LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine

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LifeSpan RW1000
LifeSpan RW1000 - Magnetic Resistance Rower
Check Discounted Price
300 lbs75 lbsMagnetic,
5 levels
Frame: 5 years
Parts: 2 years
Labor: 1 year

The RW1000 magnetic rowing machine is the only rower model from LifeSpan Fitness at the moment. It’s also an older model, but due to the fact that it’s really well-constructed, it’s still available to this day. It shares several similarities with the Stamina Avari rower, but costs approx. $200 less, due to the fact that its fitness monitor does not have pre-set workout programs.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 87L x 19W x 23H inches (221L x 48W x 58H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 75 lbs (34 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 16.5 lbs (7.4 kg)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Frame: Steel
  • Footrests: Pivoting, with straps
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 5 levels
  • Fitness computer: Time, distance, calories, strokes and strokes per minute
  • Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 2 years / Labor 1 year

Frame construction and parts

Most rowing machines with magnetic, air or water resistance feature a long frame, and the LifeSpan RW1000 doesn’t make an exception. Its footprint is approx. 87″L x 19″W (221 x 48 cm), and in order to operate it safely, it also requires at least one foot (30.5 cm) of clearanceLifeSpan RW1000 rower - steel frame, folding design on each side. But on the other hand, its frame features a folding design. The gliding rail with the seat folds up, reducing the machine’s length to approx. 34″ (86 cm). Its height will become 64″ (162.5 cm) when in folded position though.

On the other hand, its 53″ (135 cm) monorail is quite a plus, as it can accommodate tall users, over 6’5″ (195 cm), or differently put, users with an inseam up to 38″ (96.5 cm). Also, the rail is not horizontal. It’s set at a soft angle, which means it provides a better workout for the legs, while the recovery motion is more forgiving, and slightly faster.

When fully assembled, the whole machine isn’t extremely heavy. It weighs approx. 75 lbs (34 kg), and almost anyone should be able to lift it and move it, if its relocation is necessary.

This LifeSpan rowing machine rests on 3 bases. The front and rear base have larger foot stabilizers, providing a better grip to the floor. The middle base only has circular plastic caps. Its stabilizers are made of heavy-duty nylon material. They’re not adjustable though, therefore if the floor has irregularities, it’s best to place the machine on a mat, or on a rug.

The monorail, all three bases, along with the front internal structure of the frame, are made of steel tubing. All the steel parts are coated with corrosion and scratch resistant silver paint, this currently being the only color available. The monorail and seat assembly are sturdy enough to support users up to 300 lbs (136 kg).

The frame of the seat is made from the same steel alloy as the rest of the rower’s frame. It integrates a set of 6 wheels, with industrial quality sealed ball bearings, designed for many years of use. The top of the seat is made of foam material, injected into its metallic frame. It’s 14″ (35.5 cm) wide and has a contoured surface providing excellent comfort. Its glidingLifeSpan RW1000 - pivoting footrests motion onto the rail is also extremely smooth and quiet.

Since the monorail is not horizontal, the seat height varies between 11″ (28 cm) at the front, and 14.5 (37 cm) at the rear. This being said, taking position on the seat, or getting up shouldn’t be too difficult, if the seat is positioned close to the rear part of the rail.

The machine’s footrests have a pivoting design. They’re made of PVC material, and integrate adjustable, Velcro straps. Their surface is ribbed, to provide the adequate adherence for most sports shoes. Also, they have a heel guard to maximize the stability of the feet during rowing.

Resistance and drive

The LifeSpan RW1000 is a magnetic rowing machine. However, its resistance system is manual-magnetic. In other words, the rower doesn’t require to be connected to a power source in order for the resistance settings to be available. Its resistance mechanism consists of a magnetic flywheel connected to the machine’s resistance knob via a steel wire. As you turn the knob, the magnets move closer to the flywheel increasing drag. There are 5 resistance levels specified on the knob, and by turning it clockwise you can increase the overall resistance.

An important aspect that requires mentioning here, regards the rowing feel. Due to the fact that the rower doesn’t have an air fan like the Concept2 Model D machine, or a water tank such as the First Degree Fitness Viking 2 AR, the resistance behind each stroke remains constant, given by the selected resistance setting. It doesn’t vary with how hard you pull. Thus, the rowing feel may be classified by a professional rower athlete as “less natural”. But nonetheless, the machine does provide excellent conditions for a consistent cardio training, involving a large number of muscle groups.

The machine’s drive is really smooth and quiet. If you live in an apartment building, you can be sure that the neighbors or the other members of the family won’t be bothered by any noise when you exercise on this machine.

The flywheel is fairly heavy for a magnetic rower, weighing 16.5 lbs (7.4 kg), providing a consistent momentum, and a steady rowing feel.

Finally, the pulling handle is a simple, straight bar, with rubber-foam grips for maximum comfort. It’s attached to a heavy-duty, woven nylon strap.

Console unit

The fitness meter unit equipped on the LifeSpan RW1000 is rather simple. It features a 3-LifeSpan RW1000 - consolepanel display. The top panel shows strokes per minute and total strokes, the 2nd panel covers speed and distance traveled, while the 3rd panel indicates time and calories burned.

The console only has one button (PAGE), which has two main functions. By pressing it repeatedly, you can scroll between the values on each one of the displays. By pressing and holding it for 3 sec. you can reset all the values to zero.

The console automatically turns on when its sensor detects seat movement. Conversely, if it doesn’t detect any activity on the seat, it will automatically turn off. The unit is battery powered, and requires one AA battery.

Assembly and Maintenance

Although the drive and resistance elements of the rower come ready-assembled, some assembly is still required. Basically, you’ll have to attach the middle base tube to the front part of the frame, assemble and attach the seat to the monorail, connect the rail to the front part, attach the footrests, and finally add a battery into the console. This shouldn’t take more than 30-40 min. The manual supplied covers all the assembly process in 5 distinctive and comprehensive steps. Also, all tools required are supplied with the box.

When it comes to maintenance, the internal parts don’t really require any. All you have to do is make sure that the rail remains free of any sand, fibers or any small objects which may cause damage to it or to the rollers of the seat.

The Pros

  • Steel-made frame, sturdy construction able to support users up to 300 lbs;
  • Folding, space saving design;
  • Extremely quiet and smooth magnetic resistance system;
  • 5 levels of resistance;
  • Contoured, wide and padded seat supplying excellent comfort;
  • Pivoting footrests with adjustable Velcro straps;
  • Fitness monitor (strokes per minute, total strokes, distance, speed, timer and calories);
  • Offers excellent workouts for back, arms, legs and core muscles;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

The pulling strap will wear over time and may require replacement. However, it’s an inexpensive part and easy to replace;

The foot stabilizers are not adjustable, so you may need to place the machine on a rubber mat, or rug;

Console displays don’t have backlight, so they may be difficult to read in a darker room.LifeSpan RW1000 - magnetic rowing machine


The LifeSpan RW1000 is a magnetic resistance rower, featuring a steel tubing frame, with a folding design. Although it’s a rowing machine intended for home use, its construction is quite sturdy, pretty close to the commercial grade ones. It also has a fitness meter which covers the main stats for a rowing workout. In all, it’s a great fitness machine for beginners and intermediate users. It offers the setting for a consistent cardio workout, you can use it for interval training, building stamina, and of course, to lose weight. You can actually burn up to 5-600 calories per hour on this machine, depending on the resistance setting used. And finally, since its console doesn’t have any workout apps, its considerably cheaper than other similar models, offering an excellent price / value ratio.

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