The good folks at Aviron have come out with a newer, heavier-duty home rowing machine known as the Strong Series Rower.
This justly named rower uses the same innovative, game-inspired software that made the Aviron Impact so popular, but this new rower comes with a few key upgrades.
Like a rotating screen, adjustable-width pedals, and feeling a cool breeze as you row, but I’d say the most notable changes are the lower rail and more robust, non-folding frame.
Plus, this rower comes with a max weight capacity of just over 500 lb, meaning just about anybody can safely use it.
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty rower with tons of workout options, I think Aviron’s Strong Series Rower is a great choice, but before you decide you need to know what you’re getting into.
And that’s where I can help.
In this review, I’ll go over everything this rowing machine has to offer – I’ll also try to point out some of the key differences between this model and the more affordable Impact Rower.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not the Strong Series Rower is the right option for your home gym.
The Aviron Strong Series Rower
As far as I know, Hydrow was the first brand to bringing streaming media to rowing machines, but after the colossal success of Peloton and iFit, it was really just a matter of time.
Regardless, now we have plenty of options when it comes to streaming rowers and each brand tends to put their own spin on the whole experience.
And with Aviron, it’s all about finding more interesting ways to get your workout in.
Aviron’s first rower, now known as the Impact Rower, was innovative because it gave people several different ways to work out – we’ll go over these in more detail below, but basically you can choose between a bunch of different games as well as more traditional workouts.
Well, the Impact must’ve been a success because Aviron has another model out now – the Strong Series Rower.
The Strong Series Rower (which I’ll be referring to as the “Strong Rower”) uses the same software as the Impact, but it comes with a much heavier-duty frame and a few other upgrades that could make your rowing experience a better one.
At the time of writing this, the Strong Rower is selling for $2299, making it about $300 more than the Impact.
- 22″ HD touchscreen rotating console
- 8 different workout modes
- Tons of games to keep workouts entertaining
- Very heavy-duty frame
- 507 lb weight limit
- Low frame height
- 20″ seat height
- Dual resistance system
- 16 levels of magnetic resistance
- Rotating handle
- Nylon belt
- Adjustable pedals
- Cooling effect from fan
- Compatible with lumbar support attachment
- Good warranty
- Takes up a lot of floor space
I realize the software and streaming options are what most of us are interested in here, but it’s still a good idea to look at the hardware too.
Because if the rower can’t perform, it won’t matter how cool the streaming media is because you probably won’t be using it for long.
The Strong Rower is a combination rower, meaning it uses a combination of magnetic and air systems to create the resistance you work against.
Each style of rower has its own benefits and disadvantages, but a lot of newer rowing machines seem to be going the combo route because this allows the rower to capitalize on a lot of the advantages of both resistance types.
That was a mouthful, so I hope that makes sense.
By combining a magnetic and air system, you always have a baseline resistance regardless of how fast you row (coming from the magnetic side); but if you start rowing faster, that air system will really kick in, adding even more resistance.
But since there is a spinning fan, the Strong will create a little more noise than a purely magnetic rower.
Not a huge deal for most, but something to be aware of if you plan on exercising early in the morning when other family members may still be sleeping.
Speaking of the fan, Aviron designed the Strong Rower to take advantage of the wind it creates.
On this model, they designed it so this air is redirected back at you, providing a self-powered cooling fan during your workouts – pretty cool.
The Strong comes with 16 magnetic resistance levels (no damper settings for air fan) and according to Aviron, level 16 provides 100 lb worth of resistance.
This is a lot of resistance for a rower, but it’s important because Aviron designed the Strong (and the Impact for that matter) to be used for upper body strengthening exercises too.
You can crank that resistance level up and really work on strength training – rows of course, but also moves like bicep curls and tricep extensions.
The resistance system is pretty sophisticated, but the frame is no slouch either.
The Strong comes with an assembled weight of 114 lb and a weight limit of 507 lb – in other words, this thing is well-built and sturdy enough to handle users of all sizes.
Speaking of which, according to Aviron, most folks up to 6’8″ should be able to row comfortably as well.
The Strong doesn’t fold, but it can be stored vertically, which essentially serves the same purpose.
The frame on the Strong is only 10″ off the ground, making it easy to step over, but the seat is elevated up to 20″, so it’s still easier to get on/off of (the Impact also has a 20″ seat height, but a higher rail).
The handlebar on the Strong is attached to a nylon belt for quiet operation and can also rotate to accommodate natural wrist motion during workouts.
Something else pretty interesting, is that the Strong comes with fully adjustable pedals.
Not only can you adjust the length to accommodate your shoe size, but you can also adjust the distance between the pedals, allowing folks of all sizes to find a comfortable rowing position.
I’ve never seen this feature on any other rowers and this is a key difference between the Strong and the Impact.
Overall, I think the Strong Rower itself scores highly – this is a heavy-duty machine with a dual-resistance system capable of providing a ton of resistance.
I mentioned earlier that Aviron prides themselves in the variety of workout options they offer, but it’s time to go into a little more detail.
First and foremost, the Strong is a streaming rower and as such, you have to pay a monthly streaming fee to take advantage of all the features I’m about to go over.
At the time of writing this, this fee is $25/month, which gives you access to unlimited user profiles – it’s also still quite a bit more affordable than Hydrow’s $38/month fee.
You can use the Strong without a membership, but you again, you won’t be able to access any of the games or workouts.
Without a membership, you can row manually, see and track your workouts, add/follow friends, and create a profile (which is actually pretty generous compared to what some let you do without a membership).
Anyway, with Aviron, you have 8 different workout modes to choose from:
These interactive video games have you doing stuff like shooting robots, running from zombies, or breaking bricks, helping you forget that you’re actually exercising.
All games are controlled based on the speed/force of which you row.
These games are one of the biggest differences between Aviron’s software and most other streaming rowers and folks are pretty unanimous that they help remove the monotony of rowing.
You can follow along with your personal rowing instructor as Austen takes you through guided rowing and strengthening workouts.
This option is similar to a traditional, instructor-led workout.
You can access most of the popular streaming entertainment apps right from the 22″ HD touchscreen console, allowing you to binge watch your favorite shows while getting a workout in.
These include Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, YouTube, and even Spotify (for music).
You can zone out and enjoy scenic waterways while you workout from the comfort of home.
This feature is kind of a combination between games and guided workouts, allowing you to race friends and the computer while focusing on different aspects of your row.
Power play offers an entertaining way to improve your stroke and compete against others.
This mode is a no holds barred race against anybody brave enough to accept your challenge.
You can challenge friends to a live race or simple aim for the top spot on the leaderboard. Aviron will occasionally schedule live events as well where you can compete as a community.
These workouts are kind of like the coached programs, but without the live instructor.
These programs take you through both rowing and off the rower workouts, depending on what your goals are and where you are physically.
Pros vs Joes
And finally, one of the coolest features the Aviron software offers is the Pros vs Joes feature where you get to race against elite athletes (pre-recorded) to see how you stack up against some of the fittest folks around.
They have athletes from various sports/disciplines, so you don’t always have to race against an Olympic rower… unless you want to.
Overall, Aviron offers a ton of different workout modes, so getting bored with your workouts shouldn’t be an issue.
The Strong and Impact Rowers both use the same software and they both come with a 22″ HD touchscreen console, but the Strong’s console can rotate side to side for easier viewing when off the rower.
Aviron backs the Strong Series Rower with the following home warranty:
- 10 year frame
- 1 year parts
Ok, I think this is a pretty good warranty for a rowing machine.
Ten years on the frame is a lot longer than the 5 years most other elite rowers are offering (Hydrow, Concept2, Ergatta, etc) and a year on parts isn’t bad considering most offer somewhere between 1-3 years.
Aviron actually backs this rower with the same warranty when used in a commercial setting too – which speaks to how confident they are in the quality of its build.
Overall, I think Aviron offers a very competitive warranty.
As I’m writing this, the Strong Series Rower is going for $2299.
This is expensive for a home rowing machine, but it’s certainly in the right ballpark when you look at what the other elite streaming rowers cost.
For example, the Hydrow is going for $2495 and the Ergatta is going for $2499 (at the time of writing this anyway, prices can always change).
NordicTrack’s RW900 is a bit more affordable, going for around $1800, but otherwise I’d say the Strong Series is competitively priced, especially considering what it has to offer.
Oh, Aviron’s own Impact Rower is around $1999, making it about $300 cheaper.
Alrighty, that’s about all I got, so I should probably start wrapping things up here.
With the Strong Series, Aviron took their already popular Impact Rower, beefed it up, and added a few extra goodies to make an even nicer rowing experience.
I’m not sure I was super clear up above about what those upgrades are, so let’s summarize real quick just to be sure.
When compared to the Impact, the Strong Series Rower has the following extras:
- Heavier-duty frame
- Rotating screen
- Lower frame height (same seat height)
- Stores upright (doesn’t fold)
- Adjustable width pedals
- Cool air flow directed toward you from fan
- Phone holder
- Lumbar support compatible
There’s really not much to complain about here – this is a full size rower, so you have to make sure you have enough floor space for it (7′ long), so there’s that.
It’s also not cheap, but compared to what the other streaming rowers are asking, I think it’s priced pretty fairly.
It’s even backed by a surprisingly good warranty.
And when it comes to exercise options, I’m not aware of any rower on the market right now that has more to offer – from games and instructor-led workouts to streaming apps and scenic rows, Aviron kinda has it all.
In other words, Hydrow better watch out because the Strong Series Rower has arrived.