Friday, 19 April 2024

Equipment, Rowing Machines, Strength Training

LIT Strength Machine Review: Rowing, Pilates & Value Workouts

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LIT Strength Machine review featured image

At first glance, you’re forgiven for seeing a likeness between the LIT Strength Machine and a high-tech wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Luckily, that’s where the similarity ends.

This unique creation by LIT Method packs a ton of value into its home-gym-friendly size.

Offering intense cardio workouts, core-strengthening pilates, and adjustable resistance up to 100 lbs, it sounds too good to be true.

We reveal if that’s the case in this LIT rowing machine review. Keep reading to find out all about its design features, digital app, functions, and hype.

LIT Strength Machine Features Summary
  • Strength, pilates & rowing functions (low-impact)
  • 7ft L x 1.75ft D x 1.6ft H
  • 89lb weight, 75lbs without water
  • Vertical storage
  • No maintenance required
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Dual tank water system
  • Up to 40 lbs adjustable water resistance & 100 lbs band resistance
  • LIT Training On-Demand app platform
  • Custom programs
  • Lifetime warranty
  • No electricity required

LIT Strength Machine Features

When buying any home fitness equipment, there are a few key factors you have to take into account. These include the frame, resistance level or weight capacity, footprint, convenience, attachments, and functions.

Frame & dimensions

The LIT Strength Machine has a steel/aluminum frame, meaning it manages to be both light and sturdy at the same time. Don’t let its lightweight build (only 75 lbs without water) put you off, the equipment can bear users up to 450 lbs in weight.

The machine is 7 ft in length, 1.75 ft in depth, and 1.6 ft in height. It’s compatible with users up to 6 ft 9″.

LIT rowing machine portability & storage

We felt it was genius to design this machine in a way that it’s easy to store vertically. Low-profile wheels and a light frame meant we could move it around our home gym with no trouble.

The best part is that when stored vertically, it only took up 2 ft x 2 ft of floor space. A no-brainer for those of us who move our equipment around and mix things up for different workout sessions.

Dual tank system & water resistance

The LIT rower features a dual tank water system. The tank water is what provides the resistance, up to 40 lbs of it. And, it mimics the natural movement of water. You feel like you’re on a river or lake.

Although the idea of a water rower isn’t new, the LIT Method team has taken a unique approach by providing a dial to adjust the water level.

LIT rower resistance dial

This makes a difference because with traditional water rowers, you would have to add or subtract water from the tank manually – a huge con for those who want to switch between resistance levels during a workout.

LIT machine footplate & seat

Many rowing machines are built with a narrow footplate. We’ve felt this ourselves with other rowers where a longer session tends to lead to achy knees and discomfort.

The LIT machine was built with an extended footplate. This speaks to their motto of “Delivering results not injuries” as it leads to a more balanced weight distribution while rowing. It also improves hamstring and glute activation.

The seat is reinforced and surprisingly comfortable for a rower. Every single one of our reviewers has experienced the hard seat of rowers past.

The LIT seat was a dream – it still felt comfortable after 30 minutes of use and we felt that the elevated seat placement did help to reduce lower back strain.

Band Resistance

Asides from water resistance, the machine also offers up to 100 lbs of band resistance. You can attach bands to any of the eight anchor points on the machine.

The resistance bands are easy on the joints and allow for an almost-limitless number of low-impact exercises.

LIT Method training app

Man working out with LIT On-Demand app

What adds to the value of the LIT machine is the digital training platform. The app provides thousands of classes and custom programs from expert trainers.

The instructor-led classes and workouts are a defining feature. Some are live and others are on demand. And, new videos are added regularly.

Testing out a few of these programs, we learned new moves for the rower that really opened up our options.

The app organizes workouts into 10 categories including:

  • Ab lab
  • Cardio
  • Mat barre
  • Mat strength
  • Mindfulness
  • Partner class
  • Pilates
  • Recovery
  • Rowing, and
  • Rowing x strength

You have to subscribe to the app (as with most fitness equipment streaming platforms like Peloton and the Bowflex JRNY app). But the price is competitive at approximately $25 per month.

To be honest, you should get the app as it unlocks unbelievable value workouts. We were amazed at what was on offer. And, the instructor-led workouts do assist and inspire good form and technique.

LIT Strength Machine attachments

LIT Strength Machine Performance kit with attachments

So, you probably want to know what else comes with the machine.

Well, it depends on the package you buy. At the time of writing this, there are three to choose from.

Starter kit

The starter package includes:

  • LIT Method Strength Machine
  • 20 lbs set of resistance bands
  • 2 handles
  • Tablet attachment
  • 2 ankle cuffs
  • Free shipping ($250 value)
  • Free 3-month membership to LIT On-demand app

LIT Summer kit

This includes the same as the starter package but with the following value adds:

  • Strength bar
  • 45 lb Power Band set
  • 30 lb Speed Bands

LIT Performance kit

The performance kit contains the same as the summer kit with these extras:

  • Heart rate sensor
  • Machine mat

If you want the most of the strength, pilates, and tracking capabilities of this machine, we recommend the Summer or LIT performance kit.

If you’re a beginner, the starter kit is a good place to start. You can always purchase more accessories later as you grow in confidence.

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Customizations & tracking

LIT On-Demand App on tablet screen

Thanks to Bluetooth compatibility, you can track metrics like calories burned, heart rate, duration, and performance zones.

You can also control music and instructor volume to suit your preferred workout environment.

Probably the biggest downside we could find relates to the tracking and display. The machine doesn’t come with a built-in monitor. To track, you’ll use your own device, tablet, or phone, and the app.

This means that if you don’t renew your subscription after the complimentary access of three months (included in the packages), you won’t be able to track these metrics over the long term.


In terms of cost, this is not a budget buy. But, with its three-in-one capabilities, you get a lot of bang for the price.

The cost ranges from approximately $1750 to $2100 depending on the kit you go for. There are financing options available.

The site also runs specials regularly and offers free shipping so keep an eye on it.

All-In-One LIT Workout: Multifunction Rower, Pilates & Strength Machine

LIT Method Strength Machine on display

The hype about this piece of equipment is insane.

LIT Strength Machine reviews have been published across major publications such as Forbes, Glamour Magazine, People, and C|Net. Jay-Z even invested in the company with customers raving about their positive experiences.

We take a look at whether the hype is earned by testing out its multifunctional capabilities here.

Advertized as an exceptional rower, pilates reformer, and strength trainer, we tested each function and found out how it measured up.

LIT Rower

Justin Norris, co-founder of LIT Method alongside partner Taylor Norris, claims this piece of strength equipment is the best rower on the market.

After trying it out, we found three big reasons why we agree that this is an excellent, solid rowing machine.

1) Full-body Low-Impact workouts

Every stroke you make utilizes pretty much 100% of your body. Resistance rowing challenges your entire body and the extended footplate (as mentioned) allows you to really activate your glutes and hammies.

We got 100% of the workout with 0% strain on our lower back or joints. If you’re sick of high-impact exercises like jump squats or burpees, then give this rower a try.

You can also mix things up between isolation and compound exercises.

2) Variations

There are a few of us on the team who like to mix and match cardio machines for warmups and workouts.

The reason is simple. We get bored slamming away on a treadmill for 45 minutes or engaging in traditional rowing for long periods.

LIT Method provides a solution to this, by not only designing this machine as more than a rower. But, also by providing a dynamic roster of rowing variations.

The app gives great guidance on how to target different muscle groups with varying moves. You’ll enjoy the likes of side-to-side rows, oblique twists, and more.

3) Resistance

We’ve mentioned it before and we say it again. The resistance rowing gives this rower an incredible edge over other rowers in the market.

The combination of water resistance and bands provides a strength training challenge for any level of fitness.

LIT Pilates Reformer

Woman using LIT machine as reformer

The reformer part of the machine assists users to improve posture, core strength, and form while conditioning.

During our first attempt, we were a little uncertain how the LIT strength machine works as a reformer. Luckily, there are plenty of videos and pilates LIT On Demand classes to help.

Ankle cuffs are included with the reformer. These act as pilates loops for your wrists and ankles.

This means you can do a variety of pilates and resistance band exercises. These include single-leg crunches, leg and arm circles, frogs, and more.

In this reformer context, the machine seat works like exercise sliders and discs. You can get creative with sliding lunges, pikes, ab rolling movements, and so on.

We were impressed by the versatility of this machine and how many pilates moves we could do.

LIT Method Strength Machine

In terms of the strength training function, one thing to remember here is that this is not weightlifting. We are dealing with resistance, not Olympic weight plates or barbells.

You have up to 40 lbs of water resistance and 100 lbs of band resistance to play with. This is more than enough for strength training and conditioning purposes.

However, if you’re looking to build huge muscle mass, don’t have this as your only piece of home gym equipment.

Typically, you can use levels 1 and 2 on the LIT machine’s resistance dial for cardio and sprints, and 3 and 4 for strength.

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Exercise Options

Compared to other rowing machines, the list of available exercises is huge. Bear in mind though that you’ll want to use the LIT Method app to maximize your exercise options.

Here’s a small selection of all the exercises you can do:

  • Rowing (and rowing variations)
  • Squats
  • Pilates exercises
  • Many resistance training exercises
  • Chest presses
  • Rows
  • Deadlifts
  • Curls
  • Skull crushers
  • Lunges
  • Ab exercises

There are way more than what we’ve included above. The attachments and/or accessories you buy will also impact the available exercises.

LIT Fitness: Available Accessories

LIT Method accessories

LIT Method offers several accessories on the website. If you’re looking to optimize your home gym space and feel like this is the perfect and only rower for you, then take a look at their full range.

Here’s an example of the rower accessory products they stock:

  • Heart rate sensor
  • LIT machine outdoor cover
  • Strength bar
  • Mats
  • Cuffs
  • Power, speed, and resistance bands
  • Foam rollers

LIT Method Reviews From Customers

We recommend researching widely when considering new home gym equipment. Don’t just rely on review sites and their testing teams.

Take a look at what people who have bought the product have to say.

We took a look at customer feedback and found common threads in the LIT rower reviews.

Several customers praised the easy setup process and commented on the great workout it gives.

Customers commented that it is a versatile machine and enjoyed the variety of exercises it offers. As you know, we confirm that. The sheer volume of exercises available is incredible.

Some LIT rowing machine reviews gave mixed feedback about the sloshing sound of the tank water. Some users found it therapeutic whereas others didn’t enjoy it.

Not a big drawback but something to consider before you buy. You can always just turn the music up.

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LIT Method Rower Machine Pros and Cons

We revealed some of our pros and cons about the LIT all in one strength machine above. For a snapshot summary, check out the box below.

  • No electricity needed
  • 2 x 2 ft vertical storage
  • Huge variety of exercises
  • Feels like rowing on water
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Easy assembly
  • No maintenance 
  • Excellent on-demand classes, live workouts & expert trainers
  • No monitor included
  • Need an app subscription to unlock full machine value
  • Not like traditional rowing
  • It's not cheap (but luckily there are accessible payment options)
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Final Thoughts on the LIT Method Machine

And now, we reach the verdict. The LIT strength machine is a brilliant piece of home gym equipment. It’s portable, easy to store, and gives you plenty of exercises for your buck.

It is ideal for users looking to increase their cardiovascular fitness, strength, form, and posture. Equal parts rower, reformer, and strength machine, you can have a different and exciting workout several times a week!

The only people we wouldn’t suggest it for are people who have fitness goals dedicated only to weightlifting or traditional rowing. And, who only want one piece of home gym equipment to help them achieve their goals.

Otherwise, this strength, pilates and rowing machine is perfect for any home gym.

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