ASUNA 4500 Commercial Folding Rowing Machine

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ASUNA 4500

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300 lbs86MagneticFrame: 5 years

The ASUNA products from Sunny Health & Fitness aim to meet the commercial standards for fitness equipment. The ASUNA 4500 rowing machine is no exception. Although it doesn’t reach the quality and performance level of a First Degree Fitness or Concept2 rowing machine, it still offers a decent construction and exercise monitor. It’s also a couple of $100s cheaper.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 81L x 20W x 25.2H inches (206L x 51W x 64H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 86 lbs (39 kg)
  • Max. user weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Frame: Steel / aluminum
  • Footrests: Pivoting, with straps
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 8 levels
  • Console: 12 built-in programs
  • Warranty: 5 years

Frame construction and parts

The Sunny ASUNA 4500 rowing machine combines aluminum and steel elements in its construction. Its design is quite similar to the Velocity CHR-2001 rower. Its sliding rail is made of high-quality aluminum, while the part of the frame that hosts the resistance system, as well as the supportive front base are made of steel. However, the protective covers of the resistance elements are made of hard plastic, as well as the rear base.

This Sunny Health & Fitness rowing machine is rather large. When fully assembled, it is 81″ (206 cm) long, and 20″ (51 cm) wide. This means it can accommodate with no problem, users up to 6’5″ (196 cm). Its sliding rail and seat assembly are also rated for a load capacity of 300 lbs (136 kg).

This fitness machine is not extremely heavy but does weigh over 80 lbs. This means it can be assembled with no problem by only one person. Its transport (once it is assembled) is also not too difficult as the front base is equipped with two transport wheels. The front base tube is finished with two plastic caps while the rear PVC base features a rubber pad to improve stability.

As the title suggests, the ASUNA 4500 rowing machine features a folding frame. The sliding rail with the seat can be folded vertically to save space. In fact, when in folded position, the machine’s length is reduced to 35.5″ (90 cm), which is less than half, offering better storage possibilities.

The seat features a metallic frame, which integrates six industrial quality rollers, which integrate sealed ball bearings for smooth operation and a prolonged lifespan. The top of the seat features a thick layer of rubber foam material. It features a rear ledge, a contoured design, and a ribbed surface, delivering excellent stability, adherence, and comfort. It’s approx. 16″ wide, offering enough surface for a proper weight distribution.

The ASUNA 4500 rowing machine is equipped with two pivoting footrests. This means they will auto-adjust position slightly with each stroke, providing the best positioning for your feet for maximum comfort. They are large enough to accommodate athletic footwear of all sizes. Also, they’re equipped with adjustable straps and feature heel guards to keep your feet secure for the duration of your workout.

The machine’s pulling handle is a simple, straight bar, with rubber-foam grips to prevent the formation of blisters on your hands during longer rowing sessions. It’s attached to a heavy-duty nylon strap which is connected to the inner pulley system which makes available the rowing motion.

Last but not least, all the steel parts of this ASUNA rowing machine feature a silver, scratch-resistant, and corrosion resistant coating. The aluminum rail has its own natural finish.

Resistance and drive

The ASUNA 4500 rowing machine features a motor-assisted magnetic drum resistance system. This means it requires to be connected to a power circuit in order to make available the resistance settings. An adapter is supplied with the unit. The resistance system consists of a magnetic flywheel, a magnetic brake, and a small servo motor. Therefore, as you select a specific resistance level from the console, the motor will automatically change the position of the brake in relation to the flywheel, resulting in more or less resistance.

Since it’s an automatic rowing machine, its resistance is programmable. In other words, if you choose to exercise by using one of the custom programs, the resistance will adjust automatically.

The machine offers 8 resistance settings. The first two resistance settings promote a light workout, while the top resistance levels give you the possibility to undertake quite a consistent cardio training.

When it comes to the machine’s drive, there are quite a few aspects to be covered. First of all, along with the flywheel, the machine’s drive system integrates several pulleys. The transmission from the main pulley to the flywheel is done via a heavy-duty rubber belt. This being said, the operation of the machine generates very little noise compared to an air rower. Also, the internal elements do not require any lubrication, or at least they shouldn’t for several years of use.

On the other hand, since this is a magnetic rowing machine, the rowing feel is different from an air resistance rower or water resistance rower. It does not generate a dynamic response with each stroke. In other words, the resistance is given by the selected tension level and does not vary in case you stroke faster. This being said, just as any other magnetic rowing machine, the ASUNA 4500 rower may not be the best choice for a professional athlete. However, it does promote a full-body cardio workout, which can be preferred by many users over running on a treadmill, for example. On top of that, the stress on your leg joints is lower when rowing than when running.


The ASUNA 4500 is equipped with a versatile console unit, featuring a multi-panel LCD display with blue backlight. Since the display has several panels for the workout values, you can view them all at once without the need to use a SCAN function to alternate them. 

The unit can track time, distance, strokes-per-minute, total strokes (COUNT), calories, watts, and pulse. The machine itself doesn’t have any pulse sensors, but the unit is telemetric and can read your pulse via an HR chest strap. This accessory is also included with the rower.

The console unit features 12 workout programs. The first program is the Manual Mode, which allows you to row freely, adjusting resistance as you like during your exercising routine. The 2-7 programs offer preset workouts, the 8th program is the heart rate program which requires you to wear the HR chest strap transmitter. The 9-12 programs are custom programs which give you the possibility to create your own workout routine, adding values for time, count, distance, and calories.

The rower also has a Pulse Recovery function. This function should be used once you’ve finished your workout. It measures the amount of time taken by your heart to return to the resting state and will give you a rating between F1 (excellent) and F6 (poor).

The console is quite easy to operate. It only has 5 buttons. The arrow buttons (UP/DOWN) allow you to increase/decrease the rower’s resistance, as well as navigate through functions, or adjust the segments of a workout program. The Enter button covers the selection/confirmation functions. The Start/Stop/Reset button allows you to initiate or pause your workout, but also to clear all the values on the console by holding it pressed for a few seconds. And finally, the Recovery button covers the Pulse Recovery function.

Assembly and Maintenance

The ASUNA 4500 is quite easy to assemble. The console, flywheel, pulleys and other resistance elements are already assembled and attached to the front part of the frame, encased by the plastic covers. Therefore, you will only have to attach the front base tube, the footrests, the rail, the seat, and then secure the rear base into upright position. This shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. The manual offers all the necessary assembly instructions. The tools required for the assembly are also included.

Maintenance doesn’t require too much hassle either. Since it’s a magnetic resistance machine, there’s no wear and tear on the braking system, so you don’t have to worry about replacing brake pads. Basically, the whole maintenance only requires you to keep the seat rail free of any debris that might cause damage to the rollers. Also, if it begins to squeak, some silicone-based lubricant should solve the problem.

The Pros

  • Solid and sturdy frame, able to support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Aesthetic design;
  • Folding frame;
  • Transport wheels;
  • Pivoting footrests for a custom foot position during every stroke;
  • Contoured and padded seat, for optimal comfort;
  • Automatic magnetic resistance with 8 levels;
  • 12 workout programs;
  • Goal setting functions for time, distance, count, and calories;
  • HR chest strap transmitter is included;
  • Extremely quiet machine;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Decent warranty.

The Cons

  • Resistance doesn’t generate a dynamic response as for air rowers or water rowers.


The Sunny Health & Fitness ASUNA 4500 is a magnetic rowing machine featuring a steel-aluminum construction, with a space-saving design. It’s a sturdy rower, being able to support users up to 300 lbs. It’s equipped with a telemetric console with 12 workout programs, and an HR transmitter is also included. It’s a machine for users of all levels, great for light to intense cardio workouts, recovery training, interval training, muscle toning and weight loss. In all, it’s a pretty decent fitness machine and costs quite a bit less than most other commercial rowers.

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