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Kristen - Guru Team

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Posts posted by Kristen - Guru Team

  1. A few important factors to consider are how much space you have available and what your ceiling height is. Ellipticals are large and will lift you up off the floor 12-18". They also require a significant amount of space depending on which model you get. We recommend measuring your room to ensure you have enough space. 

    When you have multiple users in your home, having adjustable foot pedals and multi-position handlebars is helpful. This makes it so the elliptical can be adjusted for people of different heights. Otherwise, the main factors are just whether it has the features and programming you want. 

  2. All good questions. You are correct that the Concept 2 rower is built to withstand years of CrossFit abuse and is nearly indestructible. This is one of the main reasons it is found in commercial gyms and professional training facilities. Neither the Hydrow nor the Ergatta are designed to withstand the type of commercial environment that the C2 can handle.

    We don't have long-term durability data on the Hydrow, but we don't hear a significant amount of negative feedback either (believe me - we hear plenty of negative feedback about all types of equipment). The Hydrow feels and functions like a solid piece of home-fitness equipment. It may not be designed to challenge the top athletes at the CrossFit Games, but it will certainly provide smooth, consistent training with impressive content for those who wish to row at home. 

    Water Rower as a brand has been around for a long time. The Ergatta has a few flaws that could be problematic over time. The nature of the pulley system under the seat could be cut, fray, or break, which would render the rower inoperable. This would only happen if someone (or a child) damaged the machine, but it is possible. The handle strap frays along the sides and this is something we've already noticed on our Ergatta and mentioned in our video review. Any wood furniture should be treated with care, set away from direct sunlight, and may require a coat of oil over time depending on your ambient temperature, humidity, sun exposure, etc. The water tank requires a chlorine tab every three months and the tank should be drained yearly or so. While none of this adds up to a significant amount of maintenance, it is certainly something to consider. 

    While the Concept 2 rower is certainly durable - it also looks (and sounds) like commercial equipment. It's loud, looks industrial, and may not be the look or feel you want in home exercise equipment. None of these three rowers has significant issues that would cause us to hesitate recommending them. They are simply designed for varied uses in different environments. 

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  3. Water rowers require a bit more maintenance than air rowers. An air rower may get dust and lint in the fan which needs to be cleaned off occasionally, and if the air rower has a chain drive it may need periodic lubrication, which isn't difficult (it's like greasing a bike chain - super simple). Water rowers do typically require a chlorine tablet every three months or so to keep the water clear. If you plan to move your rower to a different location or store it for a long period of time, you'll need to drain the tank. Once per year, we make sure and drain all our rowers and refill them with fresh water. It isn't a terrible hassle - but it keeps the water fresh and clear. 

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  4. Great question! We've heard chatter about a Peloton rower as well, but haven't seen anything concrete on that. There have been indications that Peloton has a rower in the works, but no official word from the company. You can read our blog about this topic here.

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  5. That's a great question. Based on the fact that development for games is significantly different than filming an outdoor video, we don't foresee Ergatta adding videos anytime soon. It could happen, but right now they are making headway in the industry with their gaming interface. Hydrow, on the other hand, could easily incorporate some simple games into their programming. We'll have to see where they choose to go... 

  6. Concept 2 has a dedicated following! As much as the C2 is a great rower, it does have some drawbacks. It is fantastic for quick sprints and intervals, but isn't as engaging for long rowing sessions. It's also loud. If you are new to rowing and looking for something to keep you engaged while you develop a love for the sport, the Ergatta is a fantastic option. My assumption is, all those C2 devotees haven't used the Ergatta, so while devoted, they are not fully informed. 

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  7. Hybrid ellipticals allow for varied movement on the pedals - you can move them up and down like a stair stepper, or front to back like treadmill, or in a circular motion like an elliptical. This feature provides more movement patterns but can feel a bit unstable if you're not used to it. You can get a great workout on either a standard elliptical or a hybrid model. 

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  8. Good question. The narrow foot position can be an issue for larger users. For those under 6 feet, you should be okay. You can also loosen the straps on the top of your shoe to allow for a bit more lateral float and ankle rotation while you're rowing if the narrow position is an issue. 

  9. Rowing works the most muscle groups. But, many of the bikes and treadmills feature strength classes, yoga, and bootcamp options with a subscription. I recommend whichever machine you are most interested in and most excited to use. If you don't want to pay for a subscription, but want to get a full body workout on a single piece of equipment, a rower is probably your best option. Check out the Ergatta or Hydrow rowers - they offer engaging content and can be stored vertically to save space. 

  10. Typically, they are pretty close. Without GPS to track your actual speed, it's hard to fully replicate the accuracy of an outdoor ride, but most bikes use a combined speed and RPM metric to determine your total distance. For accurate calorie information, select a bike that syncs with a heart rate chest strap. A HR chest strap is the best way to get accurate calorie data. 

  11. Maybe look at the Sole F63...? It's a great treadmill for a good price, doesn't require an additional subscription, and has a lifetime warranty. If you want something with a subscription to keep you occupied while training, maybe look at the Nordictrack EXP 10i. The Horizon T202 is another budget option that has enough horsepower for running. 

  12. Water rowers create a rowing experience that is the most similar to rowing outdoors. This design is very popular in Europe and along the US East coast where outdoor rowing is popular. The water tank creates a sound that is both subtle and soothing, so it's not loud or obtrusive to those around you. You can adjust the intensity of your rowing stroke by how hard you pull the handle (although this doesn't technically change the resistance). Water rowers often sit low on the ground and are traditionally made of wood, so they look elegant and can support a higher maximum weight capacity than other rowers. 

  13. The C2 rower is the most widely used and recognized rower on the market. Other rowers have some fun features and content, but a C2 rower is the tried and true, they last forever, and are remarkably consistent. It does not require a subscription or electrical outlet since it is entirely manually powered. In our opinion it's well worth $900. 

  14. Rowers are a great full-body workout. Rowing utilizes more than 85% of all the muscles in the body. The ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) recommends that healthy adults engage in moderate intensity exercise for 30minutes per day at least 5 days per week or a total of 150 minutes per week. Rowers could be utilized 3-4 times per week as part of a balanced fitness program. We also recommend incorporating some strength training and stretching if possible. 

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  15. If you enjoy games and challenges the Ergatta is a great option. It also generates roughly the same noise as the Hydrow. The Hydrow is more of a low-mechanical sound while the Ergatta is the sound of swishing water. Neither is very loud. The Hydrow content is impressively professional and well-done but I find the Ergatta is better at keeping me focused on what I'm doing. You can't 'zone out' on the Ergatta - every stroke counts so I get more out of the session. 

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  16. That's a great question. My two personal favorites for beginners are the Hydrow rower and the Ergatta water rower. The Hydrow is a magnetic rower, so you can modify the resistance. It has an attached touchscreen and impressive video content led by professional rowing instructors right out on the water. If you enjoy beautiful scenery with guidance from rowing professionals, the Hydrow is your best option. The Ergatta, by comparison, is a water rower. It is a gorgeous cherry wood color and sits low to the floor. It also has an attached touchscreen. But rather than video content, it includes games and challenges. All content is digital - so there are no videos to watch. But I love the way the games keep me focused and involved. I find I stay engaged best on the Ergatta. The best one for you will depend on which type of rower (magnetic or water) and which type of content you prefer. They're both excellent for beginners. 

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  17. Water rowers are unique in that the only way to adjust the resistance is by adding or removing water from the tank. The harder you pull, the more power you generate within the tank which increases your expended wattage - but it doesn't specifically mean there is more resistance. If you prefer heavy resistance, you can add more water initially and then regulate the power you put into each stroke to modify the intensity. I find I can get an excellent workout on a water rower simply by increasing my stroke rate and power - I don't need more resistance to make it challenging. 

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  18. Squeaking on any type of exercise equipment is annoying. Can you determine where it squeaks from specifically? If it's directly under the saddle, the bolts that hold the saddle securely may be loose, or the seat itself may have broken down over time and the joints under the saddle are now squeaky. On many bikes, you can swap out the saddle for another version. If its squeaking where the saddle stem descends down into the bike, that could be because the metal stem is rubbing against the seat post. A bit of lubricant may help there as well. Good luck! 

  19. Great question! There are two kinds of fan bikes. Concept 2 makes a fan bike called the Bike Erg that features an air resistance fan similar to that on their rower. It sucks air into the fan which generates resistance. But it doesn't have the rotating handles like larger fan bikes. You can certainly ride the Bike Erg as part of a low-intensity cardio session. It's a bit noisier than standard indoor bikes, but it's lightweight and easy to move. 

    There are also larger fan bikes like the Assault air bike that have the rotating handles. These bikes are very difficult to use and are designed to increase your heart rate quickly. You could use this bike without rotating the handles if you wanted to use it for a sustained session, but it is challenging to use. These types of air bikes are quite large and heavy and are difficult to move. Certainly, by moderating your intensity you could use an air bike for a long cardio session. 

  20. Rowing is a low impact exercise and in the early stages of pregnancy it should be an excellent activity. We recommend checking with your doctor just to rule out any possible contraindications. As she gets larger, sitting upright could put extra pressure on the tailbone area, so you may need to modify as necessary. But rowing after pregnancy would offer an excellent way to exercise at home while the baby sleeps. Rowers are generally quiet (the Concept 2 is a bit loud, but still quieter than a treadmill), and can often be stored upright to save space. 

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