Homegymmag.com is reader-supported. When you buy through links on this site, I may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Total Gym Row Trainer vs. Concept 2 – Which Is Better?

Rowing is an excellent low-impact exercise that’s interesting and beneficial. There are various rowers available in the market, and below, I would be discussing two unique rower trainers—Total Gym row train and Concept2 rowing machine—that hold a special place among rowers.

Overview of Total Gym Rower

The Total Gym Rower could be called a ‘One Size Fits All’ equipment as it can accommodate the needs of various types of individuals.

Able to bear up to 400 pounds of user weight, the rower is the perfect choice for obese people as well as those with joint problems.

This equipment is uniquely designed as it makes use of body weight resistance, and you could also change the inclination levels of the trainer to get resistance from 17-20% of body weight.

Further, you can add 15 pounds of resistance via the resistance bands provided.

All these motivate each of you to use the rower to burn more calories, lose weight, become stronger, and achieve muscle flexibility.

How Total Gym Rower Works?

The rower works by making use of your body weight and gravity alongside a sliding incline plane.

While this concept might be amusing for a rower, it is a tried-and-tested design that’s been used in all Total Gym equipment.

Also, the adjustable bodyweight resistance used helps you benefit from versatile full-body workouts improving cardio as well as strength training routines.

Who is Total Gym Rower Trainer For?

You might be a beginner trainer, an advanced trainer, or even a senior citizen wanting to try your hands on using a home gym equipment. Good for you, as the Total Gym Rower is a piece of equipment that’s suitable for all.

I recommend this rower for anyone who wants to benefit from a full-body workout.

Whether you want to lose weight, gain strength, activate different muscle groups, or do a cardiovascular workout, the Total Gym Trainer is an appropriate choice.

The low-impact effect on the joints makes the machine ideal for kids and seniors too.

Save 10% off the New Total Gym Row Trainer with code TGSAVE10

Features of Total Gym Rower

The Total Gym rower is a great piece of equipment that comes loaded with numerous user-friendly features:

#1. Foldable

Any rower occupies much space, and this one is no different. But, fortunately, the machine is foldable and hence, could be stored away out of sight after use.

#2. Resistance

If you are good with exercise equipment, you will be able to see that the Total Gym rower is quite different from other rowers just by the look of it.

The machine has no hydraulic cylinder or water tank for resistance. Instead, it makes use of your body weight, and this design ensures a smooth and quiet operation.

Besides this, the rower offers two levels of resistance and a resistance band (15 pounds) for challenging workouts.

#3. Multi-planar Movement

The rower permits multi-planar movement helping you to flow in any route of your choice—forward, backward, rotational, or laterally working out every muscle group in your body.

The machine is good for circuit education, where you perform a series of exercises in quick succession.

#4. Low-impact

The machine is ergonomically designed to offer maximum safety to the user while performing exercises.

You can perform the rowing action without hesitation as the rower ensures low-impact and joint-friendly movements.

Besides these, you get to read the performance metrics on the digital display that shows you calories burned, time, and distance covered.

You can also use either/both legs on the foot platform, depending on the exercises.

The equipment is sturdy and comes with a heavy-duty steel frame and aluminum rails promising durability.

Total Gym Rower’s Pros & Cons

No equipment is perfect and has its share of benefits and disadvantages to its kitty. Let’s look at the pros and cons of the Total Gym Rower.


  • Easy to fold and store away
  • Low impact for the joints
  • A rower promises a full-body workout activating every muscle group
  • Fit for users of all sizes
  • Flexible bodyweight resistance on an inclination
  • Quiet and smooth operation
  • Ergonomic design, sturdy frame and construction, and comfortable handling
  • Comes fully assembled


  • Quite heavy
  • No workout programs provided with the equipment
  • When inactive, even for a few minutes, the calorie counter resets to zero automatically
  • Absence of a heart rate monitor

Overview of Concept 2 Rowing Machine

Concept 2 is a brand that’s been manufacturing rowers for quite a few years now.

You can get to compare its various models, including Model D, Dynamic, and Model E, before coming to any decision.

The ergonomic design and unmatched performance of Model D rower have made it one of the best-selling rowers worldwide.

All the models are extremely stable, durable enough to last a lifetime, and comfortable to use.

They come fully assembled. You can use the machine right away and move it to any room using the castor wheels provided.

Features of Concept 2 Rowing Machine

Every model of Concept 2 has been carefully designed to offer the best to customers.

Weight: All three models support maximum user weight up to 500 pounds making them highly favorable among people of different weight ranges.

Construction: If you wish to purchase Model D, it comes with aluminum front legs and steel rear legs, a flywheel for air resistance, available in two different colors with a powder coat finish.

The other two models are made of welded steel.

Storage: Concept 2 rowers occupy a larger footprint. However, you can make them as compact as possible as the equipment can be separated into two parts for easy storage.

Display Monitor: Track your daily goal using the performance screen that self-calibrates to help you read your stokes, workout routine, and periods. Among all, Model D is a favorite among consumers for its PM5 monitor, tracking calories burned, speed, distance, and pulse.

Low-impact: Model E is recommended for individuals who suffer from mobility issues or reduced flexibility in knees/hips.

Seniors, even those who would be using the machine from their wheelchair, can use Model E as the increased seat height makes it easy for individuals to hop on and get off the machine.

A dynamic rower is a rugged model compared to Model D and is designed to mimic the experience of rowing on water (as the seat is stationary).

View on Amazon

Concept 2’s Pros & Cons

Now that you are well-aware of the various features incorporated in the Concept 2 rower, it’s time now to have a look at the pros and cons:


  • Extremely durable and assures high-quality frame and construction
  • Well-designed with powder-coated finish (Model E has a glossy finish) and available in two different colors adding elegance to your space
  • Smooth operation
  • Adjustable footrest and monitor arm
  • Very simple to assemble and disassemble
  • Advanced performance tracking monitor that’s favored by many


  • Though the air resistance generated through the flywheel generates minimal noise, some find it to be annoying
  • Quite bulky as it consists of two separate parts
  • Occupies more space than most rowers leaving users with smaller space to think twice before considering the equipment

Who is Concept 2 Rowing Machine For?

Concept 2 Rowers are for both beginners as well as pros. The manufacturer has smartly introduced various models to satisfy the needs of various users.

For instance, Model D is fit enough for rowing clubs and teams, Model E is highly recommended for fitness clubs, multi-user environments, and those with mobility issues, and the Dynamic rower is most suitable for home gym use.

All the three rowers are user-friendly, durable, easy to use, simple to assemble, and made of premium-quality material.

Which Is Better for CrossFit? Total Gym Rower or Concept 2 Rower?

If you see, CrossFit uses rowers instead of treadmills, ellipticals, or other cardio equipment mainly because rowing offers a full-body workout, can burn more calories efficiently, and above all, is a low-impact exercise that can be performed by different users.

CrossFit training has become the most sought-after training program loved by fitness freaks. Many of you would have wondered which could be the best rower for CrossFit training, and without doubt, it is the Concept 2 rowers.

Firstly, it’s because of the company’s superior design that guarantees unmatched durability against daily use and protection against easy wear and tear.

While most rowers don’t come with any monitors, Concept 2 rowers have a great performance monitor that tracks your progress.

The company hasn’t compromised in helping you with additional accessories too.

This includes a dynamic link for team rowing, slides to bring about a real-life rowing experience, receiver for Polar heart rate monitors, and PM5 monitors that enable racing between different machines. All of these, at a reasonable cost.

View Concept2 Model D on Amazon

Final Words

Once you finalize to buy a rower, choose a model that’s of high quality, easy to get on and off, durable, and convenient to operate.

Buy a fully-assembled piece of equipment, if possible.

Total Gym Rower and the Concept 2 Rower are both excellent equipment that offers you with full-body workout options.

Choose a model depending on your needs—if using your body weight for resistance is your choice, go for the Total Gym Rower model. If you prefer air resistance, choose the Concept 2 model.