After a lot of consideration, my husband and I ordered a Peloton Row at the end of December 2022. We have owned a Peloton bike for four years and love it. Between the cycle classes and all of the Peloton workout classes available with the Peloton membership, I cancelled my gym membership four years ago and have no regrets. We had wanted to add another piece of equipment to home gym and ended up purchasing a Peloton row. I have been using the Peloton row for three full months and can now provide a real review of the Peloton row. This post will detail my experience testing in a showroom, purchasing, delivery, first class, learning form and my Pro’s/Con’s of the Peloton row.
Disclaimer: Links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
My Peloton Backstory. I am not an athlete.
I am not an athlete, a body builder, a runner or a yogi. I am a somewhat in shape, nearing 40 year old mom of two. Prior to having my first child, I went to the gym regularly, attending weekly weight lifting and yoga classes. I purchased the Peloton bike a few months after my first child was born. I knew realistically I would never be able to get to the gym like I used to with a young child at home and working full time as a lawyer. I wanted to invest in some equipment to have at home to replace my gym membership. I quickly fell in love with the bike and cancelled my gym membership.
I used the Peloton bike and the workout classes for years until I was pregnant again. During my second pregnancy I was not as consistent with my workouts. As soon as I got the all clear by my doctor, I started using the bike (albeit, very slowly and gently). I was out of shape, missed exercising and had 40 pounds to lose.
It was about a year after I started working out again that the Peloton row was released. At that point I was working out regularly on the bike and trying to incorporate more weight lifting. After four years of using one piece of equipment at home, I was excited to add another piece of equipment to my home gym. A row was very enticing to me in part because of the space I had in my home for a second piece of equipment- I did not have a ton of space and my ceilings are fairly low. I would have loved to add a treadmill to my little home gym, but it would not fit due to the low ceilings.
Testing and Purchasing the Peloton Row
I was lucky to be able to test the row in a showroom. For a full review of the experience testing in a showroom, check out my post here. I actually had the opportunity to see the Peloton row in a showroom twice before I purchased. Getting a chance to use the machine and have guidance by a Peloton Showroom employee was a huge factor in my decision to purchase. Not everyone can get to a Showroom (the one near my home has actually since closed), so I hope my review of the Peloton row will be helpful if you are considering purchasing.
Delivery of the Row
The delivery of the row went fine, the delivery was earlier in the day than expected and the delivery men put the row together well. However, I was annoyed that all the packaging was left at my house- and it is a lot of packaging. While this doesn’t seem like a big problem, check out my post here to see how much packaging was left for me to get rid of. For a detailed post about the delivery and a price adjustment that we received on the package we purchased, check out my post here.
First Impressions of the Peloton Row at Home
I posted about my first impressions after my first class (check out the full post here). After my first class, I was frustrated to say the least. The row had seemed so easy to use when I did a test in the showroom, but now, at home, without the help of the Peloton associate, I did not understand the metrics and I realized I had a lot to work on with my form. The biggest source of frustration was the metrics- which I could not grasp. The metrics were not intuitive and I could not find a description of the metrics which I could easily understand.
My frustration lead me to take the “You Can Row” program. The program involves taking certain classes spread out over three weeks. I really dedicated my time to focusing on taking this program and learning form. I highly recommend this program. I documented each week of the “You Can Row” program below:
I want to stress that there is a lot to learn when starting to use the row. I was very frustrated when I took my first class as I realized that I had a lot to learn and would not be working out on the row until I learned the form and metrics. However, once I took the “You Can Row” Program, I feel like I have a really good form and I understand the metrics. Once the three week program was over, I felt comfortable on the row and really began to enjoy using the machine.
I have completed the “You Can Row” Program a few weeks ago and have now started taking whatever classes I feel like. The row, like the bike, has classes taught by instructors, scenic rows (row through a scene that you pick), guided scenic row, and “Just Row” feature (row with a black screen)
There are many different types of classes (such as HIT, Endurance, Music based and intervals). The row has classes of all lengths from 5 minutes to 60 minutes.
I have taken all the different types of classes available at this time. I really like all of the classes, and can’t pick which one is my favorite. I have also taken classes with every instructor. I have my favorite row instructors- Alex Karwoski and Kate Wang. I can probably write an entire post about just instructors. But, in short, these two instructors are fun, upbeat and I just really like their energy in the classes.
Unlike the bike, there are not a ton of classes available on demand. Obviously the bike has been out for years, so there is a huge library of classes, which the row cannot compete with in terms of numbers. There also are not as many instructors on the row as there are with the bike classes.
At this point, I have taken most of the 15 minute classes available on the row. 15 minute classes are my go to class length when I try to squeeze in a workout during my little one’s nap time. I am not against retaking the same classes (I actually love retaking classes and competing against myself), but I never feel like I have to retake classes on bike as there are seemingly endless classes available on demand.
Peloton is adding classes for the row all the time, so with a. little patience, there will be a larger library in the. future. But I wanted to point this out, as the number of on demand classes seems limited at this time.
I have some clear stand out classes that I love. Below is the list for you to check out. I tend to love classes (row, bike, yoga) with pop music, but Alex Karwoski has really swayed me into working out to classic rock music!
|My favorite classes (so far) are the following:|
|30 Minute Endurance Row from 11/10/22 Alex Karwoski|
20 Minute *NSYNC Row from 11/18/22 Alex Karwoski
15 Minute Pop Row 2/8/23 Katie Wang
15 Minute Classic Rock Row 2/7/23 Alex Karwoski
In addition to the classes taught by instructors, there are scenic rows (you pick the location), guided scenic rows (an instructor is on a row in the water) and a “Just Row” feature, where you row with nothing on the screen.
My biggest complaint about the classes is that the classes are not available on the app. Currently, the classes are only available to view or take on the actual row. So, you cannot preview the row classes on the app prior to getting on the row. You have to physically be sitting at the row to look at the row classes available- or to even the schedule of row classes!
I like to scroll through the classes prior to the time I am going to workout so I can just jump right into whatever workout I am going to do that day. Normally, I pick my classes when I am rocking my little one to sleep for her nap, as I like to workout as soon as she is asleep. Or, I like to scroll through the demand library before bed if I plan to exercise in the morning.
Unfortunately, I cannot scroll through the row classes on my phone. I feel like I am wasting time when I get on the row because I have to scroll through the classes to pick what I want. This may seem like a small inconvienance but it isn’t. It does not make sense as an owner of the row that I cannot even see the classes available on the row unless I am on the row machine. I pay a monthly fee for the membership and own the row, it simply does not make sense that I cannot see the row classes available on the app.
You do not need any accessories to use the Peloton row. I did buy an accessory package with the row, mostly for the row mat because I placed the row on carpet (and there was a special price at the time I purchased).
I do have three accessories that I really like to use with the row.
Gloves. The instructors advise you not to grip the handle too hard. Well, I tried and tried to lighten up my grip, but I ended up with calluses. A simple fix was purchasing Trideer workout gloves from Amazon, which worked amazing. Here is a link to the gloves. I really like the padding on these gloves- they make holding the handle for long periods of time very comfortable and I no longer have calluses.
Here is a link to the version my husband bought for himself, also from Trideer.
Apple Airpods. I use the row a lot during my daughters nap time, so I like to use AirPods to make sure that the sound doesn’t wake her. Also, while the sound from the row screen is good, when you are rowing you are moving back and forth away from the speakers, and the sound can be a little off when you are all the way back on the row. When I have the AirPods in, the sound is always consistent- there is no changes in sound when you are moving. I really like using the AirPods with the row to keep the sound consistent. Here is an Amazon Link to the AirPods I have.
In my experience the AirPods Pro have worked great with the bike and row. I have had not trouble syncing the AirPods to the equipment and I am not a tech savvy person.
Heart Rate Band. A third accessory which came with the package I purchased with the row that I have surprisingly enjoyed using is the Peloton Heart Rate Band. I purchased the Heart Rate Band with a package, but it is available to purchase on Amazon (Amazon Link here). This is not a necessary accessory with the row, but I like seeing my my heart rate while on the row. I have been surprised by how quickly my heart rate goes up when working out on the row and find it is a good motivator during my workouts. This Heart Rate Band also works with the bike or any other Peloton workouts you take. Previously, I had the heart rate monitor that went around my chest. I did not love the chest monitor because it would get gross during my workout from sweat, which I don’t find that to be the case with this new arm band.
Review of the Peloton Row Equipment
The Peloton row is a great piece of equipment. The screen is a great size and very clear. I love that the screen swivels (unlike my bike, which is an older version), so I can turn the screen when I do post row stretches off the row.
I really like that unlike the bike, you do not have to change any settings when you want to use it. I share the equipment with my husband, so with the bike I am constantly changing the settings (seat height, depth) when I use it after him. Not a huge deal, but I like that I can easily hop onto the row without any adjustments. The only adjustment you may have to make if you share the row is the height for your foot, which is very easy to adjust.
The row is also easy to get on and off. I find this particularly important when my toddler wakes up early and comes into my room in the morning when I am trying to row. I can pause the class, jump off, get him an iPad to distract him until I finish and jump back on.
The row is truly a great quality machine.
Pros and Cons, My Review of the Peloton Row
I have spent a lot of time thinking about the Peloton row, the good and the bad. I want to summarize concisely the Pro’s and Con’s if you are considering purchasing the row.
Rowing is a great work out
Rowing is a fun and mentally stimulating workout
Quality piece of equipment
Swivel Screen (my bike is an older version with no swivel screen)
Easy to jump onto the row/Minimal adjustments when sharing the equipment
Size of equipment may fit better in your space (ie/not as tall as a treadmill)
Form Assist feature makes focusing on form very easy
No special shoes needed (unlike the bike)
Classes are not available to take or preview on the App
Limited number of classes (at this time, and compared to the huge library of classes available for the bike)
Not a multi use piece of equipment (*see below for more thoughts on this)
Metrics are not intuitive to learn
Good Form takes time to learn
Steep leaning curve to rowing and metrics
Not a multi use piece of equipment
I want to explain in detail what I mean about the row not being a multi use piece of equipment. I consider the bike a multi use equipment. With the bike, you can also adjust any cycle class to fit your physical abilities easily- for example, when I was pregnant I rarely lifted out of a seated position. On the bike, there is a “just ride” feature, which I like to do when I want to zone out and just pedal. Especially when I was pregnant, I would us the “just ride” feature and check my emails or watch a video on my phone.
With the row- I do not see being able to just zone out (and take it easy) or do too much adjusting to make the classes easier.
There is a real mental aspect of this workout. When using the row, I find myself having to focus both physically and mentally on the workout. Yes, there is a “just row” option and scenic rows, but you cannot just row and watch a video or check emails on your phone. Rowing is a serious workout, while you can have an easy class and just enjoy the row, I doubt you can just relax and zone out while watching a video on your phone.
Additionally, rowing involves a very specific form. You cannot just adjust the classes to make the row easier – besides simply going slower, you cannot change form to make the class easier.
Final Thoughts About the Peloton Row
I have really enjoyed using the Peloton row. I actually find it hard to pick between using the bike and the row when I get to workout. I really love the workout I get on the row- I feel that a 15 minute row gives me a great workout, more so than a 15 minute ride on the Peloton bike.
I also love that the row is both a physical and a mental challenging work out. You can not easily zone out on the row- You have to continually think about your form and adjusting to the prompts from the instructors.
The form assist is what sold me on the row and I think this feature is key. I thought the form assist would becoming distracting, seeing a cartoon character rowing on the side, but it isn’t. I feel confident in my form now after using the row consistently for the last few months, but I really like the reminder when I do mess up on my form. It is very easy to become a little off on your form when you are in a long row or recently changed your target pace. I love the reminder to watch my form and being able to easily see what parts of my row need to be corrected as I continue with the class.
As I was writing this post Peloton made some updates to the form assist. Previously, the in class form assist was a cartoon image which would demonstrate and follow your row- and parts of the cartoon’s body would highlight in red when you needed to work on a portion of your row.
Now with this new update,, the form assist can also provide text updates to help you correct your form during the classes. The text instructions to help with the form are awesome and have helped me quickly realize how I can improve my row during the class. Being able to see an error in your form and be able to correct during your next movement is an amazing feature.
I also want to note that you have the option to turn off the text instructions and just see the visual image of the cartoon. You can also swipe the form assist so you do not see the image, but I do not find the form assist to be distracting at all and really love the immediate feedback on my form. Again, you do not have to wait until the end of the class to see how you did with your form- you get instant feedback so you can always have the best form during your workout.
I have not noticed any huge physical changes from using the row, but I definitely feel the burn after a good row workout. I cannot wait for more classes to be added to the library and to see what other new features are added to the row in the future.
If you are considering purchasing. Peloton row, take into consideration my thoughts as an owner. I have really enjoyed the Peloton row and would recommend the machine if you are considering purchasing it!
Disclaimer: Links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
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