believe I’ve come across any low cost models with a tall seat height.

  2. Is this worth the $50-70 more than a similar Sunny Fitness (RW5801 or RW5515) or the MaxKare magnetic rower. I’m having a hard time choosing between these four models. I’m about 6’1″ so I think the longer arm clearance of this and the MaxKare may be useful features. The extra workout options of the FR1000 don’t add any value for me. But, I do like it’s look and the longer mobility seems valuable.

    1. Hi Mike – I think functionally they will all be very similar. I agree, the extra workout options wouldn’t warrant the extra cost to me but the longer arm clearance is a must for you.

      If you don’t have the ability to extend your arms forward you are going to feel a bit awkward rowing. I would choose the option where you think you can perform the fullest range of motion.

  3. Hi Edwin,

    I love your review, thank you! I’ve been researching about rowers for home use and have narrowed down my choices between FR1000, Sunny RW-5515 and Sunny RW-5622. I’ve read your reviews for FR1000 and RW5515 and I understand you don’t have a review for RW-5622. I need a little bit of guidance in choosing the right machine. I like the optional upper body workouts for FR1000 and RW5622 but I do know you can pretty much do that for any other rower machines. But there are 2 considerations that are making it difficult to choose — 1) resistance level and 2) aesthetics :) (design and size). For resistance level, which of the 3 would be better? I know FR1000 has 14 levels whereas the 2 Sunny models have 8 — I don’t think it necessarily means the FR1000 has better resistance though, right? I’m not an advanced athlete but I’d like to think I’ll get there sometime :D so I’d like to choose one that will last me a little longer before I need an upgrade. What are your thoughts? Re 2), aesthetics, I personally prefer smaller frame (I’m 5’2″) for a smaller footprint. It’s not necessary as I do have space, so it’s just a preference. Additionally, this may sound weird, but I’d prefer black so the color is the main thing that turns me off the RW5515 :D I’m worried I won’t get motivated by the design of that model. In short, I kinda like the overall look of Sunny RW 5622 but don’t want to compromise resistance level. What are your thoughts and recommendations? Greatly appreciate whatever guidance you could provide! Thank you!

    1. Hi Bea – thanks for reaching out! Most of the rowers in this price range will have the same amount of resistance. The levels really just mean the number of adjustments between the farthest distance the magnet is from the flywheel and the closest the magnet is to the flywheel. So the max and min resistance between 8 levels and 14 levels is the same – one just has the ability to fine tune the in-between levels.

      Other than that, the rowers are all fairly similar. Like you said, some small aesthetic differences and very small functionality differences.

      One thing to note about the FR1000 is it does allow for a further forward reach (look where the handle enters the front housing compared to other models). This allows for a more complete rowing stroke if you are tall by allowing you to extend your arms forward with a forward lean.

      Hope this helps a bit!

  4. I don’t know which tower to buy between this one a the MaxKare. I want an affordable rowers that durable and has good resistance

    1. Hi Karimah – thanks for reaching out! The lower-cost magnetic rowers are so similar, I would choose whichever has 1 or 2 features that stick out over the rest.

      I like the FR 1000 Plus because it does allow for a further forward reach (look where the handle enters the front housing compared to other models). This allows for a more complete rowing stroke if you are tall by allowing you to extend your arms forward with a forward lean.

  5. Do you have any idea why the seat makes a clicking noise as it moves back and forth on my FR1000?

    1. Hi Robert – Not sure, it’s hard to diagnose those types of noises. Try lubricating all bearings and rollers as well as cleaning the seat rail. My rower sometimes clicks withe the smallest piece of dirt on the rail.

  6. Looks like the MyCloudFitness app isn’t free as claimed: It has a free 30 day trial, but costs $14.99 a month thereafter.

    1. Hi Rich – apologies if the post was misleading but Fitness Reality may have changed to a tiered pricing system. It does clearly state on their product page that the app has some ‘free forever features’ and a paid premium version.

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