VR500 Pro Rowing Machine



The VR500 Pro Air and Magnetic Resistance Rower represent over a decade of research and development. This rower incorporates all the latest technology and long-standing consumer requests resulting in a smooth, high-performance rowing workout. Choose your own experience by adding our CONNECT22 Tablet to use apps like Netflix and YouTube where you will find virtual rowing and coaching videos.
*Some images shown with optional Connect-22 Touchscreen. Please select your model below.




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  • Monitor: Adjustable Tilting Hi-DEF Black Mask LCD w/ High Contrast White LCD Technology
  • Resistance: 32 Levels of Resistance Utilizing BODYCRAFT Air+Magnetic Eddy Current Technology
  • Travel: 38.5″ of Travel Will Accommodate Users Up to 6’8″
  • Handlebar: Ergonomically Correct Comfort Grip Aluminum Handlebar with Wireless Remote Control
  • Seat: Contoured Comfort Seat with Heavy Duty Roller Bearings
  • Foot Hold: Deluxe Adjustable Heel Rest with Quick Adjust Foot Straps
  • Track: Heavy Duty I-Beam Mono-Rail – High Strength T13 aluminum
  • Drive: Zero Maintenance Premium Nylon Belt Tested at 580lb load with 500,000 Repetitions
  • Support Legs: Precision Formed Laser Cut High Strength Steel
  • Storage: Easy Fold and Roll System with Safety Child Lock

Computer Features:



  • Display: Time/500M, Calories, Pulse, Strokes Per Minute (SPM), Watts, Strokes, Meters, Time, Level, Profile
  • User Profiles: 4 Users
  • MANUAL MODE: Quick Start or Set Countdown Goals.
  • Program Profiles: 12 Auto Resistance Change Profiles
  • Programs: 6 Race, 4 HRC, 3 Interval, User Mode, 1 Custom Definable & Manual
  • RACES: 5 Different Preset Races; Also Race vs User’s Average
  • INTERVALS: Interval Time, Interval Distance & Custom Intervals for Various Time or Various Distance.
  • Heart Rate Control Programs: 60%, 75%, 85%, and Custom
  • Goal Programs: Time, Distance(Meters) and Watts
  • Cool Down Feature
  • Range: 32 Levels of Air+Eddy Current Magnetic Resistance
  • PAUSE/Power Off feature: Can Pause Workout for 5 Minutes and Will Auto Shutdown After 5 Minutes of No Use
  • Bluetooth: FTMS Protocol Compatible

* We reserve the right to make improvements and changes to the product specifications without notice




  • Finish: Powder Coated Steel with Anodized Aluminum Beam
  • Unit floor dimensions: 20″W x 98.5″L
  • Seat height: 19″
  • Seat travel: 38.5″ (up to 6’8″ user height)
  • Maximum user weight: 350lbs (up to 5 hours a day)
  • Assembled dimensions: 98.5″L x 20″W x 38.5″H
  • Folded dimensions: 58.5″L x 20″W x 77″H
  • Box dimensions: 71.5″ x 30″ x 10″ – Ships LTL
  • Boxed weight: 116lb 52.6kgs
  • Unit weight: 101lb 45.5kgs
  • Power Source: Plug-in


  • Residential: Lifetime Frame, 7 years parts, 1 year wear items and 2 years of labor.
  • Light Commercial: 10 years frame, 3 years parts, 1 year wear items and labor (up to 5 hours/day).



Truck (LTL, Curbside Delivery)
VR500 Pro Frame Box 1/1: 116 LBS
Total 1 Box with a total weight 116 LBS.*
*The total does not include pallet weight

VR500 PRO with CONNECT-22 Kit:

VR500 Pro Frame Box 1/1: 116 LBS
Connect-22 Box: 14 LBS
VR-Bracket for Connect-22: 4 LBS
Total 3 Boxes with a total weight 134 LBS.*
*The total does not include pallet weight

61 reviews for VR500 Pro Rowing Machine

  1. 5 out of 5

    Betty Hobbs

    I have a home gym and wanted to add a rower to my collection of machines that are effective toward my physical goals. Sure, you can find rowers that are inexpensive, but, I learned a long time ago that, if you buy a cheap product, you are going to get even cheaper quality. And, especially for workout equipment, if you don’t buy quality equipment that moves smoothly and is enjoyable to use, you’re simply not going to use it.

    After a lot of research and reading every review I could find on every rower considered, I decided to purchase the BodyCraft VR500. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was delivered in a big box strapped to two wooden pallets. Understanding the assembly directions was not difficult. However, some of the pieces are heavy and have to be held at an awkward angle to assemble so, when I got to that point, I asked a neighbor to come over to help hold a piece in place while I attached it. I couldn’t possibly be happier with my BodyCraft VR500. This is the most amazing piece of equipment on the planet.

    The BodyCraft VR500 is a beautiful piece of professional quality equipment. It is belt driven instead of chain driven which makes it very quiet to use so you can watch tv while you are conveniently torturing yourself. I’ve learned that, no matter how ‘in shape’ you are, this rower will prove to you very quickly that you’re not quite there yet, but it can sure get you there. If you’re looking for a quality rower, the BodyCraft VR500 is an excellent choice. There isn’t a better rower, anywhere, at any price. It is worth every penny and you will not be disappointed.

  2. 5 out of 5


    I read the review by Weavergrace (as well as the reviews for Concept 2) and decided to go with VR500, even though Concept 2’s glowing reviews and the lower price was tempting. But I use a similar machine as the Concept 2 at the gym and if I’m not careful the seat hits the back of my lower legs. Also, the gym unit is very light and i have to be careful that I don’t lose my balance. The VR500 arrived as promised, and I assembled it, although due to unclear instructions I used the wrong support under the unit when I had to turn the unit upside down and I accidentally broke the computer off the hinges (warning: don’t take all the parts out of the box initially because you will need the foam support under the unit as you assemble it, fish out the owner’s/installation manual and read it carefully before proceeding to assemble and if possible get someone to help you – I did it alone). When I called BodyCraft, they sent me a new replacement (shell for the computer) and I was able to easily swap it back (the computer was not damaged, so I was able to use the rower with the computer while waiting for the part). I love this machine. It is sturdy, the belt is smooth, has a great feel (no jerkiness) and I love the adjustable tension on the handle. The computer is very nice. I only wish it had a port (or wireless) to upload my data, but I can do that manually. I like the manual, preset and user-customizable, as well as multiple user options. I hope to use this machine for decades. I also appreciate their customer focus and prompt shipping of the part, no questions asked.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cleveland Customer

    This is my first personal rower. I have arthritis and recently had surgery on my right foot and needed a way to exercise efficiently and at home. This machine is all it’s cracked up to be. I can get on and off easily. I can easily adjust the foot rest to accommodate my orthopedic shoe and keep my incompletely healed foot protected. love the computer display and optional programming. I love that you can adjust the pull resistance right on the handlebar. It is very quiet. I prefer music when I workout and did not need to adjust the volume for machine noise. I left the television on once just to see if I could watch a movie while rowing and I had no problems hearing the television at normal volume. It is easy to fold and unfold, but is too large to fit under a bed or in a standard size closet. The quality of these machine is excellent. It took my husband a couple hours by himself to put it together and he had no difficulty.

  4. 5 out of 5

    S. White

    After weeks of research on all the different types of rowers, I finally decided on the BodyCraft VR500. I live in a condo and the top priority was a whisper quiet rower, that I could use any time of the day or night, and not disturb the wife or neighbors. This rower passed the test with flying colors!

    The second priority was a long rail, as I am 6′ tall, with a 32″ inseam. The BodyCraft VR500 rail is designed for users up to 6’6″ tall.

    Another priority was seat height. The VR500 has a 19″ seat height that is much higher than most rowers. It is very easy to get on and off.

    The on board computer is awesome! Very easy to read the display while rowing. The seat is VERY comfortable as well.

    The steep price of $1899.00 was a big concern, until I went on the BodyCraft website. They are selling it for $1499.00!
    The only thing better than their rower is the customer service. I would like to thank John (1-800-990-5556 at ext.15) for being so helpful and courteous whenever I called. Top notch customer service all the way. (You get what you pay for) 🙂

    I paid for inside delivery and was not charged for it! The rower was a bit of a challenge as far as assembly. It took my wife and I almost 3 hours. The build quality on this thing is amazing! The only light weight piece is the seat. Everything is high grade steel and very heavy. It definitely takes two people to assemble it. This a high quality piece of fitness equipment. I’m looking forward to many years of intense workouts.

    If you’re looking for a high grade commercial rower that’s whisper quiet, that folds for easy storage and comes with superior customer service, you won’t regret the BodyCraft VR500.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ann Knox

    This machine is very quiet and smooth the only obstacle is my weak will to exercise regularly! I did hire a sports equiptment person to assemble it for me and a couple of times he needed me to hold a part or two. I would not have been able to assemble it myself but I am nearly 73 and a little feeble,hench why I’ve purchased this rower. I think it’s great.

  6. 4 out of 5


    We compared this BodyCraft VR500 side-by-side with a Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine. We tried the minimum, medium and nearly the maximum resistance settings on each. We bought the BodyCraft.

    – Few reviews for comparison
    – Might be hard to use when we don’t feel very energetic; might be comparable to the Sole elliptical we just sold because it was too hard to use sometimes
    – Resale value might be poor because Concept 2 machines are so much more popular
    – Large footprint, just like the Concept2

    + Padded, comfortable seat
    + Programs for when we get bored with it: 4 user profiles, 12 program profiles (4 race; 4 heart rate – 55%, 75%, 90%; custom; 2 interval; 1 custom; and manual/quick start/countdown)
    + The beam is long enough for my legs to fully extend: I have a 36″ inseam. When I fully extend my legs, I have 9 1/2″ remaining behind me
    + My Polar heart rate monitor works with it, even when my legs are fully extended and I’m leaning back as far as I can (my back is very flexible)
    + Consistent resistance throughout strokes
    + Soft, durable, comfortable handlebar
    + 32 levels of resistance adjustable during rowing from the buttons on the handlebar
    + Air and magnetic resistance

    Comparison with the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine:

    *** seat much more comfortable*** – a deal breaker!
    *** resistance is adjustable from the handlebar*** – a deal breaker!
    *** Easier to adjust resistance: press buttons on handlebar instead of having to stop rowing, step out of the footrests, and adjust the resistance on the flywheel*** – a deal-breaker!
    *** The Concept2 handle became easier to pull once we got momentum going, especially when starting each stroke which made less use of our leg muscles and put more stress on our backs and arms*** – a deal breaker!

    + Better warranty: Concept2 is only warrantied for 5 years on certain frame parts, and 2 years on the rest of the machine. See BodyCraft warranty info below.
    + The seat is higher: the brochure states it is 19″. Ours is 18″ to the top of the lowest point.
    + 32 levels of resistance compared with 10
    + Foot straps easier to adjust because the nylon webbing is smoother, but the footrest design is very similar
    + Nylon web strap connects the handlebar to the fly wheel instead of a metal chain
    + On the Concept2, the seat kept cutting into the backs of my ankles because I kept hyper-flexing my legs, i.e., I kept going too far forward during my recovery stroke
    + The Concept2 has a shorter beam

    = Comparable durability of I beam and rollers under the seat
    = Comparable handlebar
    = Both seem to be sturdy, built to last many years

    – The footrest heel cup is narrower, but it stretches, and the design is nearly identical
    – Pricey unless you get a deal like what we got from our local fitness store: only $200 difference 🙂
    – The salesman said the Concept2 display gave more information that is more relevant for rowing athletes, but we were just looking for a full-body workout machine, so this was not meaningful to us.
    The BodyCraft display shows:
    average and total: time and distance in meters;
    average: pulse and strokes per minute;
    and total: calories and watts.
    It also shows your resistance level as you row.
    – Less popular
    – Comes in one color; the Concept2 comes in a choice of colors

    We went to our local fitness store to try recumbent bicycles. My husband asked about the rowing machines. He had owned a piston-style one decades ago and wondered why they didn’t have any like it. The salesman explained the differences between pistons, flywheels and water wheels. We tried the magnetic and air flywheels and the water wheels.

    We understand that the piston-type are less durable and less ergonomic.

    When we tried the water flywheels, we liked the sound of the rushing water, but we thought that would probably get annoying. We also decided on a different flywheel because our cellar has no drainage, and we didn’t want to take a chance on the water tank leaking. The salesman told us the tank only holds around a gallon of water, but still…

    We tried the air flywheel. We liked the breeze that came off of it, but we didn’t like the noise it made.

    Then we tried the BodyCraft VR500. The seat was the first remarkable thing about it: it was SO comfortable! We liked the feel of pulling on the nylon webbing better than the metal chain in the Concept2. The handlebar felt MUCH better than the other machines, except it was comparable to the Concept2. We had fun easily adjusting the resistance using the buttons on the handlebar as we rowed, without affecting our pace.

    We so enjoyed the workout we got on the rowing machines during both visits, we lost interest in the recumbent bicycles. We have a treadmill, so didn’t really need more lower-body exercise equipment.

    I use it for weekly cross training. I am a runner who has won and placed in 5K races (for my age group) in the rural area where we live. My husband is working up to using it daily to supplement his daily 30-minute walk.

    I viewed dozens of YouTube videos that explain how to use a rower. I found the one called Rowing Technique by doosport to be the most helpful.

    We downloaded the Concept2 training manual from their website. It is great! We plan to follow their advice regarding workouts as we get used to the machine.

    I saw varying statements about the residential warranty for this rower. The BodyCraft website states “Lifetime Frame, 5 years Parts”. The BodyCraft brochure states “Lifetime Frame, 5 year parts, 1 year wear items, 2 year labor.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Buckeye Guy

    I bought this Bodycraft VR500 rowing machine at a local retailer a couple of weeks ago and I could not be happier with my purchase. After giving up my club membership (tired of the rat race) I decided to take my workouts to the house. I wanted to have a low impact type of machine that would get my blood pumping and get me sweating. Having decided that the $4000 elliptical was not in my budget the sales person asked me if I have ever rowed before. I told him I had used the rower at the club but since they only had 1 it was hard to get on it much. He suggested I take a look at this Bodycraft and assured me it was every bit the quality of the one at the club. I tried it out in the store and he was not lying. This rower is awesome!!! It has a ton of programs and the resistance is no joke. After like 100 strokes on half resistance I am already beading with sweat. It is very quite and just as smooth as the one at the gym. I would definitely recommend this product for anyone looking to burn some calories at home.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donald J. Mote

    I’ve been a runner for over 10 years, and have always struggled with a reliable cross-training exercise. I’ve been on and off with gym memberships and toyed with P90X. My new running partner mentioned rowing. He has a Concept II, so I started researching and read through countless reviews for weeks. While the Concept II is a little less expensive, I finally opted for the VR500. Haven’t looked back since.

    the biggest reasons I chose the VR500 over the Concept rowers: high quality with plenty of training programs, seat comfort, and resistance adjustment from the handle. A friend of mine said the Concept’s seat is uncomfortable and can be painful after rowing sessions. I haven’t had any problems with the VR500. I also don’t have to stop rowing if I want to change resistance using the manual option, which is nice.

    The rower came in a long, flat box-mine was delivered by an 18-wheeler so I had to meet them in a shopping center parking lot because he couldn’t get the truck back into my neighborhood, but it fit snugly in my Toyota Highlander. I spent about an hour or so putting it together by myself with no problems.

    The thing is solid, and well-built. It is pretty long, so it takes up some space in my basement, but it folds up and you can wheel it to a corner if needed.

    I run 4 days a week with long runs on Saturdays, so right now I am only rowing 2 days a week, about 20-25 minutes in the mornings. The workout is excellent and perfectly compliments my running routine. There are a variety of programs to choose from to keep things interesting. I can tell a difference in just a month-i’m slowly increasing program resistance each week. If you run, rowing is the exercise for your off days. And I couldn’t be happier with the VR500. Great product!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Nyquist

    My wife often chides me on how I tend to be over zealous in researching products before purchase. With that said, we decided on getting a rower due to rowing’s incredible health
    benefits without impact. Cardio and strength in one unit.

    I looked at Concept 2, water rowers, and finally BodyCraft VR500. After spending an hour at the store (which sold several brands), the VR500 stood out over all others.

    *Construction quality is superb.
    *Long rail for use with wide range of folks.
    *Great electronics
    *Quality on every component.

    I could go on, but suffice it to say that the VR500 exceeded the others in every parameter.

    If I had any complaint it would be that the process to set up individual training programs can be a challenge. But not more so than others.

    Bottom line: High quality, great customer service, in a rower that will likely last a lifetime.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carla Groves

    I have always liked rowing machines – if I could find one in whatever gym we happened to be a part of (my husband is military and we move around a lot). Usually, if I was lucky, there would be one stuck somewhere in the back, rickety and old, but there was never a line 🙂

    When my husband suggested that we start putting together our own home gym with the pieces we really liked using, I began looking into rowing machines and Bodycraft soon made it’s way to the top of the list. I researched and pulled the trigger on the VR500 (go big or go home!) and have not looked back.

    It was delivered in less than a week, took my husband less than 30 minutes to put together, and I use it religiously every day (it’s set up in our pseudo-gym, a large extra room with a tv in it). Within the first week I was up to 60 minutes of pretty hard core sweating, never noticing the time flying by as I watched television. It’s comfortable, monitors everything, is easy to use and gives you a total body work out if used properly – what more could you ask for? I especially love the contoured (and large enough for my big behind) seat – gone are the days of getting off the rowing machine with a sore tushy (this is why I hate biking). Try it, you won’t regret it for a second.

    Best purchase of the year.

  11. 5 out of 5


    After joining a boxing gym and using a rower for the first time, I was amazed at the work out from doing a rower. So I started my research on rowers and reached out to the individual who helped us build out our home gym. He immediately suggested Body Craft. I completely trust his judgement and I’m so glad that I did. We moved forward and now am the proud owner of a Body Craft 500. It is the perfect machine. It is superior to other rowers on the market. It is worth every penny – don’t get cheap when getting a rower. You can end up doing harm to yourself and at the end of the day will stop using it. The 500 seat is not only comfortable but is so smooth and simply glides. The handles are designed with a lot of thought and the adjustment on the handle for increase or decreasing the tension is so helpful. The monitor is easy to read and gives you all the data in order to meet your goals. It is also quiet with the belt, is built like a tank, extremely well thought out as a machine that will last years to come and it is easy to move around and to lower and raise the track. You’ll be very happy once you make the decision to get the 500!

  12. 5 out of 5


    I am not new to rowing, have done it for years. It’s not what you might do every day, but maybe two or three days per week. Compared to C2, this is much smoother and quieter. Face it, in front of a television and things get better!

    I like the electronic controls in the handle. The only other option at the fitness store was the CR2 rower, but that motion was hard to master, and the up and down was probably going to be a problem with watching television. So, we went conventional and this so far has met or exceeded our needs.

  13. 5 out of 5


    We tried the Concept and Bodycraft rowers. We liked the Bodycraft VR500 better and purchased that model. Now that we are using it as part of our exercise routines, we know we made the right choice. It is a well made rower and we have been extremely happy with it.

  14. 5 out of 5


    I purchased a BodyCraft VR500 about a month ago and have used it regularly ever since. Excellent, well made product. This unit has a better seat, longer track, and bigger/brighter display than the others i shopped. (not to mention many great programs to follow). But the best difference is the smoothness of the rowing mechanism, with the magnetic regulators. No other rower on the market compares.
    P.S. I am 6’4′” and weigh 250

  15. 5 out of 5


    I’ve had this rowing machine for about 9-10 months now. I first bought the VR 400, but I decided I wanted more resistance capability and the digital display, so I traded it in at the Johnson Fitness store where I bought it. I can’t say enough good things about this machine, but a few things I like include the super-smooth sliding of the seat, the ability to adjust resistance with the handle, and the wide range of resistance levels. This rower seems very solidly built, with no signs of wear and tear so far. Highly, highly recommend. I do wish they had the option of different handles (maybe one with two vertical grips like some weightlifting machines have), but this handle is comfortable.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Allison Riccio

    Easy to assemble… ergonomic controls…also smooth rowing, no jerky response while rowing.
    Fold up option is a nice option.
    Great product

  17. 5 out of 5


    This was it! Rowed the water, magnetic, chain and other hybrid model machines. Rowed the most talked about model too. This one was by far the best for me. Give it a try. Smooth and a little whoosh sound, I can hear and am not annoyed by the sound the machine makes. The program screen is easy on the eyes and the programming is intuitive.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Steve L

    My initial reason for choosing the VR500 rower over the main competitor was based on its ability to fold up and lock in place. However, now that I am using this rower, it is by far the best rower I have ever used. It has a smooth glide and being able to increase tension to such higher levels brings my rowing workout to a whole new dimension. The remote control handlebar makes adjustments so much better as well. No more stopping to change settings. I really look forward to coming home after work and jumping on my rower

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Seurer

    Just put the product together today. I was looking for a nice rower for a long time and did extensive research. I did have one that was cheap from Amazon- it was flimsy, uncomfortable, and had no resistance….

    This rowing machine impressed me the second I sat on it at the store. It’s easy to use and very smooth. Easy to adjust resistance as well! Product seems to be built extremely well- Glad it’s a new addition to my home.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carl Willis-Ford

    I love my VR500, but it frustrates me…I bought it 3 years ago, and it uses a Polar heart rate transmitter that is no longer officially supported by Polar. The same topline model today uses the same antiquated heartrate technology. The rower would get an easy 5 if I could use an updated sensor with it.


    Hi Carl, we are very happy to hear you love your VR500 rower! As for the heart receiver built into the VR500 computer it will receive any 5 kHz transmission (the most common) heart rate belt or strap. We currently offer the POLAR T34 heart rate strap on our website with uses 5 kHz transmission. Polar also offers 2 new heart rate straps that use both 5 kHz and Bluetooth/ANT+ technology. See below. I hope this helps and we hope you enjoy your VR500 for years to come! Thank you for being part of the Bodycraft Family!



  21. 5 out of 5


    After a lot of research I decided to purchase the VR500, and I absolutely LOVE it! It is a great workout! A good change from our Bowflex Max Trainer.

  22. 5 out of 5


    I actually went to the fitness store to look at another machine. After not being happy with what it, we saw the rowing machines. I liked the fact that I could get a full body workout instead of just aerobic. Very sturdy and easy to use. This is a great workout and a good change up from our elliptical.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia & Henry

    After looking for months at the Spirit bike, it sold! My husband picked out another bike and I wasn’t in favor of the selection. We wondered around the store looking at our options. There was another person in the store who was a personal trainer and he guided us in the direction of the Rower. We chose the VR500. I worked out today on it, and had an amazing workout! So very happy with our choice!

  24. 5 out of 5

    James VanWingen

    I won’t get into the quality of workout a rowing machine provides other than to say I have a treadmill and elliptical in addition to my new rower, and the rower provides the best all body workout in the shortest timeframe. I will instead speak to the quality of this machine in comparison to others on the market. I considered a Water Rower and the concept D in addition to the Bodycraft. All 3 are great machines, but for me the Bodycraft wins hands down. I very much prefer the strap over the chain because it is zero maintenance and quiet. The other selling point for me over the other two machine is the computer. Not only is it nicer quality and easier to read, but has many more useful features and variety. And I like being able to change residence, which is not possible with a water rower. The residence buttons on the handle are a huge plus so you can adjust without interrupting your workout. One final thought: after trying all three machines, I felt a smoothness and sturdiness that I just didn’t feel on the competition.

  25. 4 out of 5

    john lemm

    Runs smoothly and is easy to use

  26. 5 out of 5

    Don Padalis

    Now that I’d had my VR500 for a couple of years, I can add reliability and durability to the superlatives I’ve used about it.
    Generally use it 4 to 5 times a weeks, both manual and program modes. It delivers a consistently good workout with no equipment problems. Just an occasional wipe down and it stays prime. It’s the best piece of exercise equipment I’ve ever owned.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Christopher C

    The best Rowing Machine you can buy, such a complete total workout. Design is impeccable, and the functionality is top notch. This machine is Amazing!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Scott Barton

    Purchased the VR500 from a local exercise machine store after loads of research on this and similar machines. I also own a Bodycraft spin bike SPT so I knew the build and quality would be superior. After getting a fair price from the salesman the machine arrived about a week later. Assembly went well and within an hour I was ready to begin rowing. Using proper form is the key to overall success when using a rowing machine. I suggest watching a few videos on YouTube to perfect your stroke. The machine is very quite and smooth. The seat is comfortable for about 20 minutes then some soreness occurs like any exercise would of you are in one position for a long time. The handle is large and semi soft enough for a long comfortable row. I have tried a Concept 2 machine at a hotel gym. The seat and rowing handle on the VR500 are much more comfortable than the Concept 2. So far I have only used the heart rate program. This is a game changer for me and the most important reason I bought this machine. You just set the heart rate to you target # and start rowing. The machine automatically increases the magnetic tension to higher levels and gets you to you target rate very fast. Then it adjusts up and down so you can maintain your programmed target heart rate. The Concept 2 simply cannot do this as it has no way to adjust tension. I am currently working out at 77% of my maximum HR and predict raising this number even higher. For me this is the best way to exercise on aerobic-type machines. As as an added bonus my back, chest, legs and core get a fantastic workout as well. I highly recommend this machine.

  29. 5 out of 5


    I love this machine. I switched from using an elliptical to this and could not be happier. It is very smooth, sturdy and gives you an excellent workout. It has even helped improve my posture. I’ve had friends come over and hop on and I could not get them off; it is actually fun to use! This is a top-notch machine and I don’t know what I would do without it.

  30. 5 out of 5


    I’ve been very happy with my rower so far. It’s smooth and sturdy, and I’m confident it will last for many years. I assembled the machine myself, which was simple enough, but note that you should keep all pieces in the box to aid in assembly. I also ended up dropping a bolt into the main mechanical part, which was incredibly difficult to retrieve – so try to avoid that! I’m going to buy the phone / tablet holder today.

  31. 5 out of 5


    I have enjoyed rowing many years(at the local health club).Along comes COVID19 and the ability to row at home becomes a necessity! I have trained on different higher end machines such Bodycraft, Concept2, Water Rower, etc. Bodycraft has a great combination of “build”, design, tech, low noise level and ease and small storage footprint .. My son who crewed at UVA really likes this machine! Maybe because he doesn’t have to get up at 4:30 every morning as he did in college.to “use the erg” ((-:
    Extremely satisfied with product and customer service as they promptly answered any questions I had…Heck as a bonus even my wife has likes this machine!

  32. 5 out of 5

    Debbie R.

    I have terrible arthritic knees. And, swimming and rowing are two of the best exercises to do. So, I would love to win this wonderful rowing machine.

  33. 5 out of 5

    Jim C

    My wife did all of the research and then presented me with a choice of three. I choose this one and she said it was her first choice too. So we bought it, had a great sales experience from a local dealer.
    Took a bit to put it together when we got home, but I did notice the excellent quality as I was assembling it.
    My wife and I both love it. It’s comfortable, quiet and a great workout. Appreciate the preprogrammed choices, and ability to custom program.
    Looking forward to years of enjoyment, yes it’s actually fun to use.

  34. 5 out of 5

    Cody Mays

    This is a great rower for a home gym, and would highly recommend purchasing. The rowing experience and quality of the machine are outstanding. I have used Concept2 Model D rowers at my local gym and I enjoy this machine more.

  35. 5 out of 5

    Michael S

    I have added the VR500 to my morning routine after giving up running, and have never felt better. The unit is smooth and the is easy to use. It is built like a tank and know that I will have this in my gym for a long time.

  36. 5 out of 5


    Solid machine, easy to assemble, easy to use. Great full body workout. Thanks BodyCraft!

  37. 5 out of 5


    We were introduced to this machine 4 years ago at our rental home. Each year we looked forward to going back and using the equipment. Finally we purchased our own Bodycraft VR 550 and now can enjoy it year-round.

  38. 5 out of 5

    Michael Lerner

    I received my VR500 rower this morning assembled it and had my first workout this afternoon. Still have a lot to read and learn to maximize the experience but just using quick start and manual setting was invigorating. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality, sturdiness and stability. It was up to gym standards and I am looking forward to it having a long life. BTW, the folding lets it stand in a corner of my living room and is very convenient.

  39. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Gallagher

    After researching many, many rowers we made the decision to buy the Bodycraft VR550, and couldn’t be happier. Every morning we use it, it performs well and is such a great no impact workout. It is very user-friendly with many great settings. The assembly took about 1 hour.

  40. 5 out of 5

    Brian Miller

    Best Rowing Machine workout bar none. I have use a variety of rowing machines of different styles over last 35 years. I started with hydraulic resistance, then water rower and wind, and now finally found this magnetic that finally gives me the level and consistency of resistance that I have been looking for. All built with the solid design of a full commercial quality machine. Hopefully Bodycraft with come out with a retrofit to add connectivity to external devices and apps. I’ll be there when they do.

  41. 5 out of 5

    tim Brennan

    I am looking for a low joint impact exercise alternative and discovered that the VR500 would be a much better option over an elliptical offer a great cardio workout. I think the VR500 is superiors to the RW900 offered by NordicTrak. I am very interested but have not pulled the trigger on a purchase yet.

  42. 5 out of 5

    Lionel O Pittman Jr


    I found a bodycraft vr 500 rower for sale and it was the perfect addition to my home guy. I have been rowing for a while and when covid hit I was unable to go to gym and workout. With the addition of the vr 500 I have been able to finally get back into the swing of things.

  43. 5 out of 5

    Don (verified owner)

    My wife and I had been thinking about purchasing a rower for a while.

    After purchasing the Bodycraft HFT Functional Trainer and being incredibly impressed by the design, packaging, quality and ease of use with the HFT; we decided that we wanted to look closer at Bodycraft’s rower options.

    We settled on the VR500 because we liked the 3 points of contact with the floor when it is folderd, the magnetic resistance and the other additional features on the VR500.

    We ordered the VR500 on a Sunday and we it was delivered on Wednesday! It shipped with the same great packaging that we experienced with the HFT.

    Bodycraft didn’t disappoint with the VR500. While unboxing it was obvious that we purchased a high quality piece of equipment.

    We’re really glad that we purchased the VR500. It’s super quiet, being able to adjust the resistance from the handle is excellent and it’s very comfortable to sit on.

    The computer is really easy to use. Has a ton of workout profiles to mix up your rowing workouts and the magnetic resistance has the perfect amount of increments.

    It’s really simple to fold/unfold and his a nice foot lever for disengaging/engaging the locking mechanism.

    I can’t think of a single thing that I don’t like or would want changed on the rower.

    We’re very pleased with our new rower.

  44. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth L Blake

    Just purchased the VR500. Did the installation myself. Really a strong, well built rower!

  45. 5 out of 5

    Tim Coleman

    Love this rower. Great addition to a home gym

  46. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Maxwell

    Assembly was challenging for one person, but doable – definitely would be easier with two people. Very smooth, quiet – love how you can change the tension from the handgrip. So far, so good!

  47. 4 out of 5

    W. Bruce Knapp

    Great machine

  48. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Alward

    We’ve just started using this rower and am very happy with its performance. Smooth rowing and easy to understand display.

  49. 5 out of 5

    Dennis D

    Like most shoppers, I also did a lot of research on rowers.
    I didn’t want the pricey monthly subscriptions that some of the units boast about. I want a solid, tried and true machine to use for many years to come. It is a new purchase as 0f 6-1-2021 but so far so good. Assembly was pretty straight forward, two people helping is much easier. unit works great just plug it in and begin. This is a really well built machine, fun to use and it looks like a high end gym unit.

  50. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Fleming

    So happy I upgraded to the VR500 rower! My original purchase was a different brand that needed service 3 times in a 6-month period. This rower is solid and has an exceptionally smooth pull. It is quiet enough to listen to music or your iPad without earbuds. The display is adjustable and easy to read. I am enjoying the 12 preset programs, and it is customizable so I don’t get bored. I also like that it has different user profiles so my husband and I can each track our own progress. It was definitely worth the extra money to move up to this machine.

  51. 5 out of 5

    Dale D Masten

    I am brand new to rowing and I was looking for a rower and honestly had never heard of Bodycraft. I went to C & G Fitness in Cincinnati (great place for all fitness equipment, excellent customer service) and they recommended the Bodycraft, VR500. This rower is amazing, I wish I could give it 10 stars. While rowing, you can feel how well built the machine is, it is super smooth and allowing you to use the handle to change resistance without interrupting your workout is really helpful. The machine wasn’t difficult to assemble, some of the parts are heavy, but that is just a compliment to the sturdiness of the rower. Also, don’t take all the parts out at once, you will need some of the styrofoam to help balance the machine during assembly. Due to the weight, it is a good idea to have someone help put it together. It has a great warranty, and has made a huge difference in my fitness journey. It has 11 workout programs, 32 levels of resistance, and you can store up to 5 profiles. I love rowing on this machine and it is a great whole body (uses over 80% of your muscles) workout. Can you find less expensive rowers? Sure, and trying to save a few dollars, I did just that. As they say, you get what you pay for, I put it together, it didn’t work like it was advertised, so I disassembled it, took it back, went to C and and G and bought the VR500. That is three hours of my life I will never get back. I highly highly recommend this rower, you will not be disappointed.

  52. 5 out of 5

    Amy Mefford (verified owner)

    I have waited a year for this rower to add to my home gym. I researched all the best products and made the decision to purchase the VR 500. It was delivered in excellent condition and easy to assemble. It operates smoothly and quietly. It’s a great addition to my home gym . Well engineered and sleek appearance. It was certianly worth the wait for me.

  53. 5 out of 5

    Dennis John Bohnlein

    Love this rower. Get a great workout every time. The seat is quite hard and I am unable to find a cover specifically made for it. Also, the battery for the handle control does not last very long at all and are quite pricey to replace.

  54. 5 out of 5

    Paul Steinkoenig

    What an awesome rowing machine! Smooth and quiet. I love this equipment. My old VR500 rowing machine got fried by a lightning strike on my home. I was excited to order the same machine once again.

  55. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Smith

    After working out at the club for years, I decided to build out my home gym and one of my must haves, was a rower. After reading many reviews I decided on the BodyCraft VR500. I went into a local store to try it out for myself – it could not have been more true to the reviews! I ordered right away. The assembly was not difficult (best to have two people due to the weight of some of the pieces and the angles at which they attach) and in no time, I was up and rowing. If you are considering adding a rower to your home gym, you should definitely look into the BodyCraft VR500!

  56. 5 out of 5

    Robert O’Neill

    My wife and I are just one month into our first rowing machine and we are loving it. We chose the VR500 because of the selection of workout programs that came programed into the unit. We purchased the unit unassembled and we found the assembly to be very simple and we assembled the unit in less than an hour. The materials are good quality and the machine operates very smoothly, much better than the rower at our local fitness center!
    We’re looking forward to many years of use of our new VR500!

  57. 5 out of 5

    Jose A Maldonado

    I searched at so many places and tested countless amounts of rowing machines, but finally found the perfect one !!!! The VR500 Pro Rowing machine was the winner !!!! Absolutely perfect. I had a double hip replacement done ,I needed the best of the best to get back in shape and help with my recovery and I am so happy happy that found the VR 500. The build quality along with the smooth performance of this rowing machine are unbelievable !!!! I am more than happy with my purchase it was worth every dollar and it is so quiet I actually can’t believe hiw quiet it is. I will definitely recommend the VR500 to freinds and family no doubt about it !!! Keep up the good work. I live on a 3rd floor apartment building and needed a quiet rower after using it I asked my neighbors and I had no complaints !!! I am absolutely megga happy with my purchase ☺️ ☺️

  58. 5 out of 5

    Jan Ellen Tumilowicz

    This is a superior rowing machine in many ways! I like the combination air resistance and magnetic features, as it adds variety to workout possibilities. I can leave the magnetic tension off or on low to use this machine for fast-paced HIIT training if I want to, but if I prefer to work my arms hard and go much slower, all I have to do is ratchet up the magnetic tension. The seat height is high off the floor, allowing for quick and comfortable rising after a routine is complete. The bar behind the control panel allows for a gooseneck tablet holder so that I can watch rowing videos or listen to music while I row. It is relatively easy to fold and move, if necessary. I love the tension-changing buttons on the handle—so convenient! I prefer the VR500 rower to my old Concept 2 that I had to give away. I could no longer go at a fast and furious pace for an extended period of time, as the C2 rower demands of users. Excellent job on the VR500, BodyCraft!

  59. 5 out of 5

    Brian Miller

    I’ve been an avid rowing machine user for 40 years. I started with a hydraulic Piston machine. I upgraded to a water rower. I never found the level of resistance that I was looking for until I found the body craft VR 500. The VR 500 has everything that I was looking for. Super solidly built, extremely smooth action on the seat and very smooth controlled magnetic resistance all work together to make a perfect rowing machine for me.

  60. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Jones

    Being newer to rowing but looking for the easy to use machine this is perfect. Comfortable, easy to assemble, easy to use, easy to store. Absolutely perfect to get that full body workout at home. Highly satisfied and highly recommend!

  61. 5 out of 5

    Bob Chronister

    An amazing machine is a good place to start. We purchased this machine to restart our workouts. This machine is easy to both move around and to assemble. I am a big guy, 6’3” and 370. This machine is comfortable and doesn’t even know I’m on it. The seat glides smoothly and the gentle puff of air that hits you when you pull on the hand grips is great. It is quiet and folds up nicely into a compact package. I particularly like the 5 minute cooldown at the end of your workout. So far, I have just used the manual mode. Will get into the programmed workouts soon. I like the review displayed at the end of the workout. I really like the “no impact” part of this workout. Overall, I would give it more than .5 stars, but that’s tge only option. If you’re thinking of adding a rowing machine to your personal gym, stop looking. You have found the perfect equipment. It is a commercial grade machine at a residential price for your home gym. See you in a 100 pounds!!!!

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VR500 Pro Rowing Machine Support

For Product Support, including Parts Requests, Manuals, Videos and other guides, please visit our Product Support page

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