If you are after an extremely effective cardio challenge that also provides you with a great muscular workout to your quads and upper body, then you need to start exercising on a rowing machine.
Rowers as exercise equipment will provide a more effective workout than indoor cycles. One of the most popular and respected manufacturers of home use rowing machines is Nordictrack with one of their top sellers being the Nordictrack Rower RW9000.
In this article we go under the hood on this popular model to discover whether it really does represent a great rowing machine purchase.
About the Nordictrack RW900
The Nordictrack RW900 is a mid priced rowing machine for home produced by Nordictrack, who have become an institution in the fitness industry. For less than $1,700 this rower provides you with a large, color screen, something which is quite unique on a rowing machine.
This is a folding rowing machine which comes set up to work with the iFit app. Your purchase of the RW900 comes with a one year subscription to iFit rowing, allowing for interactive training.
- 12 month iFit subscription
- 2 types of resistance
- Large rotating display screen
- Quick adjust pedals
- Variable resistance level
- 30 built in workout programs providing excellent rowing classes
- Ergonomically molded seat
- Weight capacity only 250 lbs
- Frame and labor warranty too short
Key Features (#ad)
The Nordictrack RW900 rowing machine is designed for portability and movement. It measures in at 7’ 3′ ‘ in length x 1’10” in length. Wheels that are mounted on the front of the machine make it easy to move around. The spacesaver design will also allow you to fold and store it in a cupboard or under a bed.
Your purchase of the RW900 comes with a 12-month family iFit membership. This provides you with access to thousands of workouts and exercise trails from all over the world. That means that you are able to row on some of the most famous and scenic lakes in the world, all without leaving your home. Home fitness at its best.
The iFit workouts are not limited to the rowing machine. You will also be able to get off the machine and follow along with your trainer on crossfit workouts. The app will also automatically adjust your resistance to optimize your workout as you train. The iFit app allows you to participate in energetic group classes to ramp up your training and boost your motivation.
Nordictracks RW900 rower provides you with the ability to create five individual workout profiles and individually tracks workout performance, personal metrics, exercises completed and exercises scores for each person.
You get two forms of resistance on the RW900. The magnetic resistance is controlled by your iFit trainer. In addition, you can adjust the manual air resistance manually with the air resistance dampener.
To get a rowing machine with decent HD touchscreens is a rarity. To get one with a 22 inch rotating screen is almost impossible to find. Yet that is exactly what you get with the RW900. This full color touchscreen display allows you to follow along with your iFit rowing workouts in style.
Quick Adjust Pedals
The oversized pivoting pedals on the RW900 are movable to allow for the ideal ergonomic design. They also feature quick release adjustable foot straps to make it easy for you to get in and out of position, while also providing a secure hold for your lower body.
The Nordictrack RW900 provides you with 26 levels of resistance controls. That makes this rowing machine suitable for all fitness levels, enabling even the fittest people to be able to get a challenging workout in. The transition between resistance levels is smooth and natural, thanks to the SMR Silent Magnetic Resistance that is built into it.
There are 30 workout programs built into this rowing machine over and above those that you get access to with your 12 month iFit subscription. These include workouts for fat loss, cardio endurance, high intensity interval training and muscle development. An auxiliary music port also allows you to listen to music as you sweat. It does not come with built-in heart rate monitoring so you need to sync another device if you want it.
One of the biggest challenges to spending time on a rowing machine is the uncomfortableness of the seat. When you sit on the Nordictrack RW900, however, you get to place your butt on an ergonomically molded seat that enhances your comfort level.
What’s Not So Good
The maximum user weight of the RW900 is 250 pounds. That is not very heavy and will eliminate quite a large portion of the population. We would have liked to see a max user weight of around 350 pounds. Being that this is a foldable rowing machine, it is not going to be as strong as a non folding model. That makes it more likely to break under stress, especially where the rail meets the drive.
The warranty on the Nordictrack RW900 is generally pretty good, with a couple of exceptions. You get 15 years on the frame, with 5 years warranty on the parts and two years on labor. Keeping in mind what we’ve just mentioned about the lack of strength on foldable rowing machines.
We feel that this frame warranty is too short. We would have liked to have seen it extended to at least 20 years. The labor warranty, at 2 years, is also too short. It should be extended to 5 years or more.
The Nordictrack RW900 is an impressive mid priced rowing machine for your home gym for calorie burning and building strength. This is a foldable machine that is quite compact and comes with transport wheels for ease of transport. We love the large pivoting full color touch screen display and the fact that you get a 12 month subscription to iFit.
In terms of price, the Nordictrack RW900 is a bit more pricey than the perennially popular Concept 2 Rower. However, the Concept 2 does not provide you with a display screen, which makes the extra cost of the RW900 well worth it.
A strong proponent of the indoor rowing machine is Alex Gregory and you can read his article on this topic online.