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A few years ago my work opened up an onsite gym. I thought this would be a perfect way to lose some weight and get healthy. But now it is more than that, it is a part of life for me.
After my first few sessions trying everything out by myself I found I was always drawn back to the rowing machines. This was a surprise to me as I'd always enjoyed cycling and the girls in the office raved about cross trainers but it was the Concept2 D rowing machine that I fell for.
I think the thing the appealed to me was that once finished I felt like ever part of my body had been worked hard whereas on the bike or cross trainers it was always my legs that felt it. But unlike a lot of other workouts I find this one very low impact on both my knees and my back which I have both has issues with in the past.
The machine has the usual 1-10 settings on the 'wheel' depending on how hard you want to push myself. I always go for 10. I'm not sure why but I find I just can't do it at a lower setting, I need the resistance on the handle or I just feel like I'm flopping back and forward.
So once it's set up just strap in your feet and grab the handle. Extend your legs and pull the handle at the same time until your legs are full extended and you are sitting upright. The concept 2 works with a wire as opposed to a strap as with some other rowers. The wire when pulled turns an air fan to provide the resistance. Both of these things, wire and fan, lead to what some may see as the main disadvantage of this product compared to others. It makes a lot of noise! Personally I like it as it helps me get in a rhythm.
The monitor on the Concept 2 is a PM3 with many settings available. I have to admit, the first thing I did when I first tried one of these was play the fish game. Basically you row fast to move your fish up the screen then row slower to move your fish back down the screen. The aim of the game is to avoid the predators but eat the nutritious fish. But now I tend to just set the monitor either for a time or distance that I want to row and it counts it down for me.
The monitor also allows you to see how many calories you have burned but I always turn this off as it never seems to be as many as it feels like it should and can be disheartening.
The concept two rower is what you will find in most gyms, there are a few other rowers out there but this one is by far the most popular and these are the reasons why:
What is a rowing machine- For anyone who doesn't know a rowing machine is a cardio-vascular machine and is designed to replicate the exercise done by rowing. It benefits various muscles in your legs, arms and back and is great for your cardio-vascular system i.e your heart. You will find them in most gyms and some people have them in their homes.
How it works- You strap your feet in and hold onto the handle with both hands, you then extend your legs and pull your hands in towards your body as you do so, when your legs are fully extended and your hands are touching your stomach you go back the other way and that is one row complete. When you pull the handle and the wire it spins a fan using air as resistance for your row.
Functions- The rower has a small screen that is on front of your face which you can program to do different things, you can set the distance you want to row for and the time, it will then count down how much you have left on the screen. Another thing I find really useful is you can set it to do interval training so you could do 200m sprinting and then have a 30 second rest and then back to the sprint, you can program it to do this as many times as you want. You can also alter the resistance by moving a sliding switch on the side of the machine. The screen display can be changed to show a number of things including how fast you are rowing, how many calories you have burnt and the total time and distance you have rowed for.
You can adjust the foot straps so they fit your feet comfortably and this machine can be used by a person of any height.
The screen is powered by batteries so you don't need any cables running to this machine.
Ease of use- The concept 2 rowers are very easy to use, it may take you a little while to find out how you program it to do different things but its not too complicated. The movement is simple and easy to get the hang of.
Safety- Obviously caution should be taken when doing any exercise but I would say you are fairly safe on this, its not like you can easily fall off it and you are always in complete control.
Overall opinion- I think this is a great piece of exercise equipment and would recommend it to anyone who wants to improve or maintain their cardio-vascular fitness as well as improve muscle tone in a variety of areas.
"The Concept 2 Indoor Rower Model D with Pm4 is the same as the normal Concept 2 Indoor Rower Model D, but with a new PM4 monitor instead of a PM3, making it better than ever! The monorail graphics have been updated and there is a new framelock and foot stretcher design that makes it easier to seperate the two parts for storage and transport. The Model D delivers proven performance and fitness benefits. Introduced in 2003, the Model D can be found in homes, health clubs, schools and training rooms around the globe. Model D Features:"