First Degree Fitness Apollo Pro II Rowing Machine
Apollo Pro II Rowing Machine is a wonderful high-end rowing machine by First Degree which impressed us by its awesome design and user-friendly set of features including a variable resistance dial. It is a very sturdy product with the highest quality robust steel frame that you can definitely rely on. It has the American ash that is lacquered by hand on this steel frame and you can be sure it is a very durable product that is designed to withstand the toughest use.
It comes with a unique design display panel of the multi-level computer display that shows the stuff you’d be familiar with, like the calories per hour, strokes per minute, distance traveled, time as well as the 500m split and watts. This commercial level rowing machine has the fluid resistance as you can tell from the product photos. Being a rock solid product it can carry a total user weight of 330 pounds and will feel super stable even at the highest stroke rates. This is created by the entry-level rowers in mind but is certainly not a low priced machine by any means and will challenge them to get results.
You will see the yellow resistance dial on top of the water container, this being a water resistance type rowing machine. It will give you the realistic sense of rowing in a river with the quick strokes of the quick recoil system and no dead spots. This is nothing like some of the cheap entry level rowing machines we have reviewed so far, with functions like the baffled tanks internal and triple-bladed impeller that is inside the water for the best consistency and instant catch. The footplates are adjustable and include solid straps and they seem comfortable with a deluxe ergonomic design, just like the nicely padded anti-slip handle that will help prevent any burden on your arms or hands.
The Apollo Pro 2 is very easy on the eyes and reminds us of the WaterRower brand, weighs 79 pounds and measures 84 x 22 x 21 inches. First Degree is a well-known brand for quality and innovation and no matter which model you go for, you will be getting a very decent rower. The seat and the handle are at the optimal angle and height, so you will feel comfy even during the very long sessions. And you will not even hear the seat sliding on the beam, as it is so smooth and quiet. The positioning of the footrests are a little interesting, though, and if you have thicker muscled legs it may not feel super comfortable, so it would be nicer to have these a few inches apart. Having said that, if you have legs at normal thickness this will not be a problem at all.
Thanks to the yellow resistance dial you do not have to remove or add water into the container like you can with some of the cheaper models. Surprisingly it can be tilted easily and includes transportation wheels that you can use to push it into a convenient corner and keep in a vertical position if you are short on space. There is even a USB port that you can use for downloading apps for rowing in virtual reality scenes and race against other rowers, and a pulse rate receiver but the chest strap is not included in the package. Overall you have a winner here, that looks beautiful with a nice blend of steel and wood construction, is very sturdy and durable and offered at a reasonable price for what it is. We’re not sure why the product info page says “entry-level” rowing machines because it is certainly suitable for people at different fitness levels and will get the upper and lower body as well as the core section involved nicely.