When we first researched the ProForm 550R, we were ready to throw in the towel before we even took it for a test drive. The 550R has some pretty bad reviews online from users, and we couldn’t figure out why. It looked like a solid machine, it was well-priced and ProForm has a good reputation in the industry. What gives?
The biggest complaint we saw was with the resistance – it was too low. That’s when a light bulb went off: this is an air rower – no wonder people were complaining. While this unit does have 5 resistance levels, it relies mainly on air resistance to deliver a good workout. If you’re not rowing fast or hard enough, you’re not even going to break a sweat.
With this in mind, we went ahead with our review. And we were happy we did.
ProForm 550R Features at a Glance
- 5 resistance levels
- Inertia-enhanced flywheel
- Ergonomic seat and handle
- Oversized seat rail
- LCD window
- Folding design
- Maximum user weight of 250 pounds
ProForm 550R Rower Review
We’ll admit that the ProForm 550R isn’t perfect. It’s not a Concept II or a WaterRower Club machine. It’s an entry-level, budget-friendly air rower. But if you know how to use it, you can enjoy a great workout no matter your fitness level.
The 550R is well-made, with a solid steel body and oversized seat rail. The ergonomic seat and handles make this machine comfortable to use, while the pivoting pedals allow for natural movement as you row. The adjustable straps on the foot pedals keep your feet firmly in place as you exercise for added comfort and safety.
And when you’re done rowing, you can use the pulley to perform other exercises, like bicep curls, deltoid raises, and overhead triceps extensions.
While you’re working out, you can keep track of your progress on the oversized LCD display, which shows you watts, calories and time. It’s a simple display, but it’s easy to read and gives you the most important information.
The 550R also folds up for easy storage in between uses, and the transport wheels on the front of the machine allow you to easily roll this machine into the corner of a room.
With a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds, the 550R accommodates most users, and is a great option for anyone trying to lose weight or stay in shape.
- Easy assembly
- LCD displays workout stats
- Seat and handlebars are comfortable
- 5 resistance levels
- Air resistance is lacking
- No workout programs
- No heart rate monitoring
Because this is an air rower, you have to row harder and faster to get a good workout and build up resistance levels. Even so, the resistance is still lacking even with extra effort. We were also disappointed that there were no workout programs or heart monitoring.
The ProForm 550R isn’t the best rower on the market, but if you’re on a tight budget and are just getting started with a fitness routine, this model may be a good fit for you.