Author Topic: Concept 2 rower worth it?  (Read 10341 times)

kevj1085

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Concept 2 rower worth it?
« on: July 23, 2017, 02:27:00 PM »
Well here's my situation...

Wife and I are 32, I've been into serious fitness since I was 12, and right now we have a garage gym w a barbell, bumper plates and steel up to 500 lbs, squat stands, pull-up bar and rings, bench, kettlebell, weight vest, sled for dragging, and an air dyne bike. I also try to run hills once every couple weeks and trying to do it more recently again. I will never not workout, and am typically trying my best to make it all better.

Recently I have been considering the idea of getting a concept 2 rower as it seems right up my alley. However, I have been and still am on a mission to pay off our house in 5 more years (I know I know, but that's for a different topic). I guess what I'm wondering is, is there a point where as just an average citizen trying to be strong and conditioned that you just need to say enough is enough w your tools for fitness? Yes I would love the rower but what will it do for me that going out running up hills or sled dragging or going for a long run or getting on the air dyne can't do for me?

I suppose I'm looking for someone to tell me it'd be a great investment or it's not necessary at all.

Altons Bobs

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2017, 03:40:36 PM »
I have one and love it when I use it. It's solidly built. I can't run because I have bad knees, so I have a few pieces of low impact exercise equipment in my game room, and this is one of them. Get it!

I'm also not mustashian, I need some luxuries, so don't take my word for it.  :-D

kevj1085

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2017, 03:55:45 PM »
Lol well I'm not full blown mustachian either, but I do like to stay frugal/simple as much as possible. I've always believed you can't put a price tag (to an extent) on health and fitness so I try to skate a fine line between investing in good stuff vs being overkill. Our air dyne bike works amazing for easy and hard low impact cardio and I bought it used for just $110 so I'm very happy about that purchase. Also, even buying the rower, my total expenses for our complete gym set up is still cheaper than 18 months of a CrossFit gym for my wife and I. We are both self motivated in fitness so while the group atmosphere would be awesome, I'd never pay for it unless we were close to retirement maybe and had plenty of passive income. As it stands w 2 kids under 4, home g is infinitely easier. I am also someone that would use the heck out of it for decades, not just something I "might" use like some.

Thinkum

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2017, 04:00:02 PM »
I bought an inexpensive rower some time ago since I need low impact exercises. The workout it gives is not as good as the Concept, but I knew that going in. The one I have works the upper body and core much more than legs. It is an intense workout though and I much prefer it to the spin bike we had. A good way for me to describe rowing on a machine, is that it is somewhat akin to swimming, at least to me. You have that constant upper body movement to pull through and the legs to give added support. I think a better one like the Concept2 will work your whole body.

With all the stuff you already have, I would question whether you really need something like a rower. Perhaps get rid of something to help pay for the rower and also make room in the gym? Have you tried them out to see if you like them?

kevj1085

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2017, 04:07:14 PM »
Hi, I have done some rowing here and there but not consistent, maybe 3 times in my life but without much thought while doing it. We have plenty of room since the lifting stuff doesn't take up much room in our garage when put away, and the bike is in our bedroom and the rower could easily fit as well. To be completely honest every purchase I have made equipment wise to this point is something I use on a weekly basis and have for years, so there's nothing I would sell that I have right now that doesn't already get lots of use.

What you said though is what I wonder, the fact that it might be Overkill. I can sky rocket my heart rate with on swings, sled drags with a weight vest on, running hills, barbell complexes, and the air dyne. I guess I'm looking at is as another option to mix up my low impact cardio for indoors, but perhaps I'm getting too greedy with a air dyne AND concept rower. I do not compete (used to compete powerlifting), but now just train for strength and conditioning as an average dad trying to stay well and inspire his kids. It would be a tool, however, that I believe would encourage my kids all the more to be into fitness, and I like that idea. A $900 purchase over 20 years used weekly I imagine comes out to fairly cheap?

kenaces

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2017, 11:10:28 PM »
When I used to go to crossfit gym I had a chance to do some workouts on concept2 rower.  Great workout but far from a critical piece of equipment.  That said if you really want one be patient and just keep eye on cragslist or offerup.

kevj1085

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2017, 07:43:45 AM »
When I used to go to crossfit gym I had a chance to do some workouts on concept2 rower.  Great workout but far from a critical piece of equipment.  That said if you really want one be patient and just keep eye on cragslist or offerup.

I see that completely, and as it stands right now I believe I'm getting a great deal of cardiovascular benefits from what I'm already doing. However, I also know I won't be in my 30s forever and if these things last forever and I will eventually need more non impact options, I see that as a reason to get it too. I guess for me the bottom line is I WILL buy one one day, it's just a matter of do I need it right now more than I need that extra $900 to put towards our mortgage. I'll be 36-7 by the time we pay it off, and by that point $900 won't even be a blip on our radar.

Platypuses

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2017, 12:39:32 PM »
Totally worth it. We bought one for our home (crossfit) gym and incorporate it into almost every workout either as a warm-up or part of the high intensity workout. The nice thing about them is that they retain their value and are solidly built. If you can get a used one you could likely sell it at 80-100% of what you paid for it.

I am actually thinking about getting an Airdyne bike just to have an alternative method of cardio. I would love to find one for $110, nice score.

Hotstreak

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2017, 03:08:54 PM »
Since you've only used one three times, I'd suggest trying it out again a few times to make sure you like it.  Then try and buy used.  You've been without it this long so wait a few months for a deal to come up!

But honestly, if that fails, $900 for a piece of equipment you expect to use weekly for 20+ years, which contributes to your health and wellbeing, is not a bad deal.  If you were looking for an infinity pool, or one of the $4,000+ exercise machines, that would be a different deal.

Cromacster

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2017, 04:05:43 PM »
Totally worth it. We bought one for our home (crossfit) gym and incorporate it into almost every workout either as a warm-up or part of the high intensity workout. The nice thing about them is that they retain their value and are solidly built. If you can get a used one you could likely sell it at 80-100% of what you paid for it.

I am actually thinking about getting an Airdyne bike just to have an alternative method of cardio. I would love to find one for $110, nice score.

Buy an Assault Bike.  It's essentially the same as an Airdyne, but better quality.  Schwinn really shit the bed when it came time to capitalize on the crossfit market.  Airdynes were pretty standard equipment, but they lacked the durability for the high intensity/volume work seen in a crossfit gym.  Assault bikes filled the gap and are now then standard.

You will probably be able to find an airdyne much cheaper, I think they just lack in quality.  Especially if you are doing 50 cal for time or a tabata style workout and really pushing it hard.

To to OP:
With all that equipment I guess I don't see much value add from a rower.  Unless you want to add rowing to your workouts.  Output wise the airdyne bike will give you a similar workout.  Even used ones typically go for $700.  Although I had a friend find one at a garage sale for 200.  The person selling it really had no idea, so you might get lucky.

kenaces

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2017, 04:20:09 PM »
When I used to go to crossfit gym I had a chance to do some workouts on concept2 rower.  Great workout but far from a critical piece of equipment.  That said if you really want one be patient and just keep eye on cragslist or offerup.

I see that completely, and as it stands right now I believe I'm getting a great deal of cardiovascular benefits from what I'm already doing. However, I also know I won't be in my 30s forever and if these things last forever and I will eventually need more non impact options, I see that as a reason to get it too. I guess for me the bottom line is I WILL buy one one day, it's just a matter of do I need it right now more than I need that extra $900 to put towards our mortgage. I'll be 36-7 by the time we pay it off, and by that point $900 won't even be a blip on our radar.

I bet if you are patient and negotiate you can do WAY better than $900.

My home gym these days is a set of KBs I got on cragslist for a steal, and a $20 jump rope.

Hotstreak

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2017, 07:21:06 PM »
On further thought it does seem ridiculous to buy such an expensive piece of equipment, when you already have a tool that does ~90% of the same work, in your airdyne. 

Mr. Green

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2017, 08:29:10 PM »
You will have a very difficult time finding much of a deal on a used Concept2 rower. They are considered the gold standard for rowing and they are phenomenally durable. One rower could potentially last you a lifetime. I wanted to buy one when we got heavy into CrossFit some years back and I found that rowing was a forte of mine. I looked around for a while for a used one and then eventually just bought a new one because they were almost impossible to find and it would need to be a local pick up. I've used mine intermittently over the years, in spurts typically. It has just over 300,000 meters on it current, which is nothing. Despite its intermittent use, I'm really happy we have it. There have been several occasions where I've been injured and having a non-impact machine that will actually exercise just about every muscle in your body has been invaluable during those times. Right now is one of those times, actually, as I'm recovering from knee and back problems.

If you do decide to get one just stick with the Model D. I actually prefer the Model D because it sits lower to the ground. Some workouts I'll intentionally row to exhaustion and it's nice to be able to just fall off the seat onto the floor.

If you're really competitive Concept2 actually has competitions and there are world rankings every year for a whole bunch of different interval lengths. It's kinda cool and adds something more to rowing than just rowing. They also host periodic challenges where you row certain distances within certain time frames and occasionally swag is handed out as a prize. I participated in a group competition with our gym a few years back and rowed 200,000 meters in 2 months. Got a pair of Concept2 socks for it. Kinda cheesy, but cool.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2017, 08:31:39 PM by Mr. Green »

Mr. Green

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2017, 08:36:17 PM »
I'm not sure where you're located but in the past, CrossFit, Inc. has typically sold off the equipment used for the CrossFit Games after they are over. I know the Games are in Michigan this year and they're coming up in about a week. I don't know if they'll use rowers but if they do, and you're local, and they still sell off the equipment at the end, it might be a way to get your hands on a slightly used rower at a reduced price.

triangle

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2017, 10:25:24 PM »
A follow up question. Would this be a good (better?) substitute for an Elliptical or Treadmill machine for general exercise (muscle resistance and cardio)?  I do not like to run/jog due its high impact nature. And while I enjoying walking it is time consuming to walk long enough to feel like I am getting enough exercise benefit. I should probably take up bicycling but that would mean driving somewhere first. So I had been toying with getting an elliptical machine for low impact workouts.  I have only used a rowing machine once or twice so I do not really understand them. After a little research and reading posts like this (one of the top google search hits): http://www.garage-gyms.com/concept2-rowers-why-crossfit-rows/ I am thinking about the Concept2 rower as well.

Maenad

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2017, 06:37:11 AM »
We used Concept 2s as training when I rowed crew in college, and I have one at home that's held up phenomenally well. That being said, you may want to think a bit about the article linked in this thread before you buy another piece of equipment: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mustachianism-around-the-web/the-brutal-truth-about-success/.

Mr. Green

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2017, 06:56:16 AM »
A follow up question. Would this be a good (better?) substitute for an Elliptical or Treadmill machine for general exercise (muscle resistance and cardio)?  I do not like to run/jog due its high impact nature. And while I enjoying walking it is time consuming to walk long enough to feel like I am getting enough exercise benefit. I should probably take up bicycling but that would mean driving somewhere first. So I had been toying with getting an elliptical machine for low impact workouts.  I have only used a rowing machine once or twice so I do not really understand them. After a little research and reading posts like this (one of the top google search hits): http://www.garage-gyms.com/concept2-rowers-why-crossfit-rows/ I am thinking about the Concept2 rower as well.
There is definitely a technique to rowing. If you don't row with proper form it really decreases how effective you are at making distance. If you do get one I'm sure there are youtube videos that will show you proper form but you may also want to see if there's a local place that rows where someone can show you what you're doing wrong if you're unable to correct your form by watching. Sometimes it takes being told what's not quite right to realize you're not doing it quite right. Of course, if you're almost all the way there it's still going to be a pretty effective machine. If you're local to a CrossFit gym, there is probably someone there who could show you how to row and for a small fee they might allow you to use a rower for a workout if you'd really like to try it before you buy it. I know some CrossFit gyms also put on clinics. I know several of the gyms in my area have had rowing clinics before where proper form is taught.

If you want to work all your muscles, a rower is definitely better than an elliptical or treadmill. Unless you use the handles on an elliptical to work your arms, there's nothing really going on with your upper body. Same with a treadmill. How much muscle you can build with a rower simply depends on how explosive you are at rowing. You can try to row as explosively as possible and it's similar to lifting weights because you're trying to move your body weight as fast as possible. Or you can slow it down for a longer row and get your heart rate in that cardio zone.

From a "try it" perspective, I think a Concept2 rower's resale value will be much better than a treadmill or elliptical because of how few you will find for resale.

Will you actually stay in one place for exercise for 20-40 minutes? That seems to be the biggest reason people fail to continue using ellipticals, treadmills, etc. in the house. They get bored. When I row I listen to my Ipod but I also turn on some type of movie so that I have a visual stimulus. This helps mimic the change of scenery I get while running. If you're sitting in the rowing seat for 40 minutes it gets a little boring to simply stare at the monitor all that time.

mrigney

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2017, 07:03:18 AM »
Yeah...I vote in favor of the C2. I've been lifting/working out/crossfitting/weightlifting (some combo of those over the last 7 years) for a while now. I've told folks that if I could get two pieces of had ~$1k to spend, then I would spend it this way:

A rower ($700)
A good barbell w/a lifetime warranty ($200 if you wait for a sale)
Some bumper plates ($100...depending on your area, this might be tough to find)
A used AirDyne off Craigslist ($50)

That setup right there, I think gets you 95% of the way to all your fitness goals. I think especially as I get older (I'm 32, so similar age) I will gravitate more and more to the rower. But it's a beast for developing an aerobic base, versatile. Can bring it inside, so easy to use in bad weather (for those days when the garage is 35F). I'd go for it...it really would last a lifetime (I've had one for about 5 years now).

With all that said, let me qualify this. I would only recommend the $800 spend on a rower for someone who 1) is not in debt/has the capital laying around, 2) who has been consistently training for a couple of years (otherwise, prove to me that you have staying power in the whole training thing via other methods), and 3) you have specific use cases in mind for why you want the rower and how you will use it to achieve training goals.

kevj1085

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2017, 07:45:31 AM »
Yeah...I vote in favor of the C2. I've been lifting/working out/crossfitting/weightlifting (some combo of those over the last 7 years) for a while now. I've told folks that if I could get two pieces of had ~$1k to spend, then I would spend it this way:

A rower ($700)
A good barbell w/a lifetime warranty ($200 if you wait for a sale)
Some bumper plates ($100...depending on your area, this might be tough to find)
A used AirDyne off Craigslist ($50)

That setup right there, I think gets you 95% of the way to all your fitness goals. I think especially as I get older (I'm 32, so similar age) I will gravitate more and more to the rower. But it's a beast for developing an aerobic base, versatile. Can bring it inside, so easy to use in bad weather (for those days when the garage is 35F). I'd go for it...it really would last a lifetime (I've had one for about 5 years now).

With all that said, let me qualify this. I would only recommend the $800 spend on a rower for someone who 1) is not in debt/has the capital laying around, 2) who has been consistently training for a couple of years (otherwise, prove to me that you have staying power in the whole training thing via other methods), and 3) you have specific use cases in mind for why you want the rower and how you will use it to achieve training goals.

In high school I ran 100 miles a week for xc and track, ran a 15:54 5k and 4:30 mile jr year, and since then in powerlifting have squatted 435 and deadlifted 510 at 165 lbs. I'm definitely into it and it's still something I do with a focus and purpose weekly, just not competitive anymore since our lives are so busy w our 1 and 4 year old now. I've been getting into more conditioning the past 2 years and am always looking for new ways to push that boundary a bit further or at least make it fun for myself and my wife.

mrigney

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Re: Concept 2 rower worth it?
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2017, 08:06:32 AM »
@Kevj....yeah, I mean sounds like we have similar backgrounds...I played multiple sports in high school, played a pretty high level club sport in college, have been involved in either sports or fitness basically my entire life. Have shifted more from sports to "fitness as sport" over the last 5 years (just b/c with kids around, it's easier for me to get out in the garage and pound some weights, hop on the rower, etc than it is for me to go somewhere to play sports, whatever it may be).

If you're looking for great training tools, and sounds like you'd take advantage of it, I think it's a good investment. It's pro-rated cost is really low since it'll last you 30 years. I was actually rowing the other day out at the gym on base (work on an Army installation as a civilian) and ended up talking to the guy who runs the gym about how underutilized C2s are in training. Someone had asked him to by more treadmills, which cost $3k-ish a pop. He agreed with me that he'd rather by 3-4 rowers for the price of one treadmill. Cheaper, more durable, better training stimulus (generally).

Btw...those are some great 5k/mile times. I'm definitely not a great runner. Was pretty happy with the 2:32 800m I ran a couple of weeks ago, but you'd put me to shame.