When I first played the game I was so caught up trying to achieve the goals that I didn’t realize I was practicing until it was over. I was breathing hard and drenched in sweat, my legs aching and I was obsessed with the four targets I had missed. I returned later today for another workout so I could try to beat my last score. I actually just walked over to the rower to check the intensity zones and hopped on it for a 10 minute Meteor session, where I beat my previous score by 8 points. This pleases me.
It fits perfectly with Ergatta’s game-inspired lineup. Race and game ranking systems are not designed to make you feel like you have to do better or beat other users around the world racing alongside your avatar, but to give you goals to achieve and more motivation to put on shorts and go try to beat your high score.
And on days when you don’t feel like competing, there’s an Open Row setting too, where you pick a time or distance and row at your own pace. Watching the ball on the screen that represents my rowing speed drifting up and down with my strokes, combined with the gentle movement of the water in the tank, was eerily calming. It was the first time I found cardio relaxing.
As an added incentive, Ergatta also offers “push challenges” with an added philanthropic edge. For January, Ergatta released a push challenge that asks users to complete 15 workouts during the month. For each person who completed all 15 workouts, Ergatta donated $ 5 to one of a changing selection of nonprofits. It’s a smart motivational tool: on the days when I didn’t feel like training, I would think about pairing, get on the rower and walk to work.
If you are looking for a variety of training options, this system is not for you. Ergatta doesn’t offer any training outside of the rower, so whatever you do will be on the rower itself. Plus, there are no coach-led classes and you don’t get any instruction on your rowing form other than the short video. If you want to improve your rowing technique, you will need to go to YouTube.
At $ 2,199 plus $ 199 for shipping and installation, the Ergatta’s price tag is the most upscale of home rowers, but if you have the funds, the appealing design and game-inspired programming are worth it. well the investment. This is especially true given the scarcity of finding workout gear that you’d rather keep in your living room than hiding in your garage.
Most importantly, the programming options are the most fun I have seen on any training device to date. If you are not an inherently motivated person when it comes to fitness, this is the key. Rather than forcing myself to wake up early and do my workout, I found myself taking breaks in the middle of the day to go “play” on my rower.
Getting equipment for home workouts is the easiest part. In fact, getting there and getting the job done is the real challenge. With low impact, medium to high intensity workouts and game-inspired motivation tools, Ergatta has actually made fitness more like recreation than physics class.
Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting plowed by a speedboat.