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How Many Calories Are Burned on a Rowing Machine?

The most effective method for losing weight is to expend more calories than you consume.  By reducing your intake of calories by watching what you eat and increasing the number of calories you burn by taking part in vigorous exercise, you’re more likely to experience weight loss.  Many people use exercise machines to burn calories, but how many calories you burn will depend on the type of machine you use.  The focus of this article is, “How many calories are burned on a rowing machine?”

Calorie Counting Caveat

Because the burning of calories depends on a number of factors including body weight, age, sex, heart rate, and workout intensity, it’s very difficult to reliably calculate the number of calories burned when using an exercise machine. 

Basal Metabolic Rate

The body is always burning calories with basic functions such as breathing and keeping warm.  These activities comprise the basal metabolic rate and account for 70% of all calories burned.  The other 30% of calories burned occur through exercise and other physical exertion.  This is where using the rowing machine can help with your weight loss goals.

Calculating BMR

Determining your basal metabolic rate is the function of a somewhat complex mathematical calculation that takes into account your age, height, weight, body fat and muscle mass.  There are several online calculators that are able to make this calculation for you.

Calculating Calorie Use

Calculating how many calories are used during a workout involves another calculation that takes into account your age, sex, weight, heart rate during the exercise and the amount of time spent performing the exercise.  Many rowing machines come with a fitness monitor that will estimate the number of calories burned.  It must be kept in mind, however, that these results are just an estimate and are most accurately used for comparisons between workouts rather than identifying exactly how many calories are burned during a single workout.

Calories Burned on A Rowing Machine

Using a standardized set of variables, it’s possible to estimate a range of calories burned while using a rowing machine.  For a moderate workout, set the machine tension to medium, row at a moderate pace for 30 to 40 minutes and maintain a heart rate of about 140 bpm.   For a 125-pound person, this workout could burn around 400 calories whereas as a 240-pound person might burn approximately 650 calories.  For a heavy workout, alternate between a few minutes of moderate rowing interspersed with a minute of full out rowing.  Continue this for about 20 minutes.   A heavy workout can increase the calories burned for a 125-pound person to about 500 and to 800 for a 240-pound person.

Total Calorie Deficit

To calculate your total calorie deficit, you would simply add your basal metabolic rate to the number of calories burned from exercise and subtract this number from the total calories consumed.  To lose one pound you need a calorie deficit of about 3500 calories.  So, if you can create a 500-calorie deficit every day you should be on target to lose one pound a week.

Now that you know how many calories you can burn rowing, download this month’s promotions to save on fitness equipment.