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The Concept2 Indoor Rower

September 29, 2009

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“The Concept2 rower is the best aerobic exercise device there is. The reason for that is because is works more joints over a longer range of motion than any other device in the gym.”

-Mark Rippetoe, author, with Lon Kilgore, of Starting Strength

Concept2 started out manufacturing oars for on-water rowers and created the modern indoor rower in 1981 with the introduction of the Model A.

The model A was essentially the flywheel, chain and rim of a bicycle set into a frame with a bungee cord to return the chain into the machine after the pull. In fact, you will still regularly find Model A rowers in service at health clubs, universities and in private homes nearly 30 years later.

One of the gyms I was recently a member at had a model B, which was manufactured from 1986 to 1993. I was the only person I ever saw using it. It’s a shame, because it may be the single best machine in the gym.

From 1993 to 2003 was the model C, which is the model I have. The model C introduced the PM2 and PM2+, computerized Performance Monitors. The 2+ could be hooked up to your computer.

My personal Model C has a serial number indicating that it was boxed in August 1995. It spent many years in service at the University of Georgia Student Athletics Center. I won it in an eBay auction a couple of years ago for about $195. I have since spent about $60 on upgrades and replacement parts, but those upgrades were purely voluntary.

I learned to row on a Model D, one of the current models, which has a formed plastic handle that I prefer to the wooden handle of the Model C. Replacement parts and retrofits are available from the company store for every model ever produced.

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