LifeSpan RW1000 Review

In our search for rowing machines we want to share fitness equipment that will not waste money or time, but also to be in a budget.

Along with the things that we are taking in consideration when we see a rowing machine budget, structure, good customer, we looked for a rowing machine that will be best for novice users, that can give a good workout and to keep you in shape.

Having this in mind, we stopped to a rowing machine that is using magnetic resistance and it is under 500$. The machine that catches our attention is LifeSpan RW1000.

There were two things that caught us and made us see closer this machine is:

1) Their 2008 award Gear Awards Seal of Excellence for being a smooth and quiet machine to use. This means that being in the market for so long it brings maturity, trust and

2) A log warranty period, which is a major benefit of LifeSpan RW1000.

  • Frame: 5 years
  • Parts: 2 years
  • Labor: 1 year

Let’s see what this rower has to offer.

Delivery and Assembly

When you get this rower you need to expect to receive 2 packages in a total weight of 80 pounds. It is heavier than other rowers due to the flywheel that is made out of metal. Maybe the package it will seem pretty heavy to carry in the house and you will need to ask a friend to help you.

To assemble the LifeSpan RW100 is unbelievable easily. It doesn’t require years of training with Legos and the rowing is composed of 3 major parts. You will have only 5 steps to set it up.

First, you will need to put the seat on the rail (be careful not to pinch your fingers) and attach the rail to the console. Where the last step is to put the LCD Monitor in the console.

Even many machines that need assembly can give you a big pain, this will not. Even you will get stuck, you can call LifeSpan Customer Service and they will give you a hand. Here the customer service is very proactive and really helpful.

After all the pieces are put it together, you will see that the rower looks firm, with a solid steel frame. As we said it heavier than air rowing machine due to the metal spinning wheel and it has a total weight of 75lbs.

All the steel parts, the monorail, the bases, and the structure frame are made of steel tubing, with a layer of anticorrosion and scratch resistant paint.

Good observation here is that, compared with others, LifeSpan RW100 has 3 points of support on the floor. That means a heavier person can use this rower.

The producer recommends that the maxim weight should be 300 pounds, but there are users that have more than 300 and the rower supports their weight. This is not what the producer recommends, because a bigger weight will put more pressure on the rower and it can damage it.

However, the solid construction can support users that are above the recommended maximum weight.

The seat construction combined with the steel alloy, as the rest of the rower, will assure a smooth and silence stroke. Mainly, this is due to the 6 set of wheels that are attached to the seat system, that incorporates quality sealed ball bearings.

The footprint is not big at all, having assembled dimensions measure of 90 x 18.5 x 23 inches (L x W x H). So this means that it will not occupy much of the space in the room when you will do your workout.

After the workout is done, the rower can fold and be moved with easily, because it is equipped with wheels under the footpad.  To fold it is really easy, only need to remove the folding pin and the rail can be lifted.

After that, only the back support of the rail needs to be dropped and now you have a compact rower that can be moved and deposited easily until your next training.


The LifeSpan RW100 is using a magnetic resistance. This means that the resistance is given by a set of magnets that are working with the rotating wheel to create “Eddy currents” that gives and control the different resistance levels.

The resistance can be easily adjusted by rotating a knob clockwise and doing this, the magnet will come closer or go further from the spinning wheel.

By doing this, it will create more or fewer currents. To simplify, the closer is the magnets to the wheel, the more resistance you get when you do a stroke.

As you will see it in the video below:

Using a magnetic rower you will see that there are 2 major differences to an air rowing machine.

    1)The first difference that will be obvious, it will be the noise that a magnetic rower is producing. Air rowers are using the wheel as a fan to create air resistance based on your pace. Higher the pace is, higher the resistance is, but in a high pace the wheel rotates faster and is becoming noisy.

By having a simple spinning wheel, that is not used as a fan, the noise created by the generated air flow is not existing.

    2) The second difference is constant resistance. As we said, for the air rowers, bigger the pace, bigger the resistance, the magnetic rower does not base on the pace you have. The resistance is linear regardless of stroke per minute you do. So, you can grow the pace and you will work harder to keep it up.


Technical Details and Specification

  • Assembled dimensions: 87L x 19W x 23H inches
  • Assembled weight: 75 lbs 
  • Flywheel weight: 16.5 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Frame: Steel
  • Footrests: Pivoting, with straps
  • Resistance type: Magnetic, 5 levels
  • Control Panel: Time, distance, calories, strokes and strokes per minute
  • Warranty: Frame 5 years / Parts 2 years / Labor 1 year

Using LifeSpan RW 1000 magnetic rower

Now that the rowing machine is ready to use let’s see This is a rowing machine that is not a budget and neither a high-end model. It is somewhere in the middle, as a price range.

If you have money to spend, you can go and chose Concept2 models, but this is the high end and expensive rowing machines. This is why this rower comes with pros and cons, and we will try to give you a big picture of how this machine feels and works.


The seat is really comfortable. It is 14-inches wide and has injected foam material makes it great for long workouts. It has a contoured surface that is preventing your butt not to slip in high pace workouts.

Also, the foam material is good enough to take your lower back pressure during pivoting.  

As we all know, comfort is always a big topic when you are talking about rowing machines.


What is great that even a tall person can use this rowing machine, there are users that at 6’ 5’’ height do a complete stroke with complete leg extension, without being disturbed by their height.

This is due to the long rail that measures 53″, that means that can accommodate people with inseam up to 38’’.

If the seat glides smoothly, also the nylon strap is slack free, even during intense workouts. This means that the retrieval system of the strap is never loose assuring the stroke to be smooth.


As we said earlier, an advantage of a magnetic rower is the little noise it produces and LifeSpan RW100 is one of them. You will here only you sliding on the rail back and forth, so this it makes perfect to watch TV or to workout when your kids are taking a nap.

Resistance Levels

The rower has 5 level of resistance, where 1 is the less resistance and 5 is the maximum level. It is equipped with a 16.5-pound wheel that adds a smooth motion to the stroke.  

The resistance can be changed easily by rotating the knob that is positioned under the LCD monitor from the central console, but you must be careful to full stop the rower before adjusting the level on the knob.

Another thing that will increase the resistance is the slightly inclined rail having an angle starting with 11.0’’ up to 14.0’’ in height at the back of the rail. This will make you push harder and increase the intensity of your stroke.

Some users complained that the rower will move during training and their floor is scratched. We couldn’t say that, but in case this is happening you can put the rowing machine on a mat and it will prevent movement on the floor.  

If you are a beginner or at an intermediate level, for which this machine is recommended, the resistance levels are enough to produce really good workouts. If you are a rower addicted or at an advanced fitness level this rower will not challenge you enough.

Handle and Footrest

The handle that is coming with this rower is padded and have a good grip. This will help you on long workouts to not hurt your hands. The handlebar is connected to the machine with a nylon strap and it has a no-slack system to ensure a smooth retrieval and the nylon strap will not get loose. 

 There is no need to use gym gloves when you workout, but if you feel the need to use it will not bother you at all.

The foot pedals have strips and heels guard to avoid slipping during training. The foot is fixed with a Velcro strap. For the large feet, the Velcro tends to undone, but this can be fixed by adding another pair of straps.

The pedals are not fixed, they are swivel to allow natural foot movement during a stroke. Even if at first it will be a strange feeling, this will allow you to do a more smooth stroke.

Control Panel

The rowing machine comes with a basic LCD Monitor powered by 2 AA batteries, positioned on the central console under the handle. It will measure Stroke, Stroke per Minute, Distance, Calories, Time. 

All these data is split into 3 screens and the number displayed is pretty big, making them easier to read. But it doesn’t have a backlight, and this creates an issue to read when the room light is dim.

The counter for calories isn’t accurate, because is displaying an average which was calculated based on medium use.

Another thing that is observed is that the sensor is positioned on the sear rail and moving the seat will activate it. The Monitor has Auto On/Off function and after 4 minutes of inactivity will shut down.

There were users that had issues with their LCD Monitor, the stats showed there were messy where it didn’t turn on. But this rower had a very long warranty for all the parts and you can take advantage of this.

A last word

You will enjoy the training with this rower LifeSpan RW100. For sure this one has been created having in mind the requirements for beginners and intermediate fitness level making it worth the price.

Even if it has a 3,6 Amazon rating, the big warranty, the solid rower make one of the best you can buy at this money.

Also, you should check the Stamina Avari magnetic rower or Sunny SF-RW5508 magnetic rower, products that are in the same budget range. Maybe there are things that you need and this one doesn’t have.

Not just buy, buy smart!



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