Rowing Program for Weight Loss

Rowing program to lose weight

Rowing machine appeals to people of all levels. Nowadays, it is the most complete fitness equipment since the rower works nearly 90% of the muscles of our body.

No matter what an individual’s goal is, the rower will meet all expectations. For example, it allows you to lose weight, keep fit, tone the silhouette, or even relieve stress. Rowing machine is ideal for developing the cardiovascular system. It also allows you to work on your cardiac and respiratory capacity.

In addition, rowing machine takes up less space than a treadmill. Many brands also offer foldable models that you can store under the sofa or bed.

You should know that there are different types of rowing machines, such as the air rower or magnetic rower. Rowing program for weight loss, it is essential to choose a model corresponding to your aspiration. But which rowing program you should follow to lose weight? Don’t worry we are here to guide you.

Recommend to see our comparison of the best rowing machine under $500.

Rowing machine for weight loss

Rowing machine is perfect for someone with the goal of building muscle. It refines and sculpts the silhouette. Indoor rowing tones the body by converting fat mass into muscle mass. In order to lose weight with this fitness equipment, we recommend to put on a low resistance and to row quickly.

With a rowing machine, you will lose fat in the arms, and stomach by exercising the abdominal belt, glutes and thighs. It is actually effective in order to lose weight in the stomach because it solicits the abdominals. For this, it is necessary to work on breathing. You have to bring in the stomach while exhaling intending to bring the navel towards the spine.

A woman can also tighten the perineum at the same time as the abdominals.

Number of workouts

In order to lose weight quickly while playing sports at home with a rowing machine, it is necessary to train at least 60 minutes per session. The more you will do rowing training sessions, the more calories you will burn and therefore lose weight fast.

However, you should not practice too much at the risk of over-training. This could cause fatigue, joint and muscle pain, or even insomnia. It is also necessary to let the body rest at least one to two days per week. The ideal is to practice at least 3 training sessions per week to start. Then you will be able to increase your pace over time.

How many calories to burn with a rowing program?

There are different ways to estimate the calories burned through sports activity. Here are two versions to calculate it for both men and women:

  • Calories burned for a man = [(Age x 0.2017) – (Weight x 0.09036) + (Heart rate x 0.6309) – 55.0969] x Time / 4.184.
  • Calories burned for a woman = [(Age x 0.074) – (Weight x 0.05741) + (Heart rate x 0.4472) – 20.4022] x Time / 4.184.

However, these formulas require an individual to calculate his/her heart rate during his training session. Some rowing machines are equipped with a heart rate monitor. Otherwise, it is possible to purchase one separately or to opt for a connected watch.

To avoid doing the math, here is a summary table of the average number of calories burned based on user weight and the intensity of the exercise:

Weight (kg)IntensityDuration (min)Calories Burned

Of course, these numbers can vary from person to person. It will depend on gender, age, weight as well as heart rate, which can change depending on intensity or form.

A person who is not in good shape will have a higher heart rate and will therefore burn more calories since they must use more energy in order to perform the same session.

Getting started with the rower

Before testing your new rowing machine, you should follow certain rules in order to avoid the risk of injury and to optimize these training sessions as well as their efficiency.

Start basic with the rower

When you wish to carry out a rowing program to lose weight, it is imperative to warm up before starting it. We recommend you warm up for at least five to ten minutes and start the session while respecting the target heart rate. It is also essential to focus on your position throughout the exercise.

Your work must be progressive and you will increase the speed as the workouts progress. We have seen that the ideal is to carry out 60-minute sessions in order to lose weight with the rower.

However, it is better to start slowly and perform one to two sessions per week at the start, and this is for 10 minutes. It is then possible to increase the duration and intensity gradually.

You will end a session by decreasing the pace and pace. Indeed, recovery of five to ten minutes at the end of a workout is required. You must also do stretching at the start and end of the session.

Instructions to follow

Here are some guidelines for carrying out a rowing program to lose weight:

  • Adapt the effort to their level of physical condition;
  • Control his heart rate;
  • Hydrate well;
  • Take the time to recover between each session;
  • Modify training and change intensity, time, and pace;
  • Control his heartbeat;
  • Make a schedule, write down the calories consumed and the duration of the workout;
  • Adapt the resistance of the rower to achieve the desired heart rate;
  • Do not force, an individual should never hurt himself;
  • Stop in case of pain or fatigue;
  • Adapt the duration of training sessions as well as the intensity according to your form and objectives.

The minimum or maximum duration of a rowing session is personal. This depends on the age, level, goal and motivation of each individual. Most of the time, a person does two to three training sessions per week.

How to burn more calories with a rower?

A rowing program to lose weight can be done in two ways: traditional cardio (LIIT) and HIIT.

Classic cardio exercise

This is the most popular type of exercise. It consists of rowing for at least 40 minutes.

In order to carry out a cardio-type rowing program, you must adjust the rower to medium resistance, which is around 60 to 70% of its maximum capacity. Start by rowing at a pace considered average. Maintain this rhythm for 30 to 45 minutes and aim for a heart rate of 120 to 150 beats per minute.

A HIIT program to lose weight quickly

HIIT, High-Intensity Interval Training, is high-intensity interval training. It consists of alternating phases of intense effort with phases of recovery. The advantage of HIIT is to perform short workouts while burning as many calories as possible. An individual will tap into his fat without losing muscle mass.

Beginner level

  • 15 seconds of effort;
  • 30 seconds recovery.

This session may initially last only 5 minutes. An individual can increase the duration of it according to its evolution over time and spend 5 to 10 minutes, etc.

Intermediate level

  • 30 seconds of effort;
  • 30 seconds recovery.

This training can also last 5 minutes at first and a person can increase this time as it progresses.

Confirmed level

  • 30 seconds of effort;
  • 15 seconds recovery.

This rowing program for weight loss can also be 5 minutes initially and increase to 10 minutes, then 15, etc. The goal is to give your all in each session so that this HIIT exercise takes on its full meaning.

Which rowing program to lose the most weight?

The answer is difficult. Because a cardio session lasts much longer but with a lower heart rate. The goal of HIIT training is to have high BPMs (beats per minute) over short phases. It is therefore complicated for the rower for 40 minutes at this rate.

The advantage of a HIIT program is that the AfterBurn effect is particularly effective. It burns calories for hours after a workout. Each person can choose the method he prefers or alternate according to his/her desire.

A rower challenge program

The goal is for users to give the maximum in each rowing training program to lose weight. Before starting the session, you must set goals for time, distance, or even speed. You must try to improve with each training session in order to always do better than in the previous session.

Here is an example of training:

  • Do 1 km, record the time achieved and try to improve it;
  • Row for 10 minutes, record the distance and try to improve it.

Different rowing training programs are possible. Whether it is to develop muscle mass, tone your figure or lose weight in your stomach, the goal is not to fall into monotony and to stay motivated.

Tips to maximize the fat burning effect

You should focus on the number of prints. The goal is not to go as quickly as possible. Even if the faster your oars, the more calories you burn. The goal is to create maximum power.

For that you need:

  • Stay between 24 and 30 prints per minute. A person will burn the most calories in this range. The number is displayed on the rower’s display;
  • Regularly change the rhythm of the sessions;
  • Alternate the routine every 2 to 4 weeks so that the body does not get used to a training program. Indeed, the more you will repeat a training session, the more the body will be efficient in carrying out it and the less calories it will burn.


Rowing machines have so many benefits and it is one of the best fitness equipment widely used. It combines the advantages of all cardio machines. However, to see good results, it is right to do at least 3 sessions per week. Also keep in mind, there is no standard program to follow. If you have little time to devote to the rower, you can perform HIIT sessions. These have the advantage of being fast and efficient.

The body gets used to the effort. It is therefore necessary to vary the pace and intensity from one session to another. This is especially true for classic cardio sessions and not for those performed in the form of HIIT. Indeed, the maximum of a person will evolve as the workouts progress. It is therefore not possible to stagnate with interval training sessions.

It is essential to follow your rowing program regularly to lose weight effectively. Of course, the results will only be visible if you have a healthy lifestyle in parallel.

If you have any further questions or suggestions about losing weight with a rowing machine, we are always happy to receive a comment under this post.

Liam Dean is a Professional Blogger and Outdoor Enthusiast. He completed Masters in Sports Sciences and spend all of his free time doing sports and other outdoor activities. During vacations, he goes hunting, fishing and mountaineering.

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