• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
  • Login
    Login Login form

My new Concept II Rower a CrossFit must have and Impressions from a newbie.

  • Font size: Larger Smaller

If you have never used one of these things your in for a treat, especially if your competitive and have someone to race against. I compare the workout to swimming because you get an all over workout. I can feel it in my back, arms and legs when I’m done.

The Rogue package I bought came with a Concept II rower. I did a little research prior to buying and in rowing circles the Concept rowers are considered the best on the market. Since I had never used one of these I was pretty excited to try it out. But before I could take it for a spin I had set it up. I initially spent an hour or so going over the manuals that came with the rower, something I rarely do. The manuals cover the basics but do not go into to much depth. They are pretty thick but that only because they have instructions printed in every conceivable language. So don’t expect to get a bunch of information out of them, because the English language section is pretty small. I guess they are relying on the fact that if you need more info you can visit their website. Sucks if you don’t have Internet I guess, but really who doesn’t.

If you have never used one of these things your in for a treat, especially if your competitive and have someone to race against. I compare the workout to swimming because you get an all over workout. I can feel it in my back, arms and legs when I’m done.

The Rogue package I bought came with a Concept II rower. I did a little research prior to buying and in rowing circles the Concept rowers are considered the best on the market. Since I had never used one of these I was pretty excited to try it out. But before I could take it for a spin I had set it up. I initially spent an hour or so going over the manuals that came with the rower, something I rarely do. The manuals cover the basics but do not go into to much depth. They are pretty thick but that only because they have instructions printed in every conceivable language. So don’t expect to get a bunch of information out of them, because the English language section is pretty small. I guess they are relying on the fact that if you need more info you can visit their website. Sucks if you don’t have Internet I guess, but really who doesn’t.

As stated in an earlier post, putting the thing together was a breeze, even with a little helper (Montana) assisting. Once I had it assembled, I found an appropriate spot for the rower, one that would be out of the way because I have no intention of breaking it down each day. Luckily the spot I chose was close to an outlet because I decided to mount a monitor in front of the machine like in the fancy sales brochure. Loving all things tech I got excited. Wow I could row online, the brochure said I could get a free 22 day trial of the software, so what the heck. I snatched up an extra monitor and old computer I’d previously installed in the kitchen. It was originally intended so Mayra could look up recipes. Long story short she never used it, instead she opted for the more portable and faster MacBook Pro. So I went to their website and downloaded the software. It was a breeze to install, but hung a couple times when I first started it. At first I thought it was a software glitch but soon realized it was the computer. When I first got it started I tried to switch the graphics to show the 3d water and trees but it just locked up. Upon restart it indicated I had a problem and could only display 2d graphics. Damn and I love fancy graphics! Instead I was stuck with a 2d boat. I looked over the software and decided to row a bit to see what it did. Basically it put a graphic representation of my progress on the screen all in color, something the PM3 is in my opinion sorely lacking. I guess the software also allows you to compete against others and it will also keep track of your progress. I have not had time to check out those features, because I have been to busy. Since I hooked it up a week ago and began rowing I have yet to try it out. The main reason is that the trial account only allows one user. Since I’d have to turn the computer on then switch users, one using the cool software and the other left out, I figured why bother. I really can’t see the use in buying the software yet because so far I have lived without it. I hope to have a bit more time this weekend to try it out. If I decide not buy it, at least I can watch videos while rowing on my fancy wall mounted monitor.



1. The wall mounted monitor. Notice the lack of graphics, this is because I am using an old slow computer with an antique graphics card. Wish I had a faster extra computer... Just dreaming though. Instead I'm stuck with this little boat.

2. This is the memory card that slides into the bottom of the PM3. It holds numerous users data (workouts, times etc...)

3. Like I said the PM3 is full of information. Here is the summary of what I've done so far. The black and green display could be improved with both color and a little more size, but it does the job.

 

So what about the rower? Well it is big, really long and low to the ground. It folds up easily but I can’t imagine me folding it up every day. One thing I wasn’t really keen on was the color, not that it matters, but my rower showed up in a soft baby blue. Kind of girlish, but I guess my fat doesn’t care about the color of the machine burning it off. If I did have the option I would have chosen something in black or grey but that’s just a preference. Since there was no option for color from Rogue I am guessing that color is not an option on the Concept rowers.

The control screen is pretty straightforward, you can easily find most things by just pressing buttons, and in a few uses you’ll have figured out what most of them are for. I was slightly un-impressed with the display though. It is a little small and in with today’s technology I would have expected it to be in color. It works great though, it does what it intends to do. It displays all sorts of information, which I am still figuring out. With terminology like splits etc I’m a bit lost, but learning. My lack of knowledge didn’t help on my second day. A WOD called for 500m rows with a three minute rest between for a total of 4 rounds. For the life of me I couldn’t and still can’t figure how to keep the monitor on when you let the rower sit still for over a minute and a half. It was really annoying. My solution was to have Mayra run an online stopwatch via the monitor in conjunction with the onboard PM3. The quick fix worked fine, but it sucked for Mayra who every couple minutes had to click the mouse to start my rest time. I am sure there is a easier way to accomplish this but I’m clueless.

4. The full length of the rower is around 8 feet. It breaks down pretty easily, but I doubt I will ever feel like doing that after a tough workout. Instead I based the rest of the gear around the rowers permanent placement.

5. Handle and adjustable foot straps.

6. Just another photo from another angle.

So do I like it more than swimming, nope. But do I like it more than running, stair climbing and the treadmill, yep. Sorry but swimming is my favorite because I don’t get hot and don’t sweat. If they were design a system for the rower that would stop sweating and heat into the workouts I would give it a tie. The main reason I put it above other cardio exercises that it is a fun workout. I think it is the best piece of cardio equipment you could buy. I have owned a commercial treadmill and it just collected dust. I have an elliptical and it is just plain boring, plus Mayra hates it. At least with this you can have a little fun. My rower came with a PM3, which has a couple of games you can play while rowing. Had I purchased the PM4 I would have had more games, but it was not offered with the Rogue package. Not that I would have bought it anyway, I had already hit the limit on spending this month. It would have been nice to have, but not a necessity. I took the liberty of shooting a few photos of the rower and it’s features for others out there that need a little more info. As with all my posts about CrossFit I don’t claim to know anything. I am just learning as I go, using forums and videos to help me along the way. If anyone has any suggestions I would be more than happy to hear them.

 

So in a nutshell here is my take on the rower from a newbie.

Pros:

  1. It’s the most fun I’ve had do cardio in a while. You can pit yourself against fish or another buddy and race for times.
  2. It works your whole body unlike other exercises like running.
  3. It is low impact. For a guy who’s legs feel like they are carrying a ton of bricks when running, this is a welcome break. The entire movement is smooth.
  4. It has a card that remembers your last workouts and keeps track of your stats.


Cons:

  1. The PM3 is a little small and I wish it were in color.
  2. The color of the rower is baby blue, nuff said.
  3. Not that this could change, but big dudes with big butts are gonna find it a bit uncomfortable in the small seat.

7. The Rogue weight I use to keep the rower in place. Once I get a proper floor mat this problem should go away.

*** Not a Con but a side note.
I did notice that when I row the whole unit moves back and without a large weight behind it, it would pull the cord from the attached computer. This is more to do with my flooring than the machine, but if you have semi slick floors this could be an issue for you’re to.

***UPDATE 10-1-10 I finally figured out how to program individual workouts. Once I did that the PM3 stayed on through the entire workout.

 

 

 

See you in the hills.

Lance

 

* Disclosure Per FCC
The product I have written about, I have personally tried. Sometimes I get the products I review for free but most of the time, I pay for them just like everyone else. On the rare occasion I do get something kicked down for free to review, I’ll tell you in the article. The opinion I offer, regardless of how I got the products is genuine, I’ll write the good and bad, I hold no punches. Also, I cannot speak for any other products or services their company may offer. Basically unless I have tried them, I have no opinion. In any case you need to know that certain links from this article are to affiliate products for sale. What that means is that if you click on the link and later purchase a product from the site and product I link to I get paid. You can read a more in depth disclosure here if need be. So why would I tell you this? Well first it’s the law, second it’s the right thing to do and third I ain’t got nothing to hide. Since this site don’t pay the bills by itself, I figure reviewing a product I’ve already tried and like, benefits both of us. First you get an honest to goodness opinion and two, I might make a few bucks as well.

 

Last modified on
in Gym Build Hits: 17059 Comments
Rate this blog entry:
blog comments powered by Disqus

    

Shop Now Rogue Fitness