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Rowing Machines For Heavy People [1000Lb Capacity]

Before we review our recommended rowing machines for heavy people, let me tell you why I think that rowing machines are the best single piece of exercise equipment for overweight people.

Skip This & Just See The Water Rower On Amazon. My #1 Choice for heavier people.

You see, I wasn’t always as big as the big man that I am today. During my early days (College days) I would have considered myself a plus-size person, not too huge. But definitely not the ‘recommended normal size person’.

Anyways, I took up rowing for a recreational sport/part-time exercise/activity on a recommendation by a close friend. Not thinking too much of it at the time, I had no idea the impact rowing would have on my body.

Compare Rowing Machines By Weight Capacity

Features Capacity Price
Heavy duty water rower - Sky Rise edition sits higher above ground. Seat stabilizer, S4 monitor tracks heart rate, intensity, stroke rate + 1000 Lb Check Price Amazon
38" Inseam (tall users), seat sits 14" high, includes performance monitor 5 - wireless connection to heat rate belt 500 Lb Check Price Amazon
Resistance rower with 8 levels of intensity, suitable for people up to 6', Multi angle screen monitors Time, Count, Total Count, Calories 300 Lb Check Price Amazon
Hybrid and magnetic rower best for big and tall people - track length 80". 16 levels of resistance with adjustable 5.5" LCD screen 350 Lb Check Price Amazon
Total Gym includes rowing machine with up to 80 exercises. 6 levels of resistance 400 Lb Check Price Amazon


Rowing Pays Off For Big People

Within a few short months of casual rowing, I was shocked to see my results when I jumped on my Heavy Duty Scales (I tend to avoid the scales). It turns out from just casually participating in rowing I had managed to lose a large amount of fat and replaced it with some muscles I had never seen before. Long story short, rowing turned out to be a whole heap of fun for me and I managed to lose some weight in the process. Cool right.

However, them days are gone and I don’t imagine myself in a rowing boat anytime soon. So as a way to replace rowing as an actual outdoor weight loss exercise, I find the rowing machines you get in the local Gym a fantastic replacement.

Especially when your a large or obese person because we all know how hard it is to even get in the boat, but then to perform exercise and on top of that try to climb out of the boat without tipping it and risk drowning. While getting down low on the floor is not easy either, it’s much better than trying to get in the boat out in public!.


Best Rowing Machine For Heavy People

1000 Lbs Weight Capacity – Water Rower With s4 Monitor

Below you can find a heap of invaluable, both positive and negative Waterrower Rowing Machine reviews that may possibly change your opinion on what you thought ‘Was’ the best rower machine for us big people.

*The model shown to the right is the ‘High Rise’ edition. This rower has been raised off the ground which makes it easier to get on and off, especially important for a big person and after hardcore workouts.

As I have previously stated that I believe real rowing is a fantastic way to tone up and lose weight, the next best thing for me is the Waterrower Club Rowing Machine. Without a doubt, in my opinion, the most ‘lifelike’ resemblance to physically being out on the water in a row boat.

The WaterRower is one of my favorite machines to assist in weight loss. Once actively using the rowing machine, I’ve noticed that between 70-85% (my non-educated opinion) of the entire body’s muscles are getting a workout. I hope I’m becoming toner and burning calories with every stroke. It’s, in my opinion, the best way to work out for us heavy people from home.

I could go on all day with what features I simply love about the Waterrower. But I will share what I think it’s the top rated rowing machine on the market and discuss it’s only flaw to my knowledge.  So what I think is the most impressive thing about the rowing machine (which is rated to a hefty 1000 lb capacity) is its simplicity.

Simplicity Is Key

By simplicity I mean lack of engine/power to operate. This rowing machine is built to feel and also work as an actual row boat. It runs in the same motion by the water tank and flywheel which can reduce any power failures, malfunctions and the need to replace expensive parts so often.

Because it is a motor-less rowing machine that is powered by the water tank, I find I get a much smoother and jolt free transaction between strokes. A naturally smoother pain-free movement which causes far less stress my joints compared to some of the known jolting machines.  Because this rowing machine is engine free and operates on the water tank system, it’s a pretty quiet workout machine.

Which is perfect for when you have kids sleeping, live in a block of apartment or simply hate the annoying noises we have become custom to with exercise equipment. As for its only flaw, well it’s not a flaw but beware that the WaterRower are all individually hand made, so availability could cause you issues. So make sure you get one while they are in stock.


WaterRower Club Rowing Machine


500 Lbs Rowing Machine For larger People

Concept2 Model D Review

500 Lb Capacity Rowing MachineMy second recommendation to the WaterRower is a popular rowing machine you may have seen at your local Gym. The Concept 2 Indoor. 

The Concept 2 with PM5 (Performance Monitor) has a weight capacity of 500 pounds and a firm rubber seat size of 14 inches. The overall build of this machine is very strong and heavy duty which is good for the big and tall population.

To be honest, I did think the concept would have been much louder, to my surprise it’s very quiet. Definitely suitable for apartments and low noise restriction areas.

The concept2 Model D is by no means the latest FAD, it’s a strong performer and has years of experience under its belt. It’s rather popular for professional rowers who use rowing machines for indoor training. Used by Athletes and sportsmen on a daily basis. Which speaks volumes to me. If sportspeople are using it, then I should be using it, well maybe.

If the water flywheel style of the above WaterRower, isn’t your style then I suggest you consider the Concept2.


The Concept2 Vs BodyCraft VR 500 Rowing Machines Comparison

The concept2 and the Bodycraft VR 500 rowing machines go head to head in this Reviewers Comparison. Both machines are industry leaders, and many can’t tell them apart. Decide for your self.


Where To Buy The Concept2 Model D & Read Reviews


Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine


Concept 2 Video Review & Workout Guide

Watch as Euan Reid Rowing coach explains in-depth detail on how to correctly use the Concept 2 Rowing Machine for the maximum workout.


Best Rowing Machine 300 Lb Weight Capacity

Best Rowing Machine 300 Lb Weight Capacity
Marcy has produced one of the best rowing machines with 300 lb weight capacity on the market. It’s a very compact and durable magnetic rowing machine that I find to be an impressive piece of exercise equipment.

Marcy has a very long history of making impressive gym equipment and they continue this trend of quality and customer satisfaction with this foldable rowing machine. This rich history makes this machine worth your time considering.

Being a heavy person and trying to exercise for the first time, you don’t want to start with something that is too intense, rather you should build your way up through the intensity levels. So this rowing machine having 8 preset levels will allow you to start easily in the beginning and work your way up as your muscles develop and you gain fitness. This is an excellent feature for heavier people who want to start slow.

Safety should be a priority when you’re using a rowing machine since they can be dangerous at times. A common injury is hands slipping off the handles and people injuring themselves. That’s why the foam handle on this rowing machine is so good as it’s also slip-resistant to help prevent this.

Heavy Duty Components

While most machines will have some form of LCD panel that you’re able to track your progress, but many of them are hard to use. Something that is often overlooked is the size and placement of the buttons.

The buttons on the LCD screen can be really small and close together which can make it difficult to accurately press when working out, especially if you have fat fingers. The buttons on this rowing machine are spaced a good distance apart to eliminate pressing the wrong button and or two buttons at once.

This in combination with how it has a 300lb maximum weight capacity makes this rowing machine excellent for heavy people. So if you’re interested in a great machine that’s a beginner and heavy person-friendly, then this machine is hard to pass up.

Moving a rowing machine can be a very difficult task as they’re heavy and low to the ground. The two wheels that added to this machine does make this task a lot easier since you’re not attempting to carry it fully. This makes it easy to put it away and fold up to save space.

Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine


Rowing Machine 350 Lbs Weight Capacity

Rowing Machine 350 Lbs Weight Capacity
Xterra Fitness has made some really clever design choices with this rowing machine that makes it excellent for heavier people. The durable frame is made out of steel which gives this owing machine a 350 lbs weight capacity. Being built so strong and robust will give you peace of mind when you’re using this rowing machine as a big person.

Getting low to the ground and trying to get on a rowing machine can be difficult for us heavier folks and don’t even get me started with getting up after an intense workout.

Thankfully with how this rowing machine was designed, it’s much easier to do since the seat is 20-inches off the ground so you don’t have to get as low as other machines. This is a huge feature for the heavy person to consider, if getting off the ground now is difficult, try doing it after a 45 minute workout.

Hybrid Rowing Machine

Since this is a hybrid rowing machine that is air and magnetic it has a few advantages to improving your workouts. It allows you to get the smooth workout you would get with a magnetic rower, and when you want something more intense, the air resistance will improve the harder you work.

This feature alone really sets this rowing machine apart from the others on the market. Air and magnetic rowing machines are the most popular machines on the market and combining their best features as this machine does. It really makes it one of the most impressive rowers on the market.

Suitable For Tall People

With an extra-long track of 80 inches, the Xterra Fitness rowing machine is one of the best options for the tall people. Having a high weight capacity as well means the big and tall people are really looked after.

This rowing machine offers 16 different levels of resistance and 10 different workout programs. It’s an impressive amount of variety to help keep your workout fresh and different each time. Varying up the workout does really help with keeping your motivation up as you’re not doing the same monotonous workout every day.

You’re able to keep track of your stats very easily thanks to the large 5.5-inch display that has decent sized buttons. There is nothing like working out and seeing how many calories you’ve burned or the next time you use it to see how much you’ve improved which is easy to do with this model.

XTERRA Fitness ERG700 Rower


Rowing Machine 400 Lb Weight Capacity

Rowing Machine 400 Lb Weight Capacity
The first thing you will notice when you look at this machine is that it’s not your normal run of the mill rowing machine. Which in a way you’re right, it’s not, it’s a total gym that has the capability of being used as a rowing machine amongst many other things. It’s the only rowing machine with 400 lb weight capacity I have come across.

There is almost no person alive who hasn’t heard of the Total Gym since it’s been around on tv for a long time, you know those cool ads featuring the one and only Chuck Norris.

The thing that makes it so impressive is that the machine hasn’t changed a lot over the years and just done some tweaks to the design to improve it.

With this being a jack of all trades exercise equipment, you would expect it to lack some durability in its frame and be a little weak. This isn’t the case as it has an impressive 400lbs weight capacity that’s capable of holding some of the really heavy individuals out there who are looking to improve their situations.

More Than Just A 400 Pound Rowing Machine

A rowing machine is an excellent piece of exercise equipment that’s able to work on close to 80% of the muscles in your body. This means to get that last 20% you’ll need some extra pieces of gym equipment which can get really expensive in the long run.

For those who want the full-body experience and only want to pay the once-off upfront cost then the total gym is a great choice. With over 80 exercises possible with this machine you will be able to work out everywhere you need.

A Space Saver

Since you only need one piece of gym equipment for your full-body workout you get one other advantage. Having just one bit of equipment means you will save space since you don’t need 4 different machines and a dedicated gym room for your workouts. So if space is a limited option for you then this machine will help with that.

Total Gym XLS With Rower 400 Lbs


The Problem With Rowing Machines – Why a Big Man Shouldn’t Buy Just Any Rowing Machine

The most obvious and most critical factor a heavy person must abide by when buying a rowing machine is the rowing machine’s weight capacity limit. A large person should have a high capacity rowing machine, it’s that simple.

As you may be well aware, products designed for us big and tall people usually cost an arm and a leg more then what the less weight capacity items do. This is for very good reason too. These heavy-duty rowing machines are meant to be stronger, more durable, made from the better materials available to be able to handle the heavy weights us bigger guys throw at them.

The bottom line, I wouldn’t waste a couple hundred bucks on a 250 pound capacity rowing machine if you actually weight 300 lbs or more. Spend the extra cash to get a purpose-built rowing machine for heavier people which may not fail on you in 3 months time and then possibly void the warranty because you’re over the weight limit.

It’s not worth risking it if you ask me. I see spending the extra money for a quality heavy duty product as an investment in myself and well being. Whether it’s row machines, treadmills or even something as simple as heavy duty Kayaks. They are designed better for us bigger guys, so they will hopefully perform for us bigger guys. That’s my philosophy.







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  1. Big un says:

    I’m 600 pounds and curious. How does a person my size get their feet that close together, and how do you balance on such a small seat?

  2. Lu says:

    How does one row properly with a belly in the way? I ask because I’m interested in trying a rower for a work out but wondering how to do it effectively when the belly is out there.

  3. J says:

    You spelled lose wrong in the title. That is all.

  4. rob says:

    for those taller, buy the rail extension to accomodate a longer inseam.

  5. MarylandBill says:

    Hi… nice article. I just wanted to point out that the concept 2 model E might be of interest to some as well. While there are some small differences with the model D, the most important one is a higher seat which could making getting on and off easier.

    • bigman says:

      Hi MarylandBill, thanks for your input. The Model E will offer Taller people a better position and also has a 500 lbs weight capacity. Thanks for the info.

  6. N. Suh says:

    Thanks for the writeup. I have a question. I am 6’6 and weigh 345. Will the Waterrower be too small for my frame? I know the weight capacity is enough, but what about for taller bigger men?

  7. jim says:

    Great comparison
    I am 6’4″
    Will the Water rower give me the proper stretch..inseam?

    Will appreciate your reply.