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on December 14, 2011
This is more of a personal review about my quest (26, non-athlete looking for something long term to maintain good health). Most of the reviews here rave about this thing's sturdy build, proven excellent reputation, good customer service, and other facts that clearly set this machine apart from any other... so my review is more geared for regular people wondering whether they are going to have issues with motivation. Are you afraid this is going to end up sitting in your closet?

I was on the crew team in college, and while I loved rowing out on the water, I loathed these machines mostly because we were forced to train so hard on them. After my brief time on the team, I didn't touch these machines (or row) for 8 years. These machines can be something brutal and slavish, or they can be tools for gaining real physical and mental power in your life. Your relationship with the machine simply depends on how you use it!

Technique and good posture are KEY. They will ultimately make or break your desire to row. Rowing is a full body exercise that really comes alive through coordination and equal use and force distribution between all muscle groups, especially the breathing muscles. If you use the machine with improper technique, parts of your body will be overworked and you will always be battling a sort of premature fatigue, progress may feel difficult, and you won't want to row. With the right mechanics and coordination, you will experience: a meditative state of mind, a supremely more powerful and efficient stroke (it will feel like less effort), and of course meanwhile your body receives an excellent cardiovascular and strength training workout. To me, the feeling is similar to experiencing a breakthrough in yoga once you begin breathing properly. But really, don't take it from me, you can read plenty of articles by biomechanics/kinesiology professionals that explain these things in more detail. And why rowers are renown for having huge lung capacity (horse lungs!), low resting heart rates, and so forth. And it's very easy to watch videos to learn proper rowing technique.

There is no limit to how hard you can pull with this machine (Olympic athletes train on it!), which is why it tends to be so brutal for people: it is easy to push yourself too hard! What's really important to keep in mind is that you can row as little as you like, as slowly as you want. EVEN JUST 10 MINUTES A DAY IS BETTER THAN NOTHING! That is how good habits start: a little bit every day. The machine isn't going anywhere, it's paid for, and it isn't laughing at you for not doing more. Do more and go harder on days when you feel like it, but the key is doing at least a little each day, with proper technique. There is a log card that is inserted in the machine which records all your workouts. The times and meters really add up, and it is satisfying to see your progress!!

Ok last thing, which someone else already said: If worse comes to worse, and the machine just isn't for you, you can always sell it at nearly the same price you paid for. The machine lasts a long time, so it doesn't lose much value.

7 month UPDATE: Confession! When I wrote this review, I really didn't actually believe 10 minutes was a long enough workout, so I ended up pushing myself too hard, burning out, and having long lulls between rows. Finally I ignored my ego and just restricted myself to 10 minutes a day, and WOW. Now I consider my 10 minute row just as important a habit as brushing my teeth! My posture and overall energy and strength has improved vastly. How awesome is that?! You really don't need to kill yourself to be in shape!!

13 month update: I am now rowing 5k's regularly... a much longer distance than 10 mins worth of rowing. My intensity is very low-- that was the key: not pulling crazy hard. I row while I watch Netflix and just enjoy the ride. It still gets my target heart rate in just the right zone though and it is enough to maintain great postural muscle tone. All in all, this machine is the best investment I've made. Of course, the machine itself is still in excellent condition and I haven't needed to clean the chain yet or do any maintenance other than wipe the track clean.

15 month update: I finally got a copy of Row Daily, Breathe Deeper, Live Better: A Guide to Moderate Exercise and now I have been rowing over 5k every day, no days skipped, over the last 3 weeks... I can honestly say this book is a must-have if you become serious about wanting to develop the habit of exercising every single day. I LOVE rowing now and I don't see myself stopping this habit. So all in all, it has taken over a year for me, since I bought the machine, to get to the point of truly appreciating it.
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on December 31, 2013
After almost a year, I can now write a informed review, this is a solid rower, works great for every one, you can work out as little or as hard as you feel, fairly low impact, no hurt joints after workout.
Keep the track and rollers clean, that would be the only thing to be careful with, specially if you have pets, the hair or dirt on the track will make you feel like you are going "off road" a bit. Anything hard will get embedded in the nylon rollers and make the ride a bit rough.
Great workout for those long and cold Wisconsin winter days, love it.
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on January 10, 2014
If you're like me, you like to row, but you're on the fence about spending this much cash on a machine you may not use as much as you are intending to.

Know that this is a great quality machine with a high resale value via a site like eBay or Craigslist (should you have buyers remorse later on). It is easy to store and is easy to take apart and put together.

The seat isn't the most comfortable thing in the world, but for having a bony butt region, I'm doing just fine. If you want a little more cushion, Conept2 sells an add on cushion feature... of which I haven't bought.

I debated buying the the upgraded PM4 module... I was sure I would use it. But I'm glad I didn't. After all that time thinking I would use more of the features, I only use the basic core features.

Bottom line, this is a great quality product that is extremely popular in the rowing community with a high resale value.
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on February 15, 2013
It was everything I hoped for plus more, and delivery was excellent. Well worth the money and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an all-in-one body exerciser. I am a 72-year female, and by myself, got the parts to the basement, and put together, which couldn't have been easier...8 screws and the wrench which is all included. Can't say enough good things about this whole thing...so for you Senior Citizens...this Rower is worth looking into...and using daily once you get it. It's a mental and physical stimulator...as you can sing along while rowing.
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on July 4, 2012
Normally, I'm not a review babbler. However, I hope this will help someone choose the Concept 2 Rowing Machine the first time. Sure, you might save $300 buying some bastardized imitation with goofy backlit displays, or some fun fold up design... but if you really want a piece of exercise equipment that will last FOREVER, get the Concept 2.

Pros: exceptional craftsmanship. No cheap plastic parts, no weird features, and no 4-hour assembly required (I put it together in 15 minutes, half sauced on Heineken). Commercial sturdy, steal chained, no belts or pulleys to slip or break. Quiet, easily adjustable, each pull of the "oar bar" blows a soft breeze over the body. This thing is "The Balls."

Cons: it's almost 10 feet long, and it uses all the length. So if you're tight on space, consider expanding, moving, or kicking the husband/wife out. You must have this machine! And the foot tie-downs are a bit difficult to adjust at first; easily replaced with Velcro straps for about $6.

If you want to mess around with $300, $400, or $500 rowing "machines" - then go ahead. If you want an awesome workout, no worries on breaking parts or funny computer sync issues... the Concept 2 is for you. If you have the coin, spend it! You will never want or need another Rower.

I give it 10 stars. The Concept 2 is the Dionysus of Rowing Machines.
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on March 16, 2014
I no longer have this model. I upgraded to the model E. This unit is exceptional. If I were you, I would get rid of everything else you use for cardio - treadmill, eleptical (did I spell it right?), stationary bike, etc. and I would invest in this unit. Works flawlessly EVERYTIME, and in just 5 minutes on it you are sweating more than 20 plus minutes on anything else. Zero negative resistance on any joint in the body - ALL CARDIO!!!!!!!!!!!!! The machine is made in our great country USA, and customer service is PHENOMENAL!!!!!!! It is lightweight, but so strong when in use - IT DOES NOT BUDGE ONE SINGLE BIT. I have the PM4 and the heartrate monitor. I love it. It will literally change your life and it will challenge you to go further every time you step into it. Do yourself, your health, your heart, and your life a favor - get this unit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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 I purchased a concept 2 row machine for gym. It works great. I had hurt my back at work, gained a lot of weight but was able to shed 20lbs in the first two months after I purchased this. It also helped me strengthen my core and I noticed a significant reduction in my back pain. This was my experience with the row machine, I don't know if this could help you, but just thought I'd share it. Hope this helps.
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on April 1, 2014
I ordered this rower after having trained on one similar for several years at the gym. I figured if it could stand up to all the use at the gym, it would be great to have at the house and would last forever. The shipping was extremely fast, the set up was easy, and the unit is extremely sturdy (commercial grade). I looked up several different workouts for rowing on line and have been using this unit about four days a week. My teenaged boys also have been using the unit. My middle son has seen vast improvements in his 400m times in track, and I attribute it to the workouts on the rower. You can get a GREAT workout in a matter of 10-15 minutes, or you can row for an hour - either way, it is one hell of a workout. So why do I say I hate it? Well get one of these bad boys and work out at a high intensity level for 10-15 minutes and you'll hate it too. I cannot think of any other workout that will wipe you out like this one will. The great thing is - recovery time is next to nothing, and I think it is next to impossible to injure yourself on this thing. This unit will give you the best (worst) workout you've ever had.
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on July 7, 2012
More than 22 years ago I fractured my left ankle with 7 screws and two metal rods in the lower leg and ankle. My health club just got a Concept model B rowing machine. This was all I could do for exercise until my ankle healed. I stayed with it and lost about 25 lbs in the process. Back trouble set in later on due to the ankle injury the geometry of my lower back shifted. Finally had to have two rounds of spinal fusion to fix the back. The club I go to has a Model E and it is busy all the time. I dediced to bite the bullet and get a Model D for myself. The evolution and improvements over the old model B are amazing.

I put on my Eagles CD and do about 30 minutes a day and love the fact I can get up, read my morning paper with breakfast and after breakfast settles I don't have to drive to a gym to get a good workout. I am retired now and really enjoy my time on the Model D.

Also, I don't know what all the complaints are about on the packaging and delivery. Mine came three business days after I ordered it by FED EX. I got it on a Saturday. I didn't believe the deliver date when AMAZON said it would be here on a Saturday.

In summary, this is a superbly engineered piece of equimpment and it will last you a lifetime. The quality and usablity are evident when you try to buy one of these used. There aren't very many and they price is very high. Get yourself a new one and enjoy it for a lifetime.
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on April 23, 2012
Bought my Concept2 after using them at Cardiac Rehab for several months. I love this machine more than any other piece of fitness equipment I own. It is recomended by all the Cardiac rehab staff as the best piece of workout equipment among their many of machines. They had the Concept2 B models and were not regularly maintained yet they worked like new. All sorts of people have abused them thru the years and they hold up. I was 278 pounds when I started exclusivly using this rower and now weigh 245 pounds after about 3 months of use. I actually look forward to getting on my rower for thirty minutes each day. Its an all body workout without all the body strain on your joints. This has been the best investment for my continued health ever!! I look forward to many years of use and from what I have seen with the older models it will be many many years.
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