Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Review

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Reviews

Rowing machines offer a low-impact alternative to running and other cardiovascular activities, that also heavily works out your legs, back, and core. If you want to create your own home gym or just a new way to exercise, a rower is the machine for you.

To help you to select the best one, we recommend you to get Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine. This is well built and designed for low impact exercise.

What’s Important to Look for in a Rower?

Many different kinds of rowers are on the market, and every model has its advantages and flaws. So, before you go out and make your purchase, consider what’s needed to fit your exercising goals.

Size: Rowing machines are notorious for taking up a lot of space and, because they are very long, storing them can be difficult. Some people like to keep their rowers out in the open, and others would rather store them away when not in use.

You’ll want to look for a model that best fits your storage preferences. Many models fold up or separate to provide for easier storage.

Type of resistance: The type of resistance can be important to the workout you’re trying to achieve. Hydraulic rowers are smaller and cheaper but can have an awkward range of motion.

The pricier air, magnetic, and water resistance-based rowers provide a more natural and efficient workout. Air rowers, however, can get very loud compared to the other types, especially during intense workouts.

Technology: Many modern rowing machines have different intensity levels and preset workouts to better fit your exercise routine. Different models can measure your heart rate, workout progress, and connect via Bluetooth to health and fitness apps.

Comfort: When buying any sort of exercise equipment, you’ll want to make sure you feel comfortable using it. You won’t want to work out on an uncomfortable machine, so we made sure to pick only machines known for feeling great.

Exercising with Concept2 Model D

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Reviews

The Concept2 Model D is considered the king of the rowers. Let’s get on with the review and see how it stacks up to its reputation.

Performance Monitor

Of all its features, I count the monitor on the Concept2 Model D as the best. It’s called Performance Monitor 5 and has many options. The display is big and clear, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty reading the information on display.

In addition to the usual time and distance rowed, speed, and calories burned found on most rower monitors, it also shows how much power you exert with each stroke.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Reviews

The rower comes with five preset workout programs, or you can customize your own. If you don’t want to use any of the program options, simply start rowing and the monitor will automatically power on and start tracking your progress.

Another fun option is the game feature that allows you to play games while you work out.

The Performance Monitor 5 is really a tiny computer. You can use it to save your workout data on a USB drive. This feature is particularly handy if more than one person will be using the same Concept2 and each wants to record workout data individually.

You can also use a USB to record data from more than one Model D rower. The Concept2 Utility is an online logbook that you can use to transfer information from your USB drive to better analyze and manage your workout data. You will also have the ability to wirelessly connect the PM5 wirelessly to your smartphone or computer.

It also has wireless Bluetooth Smart (not the Bluetooth that you are familiar with, but similar) wireless technology that allows it to work with compatible devices such as heart-rate monitors.

I should point out here that the Concept2 Model D does not come with a chest strap monitor, but you can buy a compatible one from the same manufacturer for about $50.

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Strong and Sturdy

This is a solid rower that was built with an aluminum monorail, a stainless steel seat track, an aluminum front and steel rear legs. You won’t find cheap plastic parts on this rower.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Reviews

This commercial-grade piece of equipment was built to stand up to hours of continuous use in gyms and training facilities; it can handle all your most intense home workouts. Users of the Concept2 Model D who have had the machine for as long as 10 years say that they have experienced no reduction in performance. In fact, it is so strong that it can support up to 500 pounds of weight.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Reviews

Comfortable Rowing

The Concept2 Model D comes with a contoured, padded seat for comfort. Some users, however, mentioned that after years of use, the padding in the seat compacts, lessening the cushioning. A quick fix for this is just to add a folded towel for extra comfort.


The ergonomically designed handles on the Concept2 are covered with textured rubber, so they should be comfortable enough to hold. But if you are new to rowing, I would recommend that you consider using gloves to prevent your hands from blistering.

The footrests are also said to be comfortable and they can be adjusted to fit the size of your shoe.

Generally, this rower will glide smoothly. Many users have said the rowing experience is similar to the feeling of rowing on water.

To keep this rower gliding smoothly, you should regularly clean the monorail and lubricate the chain.

Check The Cubii jr. Reviews.

Rowing Community

Membership in an online rowing community is something that you won’t get with most rowers on the market. The Model D, however, has an active community of rowers on its online forum.

This provides a place for rowers of all levels to share experiences, give advice on rowing, and support and motivate each other. The company is active in the online community and offers prizes and other incentives to those who hit certain milestones on their rowers.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine Reviews

Too Noisy

Even with all the other good things about the Concept2 Model D, there are drawbacks in addition to the loss of cushioning in the seat. Many users say the rower can get quite noisy, and that the faster and harder you row, the louder it gets.

This can be annoying for those who like a quiet rower because they want to listen to music or watch TV during a workout.

General safety suggestions for rowing

Suggestions include:

  • Take lessons to learn the skills and techniques required for rowing.
  • Make sure that all rowers, including you, can swim.
  • Don’t go rowing by yourself.
  • Don’t try to row against traffic – go with the flow.
  • Don’t go rowing in stormy weather. If you feel doubtful about the weather conditions, be cautious and don’t go on the water.
  • Take a mobile phone in case of an emergency.
  • If the boat fills with water and swamps, stay with it. Wave your arms to attract attention.

Take care of your back when rowing.

Suggestions to prevent injuries include:

  • Undertake a general strength and fitness program including weight training and aerobic activity, such as walking or jogging, to improve muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  • Strengthen abdominal muscles to support the lower back.
  • Perform regular flexibility exercises for your back. Tight back muscles are more susceptible to injury.
  • Respect your limitations and don’t overexert yourself when rowing. Back injuries are more likely to occur when you’re fatigued.
  • Make sure you pay attention to your rowing technique. Seek advice from a rowing coach on ways to improve your motion.
  • Don’t overtrain. Aim to gradually increase your strength and stamina over a period of time.
  • Look after your back in everyday life, for example, lift heavy objects correctly.

Final Thoughts

The Concept2 Model D is on the high end of the rower price scale, but when you consider how much you would pay for a year’s worth of gym membership, it really isn’t a bad price to pay for a proven rower built to survive years of rigorous use.

It has a high-tech monitor with wireless capability, several features geared toward comfortable use and a supportive virtual rowing community behind it. If you don’t mind having to turn your TV and you have the budget to invest in a solid machine, I’d say go ahead and invest.

Research credit: review geek & home rower.

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About Adiel Jack

Hello, my name is Adiel Jack the man behind I am a professional fitness trainer and I am glad you found some time to stop by this site. I am committed to giving you all the necessary information that you may need to be able to use fitness equipment effectively. I will answer any questions that you may have so as to help you make an informed decision on ideal fitness equipment and exercise tools that will work for you. Keep it here for the latest information and professional advice.

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