Fitness Reality might be one of the most overlooked rower brands on the market as the super low prices tend to make buyers hesitant. But despite being on the lower end of the price range, these machines still offer some pretty decent high tech features, so they are worth checking out.
The current Fitness Reality lineup includes five different models, featuring water, magnetic or dual magnetic/fan resistance.
Fitness Reality is a division of Paradigm Health & Wellness Inc., a Southern California based company that was founded in 2007, so they are a relatively new addition to the fitness equipment industry.
The company prides itself in designing equipment for all types of users, which explains their motto “Real People, Real Results”. Whether you’re a serious fitness enthusiast or just trying to stay in shape, Fitness Reality rowers can offer you a good workout without taxing your budget.
As of our latest review, the current lineup consists of 5 Fitness Reality rowing machines:
Fitness Reality 1000 Plus
The 1000 Plus is Fitness Reality’s lowest priced model and the overall features are pretty basic, as you’d expect in this price range. Surprisingly, however, this is one of the lowest priced models on the market that also offers Bluetooth connectivity, making it a standout.
It uses magnetic resistance with 14 levels that can be adjusted using a convenient knob and has a long beam that can comfortably accommodate users up to 6’6” tall. Wide, thick footrests with Velcro straps keep your feet in place even as you hit your top speed and both the seat and handle are well padded for comfort.
With front mounted transport wheels it can be easily tilted, folded and stored when not in use so it doesn’t take up a lot of room.
This machine also has the ability to be used for floor based exercises, using the extendable handle for tricep extensions, curls and other upper body workouts, which is a nice bonus.
It has a basic LCD monitor that can track distance, time, strokes, calories burned and strokes per minute with the push of one button. For more advanced workouts, though, you can use the device tray to hold your Smartphone or tablet and the free MyCloudFitness app. If you have an additional chest strap, you can even monitor your heart rate through the app.
Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Fan Rower
The Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Fan Rower offers a combination of fan and magnetic resistance with 14 levels of resistance. The Smart Knob allows you to adjust resistance levels and will allow the console to accurately track distance, calories and watts based on your resistance level.
A long aluminum slide rail allows for quiet use and smooth movement, while the large, anti-slip foot pedals, wide molded seat and wide handlebars all ensure maximum comfort.
As with their other models, it folds for easy storage and has front mounted transport wheels that let you move it easily.
Along with the basic console, it also features Bluetooth Smart Technology with free MyCloudFitness app that can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices allowing you to access MyCloud’s full range of workouts.
Fitness Reality 3000WR
The Fitness Reality 3000WR is a mid range machine that, as the name suggests, offers water resistance. The water tank on this model is mounted at an angle, which not only saves on space but improves resistance by avoiding the “dead spot” found in many water resistance machines.
As with all of Fitness Reality’s models, it has a long beam that fits users up to 6’6” and the seat is mounted at a comfortable 17” off the ground, making it easy for all users to get on and off.
There are six water resistance levels which can be easily adjusted using the water pump and funnel that are included with purchase.
The 4.5” LCD monitor pivots for ease of viewing and displays distance rowed, duration of workout, calories burned, strokes rate, total strokes, split time and watts. It is also Bluetooth enabled and has a Smartphone/tablet holder. You have the option of using the free MyCloudFitness app or choosing a subscription membership that includes access to trainers, on-demand fitness sessions and a wide variety of workouts.
The Fitness Reality 3000WR also comes with 5 standard pre-set goal based workouts, 3 workout target goal settings based on time, distance and calories burned and 3 customizable HIIT (high intensity interval training) programs, so there is plenty of variety for all users.
Fitness Reality 4000MR
The Fitness Reality 4000MR is their most expensive model at $799. The difference in price is reflected in the sturdier build of this machine. It is heavier than their other models and the seat is situated slightly higher at about 22” off the floor.
The other main difference is the full motion handles, which give the feeling of real sculling on the water. Unlike most single handle rowers, the dual handles of this machine give you a full, circular motion that allows for an upper body workout. This is a great bonus as most rowers focus solely on the lower body.
It has 16 levels of magnetic resistance and comes with 10 pre-set programs, including goal-setting for distance, time and calories. The 5” back lit console lets you easily keep track of distance, time, count, calories burned, RPM and watts and has a Smartphone holder built-in.
Fitness Reality 5000X
The newest addition to the lineup is the Fitness Reality 5000x, which features a vertical mounted water tank for ease of storage and improved resistance without lag time.
The 39” rail comfortably accommodates users up to 6’3” tall and the solid steel frame can hold users up to 300 lbs. It has a well padded handle and wide footrests with Velcro straps.
There are 6 water resistance levels which can easily be adjusted using the water pump and funnel included with purchase.
The 5.5” LCD display helps you keep track of all of your stats – distance, elapsed time, calories burned, strokes rate, split times and watts. It comes with 3 built-in workout target goal settings for time, distance and calories burned plus 3 customizable HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts.
It also has Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to access the MyCloudFitness app with its wide range of trainer led workouts and other features. It’s also compatible with Apple Health and Google Fit for even more options.
Ranging in price from just $349 to $799, Fitness Reality rowers are a great option for anyone who wants to get a decent workout without taxing their budget.
Of course, at that price range you have to be realistic about your expectations. You’re not going to get the maximum amount of features but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout. If you want high end machines with their own built-in apps and large displays, you’ll need to pay a little more but you can still get plenty out of these machines.
Having Bluetooth connectivity is a major plus and one that you won’t find on most brands in the budget or mid-range levels so that makes Fitness Reality rowers well worth considering in our opinion.
Having reviewed all five of their current offerings we were quite pleased with the overall results. There is plenty of variety to be found, from magnetic to water resistance and even combinations of multiple kinds of resistance, and all of the models were surprisingly comfortable.
The ability to use the free MyCloudFitness app on your Smartphone or tablet is a big plus, giving you access to a wide range of workouts and the ability to track your stats as well as monitor your heart rate on some models.
There were some slight issues with resistance levels, as some models don’t seem to have enough difference between the top and bottom levels. We also wish that every model included the ability use a chest strap heart monitor. Also, the warranties are a bit limited compared to other brands, ranging from 1 to 3 years limited. Only the 4000MR offered a decent warranty with 5 years on the frame, 3 years on parts and 2 years on electronics.
Those minor issues aside, overall we found that Fitness Reality rowers are well worth the price and even gave us more performance than we were expecting at this price level. If budget is an issue but you don’t want to give up on features, then this may be the ideal choice for you.
There are certainly other affordable models on the market, including names like Sunny, XTERRA and NordicTrack, and they offer their share of positives.
Both Sunny and NordicTrack have air resistance, which is the preferred form of resistance for serious rowers as it comes closest to simulating the feel of actually rowing on the water. NordicTrack’s RW200, which is their basic model, also features 20 pre-set programs but their display is tiny and not easy to read.
XTERRA’s basic model, the ERG200, is one of the more affordable on the market at just $275, but at that price level while it is actually quite comfortable, not surprisingly it doesn’t offer much in the way of features.
Sunny has several lower end models, including the SF-RW5633, which while offering good air resistance is not particularly comfortable and may not be the best option for users with knee or back issues.
In comparison, all of Fitness Reality’s models have comfortable seat heights for easy mounting and dismounting and, as noted above, they feature Bluetooth connectivity for a much more comprehensive workout experience.
If you’ve hesitated to invest in a rowing machine because you think you have to spend a lot to get quality features, then you’ll definitely want to give Fitness Reality rowers a look.
Combining good quality magnetic and water resistance with comfort features, these are surprisingly sturdy basic and mid-range machines that don’t skimp on technology.
While you won’t get big built-in displays, you can still get Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to access the free MyCloudFitness app on your tablet or Smartphone for a workout experience that is a step above the rest.
For the average user who wants a rowing machine to fit into their home gym without breaking the bank, yet doesn’t want to miss out on high tech features, in our opinion Fitness Reality offers a good option on the market today.
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