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      September 29, 2020

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Lifespan Fitness vs Water Rower

To help you find the Best Rowing Machines, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Lifespan Fitness and Water Rower.

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Buy Your Rowing Machine with Xterra Today! Where can you find the best rowing machines? Maybe you got a taste at a HIIT class like Eat the Frog or Orangetheory, you're a CrossFit devotee, or you just get in a rowing session when you hit Planet Fitness or another gym. Many people have a love-hate relationship with this particular piece of fitness equipment, so we applaud you if you're looking for a quality machine to add to your home gym!

You probably know all of the reasons to love rowing machines: few cardio workouts give you the total body focus that's achieved while rowing. Generally speaking, a rowing routine uses 65-75% legs and 25-35% of the upper body - strengthening legs, arms, and abs all at the same time. That's efficient!

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2020

Rowing Machine Reviews

3.5 stars
Lifespan Fitness

LIFESPAN FITNESS

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Cost:

From $499 to $1,199

LifeSpan has the spectrum of at-home fitness equipment covered, from treadmills and other cardio machines to stretching machines and even treadmill desks!

2 rowing machine options

LifeSpan carries two rowing machines: the RW1000 and the RW7000. At a price point of just under $500, the RW1000 is a basic, easy-to-use model for "simplified rowing". You'll get 5 levels of magnetic resistance, making the machine almost silent when compared with air resistance rowers. The electronic display offers you basic data of distance, time, calories, stroke count and strokes-per-minute, and it's battery operated. This model folds and moves easily for storage. Out of 51 customer reviews on the LifeSpan site, the RW1000 earned 4.4 out of 5 stars, with most users saying this machine is reliable and priced well for what it delivers.

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Commercial grade

On the other hand, the RW7000 is a commercial model that delivers a workout similar to what you'd expect from equipment you find at a gym. You'll pay just under $1,200 for this model, which gives you a hybrid air/magnetic resistance system with 16 levels of difficulty. The console is much more advanced, with rowing modes that include manual, goal selection, race and HIIT workouts. The console is also blue backlit, so if you're rowing in low-light conditions you'll still be able to see your data. As far as we could tell, the black steel monorail of the RW7000 is not foldable or detachable for storage, so plan on a permanent location that gives you around 100" of floor space.

Equipment overview:

  • Rower Type: Magnetic or Air/Magnetic hybrid
  • Price Range: $499 - $1199
  • Different Models: 2
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Return Policy: 30 days, 15% restocking fee
  • Warranty: Frame - 5 years or lifetime, Parts - 2 or 5 years, Labor - 1 or 2 years
  • Shipping: Free

Free shipping

Most of LifeSpan's customer policies are solid. You can make returns within 30 days of delivery, but expect a restocking fee of 15%. Your warranty coverage depends on the model you select, with less coverage for the lower-priced rower: 5 years or lifetime on the frame, 2 or 5 years on parts, and 1-2 years on labor. You'll also get free shipping on either rowing machine.

Good track record

Overall, LifeSpan demonstrates a good track record of customer care. With over 25 years in operation, they have an "A+" and accreditation by the Better Business Bureau. And, over more than 450 independently-verified shopper reviews, LifeSpan earned an average of 4 out of 5 stars. We appreciated the responsiveness of their customer service team on those reviews that were less-than-satisfied; it's obvious that they don't sweep their customers' concerns under the rug.

Solid choice

You won't find lots of options for rowers at LifeSpan, but the two they offer are well-priced and come with a decent number of features for what you'll pay. Free shipping is a nice plus, and a reasonable return policy won't take too much cash from your pocket if you decide your rower needs to go back to the warehouse.

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3 stars
Water Rower

WATER ROWER

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Cost:

From $895 to $2,500

Over the last 30+ years, WaterRower has delivered handmade-in-the-USA craftsmanship in their rowing machines. Manufactured in Rhode Island and distributed to health clubs, boutique fitness studios and luxury hotels worldwide, these rowers not only work well but look amazing in your home.

Not just a pretty face

As you'd guess from the name, all of WaterRower's machines use water for resistance. For many users, this provides a smoother, more even rowing experience - and the aesthetic appeal of the water sound in the tank closely mimics outdoor rowing.

Equipment overview:

  • Rower Type: Water
  • Price Range: $895 - $2,500
  • Different Models: 10
  • Financing Available: Yes
  • Return Policy: None
  • Warranty: Frame - 5 years, Components - 3 years, Electronics - 1 year
  • Shipping: $69.95 to $134.95

10 rowing machines to choose from

You'll have 10 different models to consider with WaterRower. At the lowest end of the price spectrum is the A1 at $895. This rower has a single-rail design, a simplified performance monitor, and an ash hardwood frame. On the other end of the range is the S1, priced at $2,500. A limited edition model, this rowing machine has a brushed stainless steel frame, an upgraded S4 performance monitor, and dual rail design.

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Same as the studio

Are you coming to WaterRower as an Orangetheory Fitness addict wanting to replicate your run-to-row at home? You're looking for the M1 HiRise. No, you can't get it in OTF orange - you'll have to settle for silver - but everything else from the foot straps to the monitor is the exact same as what you've used at the studio.

Can't be folded

None of the rowing machines in this product line can be folded or disconnected in the middle for easy storage. But, they can be tipped on their end and stored upright (water tank end down). You'll need about 88" of room while in use (and that means 88" for upright storage), and a depth of just under 28" while stored.

No easy resistance change

You also don't have an easy way to change the resistance on a WaterRower machine. Yes, you could add or take away water from the tank, but that's definitely not something to be done mid-workout.

Shipping costs vary

What you spend on shipping depends on whether you choose a wooden or metal model and where you live. WaterRower does ship to Hawaii and Alaska, but you'll have to enter your zip code to find out your costs. Otherwise, for states east of the Mississippi, you'll pay either $69.95 (wooden) or $124.95 (metal), and for states west of the river you'll pay $79.95 or $134.95.

Returns allowed only if defective

The biggest drawback to buying a WaterRower is the lack of a return policy. Except for defective machines and warranty purposes, you're stuck with your rowing machine once it's been delivered. So, you'd better be absolutely certain that you prefer water-based resistance and that your machine is going to fit in the space you have in mind.

Customers are thrilled

On a positive note, customers who've taken the chance on these no-return rowers are almost uniformly thrilled with their purchase. People say that assembly is fairly basic, and the user experience is fantastic: quiet, smooth, and a killer workout. It doesn't hurt that these machines look great too - much more sleek and stylish than the average rower.

Pretty, but worth it?

Although we'd like to see an enhanced return policy, WaterRower still earns a decent rating for providing a wider range of options than many retailers of rowing machines. The company has an extremely loyal following, particularly with exercisers who fell in love with the rowers at the studio or gym and jumped at the chance to have one at home. But, higher prices for both the machines and the shipping could put WaterRower out of range for customers who don't have a particular affinity for the brand.

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Continued from above

Another huge reason to take advantage of rowing is its low-impact style. There's no pounding on already-sensitive joints while using a rowing machine, just a push and a pull that glides back and forth with whatever amount of effort you choose to use.

What style of rowing machine is best? That largely depends on preference. Resistance comes in four ways: air (flywheel), magnetic, pistons or cylinders, and water. If you've used a machine at a fitness center, you're probably familiar with flywheel and water rowers already. Those styles also do the best job of imitating the feel (and the sound, for tank-base systems) of rowing in open water.

So, how can you tell which rowing machine is the right one for your home gym? Here are several criteria to keep in mind as you shop for a rower:

  • Price. Rowing machines can range from ultra-affordable (less than $300) to top-of-the-line (over $2,500). While spending more usually puts more features and cutting-edge technology in your hands, you don't have to break the bank to get a rower that delivers a terrific workout.
  • Features. Make a list of the must-haves for your rower. Does it need to fold easily for storage? Do you want the capability of following a live class, Peloton-style? Should your rowing machine have a certain look to match your other home gym equipment?
  • Returns and Warranty. What if your rowing machine doesn't fit the space you had planned out? Or you realize that you'd actually prefer the resistance of a water rower instead of a flywheel system? Most retailers of rowers allow returns, but watch out for restocking fees and return shipping fees. What kind of warranty coverage does the company give you for the frame, mechanical components, and any electronics?
  • Reputation. What do other shoppers say about the company? Can you expect good service if something goes wrong during shipping, installation, or day-to-day use? A rowing machine can be a significant investment, so you want to know that your purchase is from a business that has your back.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best rowing machines available today. We hope this information helps you pick the right rower to meet all your health and fitness goals!

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