With Peloton’s popularity, there’s no shortage of companies trying to get in on the same business model, replacing the outfit’s elliptical and treadmill with cable machines and even just a really smart mirror. Hydrow is another outfit looking to carve their place in this growing market.
Instead of ellipticals, treadmills, or cable machines, the outfit is building their subscription service around a connected rowing machine. That way, you can spend your fitness time engaging over 80 percent of your body’s muscles, all while getting a serious aerobic exercise to give you a truly complete workout.
The Hydrow is a rowing machine with an electronically-controlled resistance that, the outfit claims, can mimic the feel of traditional rowing machines, a stack of weights, or even different types of boats on the water. It achieves that through the machine’s ability to adjust the resistance up to 100 times per second, so the resistance can be as consistent as a rowing machine, as smooth as a quiet lake, or as constantly-adjusting as it is in turbulent waters. The resistance mechanism is quiet, too, so there’s nothing to interfere with anything you’re listening to, whether you’re jamming to a workout playlist or listening to the training instructor for motivation.
A 22-inch 1080p touchscreen panel sits at eye-level in front of the device, where you can choose what scene you want to play (they have real rowing footage from various bodies of water, complete with nature sounds), stream on-demand workouts, or join in on a live class. The display’s housing, by the way, also contains integrated 3W stereo speakers, a two-megapixel camera, and a microphone, along with ANT+, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a USB slot.
The Hydrow pairs an ergonomically-designed seat with a comfortable cushion to a 10-roller system that, the outfit claims, will provide a lifetime of smooth operation in all your rowing movements. The cable, on the other hand, uses high-quality webbing for jerk-free motions, while the handle provides a low-stress grip, so you don’t have to tire your hands to make sure you don’t lose your hold. According to the outfit, the components are tested to last over 3,000,000 cycles, leaving this as strong as any commercial gym equipment. It can support users up to 375 pounds.
Dimensions are 85 x 25 inches (length x width), so it’s going to take up a good chunk of space in your home. Only the monitor can fold flat, too, so you’re going to need to find a permanent space for the machine somewhere at home. Alternatively, they offer an optional upright storage kit that lets you easily stash the machine standing when not in use. In this configuration, it only takes up 24 x 33 inches of space, making it much more manageable.
The Hydrow is priced at $2,399, which includes a full year of subscription to the streaming service. After that, staying subscribed will cost you $38 a month, although you can always forego the subscription and use it as a regular rowing machine. Without the subscription, you can still adjust the resistance on the fly, see your workout stats, and access basic workouts included with the equipment.