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Total Gym Row Trainer vs. Concept 2 Rowing Machine

Rowing is an exciting physical activity. It is fun and has a low impact on your joints. If you are yet to start using a rowing machine, it is important to know the options the market offers. There are many brands to consider buying but always go for the best products you can find. The factors to keep in mind when shopping for rowing machines include material quality, durability, ease of use, adjustability, comfort, and design.

In this article, I’m going to compare the Total Gym Row Trainer to the Concept 2 rowing machine to see the difference between the two.

What are the differences between Total Gym Row Trainer and Concept 2?

One of the biggest differences between the two is that the Total Gym Row Trainer uses bodyweight resistance on an adjustable incline monorail, while the Concept 2 indoor rower machine uses air resistance generated by the flywheel and damper on a leveled monorail.

Total Gym Vs. Rowing machine Comparison Chart:

Total Gym Row TrainerConcept 2 Model D
Resistanceadjustable bodyweight resistance on an inclineair resistance flywheel
Space Recommendations12 square feet9 ft x 4 ft 
Maximum User Weight400 lb500 lb
StorageFolds for easy storage. Stores upright against a wall or in a closet (Folded: 24″ wide by 25″ deep by 98″ tall)Can be separated into two parts for easy storage 25″ x 33″ x 54″ (63.5 cm x 83.8 cm x 137.2 cm)
Length /Width / Height98” x 23.5” x 30”96” x 24” x 14”
MonitorAutomatic computer tracks Time (split/stroke rate), Distance, and Calories Burned.The PM5 provides distance, speed, pace, Calories, and watts for each workout you do.
Unit Weight98 lb57 lb
ConstructionSteel with steel reinforced extruded aluminum railsAluminum front legs, steel rear legs

Total Gym Row Trainer

Total Gym Incline Row Trainer Review

Total Gym is always running different discounts and promotions, so visit their official website for the latest deals.

Total Gym Row Trainer is a foldable, user-friendly machine that allows you to engage in strength training and cardio. It is a low impact tool; thus, it does not put much pressure on your joints. That way, it is great for obese users and those with joint and ligament issues. It can accommodate individuals of up to 400lbs. The product is also useful for heart rate training and weight loss. It exercises all muscle groups in your body, be it in the upper or lower body.

Total Gym rowing allows multi-planar movements, meaning when using it, you can move in whichever direction forward, backward, rotational, or laterally. It is also excellent for circuit training; where you take part in a series of workouts, each lasting for a short while, such as 30 seconds-5 minutes. Your body weight provides the resistance you need for productive workouts. Change the inclination of the row trainer to get different resistance levels from 17 % to 20 % of body-weight.

You can also use bungee ropes for extra resistance. The bands provide an additional 15 pounds. Note that this product provides resistance on both concentric (pull) and eccentric (return) movements. This way, you achieve more muscle strength and burn more calories. The company designs the equipment to handle all fitness levels. Make a few changes, such as lowering or increasing the incline to match your skill level and body size.

Total Gym Row Trainer Review

On design, Total Gym’s Row Trainer is an elegant device that will look great in whatever room you place it in your home. It comes fully assembled and folds compactly into a vertical position to free up space for other items. Besides, it utilizes an electronic display that shows time, distance, and calories burned. You can always track your progress and identify areas that need improvement.

On the foot platform, you can use one leg or both depending on the exercise you are doing. The seat is smooth, comfortable, and works quietly while the frame of the row appliance is made of high-grade steel and aluminum rails. Besides rowing, you can also enjoy other workouts, such as biceps curls. The Trainer has an in-built exercise placard for quick reference when need be.

Rowing On Total Gym Row:


• Allows motion in every direction

• It is versatile allowing a variety of exercises besides rowing

• Folds away to save on storage space

• Has rollers to ease portability

• Operates quietly while providing full-body workouts

• Simple to use, ergonomic, and comfortable

• Sturdy and comfortable

• Fosters cardiovascular health

• It is a low impact tool

• Provides a full-body exercise

• Suits users of all sizes

• Offers flexible body-weight resistance on an incline


• It is heavy

• Lacks workout programs

• Does not have a heart rate monitor

• The calorie counter resets after a few minutes of inactivity

Who is the Total Gym Row Trainer suitable for?

Total Gym rowing trainer is suitable for anyone who needs a full-body workout. Whether you want to exercise to lose weight or for strength training, this model can help. It is low impact, so it will not hurt your joints. It is appropriate for kids adults and the elderly.

SEE ALSO: Total Gym Row Trainer Review

Concept 2 Rowing Machine

Concept 2 Model D has been making rowing machines for four decades now. The company has had adequate experience that enables them to make high-quality products. It offers various types of rowers, including Model D, Dynamic, and Model E. Only models D and E have the quick-release frame-lock design makes it easy to separate the rowing machines into two for storage.

They come fully assembled for use right away and have caster wheels to aid motion. They also have a performance monitor that displays feedback about the pulls you make. The monitor self-calibrates to let you compare stokes, workouts, and intervals. However, Concept2’s Model D with PM5 is a popular item among users.

If you settle for the Model D, expect to get an easy to use rower with a sleek, slim design. It is durable, solid, ergonomic, comfortable, and glides smoothly. It has sturdy aluminum front legs, steel rear legs, a flywheel for air resistance, and can carry a user as heavy as 500 pounds. You also get to use inbuilt programmable workouts and games for added fun. The Monitor 5 on this product tracks your progress and provides feedback on strokes per minute, calories burned, distance, and pulse. It uses adjustable footrests and monitor arm, and a padded seat to foster comfort.

Model E, on the other hand, has a higher frame that makes it easier to get off and on the rower. It has an easily accessible performance monitor that provides accurate progress tracking for every pull. The Dynamic version is a more rugged rower than Model D and has additional height.

Concept 2 Rowing Machine Pros And Cons:


• High quality and durable

• Easy to put together and disassemble

• Has adjustable footrest and monitor arm

• Operates smoothly

• Produces minimal noise

• Presents an elegant design


• The resistance noise is minimal, but it still is a nuisance

• It is a bulky brand considering it consists of two separate parts

• Takes up much space for users with small rooms

Who is the Concept 2 Rowing Machine suitable for?

Concept 2 Rowing Machine is for rowing beginners and pros. The different models the company provides give users multiple choices, instead of being stuck with one option. They are all easy to use, user-friendly, high-quality, and durable, so you are investing in a worthy brand.

Closing Thoughts

Both Total Gym Row Trainer and Concept 2 Rowing Machine are worthwhile purchases. Despite having different structures, they both aim to give you a full-body workout to help you stay fit. If you prefer rowing machines that use body-weight for resistance, go for Total Gym rowing, but if you need air resistance, then Concept 2’s products suit you.

Go for a rower that is easy to get on and off, one that is comfortable and made of quality materials. Check also the design. A rowing tool should be easy to operate for convenience. Besides, if you can find a brand that comes fully assembled, go for it if assembling appliances is a challenge for you. Remember, to check the size of the product you are buying. It should fit in the space you have at home.

SEE ALSO: Total Gym Review