nordictrack rw900 review

NordicTrack RW900 Review (2024): Is It Worth It? Our Honest Review!

Hi there, HealthPot friends! This is your favorite cardio queen Kathleen – don’t you love how that rhymes?!

If you’ve been thinking of replacing your rowing machine, adding a new piece of fitness equipment to your routine, or you’ve never really rowed before but are interested in rowing machines, then this article is for you.

I’m a fan of just about anything cardio, but after a back injury sidelined me, I found that rowing was one of the only machines I could use for months afterward.

While I love my Ergatta ( See my other article Ergatta vs Hydrow ), I recently got a new rowing machine to add to my home gym, and I’m really loving it!

Which rowing machine did I buy? It’s the NordicTrack RW900! 

The NordicTrack RW900 Home Rower

NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine

Purchase Direct at NordicTrack

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This incredible machine has everything you want but for a price that doesn’t make you wince!

I’m also loving the iFit workouts. I hadn’t tried iFit before, although I had heard of it. I’ll tell you more about iFit later.

Want to know more about this awesome piece of equipment? Keep reading for a full NordicTrack RW900 review and a full explanation about iFit and how it works.

If You’re Short on Time:

This chart of the NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine features might answer any questions you might have.

Features of NordicTrack RW 900 At a Glance

NordicTrack RW900 Features  
Monitor Size 22-inch HD Touchscreen
Does Monitor Tilt and Swivel? Yes
Type of Resistance Silent Magnetic Resistance
Levels of Resistance 26 Levels of Digital Resistance
Adjustable Footrests? Yes
Folding? No
Overall Dimensions 82” x 22” x 54”
User Weight Capacity 250 Pounds
Machine Weight 163 Pounds
Type of Workout iFit trainer-led workouts 

*Can be used without iFit

*With 30 built-in workouts

Bluetooth Enabled? Yes
Warranty 10-year on the Frame

2-year on Parts

1-Year for Labor

Pros and Cons of the NordicTrack iFit Rower

You can easily look over the chart above and get the basic information you need.

Sometimes, though, that doesn’t really tell you everything you want to know.

Let me give you a list of pros and cons (because as my mama used to say NOTHING is perfect) so you can make a more informed buying decision.

NordicTrack RW900 comfort features

The Pros of the NordicTrack RW900

  • The incredible 22-inch HD touchscreen is very impressive, and the adjustable screen tilts easily so you can see off-the-rower workouts. The monitor doesn’t wobble or shake, and how they do that, I don’t know!
  • The rower doesn’t fold, but it does have transport wheels in the front so you can wheel it to another room. It’s easier to move than you might think!
  • Magnetic resistance means no more noise! This rower also uses a nylon cord rather than a chain, so it actually makes almost zero noise. If it weren’t for your heavy breathing, someone could probably sleep in the same room!
  • This doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy. It has an oversized steel monorail and steel leg stabilizers that make this rower feel very sturdy.
  • The Velcro adjustable nylon foot straps are terrific, and I prefer them to the bicycle straps found on so many rowers. I can strap my feet down really tight but zip off the Velcro in an instant for HIIT workouts.
  • The iFit program is incredible! I’ll tell you more about that later, but between the incredible scenery and the huge monitor, you feel like you are really there!
  • iFit workouts will automatically adjust the resistance level, but you can always do so manually if you wish.
  • This has a warranty that is hard to match. Most rowers only offer 1-3 years, but check out the warranty on the Features Chart above. Wow. That’s pride of workmanship right there!
  • Both the seat and handlebar are ergonomically designed so I’ve found them quite comfortable, although I still recommend gloves for anyone who hates blisters.
  • This rower is Bluetooth-enabled so you can use your fitness devices, fitness watches, heart rate monitors, and most importantly, your favorite Bluetooth headphones! iFit has music but you can listen to your own if you want.
  • And if you prefer that, this has a pretty awesome set of 30-watt front-facing speakers.

I’m sure that I’m forgetting something, but I think these are the things you really want to know about what this rowing machine has to offer.

The Cons of the NordicTrack RW900 Rower

Nothing is perfect, but this rowing machine certainly comes close.

I would be cheating my readers if I didn’t mention the drawbacks of this rower:

  • The user weight capacity is a bit low for a steel-railed rowing machine. It’s possible that NordicTrack is just erring on the side of caution since some reviewers said they weighed close to 300 pounds and have had no problems. Maybe NordicTrack should take another look at their weight capacity for this rower.
  • The iFit program isn’t free, but there are very few that are. I think iFit is worth every single penny. There is a free trial period, which varies from 30 days to 1 year depending on when and where you buy it, but after that, you’ll have to pay. You can trade in your gym membership fee and just use iFit because, to be honest, that’s all you really need anyway!
  • The resistance levels may be inadequate for someone who is already very fit.
  • It doesn’t fold (older models did, but the new one does not). Instead, you can roll it away and store it on one end if you like.
  • If you want to change the resistance levels manually, you need to use the touchscreen. There is no adjustment in the handle or anywhere else.

NordicTrack RW900 dimensions

That’s about it! I think my main problem would be with the user weight limit. I don’t know why NordicTrack makes such a sturdy machine but rates it up to a max of 250 pounds only?

However, if you and others in your family who plan on using this don’t weigh more than 250 pounds, then this isn’t a problem at all!

Can I Use the NordicTrack RW900 without iFit?

Yes, you sure can use NordicTrack RW900 even without iFit! That is probably something that I should list as a positive, right?

Because let’s face it, some rowing machines, like the Peloton Row, become big old paperweights or clothes racks if you don’t pay for the subscription!

Not the NordicTrack rower! If the internet is out one day, that’s OK! You can still row to your heart’s content!

Of course, the rower will have much more limited abilities, but it’s still completely usable! The new models have 30 built-in workouts that you can use, and the machine will still capture your workout data!

Yes, you’ll need electricity for that, but the good news here is that you can still use your NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine even if you have no internet or without an iFit subscription.

Can You Watch TV on the NordicTrack RW900?

In a way, yes, you can.

While you can’t watch TV using the monitor, you CAN either cast your iFit app to your TV and do the picture-in-a-picture feature, OR you can simply park your rowing machine in front of the TV.

Imagine getting full-body workouts while watching your favorite series or a movie! I’m telling you, this rowing machine is the ideal exercise equipment you’ve been looking for!

Is the NordicTrack RW900 Worth It?

NordicTrack rower

In my opinion, it surely is; otherwise, I wouldn’t have bought one!

Don’t take my word for it! You’ll find a great many review sites that give this rowing machine 4 or more stars out of a possible 5-star rating and for good reason.

With hundreds (maybe thousands – I’ve never counted!) of rowing workouts on iFit with world-class instructors (even a former Olympic rower), you won’t find a better deal when it comes to workouts.

Is the personal trainer at your gym a former Olympic athlete? Yeah, didn’t think so.

This rowing machine is high-quality despite the lower weight capacity that NordicTrack suggests. It’s something you can feel the moment you sit down and start using it. No rocking, no wobble, just a smooth rowing motion for your total body workout!

Yes, you need to learn the proper rowing form, but every beginner’s program I’ve tried on iFit shows you the form before the workout begins. Try getting that kind of instruction at the gym without a personal trainer!

There are more cardio workouts than you can shake a stick at, friends, not only rowing workouts.

Personally, I love doing the HIIT rowing classes, but some days I do those drop-dead gorgeous scenic rows. And let me tell you, I often forget that I’m actually exercising because I’m so engrossed in the view!

You can’t beat the iFit instructors and this super quiet rowing machine that, despite its lower weight capacity, it’s really sturdy!

Take it from your friend Kathleen, once you try it, you’ll never go back to a plain old boring rowing machine again!

Can I Watch NetFlix or Other Programs on the NordicTrack?

NordicTrack RW900 touchscreen monitor

To be honest, not really.

OK, some people have done hacks to the tablet, but I’m too old for that I suppose. If I want to watch Netflix, I prop up another tablet next to the machine, or I simply move my rower to where I can watch Netflix on a TV or my desktop computer screen.

I know that you can watch Netflix on the Aviron rower, but that’s another rower to talk about on another day.

Try using the iFit workout on the monitor, and if you MUST watch that season finale of Peaky Blinders, then use one of the methods I’ve mentioned above.

Will the NordicTrack RW900 Work Without WiFi?

Yes, it will.

As I mentioned above, the NordicTrack RW900 rower has a built-in set of pre-programmed workouts that you can access as long as you have electricity. The rowing machine will work just fine if your Wifi should go out.

You won’t be able to access iFit without Wifi, but if you have a good 4G or 5G signal, you can always use your phone or tablet and access iFit that way. If you don’t have that, don’t worry. With RW900’s built-in workouts to keep you busy, you don’t need to miss a day of exercise even when you have no Wifi.

What Is iFit and How Does It Work?

NordicTrack RW900 with iFit

If you’re like me, you probably haven’t heard of iFit before today. Or maybe you heard the name mentioned but didn’t know what it was.

iFit is one of the most amazing and useful apps I’ve ever used!

First, there are literally thousands of workouts to choose from. Whether you’re into boxing, yoga, weight lifting, walking, jogging, running, ellipticals, biking, meditation, or whatever it is that you like to do – I bet iFit has classes and workouts just for you!

This means that when you buy the NordicTrack RW900 rower, you’ll have hundreds of rowing workouts to choose from. If you are away from home, or you want to do cross training, you can still use the iFit app and access whatever type of workout you want!

The iFit workout routines are run by top instructors, not just personal trainers but ex-Olympic athletes, including Michael Phelps and NCAA football player John Peel.

I love this fitness app! I can make my own map and go walking in my neighborhood. I can do workouts on my indoor rower, floor workouts, running workouts, you name it!

With an iFit-enabled equipment like the NordicTrack RW900 rower, each workout is designed so that the trainer controls the resistance levels. It means you don’t have to do anything but follow along.

However, even if you don’t have an iFit-enabled machine, you can still use iFit! I mean, this is simply genius in my book! Your rower, treadmill, or bike won’t have the resistance changed automatically, but you can manually change it and still follow along with the instructor-led workouts!

This is why I say that you can literally stop paying for your gym membership because everything you want is right there in the iFit app.

How Much Does an iFit Subscription Cost?

monthly and annual cost of IFit membership for individual and family plans

You’ll need to decide if you want an individual subscription or a family subscription. A family includes up to 5 user profiles.

Then you need to decide if you want to pay monthly or annually. You can get a discount of about $70 if you pay annually.

  • A single monthly subscription costs $15 a month
  • A single annual subscription costs $180 per year
  • A monthly family subscription costs $39 a month
  • An annual family subscription costs $396

You can save about $70 if you purchase the annual family subscription plan.

It’s worth noting that iFit subscriptions (you can check iFit out here) can be canceled anytime. The only thing to consider is that you cannot ask for refunds for monthly plans, while annual plans are only refundable if canceled within 30 days of purchase.

You probably pay at least that or more for your gym membership, but you won’t need it as long as you have the iFit app!

Does iFit Have Live Classes?

No, it doesn’t. I heard that iFit used to have them, but they canceled live classes due to a lack of interest. I guess everyone is busy, right?

You won’t really notice, or at least I don’t! When I access iFit classes, it really feels like I am live in the studio, on the water, or running up mountain trails.

For your home gym, you can’t beat the on-demand workout routine or exercise routine that you can get from iFit.

Should I Choose a Rowing Machine or a Treadmill?

NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine and a NordicTrack Commercial 2450 treadmill

That is going to depend on which calls to you, and while you are talking to a former treadmill addict, I have to say that rowing has become my new go-to workout. 

Rowing is a full-body workout that uses nearly every muscle in your body each time you row. I love doing HIIT rowing classes on iFit because they also include floor exercises, like squats and burpees, to really work your body and get that heart rate pumping!

OK, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I love HIIT workouts because you only do them every other day. I really like this feature because that enables me to do cross-training, like walking my dog Jet, and trying to get in some meditation via my iFit membership.

Rowing is a low-impact workout, which is something my knees thank me for every time I sit and use my smart rowing machine.

After years of running on the treadmill, my knees are not what they used to be!

So, in short, treadmills are good for cardio, but they are hard on the knees and don’t give you an upper body workout.

Rowing machines, like the NordicTrack RW900 rower, are fantastic low-impact workouts that use all the muscles of the body.

If you’re a treadmill junkie, however, you might want to think about getting one of the treadmills that NordicTrack is known for, like the NordicTrack Commercial 1750.

Does the NordicTrack RW900 Offer Studio Classes?

NordicTrack RW900 monitor

Yes, it does.

One thing that is pretty darn awesome about the programming on the NordicTrack RW900 is that you can enjoy studio classes if you prefer those or on-the-water types of classes.

The scenery with the on-the-water workouts is simply breathtaking. This is where you’ll really see the beauty of that big 22-inch HD touchscreen.

I find myself getting distracted by the scenery sometimes because it feels like it’s live TV (“Oh, look! I wonder what kind of bird that is?!”) So I do a lot of studio classes, but there is something amazing about watching the scenery, knowing that you’re looking at the real video, often in other countries, such as Spain or Thailand, not some CGI-generated video.

These are rower-specific workouts, by the way, not rowing workouts haphazardly stuck into a cardio workout.

If you think your home gym could use some freshening up, you will never regret buying this magnetic resistance smart rower.

You’ll get a whisper-quiet workout (something you can’t say about air rowers) and be amazed by the scenery and instructors you’ll find with your iFit membership.

How Quiet Is the NordicTrack RW900?

Super quiet!

Now you might be making some huffing noises as you row, especially advanced rowers who are taking those more advanced classes, but if you put on some Bluetooth headphones, all anyone else will hear is a soft whooshing sound as you move the seat back and forth on the rail.

I’m serious, someone could probably sleep in the same room as this rowing machine! You can’t even stay in the same room with most air rowers, but when I say that the RW900 has nearly silent magnetic resistance, I’m not kidding!

If you have roommates, toddlers, elderly parents, or have a shared living space, the NordicTrack RW900 rower with silent magnetic resistance is the one you’ll want to buy.

How High Is the Seat Off the Ground?

NordicTrack RW900 measuring seat height

Unlike many other rowing machines, you’ll find that the NordicTrack RW900 rower seat is a comfortable 19 inches off the ground or roughly 50 centimeters.

For anyone who has been looking at smart rowers but couldn’t imagine getting up or sitting down on a rower that is 8 inches off the floor, you’ll love the full-body workout you can get from this rowing machine, and you won’t have to kill your knees to get there!

What Is The Final Verdict On The Rw900 Rower?

When all is said and done, you want an immersive workout experience, an ergonomic molded seat, and a high-quality rowing machine that will stand up to daily use.

You can get all of the above with the NordicTrack RW900.

I can’t get enough of the quiet electromagnetic resistance, the fun iFit trainers, the other iFit workout programs, and the overall cardio workout I get from this rowing machine.

For anyone who thought rowing workouts were boring, you have to try the NordicTrack RW900 rowing machine with magnetic resistance.

NordicTrack makes a rowing machine with magnetic resistance that not only gives an unbelievable workout but is also fun and interesting.

I mean, friends, let’s talk turkey here… who could ask for more?

Have a great iFit workout kind of day!