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On the hunt for a new home rowing machine in 2022?
It’s time to talk smart rowers.
Rowing machines have come along way in the past few years and new brands are showcasing how they can take your bog standard rowing workout and turn it into a futuristic interactive experience.
Along with Hydrow and Ergatta, one name that often pops up on the top smart rowers for home workouts, is the Aviron rower.
In this Aviron rower review, we take a look at everthing this interactive rowing machine offers, including key features, what we like about it, what we don’t like about it and ultimately whether it’s worth the money or not.
Aviron Rower: fitness drum scorecard
Workouts and Classes: 20/20
Customer Service: 20/20
Click below to check the latest best Aviron price on their website. 👇
What is the Aviron Rower?
The Aviron Active rowing machine falls under the category of “smart rowers”. As opposed to the more traditional rowing machines you might be used to in your local gym, this new breed of smart rowers creates a more dynamic and interactive experience.
Think… real-time competitions, leaderboards, badges, group workouts, etc.
In essence, Aviron uses gamification and a group environment to create compelling digital rowing machine based workouts.
There are currently two Aviron rowers available, the Impact and the Tough. Both have the same screen and ability to follow the same workouts. The difference is in the frames and rowers themselves.
Both rowers use a fan and flywheel method to create resistance. This is probably the most common type and will feel similar to rowing machines you’ve used in the gym. As fan and flywheel units go, Aviron feels very smooth.
The Aviron Impact is the lightweight option of the two. A folding frame (better for storage) and a lighter weight mean this is great for anyone looking to upgrade their at-home workouts.
It is light yet durable and has a weight limit of 397lbs.
The Aviron Tough is the premium model. It comes with a heavy duty frame, built for extra stability and durability.
It has a weight limit of 507lbs and uses commercial grade materials.
Which Model Should You Choose
The Aviron Tough is slightly more expensive, currently an extra $300. This extra cost gets you a more features and a heavty duty frame.
For most, the Aviron Impact is definitely more than enough and is probably the model most suited for home use. The lightweight frame and folding technology of the Impact means it’s the more practical option for having in your home.
Gyms, hotels, studios and other commercial premises might want to go with the Tough just for the extra longevity.
Aviron Rower Workouts
Aviron has built a very impressive rowing machine, definitely one of the best on the market. Yet where Aviron excels is the software and the workouts available to do.
Once you log into your device, there are basically 7 styles of workouts you can follow along to.
- Virtual Tours – This setting allows you to row through real-world settings and some of the world’s most scenic destinations. This is similar to Hydrow.
- Performance – This setting allows you to use data to help create the most effective workout. Burn calories, build muscles, it’s all easier when you can see the data.
- Games – This is perhaps what got Aviron a lot of media coverage in the beginning. The games setting allows you to play virtual games as you row. (Trust us, when a zombie is about to catch you, you’ll suddenly find some extra energy to keep going!)
- Pros Vs Joes – This setting allows you to compete against professional athletes. Got a friend who thinks they could have been a pro athlete? Put them to the test!
- Guided programs – This setting involves following structured workouts. Interestingly, some of these workouts involve movements off the rower as well, creating more variety in your at-home workouts.
- Competition – Compete against family and friends.
- Power Play – This setting is basically a combination of the guided programs and games. You collect points as you complete the workout.
- Arcade – This perhaps should fall under the Games category, but the Arcade setting is for playing the more traditional arcade style games while you row.
What We Like About the Aviron Rower
The 7 different workout modes are where Aviron really takes the lead over competition.
For us, the game mode and pro vs joe, in particular, were incredibly addictive and at the end of the day, are very effective at making you push yourself harder during the workout.
The Aviron feels like the ideal exercise equipment for families. With the gamification settings, getting reluctant kids to exercise, or convincing your other half to stick to their workout routine seems effortless with the Aviron.
Kids who like video games are going to love Aviron. And as results are based on efforts on the rowing machine, they literally have to exercise to complete any games.
It also plays YouTube videos directly from the screen, so you can also watch some videos while you row.
When you think about the fact your whole family can use it, the value it provides becomes pretty clear.
The ability to pull up to 100lbs of resistance will completely change the way you view your rowing machine. It becomes as much a strength training tool as it does a peice of cardio equipment.
The high resistance settings feel very natural and make pulling high resistance very efficient.
There are 16 settings though, so if you want to a low resistance, there are plenty of settings that will feel easy to pull, whatever your fitness level.
As a side note, 100lbs of resistance is pretty unique and a lot of cheaper rowers simply don’t come close to this.
This is perhaps something we didn’t expect but the higher frame (i.e. you’re higher off the floor), makes quite a big difference from more traditional rowers.
From the 22inch touchscreen display, to the seat and frame, the Aviron feels like a luxury rower.
There are subtle features, such as an erganomic seat, that is just so much better than the average rowing machine seat. All these premium features create a very positive overall experience.
Although the concept of playing video games while you exercise may sound like a bit of a gimmick, it undoubtedly increases motivation. Seeing your name drop off in a race (and to be overtaken by your partner!) is more than enough motivation to keep you pushing harder.
Highlights the Benefits of Rowing
A lot of people like to compare any new fitness equipment with Peloton… “how does Aviron compare against Peloton?” “Which one should I buy?”
Well, regardless of the brand or tech, rowers do come with some big advantages over bikes and treadmills. Rowing machines offer a more complete workout, engaging your whole body. Legs, glutes, core, shoulders, arms, back, it’s a team effort for all your muscles.
Rowers also tend to integrate strength and cardio better than other cardio equipment. You can’t naturally include upper body strength training when running on a treadmill… but with a rower, this all comes included.
So for anyone who is short of time, or doesn’t like lifting weights, a rower is probably the best bit of cardio equipment you could use.
Things to Consider
You’ll need an Aviron membership to actually use all the interactive features. This costs $29.99/month.
A feature which we’d have liked to have seen is some type of instructor led classes, like FiiT or other workout apps.
Who is the Aviron Best For?
If you’re a gamer, then Aviron is without doubt the rower for you. The ability to basically play video games while you exercise will completely change the way some people workout at home.
Aviron boasts an impressive statistic… that less than 1% of their customers return the rowing machine. The online reviews are all very positive and highlight how fun the rower is to use.
Below is a video review that highlights some of the key features of the machine.
Smart rowers is a hot market at the moment and Aviron does have competition. The major competitors would be:
Hydrow – There’s a lot of hype around the Hydrow rower. Unlike any of the competition, the Hydrow uses magnetic resistance. It also offers live and on-demand classes led by instructors on the open water.
NordicTrack – One of the biggest names in gym equipment obviously didn’t want to miss out and has a very popular rowing machine.
Ergatta – You may confuse the Ergatta with an art installation, but it is in fact, a water resistance rowing machine. Very stylish, very trendy, the Ergatta is another hot brand to watch out for. Check out our full Ergatta review for more details.
CityRow – CityRow also uses water resistance to power the rower and focuses on hybrid rowing/HIIT style workouts. Born out of the boutique studio, our CityRow review highlights everything you need to know.
Concept2 – We probably wouldn’t really say the Concept2 is a competitor, as it falls short of being a “smart rower”. However, as rowing machines go, Concept2 is undoutedly one of the most popular, with outstanding reviews online.
LIT Method – This low impact strength training machine leverages water-based rowing workouts to help users keep fit and strong, without using equipment like weights. Read our LIT Method review to learn more about this unique brand.
If you’re looking for a home rowing machine, smart rowers are definitely the way to go. Although pricer than standard rowing machines, the ability to follow fun and engaging workouts will completely change the way you exercise at home.
If the idea of playing games as you exercise sounds like your cup of tea, the Aviron would definitely be the top recommendation.