GYM ENERGY Water Resistance Rower

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The GYM ENERGY water resistance rower is one of the fitness machines released in 2021. It features a similar design and range of features as the SNODE RW-8 but comes with a different fitness monitor. It also includes a gooseneck phone holder and a dust cover.

Key Features and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 82L x 22W x 23H inches (208L x 56W x 58H cm)
  • Supported weight: 330 lbs (150 kg)
  • Net weight: 60.8 lbs (27.5 kg)
  • Frame: Oak wood
  • Footrests: Adjustable
  • Resistance type: Water
  • Fitness monitor: Time, 500m/time, strokes per minute, strokes, calories, pulse
  • Extras: Device holder, dust cover
  • Warranty: 1 year

Frame construction

The GYM ENERGY water resistance rower features a frame made of solid oak wood. All the wooden parts have an orange-brownish color; they’re polished and lacquered for a glossy aspect and improved durability.

Of course, the rower integrates several other parts made of steel and thermoplastic material. For example, the unit’s hardware is steel-made, while the rail covers, the footrests, and the casing of the fitness monitor are made of thermoplastic material. The water resistance tank is made of polycarbonate material.

Like most other wooden frame rowing machines, the GYM ENERGY model is fairly large. With all the parts assembled, it is approx. 82″ (208 cm) long, and 22″ (56 cm) wide. Its rails are pretty long as well, so the applicable inseam length for this rower is at least 45″ (114 cm). In other words, the rower should be able to accommodate users up to 6’7″ (201 cm) with no problem.

As we’ve mentioned above, this rower has a similar folding frame design as the SNODE RW-8. There is a wooden handle at the front section of the rails which allows an easy lifting and handling of the folded unit. Also, there are large silicone wheels at the front and rear of the unit which offer the possibility to relocate it with ease.

The fully assembled machine is not too heavy. Its net weight, without water in the tank is approx. 60.8 lbs (27.5 kg). With the tank at its maximum fill, the unit’s weight is approx. 93 lbs (42 kg). The water can remain inside the resistance tank when the rower is stored and folded.

Seat and other parts

The GYM ENERGY rowing machine is equipped with a pretty standard seat, similar to the ones included with other wooden frame rowers. To begin with, its top section is contoured and integrates a layer of padding for improved comfort. It is approx. 14″ (35.5 cm) wide, so it provides plenty of contact surface. It also stands at approx. 12″ (30 cm) above the floor level.

The side panels of the seat are made from the same oak wood as the rest of the frame. However, its hardware is steel-made. The seat and the rail assembly actually have a pretty sturdy construction. They are rated for a maximum user weight limit of 330 lbs (150 kg).

The seat is equipped with eight wheels. Four of them slide on top of the rails, the others on the lateral inside section of the rails for improved stability. All the wheels have internal ball bearings for smooth movement. Also, they have a rubber layer on the outside for reduced noise.

The machine features a set of large footrests. They’re made from a durable and flexible thermoplastic material, while the parts that connect them to the rower’s wooden frame are steel-made. They have heel guards and adjustable straps so you can perfectly secure your feet on them if necessary. They are also size-adjustable, so they can accommodate pretty much any side of athletic shoes.

The footrests don’t have a pivoting design like is the case for other rowers. Their angle is fixed. The wooden board to which they’re attached has an angle of approx. 50° in order to provide optimal positioning for your feet during rowing.

Last but not least, the rower is equipped with a short pulling handle (approx. 14″ just like the seat). It has oval, rubberized grips for improved contact. However, it does not integrate any pulse sensors or other controls. It attaches to a heavy-duty nylon strap which is connected to the water tank’s pulley system.

Resistance system

The GYM ENERGY rower is equipped with a water resistance system, similar to the WaterRower A1. As we’ve already mentioned, it is equipped with a resistance tank made of durable polycarbonate material. Its maximum capacity is approx. 17 liters (4.5 gallons) but it shouldn’t be filled all the way to the top. It has markings on it and points out the maximum fill. Its walls are transparent but either with gray or blue hue.

The water tank has a simple, single-chamber construction. It does not have a mechanical adjustment system like the First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro V, for example. So, if you want to adjust the overall water resistance, you will have to manually remove or add water to the tank.

The machine’s main resistance element is a two-blade impeller which is integrated into the tank and attached to its pulley system. Therefore, when you pull the handle, it spins in the water and generates resistance.

Similar to other water resistance rowers, the GYM ENERGY rower provides a dynamic response during usage. In other words, the resistance depends on how fast you pull the handle, or on how much strength you put behind each stroke. For example, a strong handle pull will result in more resistance from the spinning impeller. Conversely, a slow handle pull will result in a lighter resistance. This effect is similar to rowing a real boat through water which is one of the pluses of the water resistance system.

The rower doesn’t generate too much noise during usage. The spinning of the impeller inside the tank can be heard, though. However, it generates a soft “whoosh” sound, that most users describe as soothing, rather than annoying.

Fitness monitor

The GYM ENERGY rower is equipped with a fitness monitor that offers a few extra features than a basic one. To begin with, it has a display divided into several sub-sections so you can view more than one workout metric at a time, eliminating the need to continuously press buttons to scroll through the metrics. It does not have backlight, though.

The monitor unit tracks time, 500m/time, strokes per minute, strokes, calories, pulse. The distance can be set either to meters, kilometers, or miles. The pulse reading function requires a wireless HR chest strap. This accessory is not included with the machine, though, and there are no other pulse sensors on the machine in order to read your pulse.

The monitor unit also offers the possibility to select goals for your workouts, for strokes, distance, or calories. If a workout goal is selected, the unit will count down from the selected value until it reaches zero. This way, you can keep an eye of your progress and push your limits with every workout.

The machine’s fitness monitor is battery-powered. It starts counting your workout data when it detects activity on the machine. It also automatically turns off after a few minutes of inactivity on the rower, but also has an On/Off button.

Assembly and Maintenance

The water tank unit with comes pre-assembled. However, the rest of the parts require user assembly. You will basically have to attach the tank to the front frame section, connect the rear rail sections, add the seat, the footrests, the fitness monitor, and the phone holder. The manual provides step-by-step assembly instructions with attached pictures, and all the necessary tools are included.

For maintenance, it is recommended to either periodically change the water from the tank or treat it with chlorine pills (these are not included). Other than this, it’s recommended to keep the machine clean, especially the rails, to prevent any damage to the seat’s wheels. You should also periodically check for loose bolts and parts.

The Pros

  • Aesthetic design – frame made of solid oak with a lacquered finish;
  • Sturdy construction – can support users up to 330 lbs;
  • Folding frame;
  • Integrated transport wheels;
  • Rubberized stabilizers for extra stability floor protection;
  • Long rails – the unit can accommodate users up to 6’7″ (200 cm);
  • Water resistance system for a dynamic response;
  • Ergonomic seat with a padded and contoured top;
  • Adjustable footrests;
  • Fitness monitor included – it tracks time, distance, 500m/time, calories, strokes, and strokes per minute, and pulse;
  • Goal selection function;
  • Smooth and quiet usage;
  • All the necessary tools for the assembly are included;
  • Siphon pump included;
  • Phone holder with long gooseneck mount included;
  • Dust cover included;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • The rowing monitor unit does not have backlight;
  • An HR chest strap for pulse reading is not included.


The GYM ENERGY rower is a fitness machine made for home use. It is equipped with a water resistance system featuring a large polycarbonate tank. It has a folding frame made of solid oak wood with long rails, a comfortable seat, and a fitness monitor that tracks the most important workout metrics. It’s an excellent fitness machine for a full-body cardio workout, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss. It is also considerably more affordable than most commercially rated wooden rowers.

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