LIT Strength Training Machine
More of a 3-in-one piece rather than a simple rower, the LIT Method Strength Machine combines a solid water rower with a Pilates machine and strength trainer. Clearly the brain child of someone who thought, “What if we….,” it really does make sense to extend the rower’s cables into a multi-functional piece. Whereas most rowers operate on a simple horizontal plane, the LIT unit offers 360 degrees of action with resistance up to 100 pounds. Accessories include power bands and cuffs, affording users up to 500 different exercises with the machine more like a cable-and-pulley resistance tower than just a rower.
The number of potential uses makes the LIT Method Strength Machine one of the best water rowing machines on the market and certainly worth a look here. Prices start at $1,750 or $36 per month and you can accessorize the unit at will with heart rate monitors, bar attachments, and resistance bands. Part of a larger training philosophy involving Low Impact Exercise, the company offers a companion app with thousands of programs for rowing, Pilates, strength training, and more. Priced between $20 and $24 per month, the app can be downloaded onto devices or smart televisions and isn’t machine-dependent. Free shipping and a 30-day money-back guarantee also come with purchase. Read below to see if the LIT Method Strength Machine warrants a place in your home gym.
The LIT Strength Training Machine was an invention born of necessity. Designed by trainers recovering from their own injuries, it’s part of a workout strategy involving no jumping, no running, and no weights. And as anyone who’s used resistance bands can attest, they do work. As does rowing. The LIT Strength Training Machine itself first hit the market in 2020 as an all-in-one rower, reformer, and resistance band training system which offers more than 500 low-impact, high-intensity movements for cardio, rowing, barre, strength, and Pilates. With origins in the field of rehab, the machine is a potent weapon in any athlete’s arsenal. As a competitive bodybuilder within the NPC community, I’m reminded of how many times I’ve used resistance bands to obtain a “pump” before going onto the stage. Whether for hypertrophy, cardio, or to emphasize flexibility, this system does strike me as genius.
Measuring 84″ x 21″ x 19″ the unit stores vertically and only occupies a space of 24″ x 24″. Empty, it weighs 70 pounds, 89 pounds when filled with water. At it’s core, the LIT Strength Training Machine is a water rower meaning you’ll fill the central tank with fluid for resistance. A flywheel or paddles inside the tank connect to the handles and when pulled, revolve against the water. This creates a drag and thus resistance. Fans of this style of rowing like the feel and whir which does remind one of open waters. Rowers using Silent Magnetic Resistance (SMR) on the other hand operate more smoothly and with less sound. This unit features a dual tank drum with four LIT water resistance levels ranging from 10 to 40 pounds. Meanwhile, the unit is designed for additional resistance bands to wrap around the handle and increase that to 100 pounds. Purchase comes with a lifetime supply of chlorine tablets so you’ll never have to change the water.
What’s really unique here is the 360-degree rotation offered. It’s the first rower I’ve ever seen that allows you to do something other than simply pull straight back in a horizontal motion. And that’s what’s neat. Now, the simple rower becomes a floor-based weight stack with a cable and pulley with more than 500 exercise. Built to accessorize, the rower can be purchased with a heart rate monitor, strength bar, ankle cuffs, and a variety of power bands.
Do note, this rower does not come with a screen but it does have an attachment for phones or tablets. The LIT Method workout app offers live and on-demand classes with professional trainers, a virtual community of fellows, metrics tracking, and eight fitness categories worth of workouts. Purchase of the rower comes with a complimentary 90-day membership to the app. After that, it’s $24.99 per month or $240 per year. The good news is the rower isn’t app-dependent and doesn’t even require electricity or WiFi. Purchase comes with free shipping and a 30-day trial and a lifetime warranty on the frame, with five years for the tank and mechanical parts.
In terms of price, the LIT Strength Machine is definitely an upscale model. Just for comparison, the highly rated WaterRower Classic is $1,560, the NordicTrack RW900 is $1,799, and the Concept2 Model D comes in at $1,190. That said, none of those offer the versatility of this unit in terms of function.
- Well-Built: The unit is well-designed and durable and sports a 450-pound user weight maximum.
- Easy Assembly: The machine comes 85% pre-assembled and requires only four screws to put together.
- 360-degree Spin: More than a rower, this unit allows users to take their workouts in any direction.
- Vertical Storage: When not in use the LIT Strength Machine can stand upright inside a 24″ x 24″ space.
- Water Resistance: Rowing with this machine feels a lot like being out on the open water.
- 500+ Exercises: Equipped with handles and bands, this machine becomes an all-in-one workout machine.
- Dynamic Classes: The LIT Method app offers thousands of live and on-demand training routines for rowing, strength, or Pilates.
- Solid Resistance: The water tanks alone can offer up to 40 pounds of resistance, but when used with the resistance bands this jumps to 100.
- Ergonomic Seat: Adjustable, this seat supports both the hips and spine.
- Bring Your Own Tech: The LIT Strength Machine allows you to bring your own device which means you’re not locked into their app.
- Heart-Rate Monitoring: The rower is Bluetooth-compatible.
- Solid Warranty: The company stands behind the machine and offers both a lifetime frame warranty with five years guaranteed on the tank and mechanical parts, as well as a 30-day trial period.
- Pricey: If you’re looking for simple and low-cost, this isn’t your rower. I see the value in the versatility but it’s definitely an upscale model.
- No Screen: This goes both ways. The upside is you’re not locked into an app-dependent screen, but for the price, many people would probably expect one.
- No Onboard Workouts: There are no preset workouts, so if you discontinue the LIT Method app, you’ll need to use another one or perhaps row with music or a television for entertainment..
There’s no question the LIT Strength Training Machine is a top-flight rower, but yes it’s pricey. The fact that it lacks a built-in screen doesn’t bother me as tablets and smartphones are as common as smart televisions these days. I personally park my equipment in front of my television and can access any app available that way. The big selling point is versatility. When you consider how easily you can add Pilates and floor-based strength work to a traditional rowing routine, it’s a golden combination. Most home rowers with screens these days can swivel for just this purpose. But I’ve yet to see another rower that can swivel 360 degrees, let alone be used for 500 different exercises. If you’re looking for a lower-cost model, check out our review of the best rowing machines under $1,000 here. Otherwise, the LIT Strength Training Machine is certainly good to go.
Frequently Asked Questions
84" L x 21" W x 19" H
Maximum User Weight Capacity