Rowing to loose weight

Rowing for weight loss or weight control? Start here.

Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby RowerMatt516 » March 23rd, 2015, 4:00 pm

Bob S. wrote:For now, 30' 5ks are fine to get you started. As long as you control your food intake, you benefit even from light rowing workouts. Actually, you are doing more work than it appears, since you are having to move a lot more weight up and down the slide than the average person. But, as you gain fitness, you need to increase the work load. Gradually increase your exercise time and/or the speed of the workouts and you will continue to gain fitness and lose weight. It takes patience and persistence.

Bob S.


Thanks Bob S. I know I am doing more work than walking-that's for sure. I routinely go for 30-40 minute walks and I certainly don't breathe heavily. Maybe because the erg is working different muscles-my back and abs definitely feel stronger and my shoulders are getting bigger.

I decided to do a 1k sprint today (actually ended up going 1034m in 5:30 mins.) My splits were 2:42 in the first 500m and 2:39 in the second 500m. I used the "curve" display and my power output was nice and even on most of my strokes. I concentrated on exploding in the drive and recovering slowly in the 1:2 ratio. Interestingly, my strokes per minute were between 23-28 in the sprint, and 23-29 in my "slow" 5k (but my splits ranged from 3:15-4:16).

Of course, I was way more out of breath after this 1k sprint. But I was still able to do a slow 2k afterwards. Thats it for today as I am still working around the knee pain.
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby Martyroddy » April 7th, 2015, 10:36 am

jvincent wrote:This is honest feedback, so please take it that way.

5K in 30 minutes is slow. Very slow. Really too slow to give you any kind of a workout.

You don't give any details on your age/height/weight, but when I started rowing three-ish years ago I was 45 and two weeks into my rowing I was at 23:00 for 5K. I lost about 30lbs over the course of 10 months alternating the following workouts, rowing 5-6 times a week.

- 30 minutes. At that start I was doing 6200m and by the end of the 10 months I was at 7200m
- 10K. When I started I was just above 45 minutes, at the end I was at about 42 minutes.
- Intervals. I use a couple of different types, but generally work for 1:00 minute, rest for 2:30 is a good one to try.

There's no magic here, the more work you put in the more weight you will lose. Since you have said your eating is good, then you need to up the calorie burning.



I found that the key for weight loss/ calorie burn is the use of heart rate measures to maximize the Burn, There is a best HR to each person to burn calories. 5k in 30 may be slow, but it is still 30 minutes of exercise
Repetitive 5ks at that pace will lead t plateau , but mixing it up, measuring your pulse and getting yourself .

Lots of theories on what HR is best but , I go for Heart Rate Max for my age....subtract my age and that is the center of the target zone for best calories / fat burn
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby G-dub » April 7th, 2015, 4:16 pm

Martyroddy wrote:
jvincent wrote:This is honest feedback, so please take it that way.

5K in 30 minutes is slow. Very slow. Really too slow to give you any kind of a workout.

You don't give any details on your age/height/weight, but when I started rowing three-ish years ago I was 45 and two weeks into my rowing I was at 23:00 for 5K. I lost about 30lbs over the course of 10 months alternating the following workouts, rowing 5-6 times a week.

- 30 minutes. At that start I was doing 6200m and by the end of the 10 months I was at 7200m
- 10K. When I started I was just above 45 minutes, at the end I was at about 42 minutes.
- Intervals. I use a couple of different types, but generally work for 1:00 minute, rest for 2:30 is a good one to try.

There's no magic here, the more work you put in the more weight you will lose. Since you have said your eating is good, then you need to up the calorie burning.


I found that the key for weight loss/ calorie burn is the use of heart rate measures to maximize the Burn, There is a best HR to each person to burn calories. 5k in 30 may be slow, but it is still 30 minutes of exercise
Repetitive 5ks at that pace will lead t plateau , but mixing it up, measuring your pulse and getting yourself .

Lots of theories on what HR is best but , I go for Heart Rate Max for my age....subtract my age and that is the center of the target zone for best calories / fat burn


Your heart rate idea is similar to Maffetone's approach, which is to subtract your age from 180. If you are just getting started or have been injured, he says to subtract another 5 beats. If you have been training a bunch, add 5 (he has other criteria that are worth reviewing). Lots of folks will say that any measure of training heart rate that doesn't include knowing your real max is bogus, but I have found this method to keep me in a state of cardio where I am sweating and breathing through the nose and able to talk - which is a sign that I am not asking for lots of air. For those that have trained awhile - especially at higher intensity - it can be maddeningly slow until the pace comes down. But as a general rule and a way to find a safe "fat burning" pace, it works pretty well. and whats awesome is that it is safe and you can keep building the time on the machine, which is all good. to tell the truth, it can be kind of addicting to roll along at a nice but beneficial pace for a long time without totally smoking yourself in the process!
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby Citroen » April 7th, 2015, 5:35 pm

Martyroddy wrote:Lots of theories on what HR is best but , I go for Heart Rate Max for my age....subtract my age and that is the center of the target zone for best calories / fat burn

Chuck all the theories about HR in the toilet and flush them away. There are no HR formulae that have any validity, 220-age is the worst of a bunch of non-scientific hokum.

There's two ways to determine your HR range
1. Step test to failure, it's not very accurate but it's about a 10^6 times better than 220-age (and others).
2. A lab lactate test where blood samples are analysed at intervals while you work which is at least 10^9 (or more) times better than 220-age (and others).

The way to lose weight is by not shovelling calories in, not by spending hours on the ergo.
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby G-dub » April 7th, 2015, 7:10 pm

Citroen, I would never say that the Maffetone method for determining a heart rate range to safely do volume work to build an aerobic base is accurate as it relates to establishing a max heart rate. It's just a way to establish a marker for training that is arbitrary to a degree, but also seems to work. We all know that heart rate training is variable and the training bands allow slop, so we aren't "throwing darts" here.
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby Citroen » April 7th, 2015, 8:19 pm

The important point is that all the HR formulae are complete BS. That is all.
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby hjs » April 8th, 2015, 2:30 am

G-dub wrote:Citroen, I would never say that the Maffetone method for determining a heart rate range to safely do volume work to build an aerobic base is accurate as it relates to establishing a max heart rate. It's just a way to establish a marker for training that is arbitrary to a degree, but also seems to work. We all know that heart rate training is variable and the training bands allow slop, so we aren't "throwing darts" here.


Doug is right, step one is getting to know your personal hf profile. Everything else is useless without it. If a doctor ignores this he does a very poor job. Some people are very off from average. And if you have a low max, every formula lets you work way to hard. Vise versa you hardly do a thing...
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby G-dub » April 8th, 2015, 7:40 am

I agree with you both, that more understanding of your personal heart rate patterns is better than less. And less could be dangerous or ineffective. I suppose I know that the Maffetone method works for me (although I confess that I don't adhere to it 100%) because I can see how it fits into the bands that I have established by getting near max efforts in workouts, so I am confident in being "close". And as you say, doctors don't always take you to max when they test anyway. I think we can leave this one now!
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby hjs » April 8th, 2015, 9:34 am

G-dub wrote:I agree with you both, that more understanding of your personal heart rate patterns is better than less. And less could be dangerous or ineffective. I suppose I know that the Maffetone method works for me (although I confess that I don't adhere to it 100%) because I can see how it fits into the bands that I have established by getting near max efforts in workouts, so I am confident in being "close". And as you say, doctors don't always take you to max when they test anyway. I think we can leave this one now!


Its more never, the often used 220 minus age was not a max, but a number a doctor used to stop a test. This was also wrong, plenty of people have a max below this number. So for them this precaution number did nothing.

For the maffetone method. If you talk about minor adjustments but leave out much bigger differences things are pretty wrong.
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby G-dub » April 8th, 2015, 12:47 pm

I think that Maffetone is a number that can be started with but needs to be tested by using it. Ways to test it include if you are able to still breath through your nose, by being able to talk without the need to gasp for breath and by sweat. I personally don't understand how to use "perceived exertion" so I don't use that. But I think you can zero in on a safe level of effort to remain aerobic with the other tests and with a heart rate monitor. And obviously it works the other way...you need to work up at the number and far below it or there won't be enough work to make changes.
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby Donnie » August 20th, 2015, 1:27 pm

Redsox just keep rowing and compare your stats with yourself. As long as you are pushing and improving on YOUR times you are doing good. This is how I approach it and it is working. I am new to this just over a month on the rower. The main thing is to put time in on the rower. Consistency over time is key. Just keep rowing and you will get better and see results.
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby Wolfgang_99 » November 2nd, 2015, 12:14 am

I bought my first rower thirty years ago. It was used and a cheap model that someone said I broke or wore out the ball bearings (?). I wanted to lose a little weight after having my last child. I didn't count calories, but tried to be aware of how much I was eating. I didn't log times, or keep to a strict schedule that included 3 or 4 times a week on any kind of consistent basis. I lost in about 3 months about 15 lbs at the very least. I naturally kept the weight off, mostly because I had never had a problem with weight and did things like cycling, being active or occasionally picking up some short live exercise regimen off and on. In my fifties I gained weight, a change in lifestyle, and started on Atkins. Atkins works amazingly, as long as you are dedicated to following it accurately. I am 67 years old, 5'6", weigh about 230+. I bought my Concept2 PM5 a few weeks ago. I started out doing 5 mins. The next day I did about 15. The third day I did about 35 mins. I was trying to go slow as they suggest and stay within my comfort zone. I did several days at 300 cals. And for the last 2 weeks I have been doing 4 to 5 days a week at 500 cals--again at the Concept2 recommendation of going slower and longer for weight loss. According to the machine I burn 500 cals in 75 mins. I just cannot fathom myself getting all technical and keeping a chart right now. Once it becomes a chore and or tedious I might want to stop. I love my rower! I feel so energetic doing, but a little tired afterwards. But I keep imagining how strong I am getting again, and that I will have my shapely figure back again. I hope there are senior females like me who have encouraging success stories. I know from the past that the rower will really shape your legs and arms. So for now I am happy to work on increasing my overall health and strength, and I believe that I will naturally fall back into cutting down my calorie intake, and replacing the carbs with more spinach and protein consistently. I have read here, and on Concept 2's advice page, Livestrong, etc. that weight loss is mainly about diet!!!! Because it is an easy calculation, though inaccurate, I will use the calorie count figure as a guide of my effort vs benefit or results. I was hoping there were some other senior women rowers to advise me and or tell me their experiences with rowing late in life--like it's not too late too get your waist and your figure back.
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby Wolfgang_99 » November 2nd, 2015, 12:36 am

Donnie wrote:Redsox just keep rowing and compare your stats with yourself. As long as you are pushing and improving on YOUR times you are doing good. This is how I approach it and it is working. I am new to this just over a month on the rower. The main thing is to put time in on the rower. Consistency over time is key. Just keep rowing and you will get better and see results.


That was encouraging. I too believe that even doing moderate exercise has to help. You will naturally improve your stamina/endurance and strength. And as your stamina and strength improve you will will be able to exercise more frequently, for longer periods at a time and at faster speeds. Then it will be easier to go further in a shorter amount of time. So I am not sweating it. I know that every time I get on my rower I am doing a whole lot more for my health than I would be if I just continued to sit in front of the news. I believe, I believe that one day I will have the weight loss and the times to brag about!! keep hope alive.
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Re: Rowing to loose weight

Postby ohCanada » April 13th, 2016, 7:37 pm

Wolfgang_99 wrote:
Donnie wrote:Redsox just keep rowing and compare your stats with yourself. As long as you are pushing and improving on YOUR times you are doing good. This is how I approach it and it is working. I am new to this just over a month on the rower. The main thing is to put time in on the rower. Consistency over time is key. Just keep rowing and you will get better and see results.



Hi Wolfgang - newb here. Just wondering how you've been doing since November.
Signed: another sr. woman
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