Reviews of First Grade Fitness


First Degree Fitness (FDF) was founded in 2000 and quickly became a global brand of fitness equipment. This company specializes exclusively in rowers and upper body ergometers, and all its fitness equipment is waterproof. Their patented water tanks have four to twenty preset resistance settings. First Degree Fitness offers different product lines for home gymnastics, light commercial gyms, commercial fitness centres and medical facilities.


First Degree Fitness offers a wide range of equipment for rowing and upper body training. The five series are: Vortex Hydraulic Cylinders, Hydraulic Cylinders, Horizontal Hydraulic Cylinders, Ergometers for measuring upper body development and the Medical Device Directive. There are about 20 variations in total, and the differences between the models are sometimes hardly noticeable. Here’s a résumé:

  • In general, the Vortex and Evolution Fluid Rower series are equipped with traditional water rudder simulators for club rowing. They have 16 to 20 preset resistance levels.
  • Most horizontal devices are designed for private or light commercial use, although commercial options are also available. These rowers are particularly suitable for storage. They each have four levels of resistance. The Horizontal Series is the only DTS collection with some variations of wooden frames.
  • Evolution upper body ergometers are designed to be used anywhere from home to industrial applications. Some of them have removable chairs to allow wheelchair access. A hybrid model from this collection can be used for the lower or upper body.
  • Some of the devices in the series of the Medical Devices Directive are similar to the rowers for the Waist Body ergo and Evolution. However, they have been slightly modernised to meet the criteria for medical devices of the European Union.
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  • Compact size: Many FDF machines can be stacked or require little space when in use. For example, the E720 Cycle XT is a two-in-one machine (bicycle and rowing machine) with a footprint of 48 x 37. All horizontal rowing machines are designed for vertical storage.
  • Sealing: Watertightness is the best choice for a failed aerobic training and for excellent condition you can choose between different levels of resistance. With other brands, the degree of resistance reacts to the user’s efforts.
  • Waistbody training: Of course, rowers train the whole body. Traditional rowers, on the other hand, have their legs in the limelight. First Degree Fitness upper body ergometers help train the upper body. Your pedals can be used in two directions and at different heights to isolate different muscle groups.
  • Data and entertainment: Different monitors are used in a first degree layout. Your most advanced computer is equipped with a heart rate monitoring system and pre-installed programs. Many of their rowers also have USB ports for free application integration. One of the best applications connects trainees for virtual competitions.
  • Wooden frames available: It is one of the few brands that offer wooden frames.
  • High power: Typical maximum power for this brand is 330 pounds.
  • Good warranty: The first degree warranty on suitability is generally five or ten years for the frame, three years for the water tank and two years for the mechanical parts. Wear-resistant parts are covered for one year.



Not really:

  • Customer Service: The customer service of first-line fitness clubs is not always available by telephone.
  • above price: Sometimes the prices for EVS sprinklers seem too high. In particular, we would like to see more expensive parts for some horizontal rowing machines. The most important comparison brand is WaterRower.
  • Maintenance required: The first level of competence often uses an expression that requires virtually no maintenance. However, their cheaper in-water rowers use bungee cords instead of chains, and they need to be tightened to ensure regularity. For home models and commercial devices it is recommended to check the belts monthly.
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Our report

First Degree Fitness has conquered the market for robust upper body ergometers and reaches a mass of physiotherapists with its specially certified medical collection. For traditional water sprinklers, this brand faces strong competition from WaterRower in the residential and commercial markets.



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