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      January 23, 2020

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Life Fitness vs Pro Form

To help you find the Best Rowing Machines, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Life Fitness and Pro Form.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Rowing Machines, please Click Here

Buy Your Rowing Machine with Rogue Fitness Today! If you’re looking for a great all-body workout that won’t kill your joints, a rowing machine may be exactly what you need. Although rowers aren’t usually as popular or well-known as treadmills and ellipticals, they are an excellent choice for virtually every type of exerciser.

In fact, rowing machines have seen a rise in popularity lately, largely due to their use in Crossfit workouts. Why? First, using a rowing machine allows you to work on cardio and strength at the same time - which saves YOU time as well. As you push with your lower body and pull with your upper body, your heart rate increases while building strength in your legs, abs, and arms. And, using your whole body means that you’re easily burning the same amount of calories as a workout on a treadmill or stair climber.

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Best Reviews

2020

Rowing Machine Reviews

3.5 stars
Life Fitness

LIFE FITNESS

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Cost:

From $1,699 to $2,219

LifeFitness equipment can be found almost anywhere there’s an indoor workout facility. From treadmills and ellipticals to strength and rowing machines, they’ve made a huge impact on the fitness industry for many years.

Equipment overview:

  • Price Range: $1,699 - $2,219
  • Different Models: 2
  • Vertical Storage: Yes
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance Type: Fluid (Water Tank)
  • Resistance Levels: 4 or 16, depending on model
  • Maximum User Weight: 330 lbs.
  • Return Policy: 30 days, 25% restocking fee (up to $500 maximum)
  • Warranty: Frame - 5 years, Tank and Seals - 3 years, Mechanical - 2 years, Console - 1 year, Labor - 1 year
  • Shipping: Free

You have two main options for rowing machines on the LifeFitness site: the Row HX and the Row GX. Which should you choose? That depends on what you need. As you’ll see when looking at the two rowers side-by-side, the lower-end HX has a more spa-like appearance, with wooden rails, while the GX is all silver, black and red and looks more modern. As you’d expect, the more expensive GX has four times the number of resistance levels available on the HX. Both models can easily be stored upright when not in use.

Unfortunately, across all types of fitness equipment, LifeFitness tends to be the most expensive on the market. With other types of cardio machines, this is usually because of the more advanced technology available in the console; however, with rowing machines, the console is a basic screen that tracks workout stats and not much more. Another costly aspect of buying a LifeFitness rower is the return policy: if you decide you want to return it within the first 30 days after purchase, expect a 25% restocking fee of up to $500.

On the other hand, LifeFitness is one of the few retailers we found that offers a payment plan through their financing partner, Affirm: look for the “”or as low as” pricing information below the rower’s price in order to see more details. At the time of our review, Affirm was offering interest rates from 10-30% APR with repayment plans of 3, 6, and 12 months, depending on your credit history.

Customer reviews of the LifeFitness rowing machines were somewhat mixed but generally positive. We found several comments from users who said that the motion of the water-based resistance system, particularly the HX, did feel much closer to what it feels like to row on water than other brands they’d tried. If you have experience with rowing, the LifeFitness models may be a great fit based on that alone.

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2 stars
Pro-Form

PRO-FORM

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Cost:

$399 special price, $999 regular price

Pro-Form keeps it simple, both with their rowing machine and their website. You won’t find fancy bells and whistles, just a simple site with one kind of rower, the 440R. From the construction to the console, the 440R delivers a basic workout, with 8 levels of resistance using a standard air/flywheel set-up.

Equipment overview:

  • Price Range: $399-$999 (sale price vs. regular price)
  • Different Models: 1
  • Vertical Storage: Yes
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Resistance Type: Air
  • Resistance Levels: 8
  • Maximum User Weight: 250 lbs.
  • Return Policy: 30 days, 10% restocking fee
  • Warranty: Frame - 5 years, Parts & Labor - 90 days
  • Shipping: Free

We were underwhelmed by the shopping experience at Pro-Form. The website looks like it hasn’t been updated in years; in fact, it gives the impression that the page isn’t loading properly or may be missing images with the way it displays. We also noticed that, at the time of our review, there were three different prices listed for the 440R and that, simultaneously, it said that it was in stock and out of stock. We were surprised that the live chat function was actually working and that we got a fast response to our question - that it was indeed in stock, and that the lowest of the three prices was a one-day only deal.

The 440R also didn’t impress us - though for a price under $500, including shipping, it might be a good entry-level rowing machine for exercisers on a budget. The console displays strokes per minute, total strokes, distance, time, and calories on the most basic of monitors. Also, with a maximum user weight of 250 lbs., the rowing machine can’t accommodate larger individuals.

Finally, user reviews both on the Pro-Form website and elsewhere are not encouraging. Comments included criticism of the construction, especially with respect to internal cords snapping after a few weeks of use, and poorly-made components.

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Continued from above

Also, rowing machines give you a low-impact workout. Whether you’re an avid exerciser looking to mix up your training routine or you’re new to working out, you’ll find that rowers don’t pound your knees and ankles like many forms of cardiovascular exercise. Rowing is also a common choice for people recovering from an injury, specifically because it offers an all-body workout while still being gentle on the joints.

Rowing machines provide resistance in one of three ways: air, fluid (water), magnetic, and hydraulic. Air resistance is the most common: your workout will turn a flywheel, which creates the resistance you need. These tend to be somewhat noisy compared with other kinds of resistance. Water resistance rowers can provide a quieter, smoother workout; instead of turning a flywheel against the air, you turn paddles in a water tank. Many people find that the action of using this type of rower more closely imitates the feel of rowing on an actual body of water. On the other hand, magnetic resistance rowing machines don’t replicate the feel of rowing on water, but they tend to operate even more quietly and to be more compact than water resistance models.

As you shop for a rowing machine, you’ll find quite a range of options and price points among the available retailers. What should you keep in mind as you compare rowers? Consider the following:

  • Cost. Does the retailer offer a rowing machine that fits in your budget?
  • Resistance. Does the machine use air, water, or magnetic resistance? Do you need a rower that closely imitates the feel of rowing on the water, or are you just looking for a good workout? How many levels of resistance are provided?
  • Storage. Can the rowing machine be stored vertically, saving you floor space when it’s not in use?
  • Return Policy. Does the retailer allow you to return the rower? If so, will you get a full refund or will you be charged a restocking fee?
  • Warranty. How long will the company cover the machine - parts, labor, console, and so on - if something breaks?

TopConsumerReviews has reviewed and ranked the best rowing machines available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best rower to help you achieve your fitness goals!

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