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Lifecore R88 Rowing Machine

Lifecore R88
R88 rower
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Air and
53 x 24 x 3367 lbs300 lbsLifetime frame
2 years parts

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The Lifecore R88 is one of the most recommended mid-range rowing machine on the market. Indeed, enhanced by a diverse variety of features that have been designed to facilitate weight loss, this product will allow you to efficiently and safely burn more calories and reach your target weight. Best of all, this rower is perfectly suitable for individuals with lower back problems as well as knee and joint aches because it takes a great deal of pressure off these areas without compromising the quality of your workout.r88 standing

This particular product is often seen in gyms, fitness or training centers because it was originally designed for heavy duty use. With a maximum user weight capacity of 300lbs, it’s suitable for just about any athlete, whether experienced or not. In fact, according to experts, this rowing machine is perfect for novice athletes because it starts off with a very low resistance and encourages you to build up your stamina before moving up to the next level.

A well-known figure in the Health and Fitness niche, Lifecore is globally acclaimed for its solid and high quality equipment that can very often last for decades if properly maintained. They also boast of an excellent aftersales support team to help users with any problems encountered during the assembly process. Indeed, the quality of products offered by this company is such that we reviewed not just this model, but also the commercial rower R100.

Assembly and Parts

This product arrives in separate parts which the user has to put together. Personally, I found the machine easy to assemble but a few users did report to having a hard time with this step. Fortunately, the product arrives with a detailed and fully illustrated instructions manual that provides step-by-step diagrams to facilitate the assembling process. All the required parts, tools, screws and knobs are also included in the box packaging.r88

Product Features and Specifications

  • Assembled product dimensions: 72 x 18.5 x 34
  • Folded dimensions: 24 x 18.5 x 65
  • Product weight: 67lbs
  • Resistance type: Magnetic and Air
  • Resistance level: 6
  • Materials used: Solid Steel and Extruded Aluminum
  • Storage: Foldable

Conceived to deliver a dependable and efficient workout, this machine boasts of a color LCD display which is large enough to be viewed without having to pause your workout. This monitor gathers a plethora of data such as your total rowing strokes, strokes per minute, calories speed, total workout time, 500m time and distance. Users who have a chest strap can use the monitor to display their pulse rate. The LCD Monitor also boats of a special race feature whereby rowers can race with other users from all over the world. This motivating feature is perfect for anyone who thrives on competition.

This is also one of the rare rowers that come with no less than two resistance types in one. Since it is equipped with an air-operated flywheel, this product can generate both air and magnetic resistance, which makes it perfect for athletes of various fitness levels. The resistance knob is also very easy to handle and ergonomically positioned to facilitate ease of use. The product has six tension settings and experienced users have claimed that the highest setting was challenging enough for them.

The R88 also boasts of Club-Quality Construction with a solid steel support and extruded aluminum frame, which prevents the machine from budging even during the most intense and challenging workouts. With a maximum user capacity of 300 pounds, this is a sturdier model than the popular Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower, which is also a plus.

Comfort and Ease of Use

The Lifecore R88 is known as one of the most comfortable rowers on the market. It features an oversized ergonomically designed seat which is foam padded for added comfort. The seat easily molds itself to the user’s body to prevent any burns, aches or injuries during training. This can also motivate you to train for much longer than usual and consequently burn more calories.

r88 monitorOther than the comfortable seat, this rower has an ergonomic handle that is padded and textured to prevent blisters. It also comes with adjustable footrests that are large enough to accommodate several shoe sizes. In comparison to other poorly constructed machines, this particular product also features industrial grade Velcro foot straps which provide an extremely firm support, no matter how rapidly you row.

Since this product comes with a belt drive instead of the customary chain, there is absolutely no need for you to oil or lube the machine. The belt drive is also conceived to enhance the machine’s longevity: in fact, several users have reported to using this same rower for decades without any problem whatsoever.

Most importantly, if you live in a smallish space, you’re certainly going to be able to make the most out of the rower’s handy folding storage system.


Most of the drawbacks reported with this product were related to the assembly process, which some users found to be quite time consuming. Personally, it took me around one hour to put the machine together but some customers needed nearly two hours. Another user found the instructions manual to be confusing and difficult to comprehend and had to call the aftersales team to be able to join the parts together. The seat is also positioned rather close to the ground, something which can limit mobility for old or disabled users.

A solid and reliable investment

Still, in spite of these minor downsides, this rower does remain a solid and reliable investment. It has been shown to yield visible results within a surprisingly short amount of time and since it’s so easy to use, even inexperienced rowers will be able to find their way around it. Thanks to its compact design, the R88 claims very little space and features a surprisingly small footprint when folded up. The racing option opens a plethora of fitness-related activities which have been shown to boost up training.

The LifeCore R88 is protected by a manufacturer’s warranty of 2 years for the parts, 90 days for labor and lifetime for the frame. It is available on the LifeCore website or on Amazon.