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Life Fitness Review

Saturday, March 2nd

2024 Rowing Machine Reviews

Life Fitness Review 2.5 Star Rating

Life Fitness

2.5 Star Rating
  • Rower Type: Combination Air & Magnet
  • Price Range: $1,849 to $3,499
  • Different Models: 1
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Return Policy: 30 days
  • Warranty: 3 years frame, 1 year parts and labor
  • Shipping: Depends on location

Life Fitness is a global leader in cardio, strength, and group training products for public fitness facilities and home gyms. The American fitness company produces and distributes equipment under several brands, including Life Fitness, Cybex, and Hammer Strength, and is headquartered in Illinois. Fun fact: they invented the first electronic exercise bike. As of right now, Life Fitness only has two rowers in their product line.

The Heat Row - Standard or Performance

Life Fitness's Heat Row is available in two styles: Standard, featuring a basic LCD display and basic handles, and Performance, which includes an upgraded TFT2.0 display console and handles equipped with controls for convenient on-the-go workout customization. Both machines use the WattRate® meter to accurately measure how much power you're putting in. The resistance comes from a mix of air and magnetism, so it can be adjusted for beginners or those wanting a tougher workout. Plus, a resistance knob is easily reachable, so you can crank up the intensity at any point.

Heat Performance Row

The Heat Performance Row is a top-of-the-line rowing machine made for serious athletes. It has a basic TFT2.0 display screen that shows detailed workout data and includes motivating programs to make rowing more enjoyable. This machine is designed not just for typical cardio but to really challenge you with high-level athletic workouts. There are buttons on the handle to change what you see on the screen, like your training stats. With the TFT console, the Heat Performance Row delivers individualized feedback including distance, time, strokes per minute, 500 meter split time, and more. The console also has a cool feature called "Coach by Color" that helps you understand how you're doing. Also, you can challenge yourself with programs like "Race a Distance" or compete with a friend, adding a fun twist to your workout.

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Premium prices - not premium performance

The Standard Heat Row will run you $2,999, while the deluxe Performance version is $3,499. With such hefty prices, you'd think these rowers would be bulletproof. However, the one review we found on the Performance model mentioned cracks in the foot pedals, the LCD unit malfunctioning, and the Bluetooth being unreliable. The reviewer was quite happy with the feel and silence of the actual rowing movement, but clearly didn't get what they paid extra for in the bells-and-whistles department.

The Row HX Trainer

The Life Fitness Row HX Trainer offers a full-body, low-impact exercise experience, thanks to its Fluid Technology water resistance mechanism which provides a seamless and organic rowing sensation. Adjusting its five resistance settings can be done using a simple dial, eliminating the hassle of siphoning or adding water. Its frame combines the aesthetics of natural wood with the durability of tempered steel, and its space-saving design means it can be stored upright when not in use. With the BT Console, users can sync up through Bluetooth, monitor their workout journey on fitness apps, and view data like strokes per minute, duration, distance, pulse rate, and more.

Customers love the Row HX

Customers are raving about the Row HX Trainer by Life Fitness, and here's why. Many appreciate its user-friendly assembly and the consistent, smooth rowing experience it provides. Despite differences in body types and weights, couples have found the rower accommodating and versatile, though some users did note it sits a tad lower than expected. But the ride quality? Absolutely top-notch. Users love the fluid, rhythmic motion and even those who use it daily, combined with the Apple Fitness+ routines, found it a joy. They've praised its sturdiness, durability, and the high-quality materials used in its construction. The sound of the water, while rowing, not only adds an authentic feel but also brings a soothing ambiance.

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Easy to store upright

The design of the Row HX Trainer makes it simple to store upright, and it's light enough to move easily. The comfort of the seat is another highlight, ensuring users can row for extended periods without discomfort. For those skeptical about the water-based mechanism, the Row HX Trainer has turned doubters into believers, with the swirling water sound elevating their rowing sessions. Both individual users and couples have strongly endorsed the product, commending its low-impact yet effective workout capabilities. In short, if you're seeking a quality, at-home workout, the Row HX Trainer seems to be a crowd favorite.

More expensive than similar rowers

But what about the price? At $1,849, this rower may not be the best fit for those on a tight budget. We've seen rowers from competitor companies that deliver a comparable experience at a much lower price point. But if the Row HX just happens to have a combination of features and aesthetic that you can't resist and it's within your price range, there's really no reason not to buy it.

Decent warranty

Life Fitness rowers include a Standard Warranty of 3 years for the frame, 2 years for the mechanical components, 1 year for electrical, 6 months for wear items, and 1 year for both console and labor. We like that they included wear items at all - not all rowers come with this safeguard.

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Expensive restocking fees and shipping

Life Fitness has a return policy that enables customers to return cardio and strength equipment within thirty days of delivery for a full refund of the purchase price. However, a 20% restocking fee applies to all cardio and strength equipment. Unused accessories in new condition can also be returned within thirty days of delivery, but the customer must bear the return shipping costs. Original shipping and installation charges are non-refundable, and refunds will typically be issued to the original form of payment. We couldn't find a clear breakdown of shipping costs, but when we tested with a US zip code, the fees for the Heat Row Performance model came to almost $300. Ouch.

You can trust them

Currently, Life Fitness has a "B" rating from the Better Business Bureau, which is down from an "A+" at the time of our last review. However, they seem to be very responsive to the complaints on the BBB page, with customers acknowledging the resolution was satisfactory. We suspect the drop in ratings and increase in complaints may be due to supply-chain issues in recent years that are out of Life Fitness's control, and we're satisfied with their reputation.

Not the best out there for rowers

Ultimately, Life Fitness stands as a reliable brand for a range of workout gear. However, in the realm of rowers, their offerings are fewer and come with a heftier price tag, and they don't necessarily outshine competitors in terms of advanced tech or enhanced build quality when matched against comparable rowing units. Keep Life Fitness in mind, but check out the higher-ranking rowers on our list first.

Where Can You Find the Best Rowing Machines?

Rowing machines, or "rowers," have swiftly sailed into the mainstream fitness world, gaining traction as a one-stop solution for a comprehensive workout. They're not just about the sport of rowing anymore; they're about sculpting your body, boosting your cardio, and getting fit in a fun way. Rowing machines provide an all-in-one workout, working the legs, back, arms, and core.

So it should come as no surprise that rowing machines have become so popular. With rowing, you can elevate your heart rate and improve endurance without stepping outside. What's more, rowing is gentle on your knees and joints, thanks to the smooth motion and the seated position. The resistance can be adjusted to tailor the session - amp up the intensity for a challenge or keep it light and steady.

The Best Rowing Machines Compare Rowing Machines Compare Rowing Machine Reviews What are the best Rowing Machines Best Rowing Machine Reviews

Rowing Machine FAQ

There are four basic types, all classified by the type of resistance they provide. The rowers you may have seen at your local gym, CrossFit box or Orangetheory studio probably used flywheel or water resistance. Other rowing machines use magnetic or piston/cylinder resistance mechanisms.
Absolutely! Rowing machines use up to 85% of your body, from the effort it takes to push backwards to the core strength needed to go back and forth and, of course, all of the upper body in the pull. Like any new exercise routine, you may find there's a learning curve to developing proper form, but it's one of the best low-impact workouts you can get.
Yes! There are many workouts designed for all levels of fitness, including yours. You can also find communities that share rowing challenges -even worldwide! This is especially true if you use a Concept2 rower, which is considered as the "gold standard" when entering competitive times for races and recruiting.
Sometimes, depending on the model you select and how many features it offers. You'll see rowers ranging from under $300 to over $2500. You might be able to get low-interest financing from the retailer of the rowing machine you select.
Most styles will have a certain minimum floor space when in use: you're pushing yourself back and forth along a track, so think about how long your legs extend from a bent position to a fully-extended one. However, if space is an issue, there are rowing machines that can be folded up when not in use (usually by placing the track in a vertical position).
Most retailers of Rowing Machines offer a return period of at least 30 days. But, keep in mind that you're usually going to be on the hook for return shipping fees, which can get expensive.
Some rowers are delivered for free. Don't be surprised to see shipping costs upwards of $130, though: rowing machines are oversized and heavy.
Generally speaking, you'll be the one setting up your rower. A few retailers might be able to connect you with a local professional who can do it for you, but you might want to try it yourself first. These machines are typically straightforward to get up and rowing.
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Continued from above...

What are the different styles of rowing machines? Rowers come equipped with a variety of resistance types, each offering a distinct rowing experience. Each type caters to different preferences in terms of workout dynamics, noise levels, and maintenance needs.

  • Air (flywheel) resistance uses a spinning fan, and the intensity grows as you row harder, although it can be a tad noisy.
  • Magnetic resistance, on the other hand, employs magnets, allowing for a quieter, smoother row where resistance is manually adjusted and stays consistent regardless of how fast you row.
  • Machines with pistons or hydraulic cylinders create resistance through air or fluid-filled components, making them more compact and often more affordable, but they might not mimic the traditional rowing feel as closely.
  • Finally, water resistance models, featuring paddles moving through a water tank, will give you an experience closest to actual rowing, including the calming sound of water, but they're typically heavier due to the water component.

Are you seeking the ideal rowing machine for your personal gym space? Here's what you should consider as you shop:

  • Budget. Rower prices span a broad spectrum. While the high-end models (exceeding $2,500) boast state-of-the-art features, you can snag a reliable machine for under $300. No need to splurge to ensure a solid workout session.
  • Features. Think about what you really want in a rower. Is space-saving important? Do you want the ability to join real-time classes, akin to Peloton? Or maybe the aesthetic matters, with the machine's look needing to mesh with your existing gym equipment?
  • Return policy and warranty. Be future-ready. If your chosen rower isn't the right fit for your space or if you end up wanting a different resistance type, can you send it back? Beware of potential hidden costs like restocking or return shipping charges. Moreover, get clarity on the warranty - what's covered, from the frame to electronics?
  • Company credibility. Dig into user feedback. What's the buzz about the brand? Will they step up if challenges arise during shipment, setup, or regular use? Given that a rowing machine isn't a trivial expense, you want to ensure you're placing your trust in the right hands.

If you're looking for a comprehensive breakdown of the top machines on the market, Top Consumer Reviews is the right place to be. We hope these ranked reviews will help steer you toward a rowing machine that aligns with your fitness aspirations!

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