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NordicTrack RW700 Rowing Machine Review

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Memorial Day Deal Alert! Nordictrack is offering $100 off the RW700 Rower. Click this box to check it out.

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Quick Take

Home rowing machines continue to advance in terms of technology and performance, and the NordicTrack team has two new models for the market, with the RW600 as the entry-level, the RW700 as the midpoint, and the RW900 as the top-line. With the 2022 lineup comes newer versions of both the RW700 and RW900 with a host of improvements as well as iFit programming.

The RW700 comes in at $1,299, with the option to finance over three years, as well as 30 days of the iFit Family Membership, which typically runs $39 per month. One of the updates for 2022 is that the RW700 comes with a 10-inch tilt-and-pivot HD smart touchscreen and adjustable console. This makes for the opportunity to participate in immersive workouts on the floor with dumbbells, or practice Yoga, or any other activity away from the traditional settings. The console also features a new 30-watt premium sound system for use with either iFit instructors music played via the auxiliary music port. The rower is also compatible with Bluetooth headphones and features new “auto adjust technology” which lets the machine, or live instructors, take over the settings of the 26 levels of digitally-controlled Silent Magnetic Resistance. Other updates include an improved inertia-enhanced flywheel and sliding rail system.

For those unfamiliar with rowing as an exercise form, consider that studies affirm its value. One Harvard Medical School study published in Harvard Health Publishing reports that a 30-minute session of stationary rowing can burn up to 210 calories in a 125-pound person, 252 calories in a 155-pound person, and 294 calories in a 185-pound individual. But it’s not just for cardio. The fact is, rowing offers a total-body workout that incorporates every single muscle group from traps to toes. Whether for strength or weight-loss, rowing is tough to beat.

And that’s why rowers make such a great addition to the home gym. When shopping around, check out the top rated rowers which offer a variety of resistance forms, sizes, and performance options. With that in mind, read below to see how the NordicTrack RW700 ranks.

Pros

10" adjustable Smart HD Touchscreen
Silent Magnetic Resistance
Improved 30-watt sound system

Cons

Only works with iFit.
No wireless heart-rate monitor included

Our Review

As NordicTrack’s midpoint rowing machine, the RW700 is priced at $1,299, which comes with a 1-year Family Membership in iFit included. As part of what seems to be a growing trend here, this model lacks the built-in workout programs of past products and relies exclusively on the iFit program, or expects users to simply utilize their own apps.

Measuring 87 x 22 x 47 inches, the RW700 is the same size as the RW600 and weighs about 146 pounds in-box. Be sure to measure the space available in whatever home gym the rower will be going, as size obviously matters where space is concerned. The rower is engineered with front-mounted transport wheels as well as foldable SpaceSaver® Design. Another point to consider is the maximum user weight of 250 pounds, which is a bit lighter than competing models which go well into the 300s.

If comparing NordicTrack models, the fact is that the biggest difference between the new RW700 and RW900 is the screen display. The RW700 unit comes with a pivoting 10-inch Smart HD Touchscreen whereas the RW900 features a rotating 22-inch screen at $1,699. The screen size, and whether it can rotate or not, is a key consideration for those fitness fans of floor-work such as yoga. A smaller, fixed screen, just isn’t the same in terms of being able to see and keep up. That said, if floor-work isn’t a big concern, then other people might consider the extra cost to be unnecessary. Considering all three offer the same 26 levels of resistance, the decision really comes down to how much one wants to pay for the bigger screen display.

With the rotating console, the rower also has an auxiliary audio port with two, 2-inch digitally amplified speakers. Bluetooth headphone connectivity, whether to be used for music from a personal device, or the iFit program. While lacking built-in programs, the RW700 is built iFit-enabled and ready to go. The iFit workout package offers live-streamed workouts as well as trainer-controlled options, meaning professional trainers in remote locations can control the resistance of the machine during the group, or solo, workout.

With virtually unlimited workout variety, iFit provides a variety of professional trainers specializing in any form of exercise from HIIT to yoga. On-demand rowing is also available via a constantly expanding library of streaming workouts, as well as new programs and routes added daily. These workouts can be generic or tailored to the user. The iFit Family Membership comes with up to four user profiles, each of which can be suited to the size, needs, and goals of the individual. Personalized coaching includes lifestyle guidance, such as nutrition and sleep.

One potential downside here is the rower, like many these days, does not come with built-programs rather it relies on iFit. The screen does not work with other apps, but the machine will work in manual mode. This is a bit limiting for those that don’t like iFit or do not want the regular membership fee.

Made for rowers who want to row, the RW700 offers 26 levels of digitally controlled Silent Magnetic Resistance, as well as adjustable air, a unique combo which lets users better personalize the intensity level via the inertia-enhanced flywheel. Engineering-wise, the unit comes with an oversized steel seat rail, ergonomic seat, and oversized, pivoting pedals. Adjustable nylon foot straps and a SoftTouch™ Ergonomic Handle put the finishing touches on the machine in terms of user comfort.

As with most of the NordicTrack line-up, the RW700 comes with a 10-year frame warranty, with two years for parts, and one year for labor. This compares very nicely with rival brands, whose warranties range anywhere from one year to the lifetime of the machine.

Positives:

Here are some features that make the RW700 Rowing Machine attractive.

  • Interactive Screen: 10-inch, rotating Smart HD Touchscreen with adjustable console and new 30-watt sound system.
  • A 30-day iFit Family Membership: Valued at $486 annually, this makes the price nicer yet, and iFit subscription rates are comparable to other apps.
  • Easy Folding: With a great spacer saver design, the rower folds up and stores without hassle.
  • Silent Magnetic Resistance: Smooth and silent, magnetic resistance is the norm these days and for good reason as reviewers find it easier than the traditional friction-based flywheel.
  • 26 Levels of Digital Resistance: Certainly enough for most rowers, the RW700’s resistance levels afford a solid burn for just about anyone in the market.
  • Great financing deal: Offered at $1,299 with an included year of the iFit Family Membership plan, the model is also offered at 36 months 0% APR.
  • Transport Wheels: The rower features wheels attached for added mobility.
  • Good Warranty:  NordicTrack is offering a 10-year warranty on the frame, two-year on parts, and one-year for labor.
  • Ergonomic Handle: The RW700 ergonomic rowing handle supports a natural rowing position.

Negatives:

  • No built-in programs: Part of a growing trend, the rower relies on the iFit package and the screen does not work with other apps. That said, one can always use the machine without iFit but they’d have to incorporate another device to use programming.

 

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Our Conclusion

The NordicTrack RW700 is a solid midpoint rower with good engineering and technology. The only real difference between the NordicTrack rowers this season is the screen size, and so shoppers will ultimately consider that as the big decision point. Meanwhile, the rower offers a good 26 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance, the unique combination of adjustable air brings a novel add-on. Customers should also check out the RW900, which is the NordicTrack family’s next in-line rower.

 

Trainer’s Tips for the NordicTrack RW700

Rowing happens to be one of the best all-around exercises out there as it brings a true total body experience to the user. By stretching out to pull the handle, one works the entire body from calves to upper back. One recommendation to consider would be to use the rower as a dynamic warm-up for bodyweight drills such as push-ups. Consider the concept of super-sets and the push-pull model. By creating a workout where one rows for 100 meters and then jumps down to the floor and performs 30 push-ups, they are getting a full push-pull experience for the entire upper body, hitting the lats and chest from both sides, triceps and biceps. Anyone who thinks they can’t achieve hypertrophy without barbells need only do a 5-round circuit of rows and push-ups to be convinced otherwise. And for those seeking that lean beach body look, this is the perfect recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the assembled dimensions of the RW700?
A: The rowing machine measures 87" x 22.0" x 47" and weighs about 117 pounds when assembled.
Q: How many workout programs does the NordicTrack RW600 have?
A: The RW700 is iFit-enabled and doesn't come with additional built-in programs.
Q: Is rowing better for warm-up or cool-down?
A: The great thing about rowing is it can be for either, both, or serve as its own workout program.

Rating: 85%

Resistance Type

Magnetic

Resistance Level

26

Bluetooth

Yes

Dimensions (inches)

87" L x 22" W x 47" H

Folding

Yes

Maximum User Weight Capacity

250 lbs

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