Best rowing machine under 500 lb weight capacity

A​re you a heavy weight person that need a regular fitness routine? Meet the best of 500 lb weight capacity rowers that perfectly fit your parameters.

What’s the best part?

The exercises on this simulator allow you to involve all groups of muscles (press, hips, back, shoulder belt) while training. Also, it helps to lose weight and strengthen the cardiovascular and respiratory system.

People actively use this fitness equipment not only in fitness centers but also at home. The usual rowing simulators are 300 lb weight limit.

Especially effective is top magnetic rowing machine with 500 lb weight capacity.

The examples of rowers high capacity are Concept2 Model D Indoor rowing machine with PM5, Lifecore R100 Commercial, Water Rower Natural rower in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor.

See the article to choose the best fitness equipment for your workouts.

Rowing machine 500 lb capacity

Here our fitness experts prepared the most powerful rowers for effective workouts. Choosing the model, pay attention to all the pros and cons, read our experts’ feedbacks, learn the features.

After that, it will be easy for you to choose the best rower!

Lifecore R100 vs Concept 2 rower

We’ve analyzed two of the best high capacity rowers from each brand. To choose the right choice for you, see the comparison chart:

Lifecore R100 Concept 2
Weight limit the highest weight capacity a bit lower
Monitoring simply accurate extremely precise monitoring for each stroke
Built-in workouts both preset and heart rate control programs basic programs available
Size won’t take up too much space slightly larger
Pricemore expensive cheaper

Experts’ reviews:

Actually, I enjoy rowing for a long time. I began training 3x a week and decided to get a rower for home use. I chose between the Concept2 and the Lifecore R100 Commercial. I consider Lifecore R100 an obvious champion.

Why? It works smoother, very quiet, and the main thing – effectively. Besides, it is really convenient to store as it looks like a nice piece of furniture when it stands somewhere in the corner.


No, there is nothing wrong with a Concept 2. If you are a CrossFit fan and have a workout space where noise isn’t a problem, then the Concept2 is your choice.

However, if you enjoy rowing and need an effective workout without the sound, then buy the Lifecore R100 or eventhe WaterRower. Do not forget about the hydraulic piston.


What did I like in this rowing machine? It is exquisite and very practical. Installing footboard was easy after reading directions. When you fill the tank, don’t attempt too active to make the siphon work.

My rower had tiny holes and would not maintain a stream. Pumped three gallons on my own, until I figured out to just chop off the top of pump thing and use it as a funnel.


In general, this this amazing training machine is the most powerful among those I’ve tried. No wonder, as it has up to 1,000 lbs. Guess it will fit the advanced users.


Concept2 Model D Indoor rower with PM5

Here is Concept 2 model D rower with a 500 lb weight capacity. It is a perfect choice for those who want to involve all muscle groups while training. During the rowing, high calorie-burning motion occurs.

The simulator is very effective for weight loss, especially fat loss.

Compare also NordicTrack rower vs Concept 2. You can be sure of your progress, as there is a reliable tracking. Good news is that it is easy to store.


  • Concept2 is known all around the world as the leading brand
  • RowPro software for the Concept2 is highly motivational
  • Accurate high-intensity workout control
  • Concept 2 ergometer rower is able to connect with popular fitness apps
  • The PM5 monitor saves data on every stroke
  • Luxurious looking wooden water tank rowers
  • Can be simply separated into two pieces for storage


  • Do not have handles to fold up
  • It can be hard to master the rower, especially for the beginners
  • The seat is not comfortable for everyone

Experts’ reviews:

It is probably the best rowing machine I’ve ever tried. Concept2 is the world leading brand, so the quality is excellent, as always. I reviewed various indoor rowers and this is actually worth buying.

Of course, you can choose more expensive machines. But the Concept2 is considered. As the result, all others are measured against it.


I find this high capacity rowing machine amazing. Lots of people proved to achieve visible results and change their lives in only a month’s time. At first, they cannot go beyond 500 meters because they get extremely tired. Then, their endurance growth.


There is a great item to make your setup fulfilled. It is an online rowing system subscription from If you connect the rower to your computer and their software, there are great possibilities.

You can get personally created training programs. You can take part in an online fun row. The video display on your computer screen is amazing.


Lifecore R100 Commercial rower

Here is LifeCORE fitness rower with a 600 lbs weight capacity. This rower is really powerful, as it has 16 types of resistance.

Choosing it, you will bring professional quality gym simulator to your home. With the help of this commercial rower, the whole body workouts will be even more effective.


  • Works very smoothly
  • Has an adaptable fan that blows air on you
  • The display is easy to read, contains a wide range of programs
  • Accurate computer-controlled workout choices
  • Perfectly handles the height and is convenient to use
  • Very solid and sturdy


  • Not enough interactive display
  • Batteries change is needed as the monitor can misread your heart rate

Experts’ reviews:

I researched the Lifecore rower thoroughly and compared it to a Concept2. I chose the Lifecore as it’s very strong and durable. What did I get?

The Lifecore works without mistakes and the rowing is very smooth and pleasant. It is very friendly and effective kind of equipment. The air fan is a great helper when you need to cool down while training. Highly recommend this high capacity rower.


For some time, I could not decide on good rower. I visited various stores selling rowers and tried several simulators (types and models). Finally, I stopped on 2 optimal variants – Concept2 and LifeCore R100.

I choose R100. Actually, I’m not an advanced rower and the options R100 has satisfied me. I believe Concept2 might be a better quality rower and able to give a more genuine feeling of swimming on water.


But R100 for me is better, as I have peculiar needs. If you’re still looking for a suitable rowing machine, here is my advice. Try exercising on those machines you intend to buy.

After testing several machines I made my choice to buy R100 and didn’t regret. So your testing will definitely lead you to the right purchase.


Waterrower high weight limit

Here is Water Rower Natural in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor. This fitness tool is not like other simulators, as it is handcrafted.

Because of that, it imitates actual rowing feelings. Intensive and accurate work of the performance monitor and heart rate monitor ensures the correct tracking of your progress.


  • “Water flywheel” imitates real rowing feelings
  • The Water Rower Natural is made from firm Ash wood
  • It has a comfortable seat, unlike Concept2
  • It is pretty quiet while training
  • Easy to assemble
  • Looks beautiful and perfectly suits the interior


  • More expensive than many other rowers
  • The bolts need tightening every few months

Choosing high weight capacity rower

When selecting a rowing machine, it is worth paying attention to the following points.

  • Dimensions

This fitness equipment is folding and stationary. Folding models you can remove after training and they will not take much space.

But stable models need about 2 meters of the area of the room. Therefore, for standard and small apartments, it is necessary to buy folding models of simulators.

  • Design options

It is better to choose the simulator that can adjust the level of the seat, the position of foot pedals for the legs and comb levers. By this way, each member of the family can use a rowing machine and adjust it to themselves.

Each simulator should have two main functions:

There are load levels and their adjustment. The number of loads depends on the model of the simulator. But it is believed that the more they are, the better.

Adjustment of loads can be of two types. There are the smooth type (mainly provided in electric models of simulators) and step type (offered only in mechanical views).

Except for the main two functions, there are inexpensive and modern models with additional functions. The number of these additional functions dramatically affects the cost of the simulator.

Additional functions include:

  • a pulse meter (you can buy a pulse meter separately)
  • a counter of movements and calories

Moreover, they make the exercises on it not only useful but also enjoyable. To monitor the pulse and other parameters of the human body you can use fitness trackers and watches, chest sensors, earplugs or other wireless sensors during training.

Furthermore, the most expensive models have training programs.

There are programs that the manufacturer has installed. But he left the user the opportunity to create such programs on their own, depending on their needs and the purpose of the training.

When you eventually choose a simulator, and there are no prohibitions for occupations on it, you need to know how to train on the simulator correctly.

Benefits of using a rowing machine

It is not a secret that rowers are very beautiful and have courageous figures. Wide shoulders, strong back attract the attention of many women.

Of course, we do not need such an effect.

And yet, rowers are equally useful for men and women:

When working on a rowing machine, you use muscles of the back, shoulder complex, press, and even thighs. Thus, practically all the body works. Thanks to these loads, you burn the fat smoothly and evenly. And beautiful, strong muscles appear instead of it.

Regular workouts increase stamina, help stimulate the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Also, they allow you to accelerate your metabolism because it is also necessary for burning fat.

Because of the fact that workouts on a rowing simulator regulate cardiovascular and respiratory systems, they refer as cardiovascular. Therefore, you can combine them with strength exercises to increase the efficiency of burning fat and building muscles.

If it is enough for you to strengthen the body and give it an attractive look, you can restrict yourself a using of this fitness equipment.

There is an opinion that the rowing machine increases the muscles in the arms. To be honest, you distribute the load between the muscles of the back, the press and the shoulder girdle evenly, when you use this fitness equipment correctly.

Therefore, you should not be afraid of the effect of “big hands”.

The only limitation is problems with the spine. However, with a slight bending, such loads will not be in any way obstructed.

On the contrary, they will strengthen the muscles of the back and align the spine. But starting training is better under the supervision of an experienced person. He will tell how to carry out movements.

Also, rowing simulator has a lot of virtues:

It is an optimal combination of price, quality, and ergonomics. They take a little bit of space, but their effectiveness is higher than that of regular exercises.

Even a child can understand the work of the simulator. Modern magnetic rower models have a built-in computer control system. It allows you to quickly and easily change any settings.

Moreover, it is possible to develop and establish an optimal training program for you.

But the most important advantage is irreplaceable weight loss. Besides, you can burn about 800 kcal for one small workout. It is recommended even to people who are obese.

What is the impact of a rowing machine?
  • Any regular exercises improve your well-being and mood.
  • You will feel that the body has become stronger and more flexible.
  • Also, you will have a better skin color.
  • If there is inflammation, they will diminish or disappear altogether.
  • Besides, they will begin to develop more collagen responsible for the youthfulness of the skin.
  • After a few months, your body will gain an attractive relief.
  • The back will be straight, and the movements are graceful.
  • Also, some diseases that are associated with a passive way of life may even go away.
  • You will be less concerned about migraines and pressure drops.
  • Further, there will be more energy for movement and new affairs.
  • Well, a slim tensed figure raises the mood of any woman and attracts admiring glances of the men.

Main nutrition rules


Rigid diet and training are incompatible, and it is due to two reasons:

If you are starving, you just will not have the strength to do a good workout. Because of the least of physical activity, the body will try to get rid of the muscles, as they need a considerable amount of energy to support them.

So, what to do:

Try to get used to eating 5-6 times a day without exceeding the caloric intake of your diet.


You need to eat before training. The optimal time for food intake before the workout is at least 1.5-2 hours before it starts.

Before training, you need to eat products that contain slow carbohydrates. You need to do it because they provide you with a lot of energy, increasing endurance. And a bit of low-fat protein is necessary for a sense of satiety.

It is essential to observe the size of the portion. Therefore, after eating you should feel light hunger, not the severity of the stomach.

You cannot eat right before training because in this case, the body will take energy from food. But it will not get it from the deferred for the reserve of fat.

What to eat:

  • Porridge (oatmeal, buckwheat, rice);
  • Bread (rye, grain, bran);
  • Vegetables (cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, lettuce);
  • Protein (chicken breast, lean beef, and fish, egg whites, fat-free cheese, seafood);

Maybe you are training early in the morning and do not have two hours of free time. In this case, the perfect breakfast option for you is oatmeal porridge on the water without sugar or an apple. And green tea will help you wake up and cheer up.


After training, you are not allowed to eat carbohydrates. If your goal is to lose weight, getting rid of fat, give your body the opportunity to work as much as possible after the workout.


After 15-20 minutes after starting the training, the glycogen stores are exhausted. And the body begins to use hypodermic fat, splitting it and releasing energy for further training.

After about 30 minutes, the body is ultimately converted to burn fat. But after training, the process of decomposition of hypodermic fat continues for 2-3 hours.

So, in the case you eat an apple, a banana or drink juice after the workout, the body will happily switch to easily accessible carbohydrates. And the fat burning process will come to nought.


How much protein do I need to maintain muscle mass? More proteins. Intensive exercises force the body to burn not only fat but also muscle mass.

And mainly it strengthens you while training with such difficulty! To save the toned muscles, immediately after training consume protein food. It is a kind of “building material” for their recovery.

What to eat:

Free-fat cheese Chicken Breasts Pumpkin Beef Rabbit Meat Egg whites Squids or Fish

Also, you can complement the protein dish with a salad of vegetables such as cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, radish, bell pepper, broccoli, salad mix. If you train too late, never go sleep hungry!

It will lead not only to the collapse of the muscles but also to the decrease in metabolism.

Therefore, have a very light snack before going to bed. And it will be good to eat fat-free kefir, cheese or a slice of boiled meat.

Principles of sports training:

  • Only you decide to eat or not to eat after the workout. Every coach has his own opinion. But it all depends on your goal. Remember the difference and make a choice.
  • If you gain muscle mass and strength exercises, eat proteins and carbohydrates after a workout. Because consuming carbohydrates, you stop the process of loss of subcutaneous fat.
  • For the cleavage of fat and muscle conservation at the same time – eat protein food.
  • The lack of food after a workout leads not only to fat burning but also to the loss of muscle mass. And it means that you can say goodbye to an attractive tedious figure.


Less Fat. Fats slow down the absorption of proteins. Due to this, you should consume low-fat foods. And after training utterly refuse from consuming fat. But you cannot completely exclude fats from the diet.

Also, fat helps you to maintain muscle mass and strengthen them. Moreover, fat takes part in the assimilation of vitamins and the production of hormones.

What shall you do:

  • Refuse from consuming animal fat (fatty meat, a bird with skin, fat, butter) and spreads.
  • Choose foods with low-fat content.
  • Use vegetable oils and greasy fish in the first half of the day.
  • Consider calorie content, using butter even in the smallest amount.


Drink plenty of water. Because of the lack amount of water, the water-salt balance in the body is disturbed. As a result, it leads to a decrease in metabolism and endurance during physical activity.

Therefore, you switch on the energy-saving mode. And then the body begins to delay the water, the process of weight loss is automatically inhibited.

How much to drink:

Do not restrict yourself in the water – drink as much as you want and in no case do not suffer thirst. The National Association of Sports Trainers (NATA) provides the following recommendations:

  • In 2-3 hours before the training drink 500-700 ml of water.
  • 10-20 minutes before the workout – 200-300 ml of water.
  • During training, every 10-20 minutes – 200-300 ml of water.
  • After training for 2 hours – about 700 ml in water.

Full body workout

Rowing machine training is incredibly effective for the entire body, it allows the athlete to develop aerobic endurance and muscular strength.

At the same time, the lack of proper exercise equipment and training at gym enthusiasts may result in injuries due to improper use of the simulator.

In order to maximize the time spent on this fitness equipment, you must:

  • Include ergometer exercises in your standard fitness program.
  • Avoid the most common mistakes. And always pay attention to the technical component of your movements during the workout, even if you feel tired.
  • Give some time to get acquainted with the rower and the settings of the simulator.

The most common mistake in exercising on a rowing simulator is the flexion of the lower back. So, try to keep your back as straight as possible.

One cycle of exercises on the simulator looks like this:

  • Slightly bend forward, bending your knees and holding your hands straight.
  • Start to straighten your legs, leaning slightly back and tightening your arms to the body.
  • Fully straighten your legs. At the same time, bent the hands at right angles. And draw the arm of the simulator to the abdomen.
  • Straighten your arms, bend forward and bend your knees. Then, go back to the original position.
  • Repeat until you achieve the desired result.

Indications and contraindications to exercises

In the fitness centers coach controls your training. But at home no one controls you. Therefore, for those who decided to engage in a rowing machine, it is necessary to fulfill several simple conditions.

  • Firstly, to find out the main contraindications to the exercises on the simulator.
  • Secondly, to select the correct simulator according to the parameters.
  • Thirdly, to know the basic rules of training.

If you have a desire to acquire a simulator, then the first thing to do is to find out a contraindication. The rowing machine is a great opportunity to regulate your limit, tighten the body and improve metabolic processes.

Especially people with high pressure and overweight should train on this fitness equipment.

When exercising on a rowing simulator, you involve all muscle groups. Also, you distribute the load uniformly throughout the body. Therefore, training on the simulator is highly recommended for women.

Besides, people with diseases of the spine should always train on this machine. If you do all the exercises correctly, the workout will be useful.

But you should not hurry to start training, as there are some diseases. And some disease prohibits engaging in a rowing machine. For example, such diseases include arterial hypertension and discogenic radiculitis.

Therefore, if you do not want the sport to lead to a deterioration of health, it is worth consulting with a doctor. In the case the doctor said that there were no contraindications to the exercise on the machine, you can proceed to the second stage – to the choice of the simulator.

Customers’ reviews

Your body is in perfect shape! A year ago, I presented my husband with a rowing machine. About 2 months he did not leave him)) Or rather, he was engaged regularly, despite the chronic lack of time.

Training had a positive effect on his state of health, he became less tired at work, got up early in the morning, although he was an owl.


Also, the children started pulling him up, the son stopped to ask for money for training in a sports club … Then everything was cooled down. But we still train periodically. In general, I have only positive feedback on this simulator and about changes in the family thanks to him.


The simulator is equipped with a computer, and the load can be adjusted, changing the length of the oars. It is compact and relatively lightweight – weighs about 20 kg. Purely male power thing!

This simulator is designed to increase muscle mass. Therefore, it is ideal for men who need to pump biceps, etc. Also, it is hard to train. At the beginning, it is too tedious.


This gadget takes up a lot of space. Of course, I can put it vertically, but lifting this machine after every training is almost unrealistic. It is better for the whole family to choose something more versatile, i.e., bicycle or ellipsoid. This “boat” folded in the closet, and there it lives. It is worth it!


Expensive simulator. It did not take long for such a purchase. The result is pleasing! This thing is nice to use. I will not tell you about efficiency. Mainly I train regularly, and everything is fine! If you want a quality item that will please the effect, do not pity money exactly on this simulator.


Load settings

A very common mistake is the tendency to exhibit the maximum load. But many sportsmen disagree entirely with this:

For 18 years, that I am engaged in rowing, I never set the load level higher than 3-4 out of 10. All that above this level imposes excessive the load on the body at the beginning of the roar and can lead to injuries.

They recommend maintaining the load at a low level and working out the position and speed of capture motion in order to learn to catch water resistance, instead of relying on the machine as the only load source.


The interval of time

It determines how much time you need to pass a distance of 500 meters. For example, if you set “split” in 1 minute 45 seconds – then you need to rattle with an effort enough to pass 500 meters during this time.

This is a great way to make sure that your preparation (and technology) brings results when reducing the time to pass the distance.


Read more about Stamina rowing machines review – Body Trac Glider 1050, 1215 Orbital. Here you will also learn about Stamina air rower assembly.

Types of rowing machines

As you know, there are two classes of rowers – electric and mechanical.

  • Electric simulators

Electric rowers are modern simulator models that have the principle of the electromagnetic system. These simulators are one of the most effective because the installed magnets smoothly regulate the load that varies widely.

Due to this, you minimize the production of stretch marks and tear gaps. The only disadvantage of electric rowing simulators is the high price compared to another kind.

Also, the electric ridge simulator has a large size. It means that it will have to search for a spacious and free space. At the same time, do not forget that you must place the stimulator near the socket. Because the socket is necessary for the work of the simulator.

Moreover, you can hide it after training. Buying this kind of simulator, pay attention to the mechanism of fastening. For its durability and reliability, this mechanism must be metallic.

Despite some disadvantages:

Electric rowers are more comfortable to use than mechanical ones. They include small computers that record all the parameters for the exercise: pulse, palpitation, pressure, and occupation.

Also, there are plenty of occupation modes, and each person can choose the best option for himself. The latest models of rowers allow you to connect your computer to the Internet and conduct competitions.
  • Mechanical simulators

In this form of a load simulator, you can use hydraulic cylinders to change the load. Therefore, it affects the shaft and improves the magnetic resistance. Also, the weight varies by adjusting the length of the oars and the turning of the blades.

Mechanical rowers are not expensive if to compare them to electric ones. Also, they require a connection to the power grid, which allows them to be installed in a convenient place for occupancy.

This kind of simulators is not very convenient for occupations in comparison with the previous type. It is because the simulator does not have a smooth course. Besides, it is quite noisy during training. And if it is necessary to change the load, then you need to stop the workout.
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