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Lifecore R88 Rowing Machine

lifecore r88If you don’t have enough space, but you want to have full value workouts with a few basic programs to stay in shape, then the R88 is a great rowing machine for you. Its stable built is designed the way that it can be folded, thus it when you store it takes limited room.

There are five programs in the machine for rowing with a race/pacer inclusive so you could receive the workout, which could satisfy you completely. Six resistance levels of the R88 are chosen by a knob located under the display. You can schedule a workout task by selecting distance and time and control fulfillment of the plan at the display.

You get a great simulator with this race/pacer program. Choosing your distance and type of boat you want to outrun, you can choose a variant of speed from beginners to experienced sportsmen. At the monitor images of your boat and one of your adversary appear as well as a distance between them. Thus, you are aspired to win and will work harder, controlling your progress. After searches, we found that the R88 with this special function is the cheapest proposition.

But if you conduct a drill with the rower at a gym (Concept 2), you can feel that you cannot use your legs in the measure as with other rowers. This occurs because in the R88 the footpads are lower than in other rowers. Sportsmen who are lower than 6’ will not notice the difference, and this peculiarity of the design doesn’t influence their purchase, but those who are taller may feel some discomfort.

Lifecore R88 Review

The Control Panel/Display

lifecore-R88-monitorThe LCD monitor allows you to read easily, it is perfectly situated in front of the user, has a good size but in low light the image becomes poorly discernible. There is no backlight to help the situation. You can also purchase and hag a heart-rate monitor to use for your recover program. But there is no any preset heart-rate program in the rower, which, of course, doesn’t add points to it. There is no problem to devise it yourself, but if it was supplied with the rower, it would be better.

All indices of your workout are shown at the monitor including number of strokes, strokes per minute, distance, watts (index of your efforts) how much calories were burnt, time and pulse rate if you got a heart-rate monitor.


Solid aluminum skeleton and quality customer service from the seller make the R88 a reliable and safe rower. You will enjoy rowing for years, and the rower will not take much room from your living space. You save a few hundred dollars, but you don’t get other functions and features, which more upgrade rowers can give you.

This is up to you, which rower to choose, but take into consideration that after several months of workouts you can want additional programs. It is possible to find them at Amazon or from Lifecore directly.


Steady and solid frame, it doesn’t shake even at hard rowing

Convenient set of programs (also a race program)

Fan, which cools you during the workout (can be noisy at high rate)

Doesn’t take much space

East to assemble

Effortless folding for storage

Comfortable seat


disadvantagesCan be noise when used in a small room

disadvantagesYou should accustom to the high seat

disadvantagesSome customers dislike the manual

disadvantagesLabor warranty is a bit short, only 90 days

disadvantagesA bit overcharged, it could cost $100 less and become more attractive for buyers, as we believe.


Technical details:

Resistance type: Air/ Magnetic

Max user weight: 300 lbs

Size: 72″ x 18″ x 34″

Machine weight: 67 lbs

Storage space: 16″ x 24″


Life on frame.

Two years on parts

Three mths on labor

Other considerations:

Next step in upgrading is an addition of heart rate programs in Bladez Cascade making it a serious competitor. Twice more expensive the R100 is just a superior model. Somewhere in the middle of the LifeCore line is  Concept 2 Model E, which is only $200 more expensive and is a worthy purchase if you take care about your budget.

Video Review