BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower Review

Last Updated on March 2, 2018 by Jeff

BodyCraft-VR500-Commercial-RowerRower Overview:

The VR500 Commercial Rower from BodyCraft represents over a decade of research and development. This rower incorporates all of the latest technology and long standing consumer requests resulting in a smooth, high performance rowing workout. This commercial grade rower has a heavy-duty, high strength aluminum track that will stand up to the most intense workouts. BodyCraft backs this construction with a lifetime warranty.

BodyCraft uses both air and magnetic resistance on the VR500 Commercial Rower to offer the user a wider range of resistance. With 32 levels of resistance available, you can hone in on your ideal training level. Another great thing about this is BodyCraft literally puts the controls in your hand with remote resistance settings in the handlebars. The computer on the VR500 Commercial Rower also utilizes these resistance settings with 12 pre-programmed workouts including four target heart zone workouts, four race profiles and two interval training programs. The BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower is a quality rower with great features.

Click here to see the price of the BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower on Amazon.

Technical Info:BodyCraft-VR500-Rower


  • Length: 98.5”
  • Width: 20”
  • Height: 38.5”
  • Item weight: 101 lbs
  • Max user weight: 350 lbs


  • 3” wide heavy duty I-beam mono-rail track extruded from high strength T13 aluminum.
  • Powder coated steel with anodized aluminum beam finish.
  • 32 levels of electronically controlled air and eddy current brake resistance.
  • 43 inches of travel from footrests will accommodate any size user (up to 6’8” user height).
  • Ergonomically correct comfort grip aluminum handlebar with remote resistance controls.
  • Contoured comfort glide seat with heavy duty roller bearings.
  • Deluxe adjustable commercial grade heel rest with quick adjust foot straps.
  • Premium nylon drive belt.
  • Precision-formed laser-cut high strength steel support legs.
  • Easy fold and roll system with safety child lock.

Computer Features:BodyCraft-Commercial-VR500-Rower

  • Easy to read 5”x2.5” black mask LCD w/ LED backlit display and keys.
  • Four user profiles.
  • Manual mode quick start or set countdown goals.
  • Recovery program.
  • Power off feature shuts down after four minutes of no use.
  • 12 program profiles
  • Race (4)
  • Heart Rate (4 – 55%, 75%, 90% & custom)
  • Interval (2)
  • Custom (1)
  • Manual (1)
  • Workout data includes:
    • Time
    • Distance
    • Calories
    • Pulse
    • Strokes per Minute
    • Watts
    • Level
    • Profile


  • Frame: Lifetime
  • Parts: 5 years
  • Labor: 2 years
  • Wear Items: 1 year

Shipping and Assembly:

Shipping costs will vary for the BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rowing Machine depending on where you purchase from and what type of delivery you prefer. However, some retailers, such as, will provide free shipping.

The VR500 Commercial Rower ships in one box and comes with assembly instructions and the tools that you’ll need for the process. The instructions list out 11 steps, but that includes unpacking the parts and throwing away the trash. The assembly process is straight forward and goes quickly. A single person can put the machine together in less than an hour.

BodyCraft-VR500-Commercial-Machine-RowerWhat We Love About the BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rowing Machine:


The BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower is a solid rowing machine. It is well constructed and designed to take abuse day-in and day-out. The 3” aluminum monorail frame is strong and will accommodate a maximum capacity of 350 lbs. This is a commercial grade machine designed to take the abuse that you would find in a gym or club environment. BodyCraft backs their construction with excellent lifetime frame and five year parts warranties.


We also really like the design and function of the BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower. First, this machine is foldable, which is good considering its large footprint. When folded, the VR500 Commercial Rower cuts over 3’ off of its overall size. The machine can be locked in this position and rolled away for safe storage. Another design feature that we really like is the remotely controlled resistance. The resistance controls are located on the handlebar between your grips and can easily be used with your thumbs. This allows you to add or decrease intensity without affecting your rowing motion. It’s a really nice design with the user’s needs in mind.

BodyCraft-VR500-Rower-MachineWhat Isn’t So Great:

Heart Rate Monitoring

Our biggest issue with the BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower is the heart rate monitoring. Yes, it does have the ability to measure your heart rate and there are four target heart zone workouts on the computer console. However, in order to use these functions, you will need to buy your own heart rate monitor. The BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower will pair with a Polar chest strap monitor, which will run you another $50 or so.

Final Word on the BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower:

After you purchase the BodyCraft VR500 Commercial Rower, you’ll need to spend a little more money for a chest strap to utilize all of its capability. This is our biggest drawback. We would think that for just under $2,000, a chest strap could be included. That being said, this rowing machine is top of the line. It is strong, durable and commercial grade, ready to take whatever abuse you can dish out. It is design with the user in mind with 32 levels of resistance and an excellent console with 12 programmed workouts. There’s no doubt you’ll get your money out of this machine.