a man uses a rowing machine to lose weight and build muscle

How Long Should You Workout on a Rowing Machine?

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Rowing machines have boomed in sales recently. With Hydrow and other big brands becoming increasingly popular, more and more people are getting into it. Rowing is easily one of the best workouts you can integrate into your fitness routine. It’s a total body workout that can deliver very efficient results.

Rowing can burn similar amounts of calories as running without the high impact on joints [1]. It forces you to engage your lower body, core, and upper body throughout the entirety of the workout.

With it being such an efficient workout, you may be wondering how long you should spend on the equipment. This article will try to answer that question for you.

How Long Should You Workout On Your Rowing Machine?

1. Figure Out Your Workout Objectives and Goals

The most important thing you want to consider when you are trying to figure out how long to work out on the machine is your objectives and goals. You need to outline all of your workout objectives and goals beforehand.

This can be essential to do beforehand because you need to base your workouts on your desired results.

You won’t get the results you are seeking without defining them first. After all, if you have a goal of losing 10 pounds in 2 months, you have a pre-defined goal that you can use to engineer a plan. It’s also going to require a very different workout routine than someone that is looking to pack on 5 pounds of muscle in 2 months.

By knowing your goals beforehand, you can reverse engineer how long it’s going to take for you to achieve them. You’ll be able to work backward to figure out the optimal time to spend on the rowing machine every time you get on.

2. What Kind Of Time Frame Are You Working With?

This is another important thing to consider when trying to figure out how long to spend on a rowing machine. You need to think about the time frame that you have to achieve the results you’re seeking. If you’re looking to lose weight before your wedding day, you will have a pre-defined date by which you need to get your results.

Without knowing the time frame you have to work with, you won’t be able to create the optimal workout plan. That means you won’t be able to define how long you should spend on the rowing machine every time you get on.

If you are looking for short-term objectives and goals, your exercise plan will be very different than if you were seeking longer-term objectives and goals.

Always consider your time frames for achieving your fitness goals when you are creating your workout plan and approach. The shorter your time frame, the more intensity you’ll need to cram into your workouts.

3. How Much Intensity Are You Willing To Put Into Your Workouts?

This is a big one if you are looking to shorten the duration of your workouts. While it’s generally true that you will burn more calories with longer-span rowing workouts, that’s not always the case.

A lot of people look to leverage the efficiency of high-intensity workouts. If you use high-intensity interval training in your rowing workouts, you can shorten the duration of each workout without sacrificing its effectiveness of it. This can be perfect for those that want to shorten the amount of time they have to spend working out every day.

RELATED READING: Compare Our Two Favorite Rowers: Hydrow and Ergatta

If you do this, you can minimize the total amount of time you spend days working out while still pushing yourself towards your fitness goals and objectives.

The more intensity you can leverage in your workouts, the less time you have to spend on the actual machine.

4. What’s Your Diet Like?

This is one that often gets overlooked by those looking to achieve some type of fitness goal. Your diet plays a critical role in your workouts whether you know it or not. Your diet will dictate how effective your workouts are towards achieving your fitness goals.

For instance, if you are looking to lose weight and burn fat, you’ll want to put yourself at a caloric deficit. However, you will have a much harder time doing this if you are eating a lot of calories every day. This is especially true if you are eating a lot of empty calories.

For someone that is on a diet and who is counting their caloric intake, you have a much better idea of how long you need to row to put yourself at a caloric deficit. Along with this, you will have to spend a lot less time on the machine to do so effectively.

Likewise, for someone that is looking to put on muscle, you will need to be stacking your diet full of protein and other essential nutrients for muscle growth. Otherwise, you could be harming your muscle growth efforts by not giving your body what it needs to reach an anabolic state.

Optimizing your diet is essential when you are looking to improve the effectiveness of your rowing workouts. Without looking at your diet, you won’t know how long to row because you won’t have the requisite information needed.

5. What Is Your Current Fitness Level?

a man uses a rowing machine

This is another important factor that you want to look at and consider when you are trying to answer this question. No one should jump into any type of workout and expect immediate results.

If you are someone that is completely out of shape, you don’t want to hop on a rowing machine at full intensity without easing yourself into it. Instead, you want to give yourself some time to adjust to the workouts and to learn how the movement works.

This can give you gradual time to adjust to using muscles that you may never use in your daily life. If you went into rowing without gradually easing yourself into it, you would likely burn yourself out and cause yourself to stop working out.

If you are already fit, you will likely be able to incorporate rowing into your routine and work out for a longer duration.

6. What Can You Do Consistently?

Consistency is everything when it comes to working out. You need to find something that you can consistently do day in and day out. Finding consistency is key to getting the results you are seeking. One of the main reasons a lot of people fail to achieve their fitness objectives and goals is due to a lack of consistency.

Think about what you can do consistently.

Don’t set unrealistic expectations on your workouts if you can’t adhere to them. For instance, if you only have 35 minutes to fit in before work, don’t try to cram in an hour.

Before you know it you will be skipping days here and there and destroying any progress you’ve made. Instead, try to give yourself plenty of time so you aren’t skipping scheduled workout days.

Think about how much time you can realistically dedicate to rowing. From there, you can figure out what the optimal time to spend on a rowing machine would be for yourself.

Summary: How Much Time Should You Spend Rowing?

There is no definitive answer to this question. You should be basing the answer on several factors listed above. Figure out what your goals are and what your current fitness level is.

Think about the timeline you have to achieve the goals you’ve set. From there, you can look at your diet and think about how long you need to work out to reach your intended goals.

Always think about what you can be consistent with. Don’t lie to yourself during this stage because you’ll only be sabotaging yourself.

Once you find a routine that works, stick with it and watch yourself exceed the fitness goals you’ve set for yourself with rowing.

References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rowing-for-weight-loss#weight-loss-calories-burned