V-Fit Tornado Air Rower Review
Not everyone is a keen rower; almost nobody is a competitive rower, of course. However, we all stand to benefit from regular rowing.
Rowing machine usage represents a great way of working on your cardiovascular fitness. You will be able to hit a large amount of muscle mass through your posterior chain – the muscles, joints and mechanisms of your hamstrings, glutes, lower and upper back, and rear deltoids, broadly speaking – under a decent amount of load, especially if you make use of sprints. This makes rowing ideal for using up a lot of calories in a very short amount of time, and for stimulating almost full body hypertrophy (muscular growth).
We should all consider rowing. And, when we do row, we all stand to benefit from training at least a little bit like the pros.
This generally means using a good quality air rower, like the V-Fit Tornado Air Rower.
Air rowing machines are great. They come with the distinguished benefit of giving you a decent, cooling fan/breeze action, all self-powered by your own strokes. They also perform perfectly. You get a smooth action, loaded heavily towards the beginning of each row – as all rowing should be – that shouldn’t jar or jerk you around.
As I’ll explain below, the V-Fit Tornado Air Rower is a fantastic example of a well-priced air rower made expertly – so let’s take a full look in our V-Fit Tornado Air Rower review.
First impressions Of The V-Fit Tornado Air Rower
The V-Fit Tornado looks like a very professional piece of kit. It’s a club-style machine that wouldn’t look at all out of place in a gym or leisure centre. With a comfortable, ergonomic design, multiple-function exercise monitor and speed-proportionate air resistance, it really does seem at first glance to be well thought out, with a great deal of utility.
There’s a bit of a maxim in the fitness industry – the cheaper a piece of cardio equipment, the uglier it looks. This is often particularly true of rowing machines. The V-Fit Tornado bucks that trend completely.
It has flair, like it or not (I personally find it quite exciting to look at!). Its bright orange colour scheme and elegant lines remind me more of a boy racer’s pride and joy than a piece of stale old cardiovascular training gear. It can fold away for storage, but I wouldn’t – I would leave it out in a home gym set up, brightening the place up with a bit of cheerfulness.
V-Fit Tornado Air Rower Specs
The V-Fit Tornado is in many ways a machine to buy with the heart. It has buckets of charm and style, as I’ll go into below.
However, it also has to be a smart choice. We are, after all, chasing fitness goals here, not simply going for style. Luckily, there is a large amount of substance underpinning this style. The specs are decent.
The resistance plays a large part in any rower – both the level it can go up to and the feel of it, how well balanced and delivered it is. With a club style, speed proportionate air resistance chain drive rower and canted, wide reach row bar, this is all good with the V-Fit Tornado.
Comfort is also crucial, as you’ll likely be spending upwards of ten minutes, and often a lot more, seated on your rower. The V-Fit Tornado features contoured, polyurethan, anatomically designed seating with bearing mounted upper and lower seat guide rollers. This makes everything smooth and soft. Comfort combines with performance for a gliding, taxing, yet markedly non-brutal row.
This is backed up by the footpads. The V-Fit Tornado has pivoting, oversize PVC footplates with two-position mount and adjustable velcro style foot straps. One of my main issues with rowers is their straps’ tendency to come loose under pressure, so I always look for well-designed, well-made plates.
There is a monitor attached to the V-Fit Tornado. It left a little to be desired, as I’ll go into below. For now, suffice to say that they call it a ‘three-screen, six-function exercise monitor.’ I found the six functions, and had no issue with them, but I wasn’t quite sure where the other two screens were…
However, the monitor is perfectly serviceable, which really is all it needs to be. A good quality rower will never be made or broken by a monitor, and a good monitor will never make up for a poor machine.
This good quality rower has a workable display that tracks and shows you all the metrics you would want it to, including calories burned, time spent training, count and total count of your rows, and strokes per minute. You can also run a scan which rotates the feedback, so you can view each stat intermittently throughout your workout.
I’m a sucker for training data, so I made good use of this final setting.
The V-Fit Tornado can accommodate users up to 115kg, or 18-ish stone, so should suffice for all but the largest of athletes. It stands at 212cm x 44cm x 74cm and weighs a total of 19.5kg of alloy steel and aluminium.
Using The V-Fit Tornado Air Rower
This has the potential to be one of the shortest reviews I’ve ever written.
How is the V-Fit Tornado rower to use? Well, great. If you want a good quality, reasonably priced rowing machine, you should buy it. You’ll love it.
I appreciate that you probably want a bit more detail, though, so I’ll get into it.
I mentioned the issue with the screen above. Realistically, had they called it what it was – a single screen, basic monitor that shows you everything you need it to – then I’d have no gripe with it. It’s good, it’s functional, and it’s eminently usable during any workout. They just described it in a silly way.
Other than this, as above, the two main things you’re looking for with a rower are comfort and stroke resistance/performance.
Both are strong, here. Remarkably so, in fact. I used the V-Fit Tornado for a couple of different training styles, and it held up to everything I threw at it (and, as a powerlifter, I can be pretty rough when I engage my posterior chain!).
On longer, steady state workouts, I found myself in a great deal of comfort. The seat was padded and soft, yet firm enough for me to be able to put some real power down. There was no sore bum, no dead bum, and no lower back ache, which are all common with inferior models.
The cable’s smooth action was balanced exactly how you want it. There should be a burst of energy at the bottom of each row, when you’re closest to the monitor, with a good amount of resistance. This should be overcome with a blast from the legs, and then the cable should glide evenly, with no juddering. All of this is the ideal, of course – many rowers don’t deliver. The V-Fit Tornado does. It works exactly as you would want it to.
For shorter, sprint sessions (much my preferred style of training), the seat performed well. There was no juddering. The rollers glided and there was no stickiness. The footpad straps, which held up pretty well during steady-state work, were okay. I had to stop a few times to tighten them, but this is often par for the course with a rower and represents no real drama.
I really loved the cable action and the air resistance during my sprints, however. You can switch the resistance on very quickly so that you can jump into each sprint immediately, and the weight of resistance being sunk so well into the bottom of each stroke allows for massive power output exactly where you need it. The V-Fit will be great for building up strength and power, and for eliciting hypertrophy through the posterior chain.
Everything else felt good, too. The frame is sturdy and well put together. It is durable and heavy enough that it doesn’t move around as you sprint – an issue I’ve had with lesser models.
All in all, the V-Fit Tornado Air Rower is simply a joy to use. It does exactly what you need it to.
V-Fit haven’t bucked the trend entirely with the Tornado. It isn’t an anomalous wunderkind by any stretch of the imagination. Though it’s a fine, fine product – one of my favourites, by far – there are other options out there if you want them.
If you don’t fancy the V-Fit Tornado, but want a decent rower that gives smooth action with air resistance, you could do a lot worse than going with the JTX Freedom Rowing Machine. It makes use of a good combination of magnetic and air resistance to give a really smooth motion, it folds easily (going from 230cm x 55cm x 88cm to 130cm x 55cm x 157cm) and is pretty portable thanks to its wheels, and comes with a 2 year home repair warranty.
It’s also not bright orange. I’ll leave you to decide whether or not that’s a good thing.