A rowing machine is one of the most effective exercisers available nowadays, which is able to provide significant weight loss, improve toning of nearly every large muscle groups, and even help out with the muscle gain. However, the average price of such devices is quite high; that’s why when you choose an indoor rowing machine you wish to get the ultimate one for your money.
The VR500 rower might become an excellent choice for people taking their workouts very seriously. The manufacturer of the machine – company Body Craft claims on its website that this particular model is “one of the finest rowing simulators ever created”. But simultaneously out of four models they produce it’s the most expansive one. So is the VR500 worth the money? Let’s take a closer look at the features and estimate all pros and cons.
BodyCraft VR500 Review
This is one of the first things you look at when you check out the indoor rower. If a machine is well-built, you can be sure it will serve you for long years. At this point, the VR500 gets a credit from us due to its durable extruded aluminum frame and the I-Beam Mono-Rail seat track. The rowing machine can be even used by very overweight people just starting on with workouts with the maximum user’s weight of 350 lbs.
The padded ergonomic seat feels more comfortable than it actually looks. It’s easy sliding and, therefore, provides a smooth ride. On the top of that with its height of 19 inches, you’re getting a better rowing position in comparison to the indoor rowers with lower seats. The gravitational pull enlarges the resistance while you’re rowing on a high seat, and consequently the calories are burnt much faster that significantly improves the effectiveness of your workout. Generally, the seat height seems a very slight detail, but in fact that’s something instantly showing you that you’re dealing with a fine, professional sporting equipment that works well not only for beginners and sport enthusiasts, but athletes as well.
The combination of air and Eddy Current magnets provides the feeling of a real outdoor rowing action. Pulling harder makes the flywheel spin faster and increase resistance and the magnetic break parts create less friction therefore making the strokes smooth and silent.
The rowing machine presents you an innovation of remote resistance control placed on the handlebar, allowing a user change the resistance level by pressing the “+” and “-” buttons right during the exercise session without making any breaks. This is a very convenient option both for the sport enthusiasts who have only started their first workouts and don’t know which resistance level would work the best for their fitness level and the professional rowers who can change the settings instantly for the ultimate results.
The Foot Hold
The model is equipped with the high strength steel foot pads and adjustable foot straps that provide the best hold for the comfort and solid base of user’s feet.
The VR5oo has a computer on the LCD monitor of which you can see all the necessary information about your workouts. The design and location of the display makes it very easy to follow the progress of the spent time, covered distance in meters, burnt calories, and the number of the strokes made during the exercise session. Besides that it shows resistance level, pulse, and even the Watts generated. This number indicates your power output during the training; put simply, it shows how much effort you make while working out.
One of the pleasant surprises you get in addition to these numbers is the ability to choose one of four profiles provided by the rowing machine. It’s especially convenient if you’re already enjoying your workouts but would love to introduce your family to the healthy lifestyle as well. This way everyone can have their separate profile with their own settings and adjustments.
The indoor rower has overall 12 programs from simple rowing action up to intervals and various goal-determining arrangements. For instance, a heart rate program depicts how much fat you burn while training and the 4 race boat setting creates the impression of competition, where you set the particular targets and race with a virtual boat to win.
However, though the monitor of the rowing machine is capable of showing your pulse, the chest strap that would indicate you heart rate for some reason isn’t included in the price of the rower. It comes as an additional option that costs $49.95. That’s a little disappointing taking into account the high price of the rowing machine, but at the same time a chest strap is not something that every user likes to have, frankly. Most people find the pulse indication quite enough for their training.
The rower has the easy to fold and roll system, which is a big plus considering the large size of the rowing machine. It requires much space, and it’s also very heavy. With 99 inches of track length, it’s a tough challenge for somebody restricted by the size of accommodation. For instance, if you own a house and have a spare room you dream to turn into a home gym, there’s no problem. However, if you live in a cramped condo, you’ll most likely have to look for another option.
- Well-built indoor rower with durable construction
- High and comfortable seat
- Ability to adjust resistance by pressing buttons on the handles
- Stable and adjustable foot hold
- The combination of air and magnetic resistance provides both realistic rowing action and quiet training
- The display shows all the necessary info that is easy and convenient to read while exercising
- There are four separate profiles available for users
- 12 programs of training to choose from
- The price of the rowing machine is a few hundreds more expansive than its business rivals.
- The size of the rower can become a problem if you don’t have much spare room
- The chest strap indicating heart rate comes separately from the charges of the rowing machine.
The Final Word
Considering all the bunch advantages prevailing over a few flaws the BodyCraft VR500 is a great rowing machine that is worth its money. It’s a durably-constructed and well-thought rower that is able to become a great helper in weight loss for the beginners and the professional exerciser providing tough challenges for experienced sportsmen. With the wide choice of training programs you’ll hardly ever get bored and due to the high quality of the commercial rowing machine, the VR500 is going to serve you for long years ahead. So, in case you’re not intimidated by its price or reasonable size, it might be your perfect choice.
- Good warranty period
- Resistance controls on handle
- Transport wheels for easy movement
- Long beam - suits up to 6' 6
- Chest strap is an optional extra
- Its size - it's huge (check dimension below before buying)
- No online facility (or ability to store workout data to a PC or tablet)
- It's expensive - does look a little over-priced compared to the competition