Circuit Fitness Water Rowing Machine Review
Indoor water rowing machines are gaining popularity as a way to get a total body workout from the comfort of your own home, while still experiencing the feel and sound of being out on the water. The best part about home rowing machines is that these days if you don’t need all of the premium features, you can get one for a very reasonable price. The Circuit FItness water rowing machine checks off all of these boxes and more as a model that receives plenty of positive reviews from satisfied customers. The sturdy frame is made of solid steel that has a corrosion-resistant finish, and the water tank is made from high-quality polycarbonate plastic. The maximum weight capacity for the Circuit Fitness water rower is 300 lbs which is right around the industry standard for indoor rowing machines and match the Harison water rower and the Marcy Pro water rower, which are right around the same price level. The Circuit Fitness water rower comes with a grooved padded foam seat, which can make a long and intense workout a little bit more bearable. Like with most indoor water rowers, the Circuit Fitness water rowing machine is not foldable, so if you need to store the machine you will have to do so vertically on its end. Personally, I think the foldable frames on home fitness machines are worth seeking out if you have a small living space and don’t have the extra storage room. The Koreyosh folding water rower may be a nice alternative at around the same price point as the Circuit Fitness home water rower.
As with nearly all water resistance rowers, the Circuit Fitness home water rowing machine has a substantial footprint and requires a dedicated space when in use. The measured dimensions for the machine are 81” L x 21” W x 41” H, which is definitely longer than most indoor water rowers on the market. With a weight of 105 lbs, it is easy to see that the steel frame is much heavier than the wooden water rowers like the Mr. Captain water rowing machine. Remember that this weight is with an empty tank, so once you add in the weight of the water which is approximately 4-5 gallons, it will add an additional 10-15 lbs onto the weight of the machine. If you are in the market for something lighter but would still like the support of a solid steel frame, check out the Marcy Pro NS-6023RW water rower which only weighs about 75 lbs with an empty tank. To help make lugging such a heavy machine around a little easier, Circuit has thankfully added convenient transport wheels on the end of the rower.
The Circuit Fitness home water rower utilizes a water resistance flywheel system that is built within the water tank itself. As you make the rowing action, the more the blades will push against the water, and the more resistance you will feel. Since you cannot manually adjust the resistance levels, the Circuit Fitness home water rowing machine has what is called a variable resistant system. This is actually common amongst water resistance machines as the water itself acts as the resistance, compared to a magnetic or turbine resistance machine where you can manually adjust the levels. If you think you may prefer a manual adjustment of resistance, I recommend looking at a model like the HouseFit Magnetic Rowing Machine. In terms of sound, the Circuit Fitness water rower is fairly quiet, with a majority of the noise coming from the splashing of the water inside the tank. Another little thing to keep in mind about water resistance rowing machines is that maintenance and upkeep are expected a bit more compared to magnetic rowers or air rowers. Nothing crazy, but you need to do drop in a cleaning table to the tank every once in a while, and then fully change the water once every couple of months to make sure the inside of the tank stays fresh.
For entry-level fitness machines, you really can’t expect to have all of the latest features or cutting-edge technology that the premium models have. The Circuit Fitness home water rower comes equipped with an LCD computer meter display that provides users with visual tracking of their workouts. The display does not come back-lit, so it may be harder to read in certain lighting situations. As well, there is no Bluetooth or WiFi connectivity, so the display is really only used to track things like strokes per minute, distance, total strokes, calories, and pulse. One feature the Circuit Fitness display does come with is the ability to compete against the computer called race mode. As a fan of technology, I find some of the entry-level machines do not fit my appetite for smartphone integration. If you want to stay connected, I suggest checking out the Women’s Health/Men’s Health magnetic Bluetooth rower, which gives you full integration at a slightly higher price.
As far as assembly goes, the Circuit Fitness is simple and straightforward as all of the tools, parts, and instructions needed are included in the package. Unlike other water rowing machines, the Circuit Fitness water rower comes in one large box, whereas other water rowers separate the tank and the frame into two boxes. The thing about Circuit Fitness is that they do not have their own dedicated website, and primarily sell through sites like Amazon. This could make getting customer support a little more tedious, although shipping and delivery through Amazon is often the simplest solution for ordering things online.
At just under $500, the Circuit Fitness home water rower is a great value for anyone who is looking to add a rowing machine to their home workout routine. At this price, it’s not surprising that the machine does not come with premium features or connected technology, but Circuit Fitness is definitely targeting the value users who do not necessarily need these extra bells and whistles. Finally, Circuit Fitness actually provides you with a decent two-year warranty for the parts and frame, which is a nice surprise considering many companies that primarily sell through Amazon don’t offer warranties at all.
Circuit Fitness Water Rowing Machine Pros
- Excellent value price point
- Ergonomically designed grooved padded foam seat
- Solid steel frame and good weight capacity
- Delivery in just one box is nice
- Impressive 2-year warranty, especially considering the price
- Easy to assemble and step by step manual included
- Fast and free shipping through Amazon
- Adjustable large, anti-slip foot pedals
- Convenient transport wheels
Circuit Fitness Water Rowing Machine Cons
- No racing programs or entertainment options
- No Bluetooth, ANT or WiFi connectivity
- Dynamic resistance means you need to add or remove water to change resistance levels
- No dedicated website makes customer support a challenge
- The machine is large and heavy compared to other indoor water rowers
- Frame is not foldable and takes quite some space even when not in use
- The LCD display is not backlit and is fairly basic
For those who are on a budget and are looking at adding a no-frills indoor water rowing machine to their home gym, the Circuit Fitness is exactly what you want. At just under $500 you get a bare-bones indoor water rower, that provides an excellent total body workout, without breaking the bank. Is connected technology nice to have? Sure! But for most people, it is not always a necessity in comparison to a high-quality machine that serves its purpose. If you really want the technology and prefer magnetic resistance over water resistance, I suggest the Women’s Health/Men’s Health magnetic Bluetooth rower as a reasonable alternative, but beyond that, you are looking at a much higher price point.