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When it comes to home gym fitness equipment, there’s no question that cycling has been the top dog for a few years now. The connected home spin bike has become a craze thanks to innovative brands like Peloton, MYX Fitness, and Bowflex.
But there’s a new player in the game that’s aiming to change your mind about the way you workout at home, and that player is connected home rowing machines.
Now, I’ll be honest, up until a few months back, I never gave rowing a second thought. Sure, I’d seen the rowers at the gym and they didn’t look like something I would be interested in. Then, I discovered smart rowers and started to hear the buzz around the stellar workout they provide and my ears perked up.
Today, I’m wicked excited to compare two of the top smart rowing machines on the market right now; CITYROW Go Max and Ergatta. Both of these are incredible machines that are made from worthy brands, but they each offer unique experiences, so my goal in this article is to break them down for you, highlighting each model, and then comparing them side to side so that you can choose which smart rower is right for you.
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Why choose rowing as the MAIN exercise?
Maybe you’re like me and you didn’t really know a lot about indoor rowing, but you saw some buzz about it in the fitness space. Maybe you even noticed rowing studios popping up and group classes being taught (however, I think COVID-19 derailed this for now), and now you’re wondering “what’s so great about rowing?” I’ll tell you.
It’s a full-body cardio + strength workout - We all know that an effective workout routine includes a combination of strength and cardio (and that balance will depend on your goals). A rowing machine has the unique ability to use 85% of your body’s muscles at once! All your major muscle groups are activated during a rowing workout (legs, arms, back, and core). This type of workout is designed to increase your strength while also improving your cardiovascular capacity - aka a workout that covers it all!
It’s gentle on your joints - I’ll be the first to admit that I love a good, intense sweat session, but my body doesn’t always like to take that kind of beating. In fact, I suffered a pretty intense hip injury earlier this year from too much time spent beating away on the treadmill. Rowing, on the other hand, allows you to achieve a high-intensity workout all without the impact on your body - this is a big deal as the goal is to take care of your body, not injure it.
It burns a ton of calories - When compared with other types of cardio, rowing provides a superior calorie burn for the same amount of time. On average, rowing can burn 600-800 calories per hour, whereas an hour of walking will burn around 250 calories per hour. That’s a pretty significant difference.
The resistance will help you build lean muscle mass - For anyone who’s working out to improve their health and the appearance of their body, the goal is to lose fat and build lean muscle, and this is exactly what indoor rowing promotes. When rowing, you’re recruiting your muscles to pull your arms and extend your legs, these muscle contractions will lead to lean muscle growth and the toned look we all desire.There are plenty more benefits of rowing, but I’ll keep it brief so that we can move onto the real topic of this article, which is comparing the Ergatta to Cityrow Go.
Comparing Ergatta Connected Rower Vs. Cityrow Go Max
Instructor-led + additional modalities (HIIT, Yoga, strength)
17.5” HD touchscreen
19.5” sweat-resistant touchscreen
Made from US cherrywood and designed to look like furniture
Made from sustainable wood
Yes, and it looks good anywhere in your home
Yes, and it looks amazing anywhere in your home
Real-time data performance tracking?
No, not yet
Yes, can be used on any rowing machine
Compatible with Bluetooth?
Real-time data performance tracking?
Serious rowers/athletes who want to take their sport to the next level
Those looking to get an all-in-one workout system
Analysis of CITYROW GO Max versus Ergatta: Two totally different approaches to indoor rowing
The table above displayed the key differences and similarities between these two smart rowers. By now, you should be closer to deciding which one you want for your specific personality. Let's take a look at what makes these two smart rowing machines similar and different.
What makes these two rowers unique and different?
The CITYROW Go Max and the Ergatta are both an all-in-one smart indoor rowing machine designed for any room in your home. That means you can get a full-body workout and stay connected to live and on-demand classes, giving you a realistic approach to rowing, even if you aren't at the river. That's what makes them both unique.
Now, let's dive into each one much further to give you the best possible information. Remember, you're going to love both of these machines, but they are both unique in their own way - your personality will match with one, and won't with the other.
Cityrow Go Max Overview
The Cityrow Go Max rower combines water and wood to bring you a high-tech rowing experience right from the comfort of your own home. This machine features a 19.5” sweat-proof screen and innovative Bluetooth technology to allow you to have an immersive experience and complete workout with just one system.
Cityrow uses trainer-led workouts to help you push yourself to new limits while building muscle and burning fat. The screen displays real-time metrics for instant motivation. You’ll have access to instant tracking of your meters rowed, split time, personal records, badges, minutes, total classes, and more.
The flywheel features a real water tank that’s designed to replicate the feel of being out on the water and the unique resistance that only water can provide. It’s quiet in nature, so no need to worry about waking the rest of the house during your early morning workouts. Aside from the sleek flywheel water tank, the rest of the machine is crafted from dark, beautiful wood and folds up for easy storage.
The programming experience that you’ll get from Cityrow is quite unique in the rowing community as they not only provide trainer-led classes for you to perform while on the machine, but they also offer a full library of workouts in their app that features tons of floor workouts to give you a well-rounded fitness experience. You can choose from HIIT, strength, and even yoga classes, all of which can be viewed easily from the included screen that rotates to accommodate workouts done off the rowing machine.
- Easy to store and move
- Water-based resistance for smooth, quiet training
- 19.5” sweat-proof screen
- Full library of on-demand workouts
- Different workouts to choose from
- Screen swivels for mat workouts
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Speakers included
- Real-time performance data and tracking
- Personalized programming
- Sleek design
- Professional, motivational trainers
- The warranty is a little scant
- There are no live class options available
Just as the Cityrow is unique in its design and programming, so too is the Ergatta rower. Ergatta is a sleek, beautifully designed machine that’s meant to be more than just a piece of workout equipment, it’s meant to add to the look and feel of the room - whatever room it may be in. One look at this rower and your first thought will be luxury (however, it is priced at the same pricepoint as competing rowers).
As I mentioned in my detailed analysis of Ergatta's connected smart rower, this brand took a new and different approach to rowing at home. They wanted to make it accessible and fun to complete workouts while also making sure people didn’t have to look at a clumsy, giant eyesore in the middle of their living room.
Their take on programming is unlike any other piece of fitness equipment on the market. They use gaming-inspired content to motivate their users, and the response has been stunning. Ergatta’s gaming-inspired take is like a breath of fresh air in an overcrowded, overdone world.
You can choose to compete against yourself, working to get your best time and distance, or you can compete against other users, working your way through levels and challenges, much in the same way that you would your favorite video game. They successfully combined the thrill and excitement of gaming with the intensity of a full-body workout to help keep their user motivated and excited to workout.
- Water-based resistance system
- Made in the US from US cherry wood
- Stores easily (folds vertically)
- 17.3” touchscreen display
- Gaming-inspired workouts
- Opportunities to compete with others in the community
- New workouts and challenges added weekly (at least 5 per week)
- Accommodating for all sizes with a 500 lb weight limit
- Bluetooth compatible (headphones, heartrate monitor, etc.)
- Sleek, beautiful design (you’re not going to want to hide this in the basement!)
- Great warranty
- No instructor-led workouts or live competition
Which smart rower matches your fitness personality?
As you can see, both of these brands have created incredible pieces of equipment that will no doubt be a mainstay in the fitness industry, but you only need one. So which rower is best for you?
Here’s how I see it: if you’re someone who wants to experience a completely new and different type of workout that you’re not going to get on any other piece of home gym equipment, then the Ergatta is the way to go. The gaming-inspired workouts are just what you need to propel your way through a completely unique workout that will not only provide you with all the benefits of rowing but that will be fun and exciting to perform.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who truly enjoys trainer-led classes where you’re being walked through your workout, then the Cityrow Go Max is a great option. This is also a great option if you want to have a system (app) that allows you to perform other types of workouts in addition to rowing. The Cityrow Go Max is similar to the programming you’ll get with popular equipment like Peloton and MYX Fitness in that they offer a wide range of programming to choose from that extend to different modalities.
In all honesty, you really can’t go wrong with either option. Both are going to look fantastically sleek in your home and both are easy to store and maneuver. The biggest differentiating factor, in my opinion, is the programming style. My advice would be to contemplate what type of programming is going to be the most fun and most inspirational for your unique needs and preferences and go with that. Remember, fitness should be fun!
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