I have been testing out the Ergatta Rower now for over six months, and finally feel ready to share all of my thoughts on this review. Let’s dig into all of the details to see if this game-based water rower is the perfect fit for your home.
Table of contents
Ergatta Rower review video
What Makes Ergatta Different
Peloton, iFit, Echelon, Hydrow, and a slew of other companies in the highly competitive connected fitness space, rely largely on instructor-led classes. Ergatta entered the space uninterested in adopting this tired class style. What made Ergatta so sure something else would work?
- Good training programs are more important than good instructors.
- There is plenty of similar content available from other companies, maybe they should go after an audience looking for something different.
Ergatta doesn’t have classes. There are no celebrity trainers, live workouts, no friends list. They have programs, progression, gamification, and challenges.
The Ergatta Rower is designed for someone different. A person who wants to be challenged, progress through programs, quantify what they’ve achieved, and have an experience more similar to playing a game than watching a show.
Ergatta Rower Shortcomings: Tablet, Music, Foot Straps
There’s not much I dislike about the Ergatta Rower, so let’s get that out of the way first.
The tablet on the Ergatta Rower is less than optimal. I might even go so far as to say it sucks. Beyond being small at just over 17”, its high gloss makes it extremely reflective. It turns almost into a mirror at certain angles opposite a light.
And not surprisingly for a tablet with such a bad display, this tablet also provides poor sound quality. The sound quality is less of an issue because there isn’t much I want to listen to from the Ergatta Rower. The music options are very limited. I know for myself and imagine most other users, I prefer to just stream my own music to headphones or a separate speaker.
Outside of the tablet, I take issue with the foot straps and pads. A single strap is used for both feet, so it’s easy to have one side accidentally take up all the slack. The placement of the foot pads is narrow compared to most other row ergs. This could present comfort issues for those with poor flexibility.
Design of the Ergatta Rower
The ergatta rower is simply one of the best looking pieces of exercise equipment for inside a home. With the wood and the water, it really feels like it belongs in a room, instead of a gym.
Space wise, it’s hard to find a piece of equipment more space-efficient. When stood up, the Ergatta Rower takes up less than four square feet of space.
The aesthetic of the Ergatta gets a lot of praise, but more than that contributes to the overall experience, which is a well thought out design. Being a water rower, the sound of the water adds to the enjoyment of this machine. The dull sound matches your cadence and can be quite soothing. It’s not loud, I can easily do an early morning row in rooms adjacent to my sleeping daughter and her not wake up.
Push Programs and Ergatta Rower Workouts
When you go to use your Ergatta Rower for that first row, it will have you take a 1,000m calibration test to assess your current fitness level. Once that baseline is established, every workout you do will be calibrated to that, dictating your pace for each interval. The Ergatta Rower will use the data from your workouts to recalibrate you every 10 workouts or so. Based on your results, the Ergatta will adjust your future workouts. This intelligence does a good job of keeping your workouts efficient and appropriate.
In terms of the Ergatta offered workouts, they include several types of games. There are Meteor workouts, which have you collecting coins as you try to stay within various zones, as well as workouts that award points for staying at certain cadences, or speeds, or hybrids of both. The games and workouts are all building blocks to the races. The races allow you to auto populate or pick and choose the ghosts of previous racers you’d like to go against. The other workouts do not have you competing, but you can compare your scores to other users afterwards. This element of competition has proven to be a great motivator.
The most important offering I found with Ergatta is their Push Programs. These are designed programs a user joins, to be taken through a progression, leading to an ultimate goal. They range in difficulty and length, some as short as a week to some made up of multiple block cycles designed to be taken over a period of three months. The Push Programs are a big part of what makes Ergatta stand out. The games they use to keep you engaged are designed around really solid training principles, rather than the training having to work around the games.
Following a Push Program is not a requirement to using the Ergatta Rower. There are monthly challenges, weekly races, badges to collect, scenic rides, and opportunities to create your own custom workouts.
Ergatta’s membership costs $29 a month. This seems fair, considering how often it is updated. Over the past six months, I’ve consistently seen improvements to the system. A membership will allow you to set up an unlimited number users, so it basically covers anybody who wants to use your rower with you.
With dozens of fitness devices to choose from, the Ergatta rower is one of the few devices both my wife and I can agree on and continue to use on a weekly basis. There is no higher praise I can give it than to tell you, we use it all the time.
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