The PureFitness & Sports Foldable Magnetic Rower is a home fitness rowing machine with eight levels of resistance and a computer display showing time, distance, strokes, strokes per minute, calorie count, pulse and recovery. Like many other fitness machines, the pulse counter is built into the handles. It is designed for use by people weighing no more than 120kg.
This is an excellent and practical rowing machine for a remarkably low price. There are rowing machines that offer more levels of resistance, but eight should be more than enough for all but the most dedicated sportsman or woman.
This rower is sturdy and although it is recommended for those weighing 120kg or less, there are reports of people weighing 150kg using it without any issues. Nevertheless, it is obviously advised not to exceed product specifications. There’s enough room for tall people to get a good row and the operation is smooth and quiet. The foot straps are a trifle awkward, but that’s the only criticism. The padded seat makes for a nice touch.
The big advantage of the magnetic resistance system is that operation is really quiet. You don’t get the constant whirring noise that air resistance machines give you. That means you can set up in front of the TV and row while you watch without disturbing your family or becoming annoyed by the noise.
I was expecting to set up on a fairly high resistance level, since this isn’t a professional piece of gym equipment and I thought that the magnetic system might be too easy, but I found the resistance good even on fairly low settings. I’ll have to work my way up if I’m to row on 8! It’s always good when fitness equipment offers a physical challenge.
The display is a little difficult to figure out and the instruction booklet isn’t all that helpful, but I got used to it after playing around with it for a while. I still say there isn’t a piece of fitness equipment in the world that can accurately measure calories burned, but at least it gives one an indication of how much effort you’ve expended.
Distance, time and strokes are fun to see when you’re giving yourself a challenge. I’m never absolutely thrilled with monitors – even on professional gym equipment – but as monitors go, this isn’t a bad one.
Setting it up
Setup was easy. I did it around 30 minutes and I’ll admit to being all thumbs when it comes to assembly of just about anything. I didn’t have to go hunting for tools either. Everything I needed was included in the set.
I did find that folding it up wasn’t all that easy. It’s a bit fiddly, really, but when it folds away, it’s nice and compact for storage. I also noticed that the locking bolt seemed to tighten after vigorous rowing, but perhaps it’s as well that it can’t fold shut while in use – it would be worse if it worked loose!
Considering that this is a relatively low-priced rower, I was impressed with the overall package. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised. I’m relatively fit and I do strength training, but I still found a mid-range resistance setting pretty challenging. The lower settings will give beginners a good workout, and the higher ones should work well for those who are into fitness and already work out regularly. Truth to tell, this rower is tougher than the one I use to warm up on at the gym.
The computer was OK rather than wonderful, but I’ve yet to come across a display that really sends me. I liked the size (big and chunky) of the readout and the fact that you can adjust the angle just like you do with professional machines.
On a practical level, it folds up nicely (once you’ve figured out the locking mechanism) and it has transport wheels which make shifting it about an easy job for one person. The suppliers are UK based, so I’m confident of being able to get good service if I have any problems, but so far, I’ve got nothing to complain about. I’m just a bit stiff from rowing, but that’s a plus.
Whether you’re relatively fit or a complete beginner who is eager to improve their strength and fitness plus burn off some weight, this is a really good rower for the price.
The bottom line?
It’s not perfect, but then nothing is. Although I’ve really tried hard to be critical, I can’t find anything much to complain about and a whole bunch of features that I really like a whole lot.
As home fitness equipment goes, this one’s a winner: good price, nice quality and a great, full-body workout. The PureFitness & Sports Foldable Magnetic Rower gets the thumbs up. Great product!