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Which Is the Best Fitness Reality Rowing Machine for You?

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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If you’ve decided to look for a rowing machine to use at home, chances are you’ve come across the Fitness Reality rowing machine collection. The company designs and manufactures a wide range of exercise equipment, which includes five rowing machines. 

If you’ve had a look at them and you’re wondering which one of their rowing machines would work best for you, we’re comparing all five of them so you can make an informed decision.

A man using a Fitness Reality rowing machine at the gym
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In A Hurry? Here’s Our Best Picks

Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine with Bluetooth Workout Tracking...
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FITNESS REALITY 4000MR Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with 15 Workout...
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Fitness Reality 3000WR Bluetooth Water Rower Rowing Machine with HIIT...
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Air & Magnetic Rowing Machine with On Demand Coaching|14 Levels Dual...
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Fitness Reality Water Rowing Machine – 300lbs Capacity - Bluetooth 1 Year...
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Product's nameBest Overall
Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine with Bluetooth...
Premium Option
FITNESS REALITY 4000MR Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine with 15...
The Best Natural Feeling
Fitness Reality 3000WR Bluetooth Water Rower Rowing Machine...
The Hybrid Option
Air & Magnetic Rowing Machine with On Demand Coaching|14...
The Budget-Friendly Option
Fitness Reality Water Rowing Machine – 300lbs Capacity -...
VerdictExcellent budget rower for beginners who want to start rowing. We love that it also allows for non-rowing exercises and that it's Bluetooth-enabled, which is a step up from most budget rowers.Although this rower costs more, it doesn't have Bluetooth and has no other exercise options. It offers slightly more resistance, wide-arc arms, and a higher weight capacity, but beginners may prefer the lower-end 1000 PLUS.In comparison to other water rowers, this one is very affordable and makes a great first rower. However, you could save 60 bucks by buying the 5000X instead.This is FR's most compact rower and their 2nd most affordable one. If space is your biggest consideration, this is a good choice.If you're considering buying a Fitness Reality rower, this is the one we recommend. It's a good price, a unique and effective design, and can accommodate larger rowers.
Rower TypeMagneticMagnetic, dual-armWaterAir/MagneticWater
Resistance Levels14 levels of magnetic resistance16 levels of magnetic resistance6 levels of resistance14 levels of resistance6 levels of resistance
Size88.5” x 21.5” x 21.5”72” x 25” x 51.5”77.3” x 20” x 34”70” x 23” x 26”74.8” x 21.5” x 32.7”
Weight Capacity250 lbs300 lbs300 lbs250 lbs300 lbs
Learn moreSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at AmazonSee at Amazon

Why Trust BoxLife? 

At BoxLife, our team members have decades of cumulative rowing experience. We’ve rowed on almost every machine on the market, so we’re in the perfect position to compare. 

Aside from our practical experience, we’re avid researchers. We want to know every aspect of every machine, and how it can help us improve our fitness. Practical rowing experience plus detailed research equals trustworthy reviews.

A woman in her home gym using a Fitness Reality Rowing Machine
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Fitness Reality Company History 

The Fitness Reality brand name falls under Paradigm Health & Wellness Inc (PHW), an established supplier to the health and fitness industry. The parent company was founded in 2007, so they have a good amount of experience in their field. 

Best Rower for Beginner
Sunny Water Rowing Machine

Based on our testing, this is the best rower for beginners. For less than 500$, this silent water rower will last you for years. It also comes with a 12-year warranty.

  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Amazing warranty
See latest price See all Rowers below 500$

They claim to have the best value fitness equipment on the market, offer free shipping every time, and provide an extended 1-year warranty on top of any other warranty you’ll get anywhere else. 

Who Is This Guide For? 

If you’re considering investing in a Fitness Reality rowing machine, his guide is for you. We’re comparing the five options they offer so you can select the one that’s best for you, your needs, and your situation. 

Fitness Reality Rowing Machine Options

1000 PLUS Bluetooth Magnetic Rower – Best Overall

The Fitness Reality 1000 PLUS Bluetooth Magnetic Rower offers excellent features for its competitive price. If you’re looking for the quietest of the Fitness Reality rowers, this is it. 

Why We Like It 

The 1000 PLUS may be priced in the budget range, but this magnetic rowing machine is Bluetooth-enabled, which is usually reserved for higher-priced rowing machines. It syncs with the MyCloudFitness app, which gives you an immersive workout experience. But the beauty of Bluetooth means that you can use any third-party app to follow rowing videos online or track your rowing progress.

There are 14 levels of resistance, which is perfectly adequate for beginners and intermediate rowers. Being magnetic, it’s super quiet, which is an excellent bonus for those who live with others and don’t want their exercise to disturb them. 

It’s actually quite suitable for almost anyone, with a max weight capacity of 250 lbs and a height capacity of up to 6’6” according to the manufacturer. To make it more comfortable, they’ve added much-appreciated heel support to the foot plates, a contoured seat, and have a Velcro strap for easy lockdown. 

The frictionless resistance makes this rowing machine quieter than most, so it’s a good choice for those who live in close proximity with others and want a silent exercise machine. 

It’s a pleasant surprise that you can do more than just row on this machine. The company has designed it with extended foot pads on the front end, which you can stand on and use the cable for additional exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, and more! A great extra feature for a true full-body workout. 

It folds easily and can be placed in a corner or closet for convenient storage in your living space. The only potential downside we see is that the rower weighs around 70 lbs, so if you’re a single person using it, it could be a little heavy to move around.


  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Heavier and taller rowers will fit comfortably on this rower
  • Can perform other full-body exercises using the machine
  • Folds for storage 


  • May be heavy for single people to move
  • Requires electricity to run

Key Specs 

Rower Type Magnetic 
Resistance Levels 14 resistance levels 
Price $349 
Size 88.5” x 21.5” x 21.5” 
Weight Capacity 250 lbs 

Choose the 1000 PLUS If: 

You’re looking for a super quiet, smooth, and effective rowing machine for beginners or intermediates. It’s ideal for small spaces and rowers on a budget. Also, we recommend this one if you particularly want a Bluetooth-enabled rower or if you want to be able to do extra upper-body workouts.

4000MR Magnetic Rower – Premium Option

The 4000MR is also a magnetic rower, but it’s a little step up from the 1000 PLUS. That reflects in the price, but it’s a superb option for rowers who want just a bit more than the 1000 has to offer. 

Why We Like It 

One of the biggest differences between this rower and the previous one is the range of motion. While the 1000 has a single cable handle, this one features two independent arms, allowing you to row in a straight-line motion but also giving you the option to row in a wide arc, a more realistic oar-rowing motion. 

As well as the extra range of motion, it has 2 added resistance levels, bringing it to 16 levels overall. As well as the added resistance, it comes with 15 built-in workout programs—10 preset and 5 customizable. 

If you want to just do your own thing, you can change workout goal settings by time, distance, or calories and just row for as long as it takes. 

This one has a slightly higher weight capacity, handling up to 300 lbs. Rowers of up to 6’5” in height should find it comfortable. 

Like the smaller one, it has a folding frame and can be placed out of the way so it’s not constantly taking up floor space. Built-in transportation wheels make this extra easy.


  • Quiet operation, excellent for apartments 
  • 15 built-in workout programs 
  • Full range of motion in the arms 
  • Goal setting by time, distance, or calories 


  • Somewhat more pricey
  • Some rowers may not like the extra motion in the arms
  • Requires electricity to run

Key Specs 

Rower Type Magnetic 
Resistance Levels 16 resistance levels 
Price $799 
Size 72” x 25” x 51.5” 
Weight Capacity 300 lbs 

Choose the 4000MR If: 

You’re an intermediate to advanced rower looking for a solid indoor rowing machine with a strong build and built-in workout programs, you aren’t worried about Bluetooth, and you’ve got a bit more to spend.

3000WR Bluetooth Water Rower – The Most Natural Feeling

Water rowers offer a realistic on-water rowing feeling and have a soothing, water flowing sound as you row. The 3000WR is also Bluetooth-enabled, although it offers more than enough onboard programs so you can use it without Bluetooth as well. 

Why We Like It 

Fitness Reality’s more high-end water rower, the 3000WR features a uniquely-angled water tank, which increases the resistance. It also offers 6 different resistance levels, which you need to set by increasing/decreasing the water level in the tank. It’s not easy, but it’s doable. 

Like the 1000, this machine is Bluetooth-enabled and can sync up with MyCloudFitness if you wish to use it. The app provides on-demand video workouts and instructor-led classes. 

Best Rower for Beginner
Sunny Water Rowing Machine

Based on our testing, this is the best rower for beginners. For less than 500$, this silent water rower will last you for years. It also comes with a 12-year warranty.

  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Amazing warranty
See latest price See all Rowers below 500$

If you’d prefer not to sign up for a subscription, that’s also okay—the rowing machine comes with 5 present programs and 3 HIIT workouts, so you can get an effective workout. 

With a weight limit of 300 lbs and able to accommodate rowers up to 6’6”, almost everyone can use this water rower comfortably. When it’s not in use, it stands up on its end for vertical storage and can easily be moved out of the way with the built-in wheels.


  • Soothing sound and realistic rowing feel
  • 5 standard and 3 HIIT pre-programmed workouts
  • Stands up for easy storage
  • Smart device holder


  • Tank angle may make it hard to clean and refill
  • Tricky to change resistance levels

Key Specs 

Rower Type Water 
Resistance Levels 6 resistance levels 
Price $659 
Size 77.3” x 20”  x 34” 
Weight Capacity 300 lbs 

Choose the 3000WR If: 

You want a water rower that’s not expensive but still offers all the excellent features, can accommodate larger rowers, and is Bluetooth-enabled for expanded exercise options.

Dual Transmission Fan Rower – The Hybrid Option

The Dual Transmission Fan Rower is a hybrid of air and magnetic resistance. It’s a great budget choice for those who want the slight extra resistance added by air. 

Why We Like It 

The Fan Rower offers a realistic rowing feeling and has 14 levels of dual resistance for you to play with. It’s a great option for newbies and intermediates, but might not be enough for those who are more experienced rowers. 

Despite being a little noisier than normal magnetic rower, it’s still quieter than a full-on air rower. We particularly like that it runs off of batteries, which means you can use it whenever you want without the need for electricity. 

The wide, ergonomically-designed handle makes for a comfortable row, and it’s the only one of their rowers that features an angled seat rail, which encourages more leg muscle activation as you row. 

Like the rest, it connects up to MyCloudFitness for workout options, but it’s a perfectly good rower to use without the app. Be aware that you won’t have workouts built into the machine.


  • Angled seat rail for more leg activation
  • Hybrid resistance with 14 levels
  • Wide, ergonomic handle
  • Runs off 4AA batteries


  • Noisiest of the rowers
  • No built-in workouts

Key Specs 

Rower Type Air & magnetic 
Resistance Levels 14 resistance levels 
Price $399 
Size 70” x 23” x 26” 
Weight Capacity 250 lbs 

Choose the Dual Transmission Fan Rower If: 

You’re looking for a hybrid rower at a great price point that you don’t need electricity to use. Best for smaller rowers and those who live alone or with forgiving people, as it’s the noisiest of the five options!

5000X Bluetooth Vertical Tank Water Rower – The Budget-Friendly Option

The 5000X is quite similar to the 3000WR. It features a water tank that’s placed vertically instead of the conventional flat position, which increases the resistance. It’s an excellent machine for this price range. 

Why We Like It 

As with the other FR rowers, you can use this one with the app if you wish to, but it does come with built-in programs so the app isn’t really necessary. 

With 3 HIIT workout options, 13-level race options, and 3 target goal settings, you can get a pretty intense workout on this rowing machine. 

The unique vertical design not only looks cool, but it provides added resistance due to the weight of the water as it moves. An excellent way to get a full water rower workout without paying what you could normally expect for one of these machines. 

If you’re desperate to change the resistance level, you’ll need to change the water level in the tank. It’s not easy, but know that it can be done. However, like all water rowers, the harder you row, the more resistance is created, so you’ll still get a decent workout. 

A contoured cushion seat, ergonomic, padded handlebar, heel holders on the foot pedals, and floor stabilizers make this a super comfortable machine to exercise on.


  • Unique vertical water tank design
  • Designed for comfort
  • Pivoting console for ease of use
  • Affordable water rower


  • Resistance levels can be hard to change
  • Shouldn’t be kept in the sun or hot places

Key Specs 

Rower Type Water 
Resistance Levels 6 resistance levels 
Price $599 
Size 74.8” x 21.5” x 32.7” 
Weight Capacity 300 lbs 

Choose the 5000X If: 

You want a budget water rower that can handle a high weight/height capacity but won’t break the bank. This unique design provides an excellent water rowing experience at a very friendly price! 

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Fitness Reality Rowing Machine for You 

Not sure which Fitness Reality rowing machine is the one for you? Check out these common features so you can compare in detail and choose the one that’s going to help you reach your workout goals. 

Resistance Type 

All resistance types offer a good workout, but each one has its pros and cons. Fitness Reality offers rowers in all resistance types, so you can choose which one suits you and your fitness goals. 

  • Water rowers: Calming sound, real-world rowing feel, hard to adjust resistance. 
  • Magnetic rower: Very quiet, natural rowing feeling, easy resistance adjustment. 
  • Air (fan) rower: Noisy, easy to adjust resistance, can be tricky to keep clean. 
  • Hybrid rower: Combination magnetic and air resistance, slightly noisy, easy to change resistance. 

Resistance Levels 

Water rowers don’t offer adjustable resistance levels. Instead, the resistance increases the harder you row, which is great if you want a real, on-the-water rowing feeling and a more challenging workout. You can add more resistance by changing the level of water in the tank, but that’s not quick and easy to do. 

A magnetic resistance rower offers plenty of resistance levels, as do air rowers. Air rowers also increase in resistance the harder you row, which adds an extra level of challenge. Most have an easy-to-use resistance knob that you just need to turn to your preferred resistance setting.

A man using a Fitness Reality Rowing Machine during his workout
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Weight & Height Capacity 

The rowing machine you choose needs to accommodate your current weight (or the weight of anyone who’ll be using it). This is essential for using the rower safely, because lower-weight rowing machines can buckle under more weight than they’re made for. 

It’s also a good idea to check the rail length if you’re on the taller side. Shorter rail lengths may feel restricting for taller users and not allow a full range of motion in the legs. Even if your fitness levels are low at this point in time, don’t choose a rower that won’t support your weight. 

Size & Storage 

It’s a good idea to double-check the size of the space you’re planning to put the rower in at your home. Make sure there’s enough space for the rower’s footprint, with extra room around it so you have space to row freely, especially if the handles have a wider arc. 

If you need to pack it down and place it out of the way after your workout sessions, you’ll need a compact rower that folds so it can be easily packed away. 


Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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