Stamina 1205 Precision Rower

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Stamina 1205
stamina 1205 precision rowing machine
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250 lbs47 lbsHydraulic,
5 levels
Frame: 5 years
Parts: 90 days

Although it has been around for a while the Stamina 1205 Precision rower still is one of the best and most affordable models with hydraulic resistance. It’s similar to the Favorit model from Kettler, however it costs half the price. Indeed, the Kettler model has a little bit more to offer, but this Stamina model still offers a decent construction, and a great training setting for cardio, stamina and strength building.

Since Stamina offers several rowing machines, before we proceed to the whole presentation of this particular model, we must underline the fact that this is the Stamina 35-1205 model. There are quite a few aspects to cover regarding this unit, and we’re sure you have at least a couple of questions about it. Therefore, in this review we aim to answer all of them.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 48L x 32.5W x 27.75H inches (122L x 82.5W x 70.4H cm)
  • Product weight: 47 lbs (21.3 kg)
  • Max. weight capacity: 250 lbs (113.3 kg)
  • Frame: Steel frame, extruded aluminum beam
  • Footrests: Pivoting, with adjustable straps
  • Resistance type: Hydraulic
  • Fitness meter: Yes
  • Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 90 days


The main sustaining parts in the frame of this rower are made of steel. Its arms (oars) are also made of steel. However, the gliding beam is made of extruded aluminum. The frame has a silver finish, the steel frame assembly being double coated with anti-corrosive paint. The oars of the machine have a chrome finish.

The frame rests on acrylic “feet”, which are non-adjustable. Therefore, depending on the type of pavement, to achieve maximum stability, it’s best to place the rower on a mat, or on a rug.

Even though this rower is rated for a maximum user weight of 250 lbs (113.3 kg), many users have reported that it held 275 lbs with no problem. In other words, it’s really well constructed.

Like most rowing machines with a hydraulic resistance system, the Stamina 1205 precision rower has a rather small footprint. It takes only 48″L x 32.5″W (122 x 82.5 cm). Compared with a water resistance rower such as the H2O RX-950, or an air resistance rower like the Stamina ATS 1405, we can safely say that this model has a space saver design.

The frame is non-foldable, however it can be stored vertically, leaning against the wall. It’s not an extremely heavy machine; with a weight of 47 lbs (21.3 kg) handling it and storing it shouldn’t be a problem. Also, with the oars brought all the way forward to the floor, the overall height of the machine is approx. 8″ (20.3 cm). Thus, in case you’re wondering, you may be able to store it under the bed, provided that your bed offers 8″ clearance underneath, or more.

The seat’s rail offers enough gliding surface in order to accommodate users up to 6’1″ – 6’2″ (185 – 188 cm) , depending on their inseam. When it comes to the minimum user height, it can supply a comfortable seating and use to persons starting at 4’11” (150 cm).

Seat, footrests, oars

One of the aspects that actually makes this rowing machine a popular one, is the cushioned seat. The seat on the Stamina 1205 features quite a generous cushioning, alleviating the stamina precision 1205 - cushioned seatimpact on the user’s tailbone, supplying just about all the comfort that you can get from a rowing machine’s seat. The seat glides on four high-grade rollers, using sealed ball bearings for maximum durability.

The footrests of the machine feature a pivoting design. In other words they supply angle-adjustability, which is actually quite a plus, as not everyone is comfortable with a fixed 45° or 60° angle on their footrests. They’re also equipped with Velcro adjustable straps, to secure feet in place if its necessary.

Last but not least, the oars or the arms of the machine are finished with rubber-foam padding, to supply a firm grip, absorb perspiration and protect hands from sustaining blisters due to prolonged use. The distance between the grips is rather wide, thus you can actually pull the oars further back than your chest, offering the possibility of an ampler rowing motion.

Resistance system

The Stamina 1205 Precision rower features a hydraulic resistance system, consisting on two cylinders, one for each oar. There are 5 resistance settings marked on the back of each oar. To adjust resistance, you need to unlock the side knob on each arm, move the cylinder on the desired setting, and re-lock it in place. Needless to say, both arms should be locked on the same setting, in order to provide even resistance.

The lowest position of the cylinder corresponds to the lowest resistance setting. The highest resistance setting will determine each cylinder to extend more, which considerably increases the tension of the stroke.

As a general idea, the overall resistance offered by this rowing machine is rather high. Even the lowest resistance setting offers quite a challenge for a user with a lower level of fitness. This being said, the Stamina 1205 is actually great for stamina and strength routines, not just cardio.

One last aspect to be mentioned regarding the resistance system, basically stands for all hydraulic rowers. The cylinders will heat up as you row, and after a couple of minutes the resistance will loosen up a bit. Thus, it’s always best to start at the lowest resistance setting, and after several minutes to increase resistance if it’s the case.

Fitness meter

The console supplied with this rowing machine is pretty basic and easy to use. It features only one button and requires one AA-type battery.stamina 1205 - fitness monitor

The meter tracks speed, distance, time, count and and calories. Speed is measured in miles per hour (MPH), while distance is in miles. The Count value displays the number of rows. There is also a SCAN function which will circle through the mentioned values, displaying each one on screen for 4 seconds. The values are displayed in the order above.

The meter will start if you press the button or if it detects movement on the seat. It automatically turns off after 4 minutes of inactivity on the rower. To reset all values, just hold down the button for a few seconds.

Assembly and Maintenance

Since the machine has a pretty simple design, assembly is simple itself. For assembly, you will need to attach the footrests to the rail of the rower, connect the rail to the steel frame, add the cylinders, the oars, the seat and the rear base, and finally the console. Assembly shouldn’t take more than 30 min. A hard copy of the manual is included, and will guide you step-by-step through the assembly process. Tools however, are not included. You’ll be needing an adjustable wrench and a Phillips screwdriver.

For maintenance, it’s really important to keep the gliding rails free of any dirt, or any other foreign material that may cause damage to the wheels or the rail itself. Thus, before each use it’s best to wipe the rails with a dry piece of cloth. Other than this, you should periodically examine all the bolts and joints, to see if they hold tight in place. Re-tighten if it’s necessary.

The Pros

  • Solid frame construction;
  • Small footprint;
  • Can be stored vertically;
  • Wide seat with thick cushioning, with excellent ergonomics;
  • Angle-adjustable footrests with straps;
  • Adjustable resistance, 5 levels;
  • Unrestrained, ampler rowing motion, as it uses two arms (oars), instead of a transversal handlebar;
  • Fitness meter included;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • Cylinders heat up lowering resistance a bit. Thus, you might need to readjust during stamina precision 1205 rowing machineyour workout;
  • Console cannot read pulse.

Final Word

The Stamina 1205 Precision rowing machine is one of the most affordable, yet well-built models that you can find on the market. It’s a model that benefits from 4.5-5 star ratings from most users so far. It’s a machine great for cardio workouts, but due to its rather high overall resistance, it’s actually even greater for strength and stamina training. Just like any other rower it engages multiple muscle groups, offering quite a consistent workout. It’s not a large machine and offers quiet operation, which makes it a great choice for apartment use. Therefore, if you’re looking for simplicity, durability, comfort and effectiveness in a rowing machine, this model is definitely one to put on your list.

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