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Are you looking for a new piece of exercise equipment to improve your health at home?
I think just about everyone is! If you’re looking for the best piece of cardio equipment, you might have heard that rowing is the new jogging!
Using an indoor rowing machine is easy on the joints, gives you a full-body workout and an unparalleled cardio workout, and engages 86 percent of the muscles in the body all at the same time!
No wonder everyone is jumping on the rowing bandwagon- or should that be the row boat?!
|Our Top Picks||Rower||Price|
|Proform Pro R10|
|Concept 2 Model D|
Proform Pro R10
Concept 2 Model D
I’ve got oodles of experience with indoor rowing machines, and I want to tell you some of the pros and cons of each so you can make a more informed buying decision.
Enough chatting, let’s get down to business, shall we?
Quick Comparison Chart
For those of you who are short on time or have already read quite a bit but just want a few facts, check out our chart comparing these three rowing machine models.
|Proform 750R||Proform R10||Concept 2 Model D|
|Size of Monitor||5-inch performance monitor||10-inch color monitor||5-inch performance monitor|
|Type of Resistance||Magnetic||Magnetic||Air|
|Maximum User Weight Capacity||250 Pounds||250 Pounds||500 Pounds|
|Overall Dimensions||86.5″ L x 22” W x 45.5″ H||86.5″ L x 22” W x 45.5″ H||96” L x 24” W x 14” (standard legs)
or x 20” (tall legs)
|Folds for Storage||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Weight of Machine||117 Pounds||120 Pounds||57 Pounds – standard
68 Pounds – tall
1-year parts & labor
1-year parts & labor
2-years all other parts
Please bookmark this page so you can refer back to this information if you should need it in a hurry.
Let’s look at each model up close.
The Proform 750R Rowing Machine
Proform is made by Nordictrack, so you know you are getting a name with lots of experience and good quality.
The 750R is the lowest price rowing machine the company makes at this time. It uses magnetic resistance, which is super quiet, so you can use this rowing machine anywhere any time!
For those of you living in smaller apartments or with smaller spaces, you’ll be happy to know that this rower folds so you can store it in a closet or wherever you have an unused corner.
Don’t let your eyes fool you, the rowing machine has no monitor. What it has instead is a tablet holder and a 5-inch performance monitor that will track all your workout data.
The tablet holder allows you to download the iFit app to your tablet, then use/watch the programs as you work out.
This design lowers the price of the machine because, let’s face it, built-in tablets are expensive!
Features of the ProForm 750R Rower
Besides those already mentioned, here are other features of the 750R:
- The iFit app controls the resistance levels on your rowing machine automatically. Of course, you can always manually change the resistance levels, but most people love having the resistance set for them.
- The seat is molded plastic with an ergonomic design.
- The handlebar is adjustable.
- The oversized pivoting foot pedals fit nearly everyone and are easy to adjust.
- There are two 2-inch front-facing speakers so you can hear the program clearly.
- This rower is Bluetooth-enabled so you can connect your own third-party heart rate monitor or headphones and listen to whatever you like.
You can do the Proform 750R rowing workouts with an iFit subscription, or if you prefer to watch Netflix or YouTube on your tablet while sweating it out, you can do that, too.
This rowing machine has a 250-pound user weight capacity, so if you or someone in your home weighs more than that, you should consider Concept 2 or another high-weight machine like the Hydrow Wave.
This isn’t a smart rower since it isn’t connected to the internet, but this is still a very good piece of fitness equipment for those who want to try rowing but have a limited budget.
Are Proform Rowers Any Good?
Yes, they are.
If you look at the chart above, you’ll find that it has a fairly decent warranty. This is proof that NordicTrack (the makers of Proform) has confidence in its product.
You’ll find lots of good reviews about these rowing machines and buy one with confidence.
Proform R10 Indoor Rower
The R10 is an excellent, sturdy rowing machine that you will really enjoy using.
This is one of the best rowing machines you can buy at this price.
Right now, Proform is offering the machine for free with the purchase of a 3-year iFit membership.
That’s really an outstanding deal! I don’t know how long they are going to offer this deal, but you should check it out here.
If the deal has ended, you can still get this machine at a really great price, especially when you consider that this smart machine has a 10-inch touchscreen tablet!
If you love the iFit fitness programs and want to watch rowing videos, this is the perfect piece of home fitness equipment for the price.
Features of the Proform R10 Rower
Some of the top features of this piece of home gym equipment include:
- The magnetic flywheel is virtually silent, which means you can exercise any time you want and not disturb another person.
- The foot pedals are easily adjustable, and I love the quick on-and-off feature of the Velcro straps.
- This rowing machine folds up like an umbrella. Just pull the handle to fold it up and roll away to a corner or closet for storage.
- It has 24 levels of resistance, which means you should always feel challenged.
- If you want trainer-led workouts or personal trainers, the iFit program will guide you and your entire family so everyone can get fit!
- The multi-position handlebars are easy to use and feel comfortable in your hands.
- The seat is molded plastic with an ergonomic design that makes it a good fit for nearly all behinds!
- The Proform R10 is Bluetooth-enabled so you can enjoy using your own headphones, heart rate monitor, or fitness watch.
- If you’re the old-fashioned type, you can also use the auxiliary port for wired headphones.
You’ve probably seen other rowing machines priced twice the Proform R10, so why pay more?
The number of calories burned will be the same, and you will have access to thousands of workout programs via the iFit app, so why not enjoy smart rower for less money?
Which Proform Rower Offers Better Value?
Between these two rowing machines, it really is just a matter of choice.
If you already have a tablet, you might want to consider buying the Proform 750R.
However, if you don’t have a tablet or the one you have is too small to get clear visuals, you should probably go with the Proform R10.
If you can snag the R10 deal where buying 3-years of iFit membership get you a free rowing machine, I would definitely go that route.
You get so much for your money with an iFit membership that you will wonder why you didn’t join before.
A free machine when you buy a fitness program that you can use for every sport imaginable? Who wouldn’t go for that?!
Concept 2 Model D
If you have used a rowing machine at a gym or for Crossfit classes, then you have used Concept 2.
This rowing machine has been around since the 1980s and hasn’t changed much over the years. Why? Because it’s simple and it works.
For anyone who isn’t interested in a smart rower, if you find tablets or instructors distracting, you’ll probably like Concept 2.
Watch Rowing Instructor Max Secunda with the Concept2 Rower:
There’s a reason this is considered one of the best rowing machines made—it’s no-frills and it gets the job done.
If you want to do your own rowing workouts, if you don’t care about a realistic rowing experience, if you like machines that are simple and give you a good workout without any fancy electronics, then you understand why Concept 2 is one of the biggest selling rowing machines ever made.
Features of the Concept2 Model D (Now Called RowErg)
Some features on Concept 2 include:
- This rowing machine uses air resistance. That makes this rowing machine super lightweight since the majority of the machine is made from plastic.
- There is no limit to the resistance levels since air is free and in abundance, right? One drawback is that you draw air from your house into the rower, which means dust can get everywhere! Get ready to vacuum the rower every few weeks.
- However, air resistance is very noisy. You’ll have to shout to hear someone if you are in the same room.
- This has a higher weight capacity than the Proform rowers. Concept 2 can support users up to 500 pounds. That’s almost everyone you know!
- There is a PM5 (performance monitor) that tracks all your data. Newer PM5 monitors have a place to insert a flash drive so you can transfer your data to a computer or the Concept 2 website.
- Newer models of Concept 2 are also Bluetooth-enabled, so you can listen to your own music or podcast. This is a great addition because it’s hard to hear anything once you start rowing!
- This rower uses a chain on the handle. Proform rowers use a nylon belt. Nylon belts are quieter, certainly, but the chain will last much longer. The chain will need a bit of oiling now and again, while the belt needs no maintenance. Consider how much time you want to spend doing maintenance before you buy a Concept 2.
- There is a very active group of people on the Concept 2 webpage and Facebook page where you can get advice or support from other Concept 2 users.
Concept 2 is reasonably priced as well, which is another reason why it remains a big seller.
While Concept 2 is very, very long, it does come apart in two pieces. I’ve seen people put these rowing machines in the trunk of their car! If mobility is an important feature for you, you should consider buying a Concept 2.
Who Ships Faster? Concept 2 or Proform?
I believe that both Concept 2 and Proform are currently saying that the rowing machines ship within 2-3 days.
It depends on where you live as to whether the companies will use FedEx or UPS, and their shipping times will vary depending on weather conditions.
Proform says they expect most rowers to be in your home within 7-10 days. Concept 2 doesn’t give an estimate other than to say that the rower should leave their warehouse in 2-3 days after you place your order.
Which Rower Is the Better Value?
I believe that would depend on what you need and what you want.
Concept 2 is your best choice if:
- you have zero interest in a guided workout program
- noise isn’t a problem where you live
- you need a rowing machine capable of handling over 250 pounds
- you like the idea of a rowing machine that will last for decades and has easily replaceable parts
You will feel at home with the Proform 750R rower if:
- you own a tablet and aren’t sure you will like using iFit
- you want a connected rower but don’t want to pay a small fortune for it
- you or family members weigh 250 pounds or less
The Proform R10 is what you are looking for if:
- you want a smart rower with a built-in monitor
- you love iFit and look forward to workout programs that will challenge you
- you want a top-of-the-line rowing machine but can’t pay a top-of-the-line price
The Bottom Line
If you are still on the fence then ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need a rower that can handle more than 250 pounds? If the answer is yes, consider Concept 2.
- Do I need a quiet rowing machine? If the answer is yes, consider one of the Proform rowers.
- Do I want to use my own tablet, or do I want a built-in monitor? If you own a tablet and don’t mind using it while rowing, get the Proform 750R. If you want a built-in monitor, go with the Proform R10.
No matter which rowing machine you choose, you are sure to find important features that will make your choice the best rowing machine ever!
Stay active and healthy, friends, and happy rowing!
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Written by Petra Amara – RowingCrazy.com
CEO & Founder of RowingCrazy, National Rower, Coxswain Womens Eight Team, Rowing Coach & Writer
Petra is a Mother of two and owner of Rowingcrazy.com. Petra lives and breathes rowing, she also has a passion for writing which lead her to start RowingCrazy.com to share her rowing experience and expertise with others.