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3 Fat Burning HIIT Rowing Machine Workouts

Why do I love (and hate) the rowing machine?

  • By using both the upper and lower body to complete the exercise, you get to maximize your calorie burn. More pieces of the body working = faster results.

  • It's a low impact workout. No jumping like on the treadmill or in some cardio classes. You can save your knees!

  • You can create your own pace easily. On other pieces of equipment, it is frustrating to have to increase or decrease the speed by holding down a button. When you are done with sprints on the treadmill, you want that thing to slow down as soon as possible!

Each workout that I have listed is roughly 30-40 minutes long. The overall length of the workout can depend on your individual pace. For the rowing machine, try to focus less on the time spent working out and instead on the distance or output of the workout.

Start your workout with a 3-5 minute warm-up on the rowing machine at a comfortable pace.

If you want to learn more about why I recommend HIIT over steady state cardio,

Alright, that's enough talking about exercise. Let's get to it!

1. 500m Challenge

  • Set your display to distance to 500m.

  • Row 500m at a comfortable pace.

  • Every rowing machine should tell your split time to 500m (or how long it takes you to row 500m at your current pace). Once you have determined your comfortable pace. Give yourself a 1 minute rest.

  • After the 1 minute rest, try to break that time. Or try to row 500m at a faster pace than you did before.

  • For example, let's say you rowed 500m in 2:45sec. On the next round, you are going to try to row 500m in less than 2:45sec.

  • Take another 1 minute break, then try to break the time again.

  • Maybe you complete the second round in 2:40sec. Now you will try to break that pace.

  • Take another 1 minute break, and try to break the time again.

  • Do you get what I'm doing here? :)

  • I want you to keep pushing yourself a little further each time

  • Including the initial comfortable pace 500m challenge, you will complete this exercise 8 total times (one at a comfortable pace and seven trying to break your previous pace). You will have rowed a total of 4000m!

  • If you cannot break your time any further, try to maintain your pace

  • For example, on the fifth round, you are unable to get below a time of 2:10sec that you set on the previous round. Try to hit a pace of 2:10sec/500m for the remaining rounds.

2. 1 Minute Watt Challenge

  • Set your display to show watts.

  • After the warm up, try to give the most intense effort into 10 total rows. Notice what your highest watt number was from the 10 total pulls. This is now your baseline watt output.

  • For example, on your eighth row repetition, your max watt number was 280. Your baseline is now 280.

  • Set your workout timer for 5 rounds of 1 minute drills. There will be no break in between the minute (I use Tabata Stopwatch Pro on my phone).

  • At the beginning of your minute, you will row 10 total times over your baseline watt output. You are not allowed to count any row repetitions under your baseline.

  • For example, if on your sixth row, your watt output is 267, you cannot count that row. You can only count the row repetitions that are over 280.

  • After you've completed your 10 total rows over your baseline output, spend the remaining minute in active recovery (rowing at a comfortable pace).

  • You will complete this exercise during each one of your minutes. You have 5 total minutes which means you complete this drill 5 total times.

  • Take a 2 minute full rest. No rowing.

  • Repeat this 5 minute drill with a 2 minute break a total of four times (28 min workout).

3. 4000m Challenge

  • Set your display to distance to 500m.

  • Row 250m at a challenging pace (should feel like a 7-8 out of 10).

  • Check out your 500m pace.

  • For example, your pace could be 2:05sec/500m

  • Reset your total distance.

  • You are going to row a total of 4000m

  • You must keep your pace below the challenging pace you set at the beginning.

  • In this example, you would need to keep your pace below 2:05sec/500m

  • The moment your pace exceeds the beginning pace, you must rest.

  • You would rest if your pace went over 2:05sec/500m (anything 2:06sec/500m or above)

  • You can rest for as long as you would like. I would recommend between 30-60 seconds.

  • Once you feel rested, continue to chip away at 4000m.

  • If your pace slows down, take another break.

  • This will get much more challenging as you continue!

I know that you can give one of these workouts a try!

Let me know if you do!

Thank you for reading and please share with anyone who needs a better cardio workout!



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