Rowing Machine FAQ

I have tried to compile the most frequently asked questions about rowing machines that I have come across over the past few years.

Click on a question to see the answer below.

If you have a question you would like answered please add it to the comment section at the bottom of the page!

When deciding on which rowing machine to buy, a lot of people want to know the best overall rower. This is a difficult question to answer because everyone is looking for different qualities in a rowing machine.

Some people want a quiet rower, some want a durable rower, and others want the hardest resistance rower.

I will answer this question by saying that the best overall machine is the Concept2 Model D ( Read my “Best Home Rowing Machine” article for more info). It is by far the most popular machine and is most likely the rower you will find in your local fitness club. It is extremely durable, offers great resistance levels, and provides a smooth, realistic rowing motion.

My article also offers some great alternative options, just in case the Model D doesn’t fit your needs.

However, check out these pages to see the best overall machines by Price RangeResistance Type, and Brand.

A rowing machine has a TON of benefits and is considered by many to be the best exercise machine. A rower can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour and raise your metabolic rate for hours after a workout. It is also a great cardiovascular workout and is the only exercise machine that works both the upper and lower body muscle groups.

I wrote a few articles explaining the benefits of a rowing machine: Rowing Machine Benefits and Best Exercise Machine.

I also have some other articles I link to below about losing weight with a rowing machine and how it effects your body.

A lot of rowing machine beginners are unsure how to row properly. This is why there are so many empty rowers at a gym!

Having proper form and technique is imperative to ensure you are getting the best workout and avoiding injury. There are a lot of great YouTube videos on proper rowing techniques and this video below is one of my favorite.

Rowing machines are very popular among fitness professionals because they provide the opportunity to work out the entire body. Some estimates state a rowing machine can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour and can work out 84% of your muscle mass!

I wrote a great article about what a rowing machine does for your body that shows what muscles are worked out in each stage of the workout. I even wrote a more detailed description of the different muscles worked out throughout each stage of the rowing stroke.

A lot of people looking to invest in a rowing machine are interested in weight loss. A rowing machine is the best piece of equipment to lose weight with but which rower is the best at helping you lose weight?

The answer to this questions would be the rower that is going to make you workout the most and enjoy it. If you buy a rowing machine that you don’t like, then you are not going to use it and you will not lose weight. I would read the 3 articles below that go into why a rowing machine is great for losing weight:

  1. Will a Rowing Machine Help Me Lose Weight?
  2. Rowing Machine Benefits
  3. Best Cardio Machine

Then read the Buyer’s Guide to find the rowing machine that best fits you and allows you to use it the most!

Once you have your rowing machine, you will probably want to know the best rowing routine for losing weight. There are 2 routines that I like to incorporate into my exercise routines: steady state rowing and HIIT (high intensity interval training) rowing.

In this article, I write about both rowing workout routines and why you must focus on diet as well to lose weight.

You can also check out some Rowing Machine Weight Loss Transformations here. This article includes some tips for losing weight with a rowing machine.

A rowing machine has been estimated to burn 1,000 calories an hour and could very well burn more depending on the intensity of the workout. The only other exercise machine that rivals the rowing machine is the treadmill on an incline.

However, burning calories is not the only factor when losing weight. A person must take into account other factors like increasing metabolic rate and building lean muscle. Check out more info in this rowing article.

I also wrote an article about calories burned on a rowing machine. I explain how to calculate the amount of calories you burn and how to increase the amount of calories burned.

Yes, a rowing machine is great for building muscle and improving your cardio. A rowing machine builds lean muscle, so you do not have to worry about it making you “bulky”.

A rowing machine will not make you bulky because you are performing very high reps, which is the opposite of what people do for “muscle hypertrophy” or “getting bulky”. Due to the fact that you are performing very high reps with resistance, you will be sure to get an incredible cardiovascular workout! No wonder Crossfit loves rowing machines!

Check out my article that shows why a rowing machine provides a muscle building, cardiovascular workout.

So you know you want a rowing machine, but you don’t know what to buy. I have a few easy articles that will help you quickly narrow down your search to the right rower!

  1. Start Here – Step-by-Step Buying Instructions
  2. Rowing Machine Buyer’s Guide
  3. Rowing Machine Resistance Types?
  4. Which Rowing Machine is Best For You?

You can also let me select a rowing machine for you by using my Rowing Machine Concierge Service.

Figuring out which type of rowing machine resistance type you should buy is a difficult decision. The four options are Air, Hydraulic Piston, Magnetic, and Water. They all have their pros and cons and I have outline this in detail in my post on rower resistance types.

You can also read my comparison articles to help you decide between different resistance types:

When buying a rowing machine some people will have to look for height limitations on the rowers. It’s unfortunate, but not all manufacturers provide the rowing machine rail length or what inseam length will fit on the machine. I wrote a post on the best rowing machine for tall people that goes into detail about what to look for and what rower to buy.

If you are very short or have children that want to row, then you may be worried about height limitations on a rower. Most rowers can accommodate shorter users but some do not allow the seat to move all the way up to get into the proper “catch” position. The fixed rowing arms on some models can also pull back too high on the chest, making it uncomfortable to row.

I wrote a post recommending two rowers for shorter users and what they should be aware of before buying.

A lot of people looking to buy a rowing machine want to know which rower is the best value or what machine is the “best bang for your buck”?

As stated above, I believe the best rowing machine overall is the Concept2 Model D which can be seen in this list of “best value” rowing machines.

I also wrote an article stating my opinion on the Best Rowing Machine Under $500.

Due to the growing popularity of budget rowing machines, I have an article now recommending the Best Rowers Under $300.

Living in an apartment can be difficult because you are constantly worried about neighbors and people living below you. Some rowing machines can vibrate and some resistance types make more noise than others.

If you are worried about noise, then air rowing machines should be ruled out. Water resistance rowers are not as loud as air rowers but may need to be ruled out as well.

I wrote an article naming the best silent rowing machine models as well as the best piece of cardio equipment for an apartment.

If you want a few models to check out, I would look into the Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower for a low-priced hydraulic-piston rower that is very compact.

The Sunny Health SF-RW5515 Rower (budget), Velocity Fitness Magnetic Rower (mid-range), and the Stamina Avari Magnetic Rower (Upper Mid-Range) are great magnetic rowers for an apartment.

The battle to see what is the best exercise machine? Each of these 5 pieces of exercise equipment have their benefits and pitfalls but which is better?

Obviously, if you are reading this you know that I believe the rowing machine is the best piece of workout equipment you can own.

In 3 articles I explain why a rower is the best for cardio, how it is better than a treadmill, and how it is the best piece of exercise equipment you can buy!

104 responses

  1. Carlen D Avatar
    Carlen D

    I am looking at the Bladez Transom rowing machine and do not see where you have reviewed this brand/model. What do you think?

    1. Edwin Avatar


      In my opinion I would not purchase this machine. I have never used one but it has not received favorable reviews. There are other rowers for the same price that have been reviewed positively hundreds of times. I would suggest looking at the following rowers that I have reviewed and are all top sellers:

      Concept2 Model D: See my review here
      Velocity Fitness Magnetic Rower: See my review here
      Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower: See my review here

      What caused you to maybe want to purchase the Bladez Transom Rower? This could help me tell you which machine you should purchase.

      Let me know what you think and thanks for stopping by!!!

      1. Carlen Avatar

        I can essentially get it at no cost to me.

        1. Edwin Avatar


          If you can get it at no cost then I would get the rower. A huge factor in deciding what rowing machine to get is cost. The Bladez Transom cost ~$799 so I was just suggesting if you were going to pay that then I would pay the extra $100 to get the Concept2 Model D or pay $700 for the Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Rowing Machine.

          The bad reviews were from other users who had the same opinion that I did about the cost. Here are the reviews

          Let me know if I can help in any other way :)

  2. Carlen Avatar

    I essentially am getting it at no cost. What are the downside features? I didn’t see many bad reviews.

  3. Carlen D Avatar
    Carlen D

    Thank you very much for your time. The reviews do sound concerning. I have one more question, if you will indulge me! :-) I know cost is always a consideration and the LifeSpan RW1000 is a less expensive rower. However, from your experience, is this better quality and a safer bet than the Bladez? There will be essentially two users of the rowing machine so need something durable. While just starting out in terms of rowing machines as a form of exercise, we are fit and so are looking for a solid machine to workout and challenge us for the long term. What we liked about the Bladez is that is electronic and air resistance which I understand is important for a good workout. The Lifespan seems good but not sure it will provide a solid workout. Welcome your thoughts -thank you for your time.

    1. Edwin Avatar


      If you don’t mind me asking, how much are you purchasing the Bladez Transom for? The Lifespan Fitness RW1000 is a great rowing machine but offers a little less resistance than competing air rowers. An air resistance rower will offer the best resistance. It is very hard to say what resistance will best fit you because it really does vary person to person.

      I would purchase the Velocity Fitness Exercise Rower if I was going to purchase a rower in that price range. It is $70 more than the Lifespan Fitness RW1000 but offers a stronger resistance. Here is a link to the rower. Sorry for the sort of indecisive answer but each case of a person buying a rowing machine is different!

      I may create a page where a guest can fill out a questionnaire and I can suggest what rowing machine they should purchase. What do you think of that!?

      1. Carlen Avatar

        That would be awesome!

  4. Carlen Avatar

    Didn’t answer your question sorry- I can get the bladez through a work recognition program. So it will cost me but not money. Just points that I have accrued so still want to be sure I am getting a good thing for the work effort put in to get the points. I can also get the lifespan thus my question. Thanks again- you are a great resource!

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Happy to help Carlen! I would look at the return policy of the recognition program and make sure that if there is something wrong with the rower that it can be returned. I would then probably get the Bladez Transom due to the fact that I like a strong resistance and feel the Lifespan Fitness rower would lack in that department. So basically if you are looking for a strong resistance go with Bladez and if you want to avoid the possibility of quality issues go with the Lifespan Fitness.

      I hope this helped and let me know how it works out!

  5. Carlen Avatar

    Looking into return policy. I lied- one more question! ;-)
    If we are beginners, which we are, would we notice the lack of resistance in the Lifespan over time with continued use? I know air resistance is best- just don’t know if as beginners, we would know the difference in a machine to take a chance with the Bladez.

    1. Edwin Avatar

      If you are in good shape then I would worry that you may think the Lifespan lacks in strong resistance. I know it is a really tough decision but the negative reviews about the Bladez had to do with the monitor and the rower itself seemed to function properly.

  6. Bryan Elstad Avatar
    Bryan Elstad

    Hello Edwin,
    I am looking into getting a rower for an alternative work out to add with running. I am currently deciding on whether to get the Stamina Air rower or the Velocity Magnetic rower (there is a person in my area selling one for $350 because they don’t use it). Both seem like a great pick. I am leaning towards the Stamina more though because of the air resistance. I like that it allows the user to create their own resistance based on how hard the person rows. Because I will be a beginner and I see you are an experienced rower and have tested both machines, which one would you choose and which do you think would last longer and provide a better workout?

    Thanks for any advice you can provide!

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Bryan,

      Both are really great machines and this is a tough decision. A lot of times the price is the deciding factor and you would be choosing from spending either $300 or $570. In your case the Velocity Magnetic Rower is only $50 more than the Stamina.

      I believe both machines will provide an adequate amount of resistance for you so I wouldn’t worry about either machine lacking in that department. It really then comes down to which features you prefer such as- air vs. magnetic, monitor options, loud vs. quiet, etc. I would read both of my reviews and make a decision based on which one you feel fits you best. Both machines are really good and would provide great workouts and last a long time. Maybe go try the Velocity Magnetic Rower and see if you like it and make an offer of $300?

      Here are links to the reviews:

      Velocity Magnetic Rower
      Stamina Air Rower

      I hope this helped and let me know if you have any other questions!

  7. Nick Sheedy Avatar

    Hey Edwin, Great website — we thought you might be interested in what we are doing over here at LiveRowing. We are building an app for the Conpcet2 machine to allow users to compete, track & analyze their workouts. Kind of like Strava, RunKeeper or MapMyFitness but for indoor rowing. Check out our page at

    Here is an article TechCrunch did on us —

    If you have any question email or call.

    Nick Sheedy
    Founder, CEO

    1. Edwin Avatar


      Sorry for the late reply, I didn’t receive an email showing I had a pending comment. Your app is such a great idea and will be so helpful to the rowing community!!

      I would be glad to help promote or help out in anyway I can. Just let me know!

      Good luck and thanks for checking in! :)

  8. Christina Avatar

    I was given a Bladez Transom rower for Christmas that my family received on close out from a local sporting good store. I believe they paid less than $300 for it I CrossFit and therefore love Concept2 but given the circumstances am hoping all the negative reviews are wrong. I’m just hoping to burn calories when I can’t get into a gym and don’t care quite as much about tracking fitness and profess because I can do that during rowing workouts at my CrossFit box. Keeping fingers crossed. If I sweat and if the rower keeps rowing I’ll be happy.

    1. Edwin Avatar


      There are some negative reviews but luckily not an overwhelming amount. Also keep in mind that people are more likely to post a negative review than a positive one so hopefully some users enjoyed their Bladez Transom!

      Keep us posted on how the rower performs. I would love to hear your feedback!

      Thanks for the comment :)

  9. Mike Hammond Avatar
    Mike Hammond

    I have one of these machines and have been very pleased with it. I have a problem inasmuch as I get the E1 error which indicates a “motor” fault.The computer screen is stuck on “manual No3” setting and any alteration to that sends the “E1” error onto the screen.
    So, my query is :- Where in the UK can I get spares and advice for this machine please.
    Kindest regards
    Mike Hammond.

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Mike,

      Sorry for the late reply, I was out of town for the past few weeks.

      What model rowing machine do you have? You posted this comment on the FAQ page so I’m not sure what rower you are seeking advice for. The E1 error is a common error on a few brands of rowers. Just let me know which one and I can point you in the right direction.


      1. Diane Avatar

        Hi Edwin,
        My husband just got the E1 error code on his rower (velocity). Any idea how we can correct this?

        1. Edwin Avatar

          Hi Diane,

          The E1 error code can be a few different things. It hopefully is something simple like poor wire connections. You can type “How to fix E1 error on fitness monitor” into google and there are some step by step instructions.

          Where did you buy the rower from and is it still under warranty?

          1. Diane Avatar

            We bought it from a fitness store a few years ago. I’m guessing that the warranty is no longer valid.

            Thank you for your response!!

          2. Edwin Avatar

            You’re welcome! Let me know if you need help with anything else.

  10. Ryan Avatar

    Good Morning. I am looking to purchase the stamina air rower for it’s great reviews and budget friendly cost. My only concern is the lack of damper setting. I’m not one of those guys who has to put it all the way up to 10 as I found my best workouts came when I was at 3-5. Is there a way to DIY a damper setting, or maybe a way to row to get close to mimicking a setting of 3-5?

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Ryan,

      Luckily most users who have used both the Stamina Air Rower 1399 and Concept2 Rower feel the Stamina resistance is equivalent to about a damper setting of 5.

      I have never experimented with trying to do a DIY damper. I feel the problem would arise when trying to get a higher damper setting because this requires letting more air into the flywheel. This would require some type of removal of the material that is already in place.

      I feel you would be able to decrease the amount of airflow to the flywheel by blocking some of the vents on the side of the Stamina Air Rower which would lead to lower damper settings.

      I also think it’s difficult to do a DIY damper on some air rowers because you can’t really tell what the true effect of your modification is without a monitor that calculates drag factor.

      Let me know your thoughts on this, it is definitely something I have played around a little in my head but never attempted to do!

      1. Ryan Avatar

        Thanks for the quick reply! That settles that for me then! I couldn’t find any resistance comparison anywhere so I wasn’t sure. Once I get it, I’ll update my thoughts on it. I’ve very recently started getting into rowing for cardio and have enjoyed the experience.

        1. Edwin Avatar

          Awesome! Yes, please send over some feedback. The more I get, the better I can help others.

          Good luck and happy rowing!

  11. Stuart Fletcher Avatar
    Stuart Fletcher

    Hi there

    I am looking for a recumbent cycle/rower in Australia. Are you aware of anything available in Australia?



    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Stuart,

      There should definitely be some options in Australia. I would first see if Stamina Products ships to Australia and check out the 2 recumbent bike/rowers they have to offer. I would then do a quick Google search for “Recumbent Bike/Rowers for Sale in Australia”.

      I believe ProForm offers one on their Australian site: Check it out here. This Australian fitness site also offers a model here.

      You should be able to find some good options if you do a little digging. I am familiar with the ProForm products and feel they are a good company.

      Good luck and let me know if you need anything else!

  12. Bob Avatar

    The piston/shock squeek is very loud. How can it be lubricated?

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Bob,

      I replied to your other comment on the Stamina Body Trac 1050 post.

  13. Stephane Avatar

    Love your site, unfortunately my rower isn’t covered anywhere. I use Northern Lights ARC-102 … I guess it is a poor man’s Concept2 model D …

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Stephane,

      Sorry, looks like this rowing machine is only offered in Canada which is probably why you don’t see it covered many places. It is an air/magnetic rower so it will operate slightly different from a Concept2. I’m sure it is providing an excellent workout, especially a strong resistance.

      How do you like the Northern Lights ARC-102? If you have used a Concept2, how does it compare?

      1. Stephane Avatar

        I have used a Concept2 model D at the gym and several occasions. I also used magnetic rowers. The ARC-102 is really in between them both. It is a very solid model. I have been using it every day for about 6 months (and lost 25 pounds in the process). I also have the heart rate belt that the sensors on the ARC-102 picks up so you can always monitor your heart rate. If I compare the Concept2 and ARC-102, I find them both to be very good and solid. The Concept2 probably a tad more solid (but also costs more). The ARC-102 is less noisy and has very smooth strokes. Overall I think the Concept2 is a touch better, not by much, but also has a much higher cost. This is why is was referring to the ARC-102 as the *poor man’s* Concept2.

        1. Edwin Avatar

          Thanks for the feedback! I’ll keep an eye out and give it a review if it’s ever sold in the U.S..


        2. Louis Avatar

          Hi Stephane,

          I’m also interested in ARC-102, just wondering how did yours holding up in the 3 years from your last comment here. Much appreciated!

          1. stephane Avatar

            Hi Louis,

            It is still doing really good. It seems to be made to last. I had stopped using it for many months but my daughter started using it. And now I am using it again. It still looks almost brand new, except for a scratch that I made by accident when moving tools (a crowbar) around it (my fault, my bad).

          2. Louis Avatar

            Stephane, Thank you very much for your help!!! Stay Safe!

  14. Don Avatar

    Good Morning,

    I am new to rowing (owned a machine for 10 days, using it for 6). I read your article mentioning the advantages/benefits of 15,30, and 60-90 minute workouts. I am currently closing in on 30 (last night I was up to 28 minutes and 603 reps). My intent is to use my rower along with an elliptical, stationary bike, and occasional biking, hiking, and Nordic Walking.

    My question today, is whether there is any value in the approach to a rower of counting reps minutes? Would it be reasonable to say to yourself “30 minutes or 700 reps, whichever comes first”? Is that an okay approach, or are there problems with it?

    Best regards

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Don,

      It really depends on what your goal is for the rowing machine?

      If you are training to lose weight and burn calories then you must look at the formula for calories burned. I have an article on Rowing calories you can read here.

      Basically, the formula takes into account age, weight, time, and heart rate. So when looking at doing 30 minutes or 700 reps, you would have to calculate which burns more calories. Theoretically doing 700 reps in 30 minutes would be a longer time and lower heart rate than doing 700 reps in 20 minutes, so it may be a wash for calories burned.

      If you are training for aerobic conditioning or “steady-state”, you will want to stay on the rowing machine for at least 30 minutes.

      If you are training for higher intensity and elevated heart rate levels, then you will want to do 700 reps in the fastest time possible.

      So basically it comes down to what are your goals for the rowing machine and then you can work backwards from there. Having only used the rowing machine 6 times means you will be learning a lot very fast.

      Just keep rowing everyday and try varying your workouts. Eventually you will get a feel for what type of workouts you like best and what types work well for you.

  15. Ari Avatar

    What are you thoughts on Water Rower Club v. Matrix Rower?



    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Ari,

      I see you also sent me an email. I will respond there in more detail.


  16. Jesse Binning Avatar
    Jesse Binning

    Great site and loving reading through the comments! Ive narrowed it down to a machine in each category ie air, magnetic and an air/magnetic combo….im still having a hard time making the decision about wjat wud be bwst for me…beginner rower and its for my home gym. I was going to buy the concept D today but realised it is air and was told air/magentic combo would be better. Thoughts/ opinions

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Jesse,

      Thank you for the kinds words! I’m glad you are enjoying the site.

      I would recommend you fill out my Concierge Form and I can reply with my top choices.

      Let me know what models you are currently interested in and also why you feel an air/magnetic combo would be better than air-only. I don’t necessarily agree they are always better, but they can be in some cases.

      Thanks and I look forward to reviewing your preferences!

  17. Curt Avatar

    I am convinced I will get the concept 2 model D. However, I am trying to stay on budget. I am a beginner user. With the quality and reference to durability, is there any reason I should not consider buying used? I see “like new” offered for $500 from highly rated seller. Thanks for your work on this site. It has been extremely helpful!

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Curt,

      You’re welcome, glad you like the site! If you see a Concept2 with a PM5 or even a PM4 for $500 I would buy it! You don’t see them sold for this amount often.

      You can also ask for the information like manufacturing date and lifetime meters. There have been plenty of Concept2 Rowers that have been used for well over 2 million meters but if it is coming from a commercial gym it could have some wear and tear.

      Where are you buying it from? Sounds like eBay and if so make sure to check the shipping cost and return policy.

  18. Kristy Carlgren Avatar
    Kristy Carlgren

    what are some good magnetic rowing machines for short people?

    1. Edwin Avatar

      There aren’t any issues with using magnetic rowers for short people. All models should be able to accommodate shorter height and children.

      The best budget magnetic rower is the Sunny SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rower and the best high-end model is the Stamina Avari Rower.

  19. Bill Avatar

    I have a Life Fitness rower and would like to purchase a seat pad. Will the Rowing Machine King pad work on the Life Fitness seat. If so, how do I order it?

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Bill,

      Yes, I believe it will work for the Life Fitness seat. The foam material is quite malleable and will form to the curvature of the seat.

      You can order through this link here.

      Let me know if you dislike it and I can setup a refund.

      Thanks for reaching out!

  20. Jim Hockenberry Avatar
    Jim Hockenberry

    In our retirement community fitness center, people have trouble getting down and up from the rowing machine seat. Are there machines available that are elevated, and are there platforms made for existing machines that raise them 6-8″.

    1. Edwin Avatar

      The Concept2 Model E has a seat height of 20″, which is higher than normal. There are also WaterRower models that have a “hi-rise” design to raise the seat height.

      There aren’t any modifications for rowing machines to elevate them. What models are you currently using?

  21. Kris Dexter Avatar
    Kris Dexter


    I’m a regular Crossfitter and love the Concept 2. Want something for me and my wife to use at home but don’t want to drop over $1000 as we still will do most of our rowing at the gym.

    I can get an ARC 102 Air Rower for $450 second hand. Says it’s about $1000 new and looks to be pretty sturdy. I’m 6’1” 200lbs and a very strong rower. My wife is 5’4” and newer to rowing. She will be the one using it most of the time.

    Any reason I shouldn’t get this?

    Thanks for your input.

    1. Edwin Avatar

      I think that is a great price and I would definitely go check it out. It is an air/magnetic rower so it is a bit different than air-only but you can definitely do all the HIIT/Crossfit style workouts using it.

  22. Bill edge Avatar
    Bill edge

    My understanding is to increase resistance, you row faster, then why are there settings on rowing machines.

    Water rower add/remove water
    Concept D change fan setting 1-10
    Magnetic turn a knob

    I have the Obsidian water rower

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Bill,

      This will change the “feel” of the rowing stroke but technically doesn’t change the resistance. Here is a good article to explain the difference:

      1. bill edge Avatar
        bill edge


  23. Doug Avatar

    Have you done a review on any BH products? I’m looking at this one:

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Doug,

      Thank you for reaching out! I have not done any research on BH Fitness Rowers. I do see they are priced over $1,000 and are similar to the Concept2.

      I would 100% choose a Concept2 Rower over this model. Check out my Model D Rower review here

      1. Doug Avatar

        Hi Edwin,

        My only hesitation with the Concept2 is the noise. The BHLK700RW I’m assuming is quieter. For me in Canada it will be more expensive to get a Concept2 here (the BH is on sale locally at the moment).


        1. Edwin Avatar

          Hi Doug,

          I think it would make sense to go and try the rower locally. If you use it and like it, then it’s a no brainer! It’s always good when you can test a product before buying.

          1. Doug Avatar

            Ok, so I’ve looked at some and my wife and I decided that silence is golden. If we’re looking for a pure magnetic unit, which would you recommend? It looks like the Stamina Avari ranked highest on your list.

          2. Edwin Avatar

            I think the Stamina Avari is going to be the best magnetic option at a good price.

            There is a model called the Matrix Rower which is double the cost but is a very high end magnetic option.

  24. Tim Pinkham Avatar
    Tim Pinkham

    I purchased a Waterrower three weeks ago. My son-in-law had purchased a Concept 2 which I tried but preferred the “action” of the Waterrower. My big problem is that after 2 minutes my quads were quite sore. I felt like such a wimp!
    I’m 65 and have had a rather sedentary winter. Love the machine and have tried to workout 2 or 3 times a day but still no stamina.
    Do I need to man up and drive harder/longer or just keep increasing time and effort?

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Tim,

      I think you just need to give it some time and not be so hard on yourself! Any new routine takes some time to get used to. I would keep pushing yourself but don’t overdue it!

      I would only workout 1x a day at the start and take a few days off here and there to rest/recover. Don’t forget to have fun ;)

  25. Mohammed Avatar

    Hi Edwin,

    Can you please help me with my query? I have a 2 year old Roger Black rowing machine. Its been in storage for year and I went to use it today and it started fine but 1 minute later the E1 error message displayed with a beeping sound. I’ve tried keeping it switched off for a while but the problem is still there. Any help would be much appreciated.

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Mohammed,

      I would contact the supplier/manufacturer with the model/serial number and see if they can troubleshoot it. Also, maybe check the manual (probably can be found online) to see if it has any info.

  26. Omri Avatar

    Hey Edwin, wanted to say THANK YOU for the great work you’ve done putting all this together on your website!
    I want to buy the Concept 2 model D. “Prime Day” on Amazon is coming on July 15 (in two weeks) – do you think there’s a reason for me to wait till then before buying? Have you ever seen the Concept machines getting discounted on “Prime Day”, from your experience?

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Thank you for the kind words Omri! Normally, Concept2 does not discount their rower on Prime Day but it’s hard to tell what they will do each year.

      If you aren’t in a rush to get your rower then it couldn’t hurt to wait. Although, I would say there is a 99% chance that it does not go on sale.

      I will be posting any deals on Prime Day here.

      I also have an article about finding discounts on Concept2 Rowers here.

  27. Akram Avatar

    HI, i have an old rowing machine with shock absorbent ,unfortunately one of them stop working , can i replace it with a car shock absorbent ? no one sell like the same one ,i need your help please……

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Akram – Sorry, I wouldn’t be able to answer that question without all the details. There are so many variables that I wouldn’t be comfortable giving a suggestion. It would also have to be a piston for a truck or hood.

      If you can’t find a replacement from the manufacturer, then maybe try removing the piston and bringing it to a Lowe’s or Home Depot to see if they have a similar fit or where they recommend finding a replacement

  28. Jon Avatar

    Have you had any experience with the Horizon Fitness Oxford 3 or Oxford 6 magnetic rowers? I see they have a user weight capacity of 350 pounds. I am having trouble finding reviews.

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Jon – thank you for reaching out! Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with those models or brand. There are just too many models to keep up with nowadays.

      I do have an article about high weight capacity rowers that you can check out here:

  29. john biglow Avatar
    john biglow

    Who are you? This is really well done.

    1. Edwin Avatar

      That is one of the more interesting comments I’ve received haha. Thank you for the kind words!

      I am just a guy who enjoys fitness/exercising (with a rowing machine), entrepreneurship, marketing, etc. Sort of a side-project and hobby. Edwin is a pen name. Any other questions just give me a shout! or leave a comment.

  30. Jim Bruce Avatar
    Jim Bruce

    Hello… I completed the concierge form, but have had no response by mail or in my spam… Please can you advise whether you received my request and resend the information


    Jim Bruce

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Jim – Sorry but I have not received your submission. Can you try to fill it out again?

      I am receiving other submissions daily so the form should be working. Thanks!

  31. Roger Mason Avatar
    Roger Mason

    I have a Roger Black rowing machine and I have never known a thing was so hard to find anywhere I can get one little chain link for mine, it is unbelievable that know one knows where you can get this part, that runs the whole merchine, any help is appropriated?????

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Roger – thank you for reaching out! Sorry to say that I have not heard of the brand or model here in the U.S.

      If you need a chain link I’m sure they have one at Home Depot/Lowes/hardware store depending where you are from.

      1. Roger Mason Avatar
        Roger Mason

        Hi, Edwin,I live in the UK, in Kent and we don’t have a store like that here, but I keep t,thanks, Roger.

        1. Loco Avatar

          Hi, I also have a Roger black and after much searching I realised it’s a copy or replica of the sunny health Rw5515.
          That may help?
          Question for Edwin: I’m having a lot of problems with the resistance on the above rower. Even at 1 it’s a very loud and hard resistance and I think there’s a problem. Any ideas what this could be?

  32. Tara Hutto Avatar
    Tara Hutto

    Just wondering if I can keep a rowing machine outside if it is covered? I don’t want it to get ruined by being outdoors, but not sure how delicate the mechanism is.

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Tara – thank you for reaching out! Yes, it is possible to keep it outside if it’s covered but I do not recommend it.

      Even if it’s covered the amount of moisture in the air outside of your house is greater than inside. There is also water that could get into the internal parts if it rains heavily and splashes up under the cover.

      My main concern would be the seat bearings could rust and the electrical components could erode. This could cause your monitor to not work.

      So I think it’s fine to leave outside if you know it’s not going to rain but I would take it inside if you think there is a chance for showers.

  33. Cordell Jacks Avatar
    Cordell Jacks

    Arc-102 any good?

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hey Cordell – thanks for reaching out! I haven’t reviewed that specific brand so it is hard to give my opinion. Right now, during the pandemic, it’s about what is available and what price you can get it for. Seems like it would be a decent rower so if you can get it for a good price it might be worth it.

  34. Mary Avatar

    I’ve been rowing 30 minutes a day about 620 reps. I’m 67 and BMI of 29. Is this to slow to reap any health benefits?

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Mary – thanks for reaching out! I think that’s fine! You have to build up to what you feel comfortable with.

      You are rowing at about 20 strokes per minute. On average, people will row at about 28 SPM but it all depends on how hard you are pulling. I wouldn’t overthink it :)

      1. Mary Avatar

        Thank you so much. I’ve been rowing faithfully for about 10 months now really haven’t lost weight but feel I’ve strengthened my core. I’m hoping if I increase strokes per minute that I will begin to lose weight

        1. Edwin Avatar

          Just stick with it! Remember a clean diet is the most important part of losing weight, then exercise. While a lot of factors go into losing weight, if you burn more calories than you take in, you should see the weight come off.

          I’ve seen people have the best results when they cut out 99% of carbs and all sugars. So sticking to meats and vegetables (low carb vegetables). Best of luck!!

  35. Alexandra Varela Avatar
    Alexandra Varela

    Hey I have the northern lights arc 102, I was wondering how you would compare this to the concept 2 from what you know? Specifically the resistance, I’m an athlete so I use the concept 2 as a training and testing metric and I wondered if you’ve heard of a resource that compares the concept 2 drag factor setting to the arc 102 resistance levels?

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Alexandra – Sorry, I have not come across any resources that compare the two. It is very difficult to compare rowers on an “apples to apples” basis. Some people have tried with the WaterRower vs Concept2 or Xebex vs Concept2 but I haven’t seen any for the ARC-102

  36. KS Avatar

    Hello Edwin
    I am looking to buy a rowing machine. Wanted to go with Concept 2 RowErg after reading articles on your website and other reviews also. Then I saw Proform 750r which is on sale for $600 and Proform Pro R10 Rower which is on sale for $999. The monitor on R10 rower has got a large display. Wondering if you had a chance to check on these models. Any advice on this appreciated.

  37. Edward Smith Avatar
    Edward Smith

    Hello. What are your thoughts on the Teeter Power 10 Elliptical Rower? Do you think I would be better off with just a rower? I’m 63, about 5’9″ and 250 lbs. I just recently had a laminectomy and need to get myself in better shape/condition. any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Edward – thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately, I have not done a full review on the Teeter Power 10 Elliptical Rower. The closest model I’ve reviewed is the Inspire Fitness CR2 Cross Rower which might be worth a review since it’s similar.

  38. Simon Avatar

    I read that Atlantic rowers row with nothing on to avoid skin chafing. Is that because of the salt water? Am wondering about the same (at home of course!) to try to do the same and avoid excema in delicate areas …

    1. Edwin Avatar

      Hi Simon – yes, I believe the constant saltwater exposure causes a lot of chafing. I would try rowing in a pair of compression shorts first!

      There are also a lot of anti-chaffing creams that runners and cyclists use that may be helpful. I think one is called Squirrel’s Nut Butter.

      1. Simon Avatar

        Appreciated – thank you. Will do some research!

  39. Hpward Mathews Avatar
    Hpward Mathews

    I started rowing about 40 years ago and I am still rowing almost daily at almost 82 and l have worn out at least 4 machines and my favorite was a Precor 615 E. At this time I live in Puerto Vallarta, MX for 6 months of the year and here I have a Lanos rower and the rollers under the seat are making noise and I want to replace the seat or just the piece under the seat with the rollers. I need to know how to get in touch with Lanos rowers . Do you know an address for the company or even a phone number?


  40. Dena Avatar

    How do you get rid of an E1 error code on a Stamina 1130? Not in the manual or on stamina’s website. I have tried unplugging and replugging the machine, the error code comes back.

    1. Al Avatar

      @Dena @Mohammed Did you get this resolved?
      @Dena Did you contact Stamina?

      Im in the UK & after painstakingly searching online, Ive found that the Roger Black/ Argos 607/8074
      YR-3140BXE1A magnetic rower is identical to the Stamina 1130 (except the Stamina 1130 has the heart rate monitor feature, which requires the heart rate band)

      The Roger Black version has the identical ‘E1’ error on the display & constantly beeps. Ive searched online & the E1 error on these rowing machines could be anything from the computer EEPROM corrupt, to wires becoming worn, to the speed sensor & even motor failure. Mohammed from a few posts above has exactly the same issue.
      If I could find the correct replacement parts I would attempt to repair it myself. I opened up the unit & didnt find any loose connectors

  41. Whitney Avatar

    Could you write an article comparing different smart rowers with the workouts on the screen? For example the Ergatta vs the hydrow? I couldn’t find a review of the Ergatta anywhere on your site. Thanks!

  42. Joe Avatar

    Hi, I am looking to buy an XM Fitness Rowing machine secondhand. It is going for 750 CAD while the concept 2s are going for 1200 CAD. There is someone who is offering a North Light ARC-102 Air Rower for 750 CAD as well. Is that a good decision? Would you suggest going for the Concept 2. I am new to rowing but intend to use the machine 5-6 times a week. Thank you so much

  43. Al Avatar

    After some research… Here are the models that are similar to the discontinued Argos/Roger Black magnetic rower:

    Hammer PRO FORCE (Hammer fitness UK)
    (I think Hammer fitness Germany sell two versions)
    STAMINA 1130 (USA /Canada)
    JTX fitness SURGE (UK)

    I wish I could find the China/Taiwan manufacturer to be able to get the spare parts at low cost.

    If I could attach photos here I could give possible solutions that Ive found after hours of trying.

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