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Lifespan Rower 605 Rowing Machine Review

It is but natural for business to expand on their products by taking some of the lessons learned in prior projects to produce new and more relevant innovations. Such is the case of Lifespan whose long line of fitness equipment reflects the organisation’s design and evolutionary philosophy. Seeing the Lifespan Rower 605 Rowing Machine I cannot help but think that the company has truly unified its vision. It has created high quality fitness equipment with the now-signature tapered lines of its devices.

They all look futuristic, comes with a variety of innovative technologies, and some of the fitness world’s most revered workout programmes. All of these can now be had in a rower style of exercise equipment. Fortunately for you, I happen to have first-hand experience on how the 605 fares and that’s what I will be sharing with you in this review.

Overview of the Lifespan Rower 605 Rowing Machine

The Lifespan Fitness Rower 605 is currently classified as a mid-ranged rowing machine available in Australia but it has all the makings of a great fitness equipment. It may not have the water resistance flywheel technology employed in the WaterRower products, but it sure makes up for it by incorporating the very same magnetic variable automatic resistance system that they employ in the company’s X-series cross trainers. I read a particular Lifespan Rower 605 review considering the 605 as having commercial-grade resistance, something that I couldn’t agree more.

It is this variable automatic resistance technology of Lifespan that I truly admire about the 605 since it allows you to seamlessly transition across 16 levels of resistance, maxing out at 39 kilogrammes, without having to second guess which level you are currently in. Everything can be set with a press of a button, thanks to the 605’s powerful motor that propels its flywheel made of heavy duty cast iron.

Personally, I would have loved the levels of resistance to be dictated by the amount of pressure or force that I apply onto the system. But I know this can only happen if the machine operates on either air or water resistance technologies.

Nevertheless, the 39 kilogramme maximum resistance should be sufficient for a lot of folks. For seasoned pros, however, being limited to 39 KG simply restricts their potential. I honestly believe that this is one serious flaw in magnetic resistance systems; you won’t really be able to push yourself as far as you could hope for. Once you’ve reached that magic number, that’s it.

But that’s not to say the Rower 605 doesn’t do a good job at targeting specific muscles in the body.

Together with its variable resistance mechanism that is already fully automated, it also comes with pre-set workout programmes, 12 to be exact. For newbies this can be quite a pleasant experience since the Lifespan Rower 605 already removes the guessing game often seen trying to figure out the best and optimised settings for any given fitness goal. I truly feel for them since I was once like them.

At least, the 605’s programming should help you reach your fullest fitness potential without having to ask for a personal trainer to come guide you. I just wish it came with at least 2 customisable settings though. But I guess 1 is better than none at all.

Featuring futuristic and innovative technologies

If any, it’s the Polar heart rate monitoring wireless transmitter that comes with the package that many will find interesting, especially for those who would want to check the progress of their cardiovascular endurance activities. The system links up with the large LCD on the console and works beautifully with the 12 pret programmes. I did give its heart rate control programmes a good run and they work seamlessly. I could feel the tension on the 605 to be very responsive to keep my heart rate within the targeted zone.

The other interesting thing I found with the 605 rower is that it comes with a manually set heart rate target. This is in addition to the preset values of 55-, 75-, and 90- per cent. The onboard computer also features a Race Mode functionality plus a Recovery setting.

The footrests are quite large and come with grooves and heel stops to keep your feet in place. I guess even Big Foot’s pedals will fit into these pair. Another thing I noticed with the Lifespan Rower 605 is that it did away with the traditional nylon cord.

Instead, it uses a wider and sturdier band made of latex and polypropylene fibre. Because the belt is wider than a nylon cord, I find this setup to be more stabilising and comfortable to pull on. The seat is especially contoured to follow the shape of my butt.

Unfortunately, you cannot make any adjustments to its size. As such, if you’re well-endowed at the bottoms, then comfort may not be present at all. Still, Lifespan was thoughtful enough to integrate a phone holder into the chassis of the Lifespan Rower 605.

A Look at the Features of the Lifespan Rower 605

Fully automated variable magnetic resistance technology

At the core of the Lifespan Rower 605 is its magnetic resistance mechanism that allows for very smooth, seamless, and noiseless operation. Although it doesn’t come with the very fluid motion that you’d only see in water resistance models, the 605 does a pretty decent job of simulating a rather pleasant cruise. Sixteen levels of resistance are available on the 605, all at the touch of a button.

12 preset workout programmes plus a variety of other useful digital programmes

Just like an elliptical trainer, the Lifespan Rower 605 comes with a bevy of programmes that take the guesswork out of figuring out the best setting for a particular fitness goal. Want to go full blast? Then one of the 605’s programmes can give that to you.

It is also programmed with heart rate control modes which are quite a blessing for individuals who may require constant monitoring of their heart rates within a specific range. This is made a lot more convenient with the inclusion of a heart rate monitoring wireless transmitter, the Polar T34.

The Lifespan Rower 605 isn’t just about programmes that are already predetermined, however. It also comes with a customisable mode. Unfortunately, if you’re like me who is already in the advanced stages of her fitness journey, then a single customisable setting simply isn’t enough.

For now, though, it should suffice, considering that it also comes with a Race Mode programme. It is quite a thrill to see yourself competing against an AI opponent. Too bad, the rowing experience doesn’t get you the real feel of water splashing against your boat.

Durable construction and compact design

The flywheel on the 605 is constructed of heavy duty cast iron. This gives the exercise equipment an added resistance that should help work various muscle groups in the body. Featuring a tubular steel frame, it may not be that heavy duty, but for its price, it should suffice.

Besides, with commercial-grade roller wheels, fully padded handles, and a rowing cord that does away with conventional nylon and instead uses latex and polypropylene fibre, what more can you ask for?

The overall construction of the 605 rower allows it to easily accommodate individuals weighing up to 150 kilogrammes. And this is considering the rower has a net weight of less than 40 kilogrammes. It’s mighty tough for a 40-kilogram gadget. It is fully foldable, too, so storing and moving it around is never a problem.

Pros and Cons

  • Commercial-grade specifications in a package designed specifically for the home
  • Ultra-quiet, efficient, and super smooth-operating magnetic flywheel made of heavy duty cast iron
  • Fully adjustable 16 resistance levels
  • 4 heart rate control programmes
  • 12 preset workout programmes
  • 1 customisable setting
  • Comes with race mode functionality and recovery mode
  • Contoured seat, commercial-quality rollers, and durable tubular steel frame
  • Compact, lightweight, and easily foldable
  • Max user weight capacity: 150 kilogrammes
  • 1 customisable setting may not be enough for serious fitness buffs

Final Verdict

The Lifespan Rower 605 may not give me the kind of rowing experience you can only get from a water resistance machine. However, it sure can make for a great start for those who would like to venture into the exciting world of stationary rowing.

The average price of this machine is quite reasonable. Especially, if you consider its preset programmes, compact and foldable styling, and efficient, durable magnetic flywheel. It looks ultra-sleek, too. I would say the Lifespan Rower 605 has all the makings of a great exercise equipment.


Here are some of the testimonials from those who bought this Lifespan Rower 605

Better than any other rower in this price range. Big range of resistance, I have only used up to level 6 so far but I’m only 5 weeks into my training. Chest strap was hard to get working, figured out you need to wet the strap parts for it to sense my pulse. Overall, highly recommended, great rower.

Paul B

Great piece of equipment, the construction is very good and assembly was easy. It gives you great satisfaction in the use of it, the movements are smooth and feels great, the electronic screen is fantastic and gives you great feedback Very happy with the purchase

Glenn W