Connected spin bikes are, it seems, old hat. Connected rowing machines are where the action is. The eagerly anticipated Peloton Row was announced in September and is available to pre-order in the US, while competitor Hydrow released a second-generation machine, the Hydrow Wave, which was smaller and cheaper but retained the immersive workout experience.
Despite this, the Concept2 reigns supreme atop our selection of the best rowing machines. It’s used the world over by competitive rowers and both commercial and CrossFit gyms, and it’s significantly cheaper than even the more affordable Hydrow. That kind of durability and value is more important than ever – it doesn’t even need electricity to operate.
If anything counted against the Concept2, it was that the apps it works with weren’t as good as Peloton or Hydrow’s. That’s no longer the case because Fiit, the best workout app in our book, has released a series of rowing workouts that connect to the Concept2 RowErg.
While you can follow the workouts on any rowing machine, the Concept2 will transmit your strokes per minute, calories and distance travelled metrics to the app so you can compete with other users on live leaderboards.
This is the third set of connected cardio machine workouts that Fiit has released this year. It began with a Bike program which worked with the Assault Fitness AssaultBike, then a Tread program which connected to the AssaultRunner self-powered treadmill. We assumed Fiit was lining up the AssaultRower Elite to complete the series, but we’re delighted it was able to work with the ubiquitous Concept2 instead. It makes the Concept2 an even better choice for a home treadmill, and also makes a full Fiit subscription even better value if you pair it with membership to a gym.
Fiit’s full-access monthly subscription costs $19.99 in the US and £19.99 in the UK ($119.99/£119.99 a year upfront). That compares with $44/£39 a month for Peloton and $39/£38 a month for Hydrow.
Fiit also offers just the Row workouts in a Fiit Only Plan subscription for $7.99/£7.99 a month. That’s even cheaper than the iFit subscription of $15/£10 a month, which works with the ProForm 750R.
If you already own a Concept2, you may want to invest $25/£26 in a device holder to hold a tablet or smartphone, although any new RowErg comes equipped with one.
Get the Coach Newsletter
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, reviews of the latest gear and more.
Jonathan Shannon has been the editor of the Coach website since 2016, developing a wide-ranging experience of health and fitness. Jonathan took up running while editing Coach and has run a sub-40min 10K and 1hr 28min half marathon. His next ambition is to complete a marathon. He’s an advocate of cycling to work and is Coach’s e-bike reviewer, and not just because he lives up a bit of a hill. He also reviews fitness trackers and other workout gear.