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leopardprey 26 January 2014 19:12

Anybody here into using rowers for exercise.?

Looking at getting a water rower.

Look pretty nice.

Heard a great substitute for swimming and good low impact on the body, complete workout.

Getting tired of the ET, driving across town to the pool everyday,a and stationary bike. Have used rowers a few times at the gym, but never got into them too much.

DSSRonin 26 January 2014 20:16

My only experience is with the Concept 2 (C2). I bought a C model for $300 six years ago and cherish it. Easily have a million meters on it. Brand new current models are not cheap but look around for a used one. Looking at the site, the machines seem to operate on the same idea as the C2.

FYI - your link above link didn't work for me x 2.

leopardprey 26 January 2014 20:20

8654maine 27 January 2014 02:34

As part of my workout on ships, I incorporated rowing exercises and those climbing exercise machines (had foot and hand bars).

My butt fell asleep after more than 30-40 minutes on the rowers. O/W great exercise.

Hostile0311 27 January 2014 02:51


Originally Posted by 8654maine (Post 1058362256)
As part of my workout on ships, I incorporated rowing exercises and those climbing exercise machines (had foot and hand bars).

My butt fell asleep after more than 30-40 minutes on the rowers. O/W great exercise.

Same here. Pretty good workout. Though haven't been on one since my last float 11 years ago.

Bingo King 27 January 2014 09:00

Can't say enough good things about the Concept II rowers. They last forever, can tie in a heart rate monitor, compete on-line if you want to challenge yourself.....and if you ever want to try an ass kicking event....enter at erg competition....2000 meters in under 8 minutes should provide a decent appreciation.

PocketKings 27 January 2014 17:54

I've had a Concept 2 for five+ years. It's awesome. I can put on the headphones and just row. They're solid and have a great life.

leopardprey 28 January 2014 13:35

Thanks for the feedback. Checked out the Concept 2s as well.

Decided to go with the water rower, ordered and should have in a couple of weeks.

Figure what I have been paying for pool membership, with what you figure I was paying in gas everyday, plus the driving time, the water rower will pay for itself in about 5 months.

MixedLoad 28 January 2014 14:06

C2 for the win, LP. Love those things. Use them every day at work.

19MIKE 12 February 2014 14:07

Just started getting into it a couple months back (my daughters a competitive rower). It's a kick in the ass for sure...especially for us FOG's. I got tired of the spin bike/cross trainer/treadmill routine and wanted to work my whole body at once. Bought a C2 off ebay and was able to pick it up last night.

I've been to a couple of my daughters indoor 'erging competitions' and am always amused when they start putting down those barf buckets by each competitors machine. It get's pretty intense.

A really good 2K time for high school girls is about 7:40 The guys are doing it around 6:30 and less.

I did a 7:43 2K yesterday, not to bad after a month and a half....hoping to keep bringing it down further . My daughter wants us to enter the father/daughter event at next years Head of the Charles

Murph 16 February 2014 17:49

Let us know how the water rower works, LP. I got a model B C2 used about 15 years ago. I am either going to dump it OR dump my elliptical and get an AirDyne. It would make the most sense to dump the elliptical, cause jogging or walking the dog in Seattle makes more sense--especially for the dog. But, nothing says boredom to me like rowing...

Jimmur275 17 February 2014 18:22

The dog will like you better Murph.

leopardprey 20 February 2014 11:19


Originally Posted by Murph (Post 1058368283)
Let us know how the water rower works, LP. I got a model B C2 used about 15 years ago. I am either going to dump it OR dump my elliptical and get an AirDyne. It would make the most sense to dump the elliptical, cause jogging or walking the dog in Seattle makes more sense--especially for the dog. But, nothing says boredom to me like rowing...

Just received it two days ago. My review so far after two sessions of using it:

Set up was not bad, but took a little longer than thought. Was hard to get some of the wood pieces to align, but eventually got them all in place. Very tight construction. Over all well made, and the wood looks very nice. Has a real aesthetic appeal to it. Easy to lift up and store up against a wall - looks like a piece of furniture.

Water tank was a PITA to fill up. They provide you with a siphon tube and hand pump, but does not work well. $4 Flexible funnel from hardware store was a necessity, had to go buy.

Glides very smooth, seat is very comfy. The water feel and noise is very nice and gets into the motion. Pleasing to the ear when working out. The digital display very easy to see.

I opted for the wider handbars, a $35 option, and glad I did.

So far have just done two 20 minute workouts and like how it works. Low impact, but still get a very complete whole body working. Probably going to stick with 1-2 twenty minute workouts per day for the rest of the week, to get use to it. Then move up the time and/or the number of sets per day.

Wish I would have gotten this about a month and a half ago, since pretty much been snowed in.

Murph 21 February 2014 14:19

Thanks, LP. I've always thought they looked really nice, but never tried one. I've got a C2 and a good elliptical in my bedroom. I love the idea of the C2, but rowing is almost as boring as yoga...

leopardprey 21 February 2014 14:49


Originally Posted by Murph (Post 1058369412)
Thanks, LP. I've always thought they looked really nice, but never tried one. I've got a C2 and a good elliptical in my bedroom. I love the idea of the C2, but rowing is almost as boring as yoga...

Well, only now have had three workouts on it, but in terms of boredom - I find it much less than using a stationary bike, treadmill, or Elliptical trainer . So that is a big plus. I think the design and the "water feel/noise" actually helps quite a bit - plus it is not very loud. Just start rowing and listed to NPR, BBC, or WLS AM.

RangerRudy 23 February 2014 11:23

If you're looking for a reliable and well-built rower, look no further than a Concept 2. Their popularity with CrossFit makes them hard to come by (used) for decent money. If you have the money to spend go to They will reply to your email request for pricing, usually about $850, plus around $40 shipping for a black, Concept 2 with PM3.

leopardprey 23 February 2014 12:33

Thought this was a really good review between the Water Rower and the Concept 2:

The waterrower is an excellent piece of cardio machinery, arguably the best you could possibly find for home use. There is no question that rowing is a great form of cardio. It utlizes over 84% of the muscle in your body if done correctly and can effectively burn more calories per minute than most any other form of cardio, other than maybe swimming. As a former NCAA swimmer myself, the one difference between swimming and rowing is that the rowing stroke is MUCH easier to learn than proper swimming stroke technique. This combined with the fact that you need an actual pool to swim gives indoor rowing the edge as arguably the IDEAL form of cardio for the stength trainee/fitness enthusiast/natural bodybuilder looking for a way to burn come calories and cut.

Really what is not to love:
1. Burns more calories than most any other form of cardio.
2. Utilizes most all of your major muscle groups.
3. Reduces joint stress.
4. Is low impact.
5. Is realtively easy to master techinque.
6. Strengthens rather than weakens your back joints, hips, knees and ankles.
7. Promotes proper posture.
8. Can be done in the convenience of your own home.

I own both a waterrower and a Concept II. In a recent comparison, I outlined why both are great machines, but why waterrower is probably ideal for home gym even over the Concept II.

Let me summarize the benefits of the waterrower as follows:

1. Reduced Noise -- The waterrower is MUCH quieter than the Concept II. I have rowed in the same room where my wife and newborn baby were taking a nap. There is no noise moving back and forth on the rails due to the fact they are made of wood. What little noise is created is just the sound of rushing water, which really is more of a pleasant and relaxing sound.

2. Seat Stability -- I have found the seat much more stable on the waterrower. Go figure that two rails (waterrower) are more stable than one (Concept II).

3. Better Seat -- The waterrower is much more comfortatble for longer rows than the Concept II -- especially for women (or so I have heard from my wife).

4. Better handle -- The handle on the waterrower is better and more comfortable. The upgraded handle is even more comfortable for guys with naturally broad shoulders and powerful upper body builds. Most body builders will find the waterrower with the upgraded wider handle more comfortable than the Concept II.

5. Smoother Stroke (Especially in the Catch) -- The clutch is MUCH better on the waterrower. I found the clutch to slightly jerk on the Concept II. I like the Concept, but the overall experience is just too mechanical for me. In any case, the stroke from start to finish is much more smooth on the waterrower -- and, hence, much more enjoyable.

6. More Pleasant -- I actually enjoy rowing on the waterrower -- it has a nice pleasing sound. I don't love the whirr of the Concept II.

7. Open View -- The fly on the Concept is right in front of your face. This makes talking to someone in front of you, watching TV or viewing a sunrise from your back deck much more difficult as you row. In contrast, the waterrower fly is below your eye level, giving you full range of vision while you row.

8. Smaller Footprint -- Waterrower is not as long as Concept II and takes up a smaller footprint.

9. Stores Vertically Easier -- Waterrower stores more easily in the vertical position than Concept II.

10. Aesthetic Appeal -- Waterrower looks like a piece of art or an expensive piece of furniture. It can go in any office or any room in your home, not just your garage gym. For whatever reason, it appears to have a better appeal for my wife as well (she never used my Concept II, but regularly uses the waterrower). This is a big concern (especially for women apparently) if you have an in-home gym.

11. Monitor and Software Not THAT Bad -- Yes, the Concept II is the "standard" and all that jazz. But, there are FAR too many people that totally discount the new S4 monitor for the waterrower, which actually is quite good and MUCH better than people give it credit for. Let's face it, even Concept II is no match for RowPerfect in its feedback and watt computation accuracy. So why the negativity towards waterrower? All three are excellent rowers and great pieces of cardio machinery, but the waterrower is arguably superior for in-home use and for use by non-competitive rowing athletes.

12. Less Maintenance -- Believe it or not, waterrower requires much LESS maintenance than the Concept II -- or so I have found. The flywheel on the Concept II gets really dirty from my experience. Likewise, the seat rails require at least weekly maintenance for avid rowing. In contrast, the water wheel of the waterrower requires a cholrine tablet once a year, and rails require much less cleaning and maintenance.

13. Intensity Level is Just Fine: Many people I think are under the false impression that you can't get a great workout on the waterrower. You can and (IMHO) it is just as easy as getting a great workout on the Concept II. Big strong guys like me may want to fill the watertank to near the maximum recommended amount, but this is a minor technicality. Natural resistance is subject to the rule of cubes --i.e., to double your performance, you have to quadruple your power output. So, yes, it is PLENTY easy to get an exhaustive workout on the waterrower and to do intervals and sprints.

The only REAL drawbacks I have had with waterrower:

1. Smaller Online Rowing Community -- The WeRow community is actually quite small. (Probably because of all the unjustified biased negativity directed towards waterrower.) Though not as accurate as the Concept II, again the waterrower S4 monitor is plenty decent enough to enjoy fun and challenging recreational races online. I have noticed that this is getting better as increasingly more people actually start to recognize just how good the waterrower monitor and online competition software actually is.

2. Not a Dynamic Erg -- Some people (not me) will complain that you can't put the waterrower on slides. Again, I think that putting any erg on slides in your home with young kids is a serious accident waiting to happen personally. Second, I think the natural feel and resistance of the waterrower combined with its non-mechanical smooth stroke overcomes the potential pitfalls of static ergs. Though rowing athletes will want a more "realistic" simulator, I can't see any non-rowing athlete and fitness/bodybuilding enthusiast (like myself) to care too much about the "need" for a dynamic erg. I tried the oartech once and, personally, until they can create a dynamic erg that has a water-based flywheel, I will stick to my waterrower.

3. Cost -- There is no doubt that the waterrower is (on average) more expensive. Also, it is much harder (almost impossible in some areas) to find used waterrowers for sale. (You think that may be in part due to the fact their owners never seem to want to get rid of them?) I searched for over two solid months without finding anything in my local area, and finally caved in and just paid the full price from waterrower for the oxbridge model. Though, considering it is arguably the best piece of cardio equipment I have ever experienced, $1,000-$1,500 is a small price to pay IMHO; I have definately got my "money worth" and much more out of the purchase and see it as money well spent.

In short, the Concept II is an awesome machine. But as I continuously move toward strength and bodybuilding and away from competitive endurance events, I see increasingly little need for the Concept II. The Concept II is PERFECT for rowing athletes and those who wish to compete in online indoor rowing over the internet. However, for home use as a frequently used piece of cardio equipment for your average amateur bodybuilder and strength trainee, I think the waterrower is superior. In my personal opinion, there is no comparison between waterrower and Concept II for in-home use, especially for a strength training junkie looking to add a 2-3 hours of cardio to his or her routine every week from the convenience and comfort and safety of his home.

Just my two cents. Again, I do love the Concept II and the Concept II has its own strengths that I have discussed elsewhere, but I really do think that the majority of amateur bodybuilders on this forum would prefer a waterrower over a Concept II.


Tracy 9 March 2016 22:43



After two years, how's your rowing program working out? I'm looking to buy a rowing machine, and both the Waterrower and Concept-2 sound interesting.

Anyone else can chime in too.

leopardprey 9 March 2016 22:54

Still using it and still love it. Looks good in the living room, right along side my hardwood floors, and the water sound is somewhat relaxing. I get a lot of compliments from visitors to my house. It has held up well, no complaints. Couple of times a screw on the wooden parts would work itself lose and had to tighten it back up. But the machine is very well made and durable. Was money well spent. Solid.

Have not used it for about month now, due to a knee injury, followed by a bad case of flu. And did not use it when was back in Cambodia for about a year. But other than that, it is a daily ritual.

I did find that trying to do more than 30 minutes or so, just was too long. Not due to the physical strain, but more the mental boredom and going brain dead. I am the same way on a treadmill, Elliptical trainer, etc.

To me I found the sweet spot to be doing around a 4 minute warm up. Then doing ten minutes, where I do 40 seconds balls to the wall, then 20 seconds at a more relaxed pace. Then a cool down for a minute. Found getting up and doing that 15 minutes early in the morning seems to really get me going for the day and gives a good burn. Sometimes I will do 21 minutes at a good crisp pace instead. Every now and then just do 30 minutes at a medium pace. But, I really like the 15 minute workout the best.

Tracy 10 March 2016 20:20


Thank you for the insight!


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