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VR500 Pro Rowing Machine


The VR500 Pro Air and Magnetic Resistance Rower represents 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.

  • Up to 32 levels electronically controlled resistance
  • Comfort grip lightweight aluminum handlebar with wireless IR resistance controls
  • Eddy current/Air resistance for smooth, quiet performance
  • Easy fold-up design with child safety lock
  • Built-in transport wheels for compact storage
  • Contoured seat travels on precision bearing easy glide wheels
  • Fixed footrest with quick adjust heel and belt
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VR500 Pro Rowing Machine


  • Monitor: Easy to read black mask LCD w/LED backlit display and keys.
  • Resistance: Up to 32 levels of resistance utilizing BODYCRAFT Eddy Current Technology
  • Travel: 38.5" of travel will accommodate users up to 6'8"
  • Handlebar: Ergonomically correct comfort grip aluminum handlebar with 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: Premium nylon belt tested with over 580lb load at more than 500,000 repetitions
  • Support Legs: Precision formed laser cut high strength steel
  • Monitor: Arm adjustable with easy tilt dual pivot points
  • Storage: Easy fold and roll system with safety child lock

Computer Features:

  • Display Time, Distance(Meters), Calories (Cal), Pulse, Strokes Per Minute (SPM), Watts, Level, Profile.
  • User Profiles 4 Users.
  • Manual Mode Quick Start or Set Countdown Goals.
  • Program Profiles 12
  • Programs 4 Race, 4 HRC, 2 Interval, 1 Custom Definable & Manual
  • Heart Rate Control Programs 55%, 75%, 90% and custom
  • Goal Programs Time, Distance(Meters) and Watts.
  • Cool Down Button
  • Range 32 levels of rowing machine resistance
  • Power Off feature Auto shutdown after 4 minutes of no use.

* We reserve the right to make improvements and changes to the product specications 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)
  • Dimensions: CLICK HERE for Dimensions PDF.
  • 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


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

Brochures & Manuals

Shipping Info

Shipping: Truck (LTL, Curbside Delivery)
Box 1: Size: 71.5" x 30" x 10"   Weight: 116
Box Weight Total: 116
* the total does not include pallet weight.


15 Reviews
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1

  • 5.0
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.
  • 5.0
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
  • 5.0
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.
  • 5.0
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.
  • 5.0
  • 5.0
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!
Carla Groves
  • 5.0
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.
Bruce Nyquist
  • 5.0
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.
Donald J. Mote
  • 5.0
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!
Buckeye Guy
  • 5.0
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.
  • 4.0
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."
Ann Knox
  • 5.0
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.
S. White
  • 5.0
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.
Cleveland Customer
  • 4.0
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.
  • 5.0
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.
Betty Hobbs
  • 5.0
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.

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