Stamina’s 1130 magnetic rowing machine offers multiple resistance levels, and is whisper quiet, allowing you to row freely without worry of disturbing others with your workout. An aluminum rowing beam allows heavier users to row with confidence, and there are 9 pre-set programs built into the rower to help you reach your goals.
And you can add four personalized programs to customize your workout.
There’s a lot to like about the 1130, but our favourite features include:
- 16 levels of magnetic resistance to allow for gradual muscle building
- 9 pre-set workout programs to help new users to reach their goals
- Chest strap heart rate monitor to track your heart rate
- 30-minute assembly with a solid construction (when considering the low price)
- Foot straps are poorly made
The only complaint we’ve found from users is that the foot straps are cheaply made. They’ll do the job, but don’t expect them to match the quality of a high-end machine. You can replace the foot straps if necessary, but they still get the job done.
If your foot position is perfect they do hold but just be sure that the strap goes over the back of your foot at the bottom of your shoe laces.
Assembly is quick and easy. The Stamina 1130 takes 30 minutes to assemble at a leisurely pace. If you’re going at a fast pace, I am confident that you’ll finish assembly within 20 minutes.
All the tools required to put the rower together are provided saving you the hassle of rummaging around the house looking for that screwdriver that seems to magically get up and run off.
The instructions provided are easy to follow and go roughly as follows:
- Once unpacked put the main frame on the floor and attach the base frame that the pedals will be mounted on.
- Attach the rear stand to the central rail.
- Unfold the rail and fix it to the base frame.
- Slip the front cover on the base frame. This bit is just to cover the metal work of the base frame.
- Attach the seat to the pre-mounted seat carriage.
- Slide the handlebar through its sleeve into position, the foam on either side keeps it in place.
- Push the bottle holder into the designated gap on the front of the machine. The trick is to loosen the left and right overs to allow them a bit more flex so that you don’t crack them and then retighten once it’s in place.
- Now it’s time to attach the pedals, simply push the pedal shaft through the hole on the base frame and then put the pedals on both sides and fix in position.
- Connect the power lead and that’s it you’re ready to row.
If you aren’t particularly good at DIY and are worried about messing up the assembly then you could always pay to have the rower put together by an expert at your home for about $80 from amazon.
Once assembled, you’ll find that the built-in wheels make moving the rower a breeze. Tilt the rower forward and move it to the desired destination. A molded seat with ball-bearing rollers fits users perfectly, and it allows you to engage in a long session without aches or pains.
The bearings allow for a smooth gliding motion that mimics real rowing.
The handle is covered in foam, which is crucial for longer rowing sessions. But before you begin rowing, place your feet on the footplates and strap them in. You’ll notice that the straps are not impressive, but the footplates do pivot for a natural motion.
If you have a phone or wallet in your pocket, place it in the holder on the front of the machine – the location fits a water bottle, too. This is a feature that we don’t often see on many home rowers and is a nice, simple extra. I don’t really like to leave my phone on the floor just because there is nowhere to put it.
I found the monitor on the 1130 very clear and easy to see as its positioning on the rower is just right. The monitor tracks the following 6 different functions:
- Total strokes
- Strokes per minute
- Calories burned
- Heart rate
A nice feature that I didn’t expect to see on the monitor of a rower in this price range was that you can create your own workout programs and store them for your next workout.
With 4 custom options and 9 pre-set workouts, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your fitness goals. This will also help to keep things interesting and hopefully keep you motivated.
The monitor will even automatically change the workload during the programs to make sure that you get the best possible results from each workout.
The 4 User Setting Programs allow the user to set 12 intervals over the course of a workout that the rower will progress through. For instance, if you want to program an interval workout into system you can.
Heart Rate Monitor
What we didn’t expect this machine to offer is a chest strap to monitor your heart rate, quite often on other models the heart rate monitors are an extra and aren’t included. The strap allows you to monitor your heart rate so that you can maintain a higher heart rate to burn more calories.
Heart rate monitors helped me to take my workouts to the next level. If you were to row at the same intensity every time that you did a workout, overtime you would find that your results would slow down and hit a plateau. This is because over time you will find the same old workouts easier as you get fitter.
With the monitor you can ensure that your heart rate stays at the optimum level for fat loss, you may notice over time that your intensity increases while hitting the same heart rate.
One of the programmed workouts in the monitor is the Target Heart Rate Control Program where you set your desired heart rate and it will adjust the work load to be within plus or minus 5 beats of your target heart rate.
What is your target heart rate you may be asking… Well it is a simple, just follow these steps:
- Workout your predicted maximum heart rate by using the formula, 220 – age = max heart rate
- Your target heart rate zone is a range of 55% to 90% of the predicted maximum therefore the upper and lower are calculated as follows:
- Predicted Max Heart Rate x 0.55 = Lower
- Predicted Max Heart Rate x 0.95 = Higher
This is essential if you want to lose weight and strive to reach your fitness goals.
Note: Some users had a couple of problems with the heart rate monitor, but sometimes you need to dampen the connection between the monitor and your skin to get an accurate reading.
Adjusting the rowing machine’s resistance takes a push of a button. The 16 resistance levels go from very easy to difficult. I like this feature as quite often you must manually change the resistance which can mess up your rhythm on the rower. Whereas with this you can have the resistance changed in a matter of seconds.
Since magnetic resistance is utilized, the rowing machine is ultra-quiet – it’s almost difficult to hear.
When you’re done with your workout, push the rower into the corner by tilting it onto the transport wheels and stand it up. You can even store this rowing machine in most closets- it’s that compact when folded.
On first impressions, I think that the Stamina 1130 looks the business and lives up to expectation, giving you a great cardiovascular workout. Considering the price of the rower is low to mid-range it is nice to see features such as the programmable workouts and heart rate monitor included.
The foot straps do let the rower down but they aren’t a deal breaker for me. The rest of the rower is great quality and can be stored away easily making it perfect as a home rower.
If you are looking for a strength building workout, I would recommend a rower that goes up to a higher resistance. If strength really is your goal, then doing weights is your best option with a bit of cardio on a rower as an accessory movement.
A very similar model to the 1130 is the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5508 and it is worth comparing both models before making your decision on which one to buy.