The Ergatta Rower Review

Get a quality cardio workout while staying entertained and motivated

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4.7

Ergatta Rower

The Ergatta Rower Review

Verywell / Ariel Kanter

What We Like
  • Game-ified workouts keep you motivated

  • Quick 5-, 10-, 15-, and 20-minute workouts

  • Elegant design

  • Can be stored vertically against a wall

What We Don't Like
  • Workouts may be too difficult for some

  • Not compatible with many workout and health apps

  • Expensive

Bottom Line

The Ergatta offers fun, motivating full-body workouts, excellent customer service, and a sleek design for those who are tired of crowded group classes, monotonous treadmill runs, and unsightly, bulky machinery. 

4.7

Ergatta Rower

The Ergatta Rower Review

Verywell / Ariel Kanter

People are working out at home more than ever, and the at-home workout equipment landscape is crowded. If you are going to spend money on a piece of equipment, it needs to replace all the physical and emotional aspects of being in a workout class. It’s got to work your whole body, motivate you, and keep you entertained. It also needs to fit in your home, whether you’re in a house in the burbs or a one-bedroom apartment in the city. The Ergatta does all that and more. 

With a variety of ways to row, from races and free rows to “meteor workouts” and pulse challenges, Ergatta keeps rowers entertained and muscles working hard. The more you row, the smarter the machine gets, calibrating to your body and your progress. 

Because the machine is newer to the market, the Ergatta team is still tweaking the technology, which sometimes makes calibration inaccurate. But an active Facebook group ensures that users are heard and customer service issues are resolved quickly. 

At $2,199 (plus a $29 per month of $290 per year membership), the rower is expensive. But that price has a lot of returns, including unlimited profiles for friends and family, new workouts every week, real-time performance tracking, and a dashboard that tracks your progress and your milestones. 

The Ergatta Rower Review

Verywell / Ariel Kanter

Setup Process: Calibrate and go

That cost does not include delivery and installation, which will set you back an extra $199. But for that price, all you need to do is open your door and two people will bring the machine in (in my case, even up a flight of stairs), set it up, and make sure you’re fully ready to row. 

As soon as they’re done, you can set up an account and do your first calibration. When I got my rower, the calibration row was 2,000 meters, which definitely felt like a barrier to entry. (What if you simply can’t row that far yet?) Since then, the team has lowered the calibration row to 1,000 meters, which is much better for beginners. Speaking of beginners, the machine offers plenty of helpful Youtube videos to help with your form, which is important to achieve the full-body workout and not get injured in the process. 

Once you’re calibrated, the machine will know your paddle, steady, race, and sprint metrics. And as you get stronger and complete more workouts, it'll automatically recalibrate to make future sessions more difficult. If you notice that your metrics are too difficult, you can recalibrate at any time.

The Ergatta Rower Review

Verywell / Ariel Kanter

Design and Comfort: This rower is a looker

Ergatta is a looker. Made from cherry wood and boasting a nice,  small footprint, it could easily look good sitting in your living room either on the floor or up against a wall. I keep mine in my guest room and it gets more compliments than the rest of my house. 

Comfort-wise, much of the experience will depend on your body. I find the seat comfortable enough, though some Facebook users who do longer rows complain they need extra padding and use biker’s shorts. 

The Ergatta Rower Review

Verywell / Ariel Kanter

Performance and Workouts: Races, games, and self-led rows keep things challenging (and interesting)

While Ergatta only offers one type of workout (rowing), it’s not a one-trick pony. Log on and you’ll see several types of workouts to choose from: Push Programs, Interval Workouts, Race Workouts, and Open Row. 

Push Programs offer a collection of workouts designed to help you reach certain goals, like row 5,000 meters or become a better sprinter. Each program offers a recommended number of days to complete the challenge and a set number of workouts that will help you gain strength and confidence to reach the goal. Workouts range from races to interval training—it’s something different every time. 

Interval Workouts are where Ergatta shines with HIIT, endurance, and technique sessions in the form of Meteor Workouts, where the rower catches coins as they fly through different speeds (inspired by 2D side-scrolling games). Pulse Workouts are also popular and require the rower to match the speed and/or strength levels of a moving metronome. Both of these workouts are actually fun. They’ll keep your eyes on the screen and away from the countdown clock. Before you know it, your session is over. 

Races challenge rowers to sprint against the competition. You can select who you want to race (like friends and family)—race yourself—or use Ergatta’s matchmaking platform, which will pair you with rowers of similar ability. These sessions range from quick sprints to long races—some include breaks and some don’t. All of them offer a visual race track that shows you just how close you are to the competition and how close you are to the finish line. 

Open Row allows rowers to set their goals as they please, whether you want to focus on speed, time, or distance. Ergatta also recently launched the ability to customize your visuals, so you can row along actual landmarks around the world. 

No matter which workout you choose, each session will bring you closer to unlocking Milestones. Some Milestones are based on distance, like if you reach 500,000 meters. Others are for completing certain challenges, like monthly challenges or Push Programs. Something cool: Once you reach one million meters, you’ll be able to design your own workout and release it to the Ergatta community. 

Classes: You’re your own instructor

Ergatta currently doesn’t offer any instructor-led classes, which means the experience is purely your own. While you may miss the motivation a teacher or group class may provide, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy with the wide range of workouts and challenges. 

Personalization and Compatibility: The best is yet to come

Ergatta currently syncs with Strava and Bluetooth-enabled heart-rate monitors. The team also just launched their Android App. It sounds like an IOS App is in the works as well—and I anxiously await it. For now, I just deal with my Apple Watch not having the same calorie stats as Ergatta and manually logging my workouts. According to an Instagram post, the company raised 30M in funding at the end of April and is hiring lots of new engineers, hopefully with a goal of making the technology and stats even more accurate. 

While you work out, you may like to listen to music. For that, Ergatta offers ad-free radio channels that range from pop to dance to classic rock. The machine is also Bluetooth-enabled for audio, so you can play whatever keeps you in the groove. 

Data Storing: Stats galore

Ergatta can store up to 16 gigabytes of data, and you can check your stats at any time, whether you want to know how you stack up against rowers in your weight category or personal records for calories burned. 

Waterproofing: Sweat away!

Since Ergatta is a piece of machinery, I wouldn’t leave it out in the rain. That being said, spilling some water on the rower or sweating on it won’t impact its integrity. 

The Ergatta Rower Review

Verywell / Ariel Kanter

Price: It’s hefty but worth it

The Ergatta rower itself along with the tablet costs $2,199. You can pay upfront or finance through Klarna, which offers monthly payments of $61 per month for 36 months. Delivery and installation are $199. All of this plus the membership fee ($29 per month or $290 per year) means that the Ergatta is a costly piece of equipment. 

But if you have the means, it’s well worth it. Don’t forget you can create unlimited profiles for that membership cost—so friends and family can split the fees. If you’re a regular gym-goer, especially at a fancy gym, you’ll eventually break even and begin to save in a year or two.

As you read on about the competition, you’ll see that the pricing is pretty standard with comparable models, and the benefits of this particular machine (from the multitudes of workouts to the excellent technology to the look and feel) keep on coming. 

Competition: In a league of its own  

There are a lot of rowers out there. If you’re in the market for a great rower with touch screens, data storage, and lots of innovative technology, it’s really going to come down to Ergatta and the Hydrow Rower (view at Hydrow). They both have pros and cons, depending on your workout style and goals. 

First, let’s look at the Hydrow Rower. The starter package will set you back $2,520, which is more than the down payment for the Ergatta. However, that price also includes shipping, a mat, a heart rate monitor, and headphones. Both machines include a monthly membership, though Ergatta’s is cheaper at $29 and Hydrow Rower’s is $38. For that extra $9, you’ll have access to more classes (and ones that are instructor-led), plus non-rowing workouts.  

While you may be getting more of a package with the Hydrow Rower, you’re also getting a bulkier machine that’s a lot more “metal machine” and a lot less mid-century-modern cherry wood. Plus, the free shipping doesn’t include set-up, so you’ll need to grab a friend for help because it’s 197 pounds. 

The resistance is another differentiating factor: Hydrow Rower uses electromagnetic and computer-controlled resistance, while Ergatta uses water. While the water takes a tiny bit of maintenance (adding a tab every few months), I prefer it because it makes me feel like I’m actually on the water—and I find the sound soothing. 

As for the actual workouts? You can find instructor-led classes just about anywhere. But can you find a 2-D game-scape where you chase coins for points? No. If you’re looking for style, substance, and a game-ified motivation, Ergatta beats out the Hydrow Rower every time. 

Final Verdict

Yes, buy! 

If you love rowing, gaming, and racing your friends—and you have the budget to do so—Ergatta is the best machine on the market. It’ll keep you motivated with new workouts and games, it’ll challenge you with new calibrations as you get stronger, and it’ll look great in your home—whether you’ve got lots of space or very little.

While the company is on the younger side, they’ve got plenty of capital to improve their technology, so you can pick up a rower now and expect great updates as they get into their stride (and as you get into yours!). 

Specs

  • Product Name Rower
  • Product Brand Ergatta
  • Price $2199
  • Release Date December 2019
  • Weight 103 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 23 x 86 x 40 in.
  • Subscription $29/month
  • Warranty Five years on the structural frame, 3 years on parts, 1 year on the tablet. If you’re unhappy with the Ergatta in your first month, they’ll provide free pickup and refund 100-percent of the purchase price.
  • What’s included For the $2,199 price, you’ll receive your rower and the touchscreen. With the added membership you'll get access to unlimited profiles on a single device, access to the full library of workouts, 6+ new workouts each week, performance tracking, personal dashboards, and the opportunity to unlock charitable donations made on your behalf by Ergatta.
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