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AssaultRower Elite

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AssaultRower Elite

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L:92.5"
W:20.1"
H:48.6"
124.6 lbs350 lbsAir3 interval,
4 hr,
3 target,
1 comp

The AssaultRower Elite is one of the fitness machines released by Assault Fitness in 2019. It’s a heavy-duty machine made for commercial use. It can be compared with the Concept2 Model D rower but does not have the folding feature. It also lacks the damper elements for its resistance system and comes with a different fitness monitor.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 92.5L x 20.1W x 48.6 inches (235L x 51W x 123H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 124.6 lbs (56.5 kg)
  • Supported weight: 350 lbs (159 kg)
  • Frame: Steel & aluminum
  • Footrests: Adjustable, with straps
  • Resistance: Air
  • Fitness monitor: 3 interval programs, 4 target programs, 1 COMP program
  • Warranty: 1 year limited

Frame construction

The AssaultRower Elite features a frame made mostly from thick steel tubing. All the steel parts are coated with a durable paint finish. The main color used is gray, this being the only color available for this rower, at least for the moment.

The rower is fairly large. With all the parts assembled, it is approx. 92.5″ (235 cm) long, and 20″ (51 cm) wide, while the top of the fitness meter reaches approx. 48.6″ (123 cm) above the floor. It is also recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance at the rear of the unit and on each side, for ease of access and safe usage.

As we’ve mentioned above, this machine does not have a folding design. The rail attaches to the front unit of the machine via four screws and cannot be folded afterwards. Also, this rower is not meant to be stored vertically.

The AssaultRower Elite is a fairly heavy fitness machine as well. Its net weight is 124.6 lbs (56.6 kg). This being said, the packaged unit should be carried by two persons or via a box trolley. However, once it is assembled, it can be moved with ease by only one person as its front base bar is equipped with transport wheels.

Last but not least, both base bars are equipped with adjustable levelers. They have large rubber pads on their bases. Therefore, not only that the machine offers superior stability due to its weight, these also prevent it from sliding forward or backward.

Seat and rail

Similar to the Concept2 Model D rower, the AssaultRower has its rail reinforced with an aluminum plate which is a bit wider than the rail itself. This not only acts as a protective cover for the rail, but also improves the stability of the seat. Plus, aluminum is highly resistant to corrosion.

The AssaultRower Elite is equipped with a seat designed for optimal comfort. Its top is approx. 12.5″ (32 cm) wide so it provides plenty of contact surface. It integrates a layer of padding, has a durable top cover, and is contoured for improved stability. Also, due to the pretty tall base stabilizers, it stands at approx. 15″ (38 cm) above the floor level which makes it much easier to take position on it, or stand up.

The base of the seat is steel-made. It features three sets of wheels. Two of them slide on top of the aluminum sheet of the rail, while the third set slides under its edges for extra stability. The wheels are rubberized to reduce noise. They also integrate heavy-duty ball bearings for a smooth seat motion.

The seat and the rail assembly are rated for a maximum user weight limit of 350 lbs (159 kg). The rail is pretty long; its exact length its not specified, but the rower should be able to accommodate users up to 6’7″ (201 cm) with no problem, allowing a complete leg extension.

The seat is also equipped with a pull-pin which allows you to lock it onto the rail; the rear section of the rail has several holes for this purpose. With the seat locked, you can perform a variety of exercises such as curls, tricep presses, and more.

Footrests and other parts

The machine is equipped with a set of durable footrests. Their bases are made from the same steel alloy as the rest of the frame. Their top sections are made from a tough ABS material. They are size-adjustable so they can accommodate athletic shoes of all sizes. They have heel guards and straps for improved foot stability.

The footrests do not pivot on their axis. They attach to the main frame via three screws each. They’re set at an angle of approx. 50° in order to provide a comfortable positioning for the feet during rowing and consistent push.

Similar to the Strongick rower, the AssaultRower Elite is equipped with a chain drive system. Its pulling handle connects to a chain similar to the one of a bicycle chain which connects to the inner pulley system. The main advantage of the chain drive is that it can last a lifetime. As for downsides, the chain drive system is a bit noisier than a cord or strap and should be lubricated from time to time.

The machine’s handle has an ergonomic design. It is slightly curved in order to reduce the impact on your wrists during rowing. It is covered by a layer of urethane or another type of high-density rubber foam, for improved contact. However, it does not integrate pulse sensors or other types of controls.

Resistance system

It’s pretty obvious that the AssaultRower Elite is an air resistance rowing machine. Its main resistance-generating element is the large metallic fan integrated into the cage at the front. This flywheel-fan is connected to the machine’s drive system, so when you pull the handle, it spins and generates resistance.

As we’ve mentioned above, this rower does not have a damper to adjust the wind intensity inside the machine’s casing. It also does not have a magnetic resistance mechanism for additional adjustment, like the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5940. The resistance is solely produced by the integrated fan.

But nonetheless, just like any other air resistance rower, the Assault Elite model does provide a dynamic response. This means that the resistance depends on your stroke rate or rowing technique. As a general idea, if you put more strength behind each stroke or pull the handle faster, the flywheel-fan will also spin faster and generate more resistance. This resembles, up to a point, the sensation of rowing a real boat through the water which can be quite a plus especially for users who want to train on a professional level.

Like most other air resistance rowers, the Assault Elite model is fairly loud. When rowing at a fast pace, the fan generates quite a bit of noise. However, it is not extremely loud, in order to cover the sound of a TV on a moderate volume level. The noise generated by it can be compared to the one produced by a large electric fan.

Fitness monitor

The AssaultRower Elite rowing machine is equipped with a pretty decent fitness monitor. It actually offers a range of features and programs similar to the model included with the Assault Air Bike. To begin with, it has an LCD display divided into 6 sub-sections in order to show up to 6 workout metrics at once. It tracks time, strokes per minute, distance, time/500m, pulse, calories, and watts.

The distance is shown in meters only; it cannot be set to yards, miles, or kilometers. The calories and watts share the same window; you choose the one you want to view via the Toggle button. The pulse reading function is wireless only. The machine does not have any integrated contact sensors. Therefore, you will need to wear an ANT+ chest strap so that the unit can monitor your pulse. This accessory is not included, though.

The monitor unit has multiple workout programs. To begin with, allows you to set workout targets for time, distance, and calories burned. It has four heart rate programs as well; these are pre-set for 65%, 75%, 85%, and Max. BPM. It also has interval programs and a COMP program. The interval programs are three in number; two are the standard HIIT programs 20/10 and 10/20, while the third is custom, which means that you can set up your own rest/work intervals. Finally, the COMP program is similar to the target programs, as it requires you to set a goal for calories, distance, or time. But the other program functions are locked out to ensure that the identical program settings are repeated and unchangeable.

The monitor unit has multiple buttons. On the right, it has buttons for all three main program categories. It also has a button for quick Bluetooth connection, Split, Toggle (for the calories/watts), and Speaker which toggles On or Off the audible notifications. On the bottom, it has Plus/Minus keys for adding or reducing values during a program set up, as well as Enter, Start and Stop keys.

The monitor unit is battery-powered. It requires four AA batteries which are included. Also, its Bluetooth connectivity is only for BTLE type heart rate chest straps. It does not offer the possibility to sync it with any fitness apps.

Assembly and Maintenance

The front unit of the rower with all the drive and resistance elements comes pre-assembled. However, the rest of the parts require user assembly. You will basically have to attach the front stabilizer, connect the rail making sure that the chain that goes through it stays aligned, add the seat, the rear stabilizer, the footrests, the fitness monitor, the handle holder, the handle, and several other small parts. This shouldn’t take more than an hour. The manual provides clear assembly instructions and all the necessary tools for it are included.

Once the machine is assembled, maintenance doesn’t require much. First of all, you will have to keep the machine clean, especially the rail, to prevent any damage to the seat’s wheels. The chain requires lubrication, but since this is an indoor fitness machine, you shouldn’t need to do this too often.

The Pros

  • Commercial-grade, heavy-duty frame construction;
  • Superior weight capacity – can support users up to 350 lbs (159 kg);
  • Aesthetic design;
  • Transport wheels on the front stabilizer;
  • Adjustable levelers on both bases;
  • Long rail – can accommodate users up to 6’7″ (200 cm);
  • Contoured ergonomic seat for optimal comfort;
  • High seat for easy entry and exit;
  • Seat locking system;
  • Adjustable footrests with heel guards and straps;
  • Air resistance for a dynamic response;
  • Chain drive system designed to last a lifetime;
  • Fitness monitor included – it tracks time, time/500, distance, SPM, watts, calories, and pulse;
  • Interval programs – 20/10, 10/20, and custom;
  • Target programs for time, distance, and calories;
  • Target heart rate programs for 65%, 75%, 85%, and Max. BPM;
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless HR chest straps;
  • The batteries for the fitness monitor are included;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • All the necessary tools for the assembly are included;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • A heart rate monitor is not included;
  • The fitness monitor does not have backlight;
  • No app compatibility.

Summary

The AssaultRower Elite is a rowing machine designed for commercial use. It is equipped with an air resistance system, a long rail, a comfortable seat, a fitness monitor with multiple workout programs. It has a pretty sturdy construction with a maximum user weight limit of 350 lbs. It’s a machine for users of all levels, for a full-body cardio workout, HIIT workouts, stamina development, strength development, and weight loss. It’s not exactly an affordable rower, but definitely offers excellent value for the price.

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