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Whenever it comes to fitness, gym equipment, and exercises, people expect an answer that works in all situations. However, the answer depends on your needs and goals. The same thing holds for your workout times on a rowing machine. Everyone is different and has different needs that can’t be catered to in a single way. Let’s figure out what’s best for you:
Figure out your goals
You need specific goals to determine how much time you should spend on the rowing machine. It may be losing a certain amount of weight or getting jacked up. Your goals will define your exercise routine.
- Burning calories - If your goal is to lose weight, it can help you figure out how much time you need to spend on the rowing machine by accounting for calories. For instance, if you want to lose 12 pounds in two months, you need to shed 1.5 pounds every week. Since a pound has 3500 calories, you need to lose 5250 calories every week.
Divide it over the week and you need to lose 750 calories every day. You can achieve this with healthy eating choices and pass the rest of the burden to your exercise routine. So, if you can cut down on 350 calories every day by opting for fruits instead of cookies, you need to burn 400 calories at the rowing machine. Depending on your heart rate, age, weight, and other such factors, you can burn 400 calories by spending around an hour or less on the rowing machine.
- Cardiovascular Benefits - Some people want better cardiovascular health instead of just climbing down the weight scale. Let’s check out how you can get such benefits:
- Aerobic exercises - If you want to enhance your aerobic conditioning then you need to spend long durations on the rowing machine. You need to be on the rowing machine for around 45 minutes to one and a half hours with low intensity. This helps your heart to work for a longer duration and improves your endurance. Work up to this time though, I do not suggest this as a starting point for unconditioned athletes.
- Aerobic exercises - To stimulate your anaerobic conditioning, you need to have an intense workout on the rowing machine for shorter periods. High-intensity rowing exercises usually last from 5 to 20 minutes.
However, several studies have shown that anaerobic exercises can improve your aerobic conditioning and vice versa. So, a mixed routine would be better.
- Build Muscle - Rowing is a cardio workout. So, you won’t see crazy muscle gains and volume from this machine. You need to complement your routine with weight training to achieve ideal results. However, if your goal is to get ripped with lean muscle, the rowing machine can be very helpful. You need to shock your muscle fibers with rowing HIIT exercises and stimulate their growth. Do high-intensity rowing for twenty seconds and get as many reps as possible within that time. After that take a break for 20 seconds and then repeat. Stack it up and you would get an amazing workout within 10 minutes.
Timeline to reach your goals
The time you need to spend on a rowing machine also depends on the timeline of your goal. For instance, if you take the calorie burn example of losing 12 pounds in 2 months, you need to spend around an hour or less on the machine. However, your time on the rowing machine gets cut down by half if you stretch your goal and decide on losing 12 pounds in 4 months.
Check on your daily routine and figure out how much time you can squeeze out for your workouts. You can also accommodate your favorite shows into the rowing workout to make most of your time. The machine helps you maintain posture and hence you can do an intense workout even when you are watching your favorite show on Netflix or listening to an audiobook.
Even if you are on a tight schedule you can always make around 15 to 20 minutes of workout. Make that into HIIT rowing exercises and you can get decent results within weeks. To get the best results combine it with a healthy low-carb diet.
Many factors go into answering the question - “How long should you work out on a rowing machine?”. It depends on your goals, the time you can afford to spend on daily workouts, and even your diet. Audit your current diet, lifestyle, assess your goals, and use the above-mentioned factors to come up with workout sessions that best suit you.