The quintessential cardio machine. This Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Review will illustrate why the Concept2 Model D belongs in every RefuGym, hands down.
For a long time, globo-gym prisoners have convinced themselves that cardio means running. It’s dreaded. No one likes it. Progress is slow. You feel tired, and unless you stick with it for a long time, and specialize (the enemy of fitness), you likely won’t see progression.
Introducing the Concept2 Indoor Rower
The Concept2 Model D changed everything.
It was the first piece of equipment, other than our awesome StudBar Pull-up Bar, to make it into our first home RefuGym. After only 2 months of off-and-on training with the Concept2 Model D, incorporating it into various workouts, but rarely doing it solo, we noticed real, tangible improvements in overall fitness. The gains we made in speed on the rower directly carried over to our run times. Overall metabolic conditioning improved, which translated to improved fitness, functionality and speed across a wide number of exercises.
Rowing machines are by nature lower impact than running. The Model D takes this a step further with its weighted flywheel, which allows you to vary resistance from 1 to 10. We recommend a setting right in the middle, around 5, to simulate more of an actual professional rowing boat. If you really want to push yourself, then setting it to 10 is more akin to a non-streamlined row-boat, rather than a racing canoe.
No matter what you set it to, though, you will never run out of ways to adjust your routine. And this is really the best part. When you are rowing on an indoor rower, there is no routine. You get constantly varied fitness… every time you row!
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Review vs. Model E
The Concept 2 Model D is the predecessor to the Model E, but we here at the RefuGym don’t believe in paying premiums for the sake of premiums. Everything the Model E can do, functionally, the Model D can do as well, and for a better price point. Dollar for dollar, you cannot buy a better piece of equipment for your home RefuGym.
The machine itself is built with the highest of quality. In Afghanistan and Iraq, Marines and Special Forces have used these for months outdoors. After a simple wipe-down to remove larger grains of sand, they are back at it. We have seen them used first-hand on the front lines to train and prepare American military men and women for the rigors of combat. The parts are easily replaced if they do wear out, but in over 15 years, we have not seen it!
The Model D comes with lots of different modes. The performance monitor allows you to create and save workouts from multiple profiles — it tracks calories, meters, watts… you name it. You can monitor your progress from workout to workout, compare your workouts to others online, and customize the entire experience to exactly what you need.
Types of Workouts
Our favorite is a 5K Time Trial. It’s short enough to not feel as long as a marathon, but still feels like you just sprinted one anyway.
There are multiple places to buy the Model D, but being the cost-savvy people that refugees are, we recommend Amazon. Concept2 will still back their product, and you will get it for a little bit cheaper. Don’t be scared by the price… this machine is worth it.
If you could buy no other machine for your RefuGym, this is the one we would recommend.
We’ll have more to say about the Concept2 in future articles, but for now all we’ll say is “GET IT!!”
The Model D has our highest recommendation, in both effectiveness as a tool in your RefuGym, and quality of manufacture. Few exercises stress the body with the same resistance, flexibility/mobility and cardiovascular challenge than a well-built rowing machine. It’s not a substitute for the occasional run, but after a period of time on the rower, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t started it sooner.
Let us know what you think of it!