Top positive review
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PureFitness & Sports Foldable Magnetic Rower with Hand Pulse
on 17 June 2013
Firstly, I'll give a bit of background on me and why I chose this rower. I'm 25, male, in fairly decent knick, and I've recently got a decent job out of uni, so I've got a bit of cash for once in my life. I go running, but want to get into a bit of upper body fitness, and I hate everything about gyms, not least as I'm quite self concious about the faces I pull when I'm exerting a lot of energy, so a rowing machine was my weapon of choice.
I'd ummed and ahhed about it for about 6 months, and finally decided on this one (not least because Amazon had been mucking around with the price of a more well known branded product in this category and price bracket, which was driving me a bit loopy), for no particular reason other than it was about what I was willing to pay and the reviews were positive. I have no prior experience of rowing machines at all. I'm writing this review because the only reason I wanted the other one was that it had more positive reviews, so I feel compelled to defend this product to make it look a bit better to people like me in future.
It was delivered the next day for free (which has nothing to do with Amazon and everything to do with PureFitness & Sports - big gold star to them). It took about 30 minutes to setup (on my own, even got it up the stairs myself) and probably could have been done a lot quicker had I not been cooking a bacon sarnie at the same time. I'm 5'11, and fully extended I barely go 2/3 of the way back, so it's plenty big enough for the taller customer. I'm using it in a very tight space, so the foldability was a big plus. Be aware if you're using it in a tight space, that the dimensions of the unit aren't what you'll need - you need to factor in how wide you are sitting up with your elbows fully out (think of the teapot pose with two handles instead of a spout), and how far back you go when leaning back on the seat.
I'm using this rower for about 15 minutes everyday after work, for about 2 weeks now, on the lowest setting (1 of 8), at about 22 strokes/min. I'm building myself up, getting the muscles used to a new action, but I find this a fairly decent workout on its own. You could do it a lot slower if you're not quite in the same demographic bracket, or it could definitely offer a testing workout for you buff folks at a higher resistance and for longer. Make sure you know how to use a rowing machine properly first - I have a friend that gave me a few pointers, but some internet videos will do the same thing (make sure you search for the right thing, of course...). One of the reasons I didn't go for the £100-150 bracket was that they seemed a bit 'girly' (no offense), in that they weren't designed for the amount of usage I was intended on giving it. This is a bulky unit that seems to stand it's usage with dignity, if not asking for a little bit more.
Basically, this rowing machine offers everything I wanted from a rower. The proof of the pudding will be how it lasts over time, but it comes with a 2 year warranty, so I won't be holding back, and I intend to follow this up in 6 months. There are some slight cons I'd like to share, if anyones in the position to read these sort of things:
Computer. There are some parts of it that aren't worth the space on the display. The calories section is completely false, apparently I only used 32 calories using this for 20 minutes at a decent intensity. I think I probably used more calories writing this review, so you can ignore that straight off. The time/500m is a bit iffy, it keeps skipping between 18 and 28 minutes and everything in between. The things it can do, however, is count how many strokes you've done, how long you've done it for, and the equation to work out strokes/min, which is all I want from it, and frankly if you want anything more than this then you should consider buying yourself a calculator and a notepad.
Pulse Reader/Handle. This, again, I do not trust at all. Not only that, but it has a little ridge at the back where the smooth sensor meets the handle, which gave me some fairly nasty blisers after 3 days on my palms. I've taken to buying a decent pair of gym gloves and not using the pulse function at all. If I want my pulse accurately measured I'll buy a seperate bit of kit, but it's not something I care about. If I feel tired and I'm sweating, I'm working hard enough. You'll know your body well enough to work out your levels of intensity after a week.
*the userguide does say that the computer/pulse/calories functions aren't 100% accurate, and are to be used to get an idea of what you're doing. but still.
Folding. There's a metal pin in the rail support that you pull out to fold the support that is on the rail... then lock it back into position through the same hole. Fine. There's a locking screw which goes in via the underside of the rail, which I find very irritating to put into place when the rail is down as it's a very unnatural thing to do with your hands. But it does lock and it works. There's also a smaller pin (thing) on the hinge (which I've caught the ball of my ankle on many a time when putting my left foot into the pedal thing), which you have to pull out a bit before you can fold/unfold. The point is it's a little fiddly and annoying, especially putting it away when your arms are a bit achey. But it does fold up to half the size and you can push it away into a corner of the room no problem.
Other than these minor gripes, I'm very happy with my purchase, and look forward to having a bit more tone about my upper half next time I'm on holiday and losing the alcohol fueled tummy I've developed. I think this would be a decent bit of kit for the whole family - those looking for a light workout to keep healthy, those looking for some regular workouts to tone up, or those looking to go crazy and pretend they're steve redgrave.