ProForm 550R Rower – Product Review

Staying in shape and maintaining a healthy body is something that is aspired by everyone. However, with our busy schedule and lack of time, we often cut back on exercising and taking care of ourselves. In such a situation owning some sort of exercising equipment goes a long way.

Choosing the perfect equipment that puts your entire body to work in one go can be tricky. If you find yourself in a dilemma, why not consider the ProForm 550R Rower?

The ProForm 550R is a piece of excellent exercise equipment that can help you achieve your fitness goals. It is not just good for a great workout, but it is also a great choice for people who are into the sport of rowing. With this machine, you can polish your rowing skills to perfection.

Dive into this detailed read to know everything about this amazing piece of exercise machinery.

What is a ProForm 550R Rower?

ProForm 550R Rower is a product manufactured by a reputed fitness gear company, ProForm. They are popular amongst the fitness freaks and top the favorites list of many who workout regularly.

The company is known for the quality of products it delivers at highly affordable prices. You would not mind paying the price they ask for the style and performance that their machines offer. ProForm’s treadmills and HIIT trainers have been winning the hearts of the customers for quite some time. And now, their 550R Rower is tracing the same path as well.

The company came out with the 440R a few years back. Now they have launched the 550R that has significant improvements over the previous model.

Some of the quality and performance determining variables of ProForm 550R Rower have been discussed below in detail.

Construction of the frame

For any good quality fitness equipment, the sturdy frame construction is a must. Especially in the case of a rower, on which your entire body is put to action, you need the machine to be durable. The 550R has a strong built that can support your body weight with safety and security.

You can easily carry out an intense training workout without the fear of the machine wobbling or flipping over. The weight capacity of the 550R Rower is about 250 Lb. This is a bit short of the other professional rowers available in the market, with a weight capacity of 300 lb. However, it is still manageable and can function for beginners and intermediate level trainers.

Another unique feature of the 550R Rower’s frame is that it is compact with a low ground cover. This means it is an absolute space saver, and you can adjust it in whichever place you like. The folding nature of the machine allows you to pack it store it in a remote corner of your house when you are done working out.

The machine has a very stylish and ergonomic design that fits the needs of everybody. Since, while working out, you can get all sweaty, the handles have been designed in a way to avoid slipping. They are padded with an appropriate material that lets you maintain a grip even when your palms are dripping with sweat.

Coming to a very common complaint that customers have with exercise equipment; the seat. Having a comfortable seat makes working out easier and convenient. And with 550R Rower, you are delivered the same. The padding on the seat makes it comfortable, and you are not left with a feeling of stiffness after you finish your workout.

For your feet, the ProForm 550R rower has large pivoting footrests. They provide enough foot space for both small and big shoe sizes. You can fix your feet for added safety with the help of the adjustable straps attached to the footrest. These straps also ensure that you are stable while you are rowing and your feet aren’t slipping off with motion.

In all, the ProForm 550R has a frame construction that makes exercising comfortable for every body part involved.

Resistance offered

For rowing machines, one of the primary qualities to look for is the resistance offered during the workout. The resistance system will determine the quality of your workout and enhance the desired output.

There are four types of resistance in a rower;

  • Hydraulic piston;
  • Air;
  • Magnetic; and
  • Water

The 550R Rower is based-on an air resistance mechanism. This provides a more natural exercising effect as air resistance is what you face while you row on actual water. So, if you are using the Rower for training, then the air resistance mechanism will work to your advantage.

This particular Rower comes with a damper mechanism that you can adjust as per your convenience. It allows you to adjust the amount of air that should reach the fan of the Rower. As a result, you can adjust the level of resistance in a non-conventional way.

Why it is non-conventional because when you adjust the damper mechanism, you basically play with the feel of the strokes made during rowing. In professional terms, you are changing the weight of the boat in the name of resistance.

The 550R Rower’s damper contains five different air adjustments. It changes the control on the feel of every stroke that you take. This feature, however, has been a point of complaint about a few users. It doesn’t provide enough resistance for an intense workout. But if you are a beginner or intermediate trainer, it will work just fine.

Another advantage of this model is that despite being an air resistance rower, it is pretty lightweight and compact in size. This does compromise with the overall power output of the machine. So, professional or more advanced rowers might not find it enough for their capacity.

Overall, the 550R Rower will give you an actual rowing feel and help burn enough calories. It makes a perfect choice for high-intensity interval training workouts.

Display monitor

The 550R Rower comes with an LCD display. It shows a lot of important variables like time, calories, strokes per minute, watts, and other useful workout metrics. You can choose to get a wider display of any particular vital that you wish to keep an eye on.

One of the most amazing features on the monitor is the watts meter. It helps you determine the power input of every stroke that you create. If you have the desired level in mind that you wish to achieve, you can do so by monitoring the same. It is a very useful metric for those who are preparing for actual rowing.

The heartrate monitor is the one thing that is not present in the 550R rower monitor. It plays a significant role for the people using the equipment for cardio training. So, it might appear as a shortcoming for a few.

There are also no in-built workout programs or any option to connect it with an external source. So, you will have to rely on your phone or tablet to guide you with the workout. 

Ease of assembly

Luckily, the ProForm is quite easy to assemble. You can put together the entire assembly within minutes after unpacking.

You don’t require any professional assistance to do so. The assembly manual is quite detailed and provides a step-by-step procedure to assemble the entire equipment. Every step is accompanied by a picture that makes it even more convenient.

Ninety percent of the Rower comes preassembled. You are just required to put a few parts together to make it an even hundred.

Warranty period

The ProForm 550R rower comes with three different sets of warranties securing three different aspects of the machine; frame, parts, and labor. The frame comes with a warranty of 5 years, which is more than enough for such exercise equipment. However, the parts and labor come with only 90 days warranty.

Other models offer a year-long warranty for the parts and labor, making this a negative point for the 550R Rower. This is the only thing that hasn’t seen any improvement from the previous model.


  • A folding frame 
  • Air resistance mechanism
  • Pedals with large footrest and straps for better support
  • Comfortable seat
  • Multiple variables on a large LCD display


  • A lower weight capacity
  • Lack a heartrate monitor 
  • Limited period of warranty
More Information on ProForm 550R

To sum it up

After this detailed read, one thing might have become very clear that the 550R Rower is indeed a great improvement from the previous model. The features offered at the given price are simply remarkable.

The use of an air resistance system makes the machine better than a lot of other professional models. It offers a more natural rowing experience to train with. The frame design and construction of the machine provide the extra convenience and comfort needed to make the entire workout experience fruitful.

The warranty does have a scope of improvement but the parts and labor have less in comparison to the other models in the market.

In all, if you are a beginner or intermediate trainer looking for budget-friendly equipment for training, the ProForm 550R rower is just the right choice for you!