Rowing Exercise For Fast Fat Loss and Conditioning

by Caleb Lee on September 17, 2008

If you want to lose weight and burn fat fast while increasing your anaerobic, aerobics and overall endurance… but you’re sick and tired of running all the time… then you’re going to love this article about rowing.

Yesterday I did another one of my rowing workouts on the rowing machine at the gym… and boy did it kick my ass — AGAIN! This article will teach you all about rowing for exercise, why you should do it, and the most effective way to do rowing exercises to burn fat fast…

What Is Rowing?

Rowing is an exercise where you get on a machine with a handle attached to a cable of some type and you place your feet in stirrups. You then “row” by pulling the cable backwards towards your chest as you push with through your heels (similar to a squat movement). The seat you sit on moves backwards so you can push yourself away.

Why Should You Row?

When most people think of cardio training they only think of running. Running is great and all, but I get sick of it after a short while. I absolutely can’t stand long slow steady state cardio anyways, and any time I run I do sprint interval training.

But rowing is a great exercise because it is more upper body dominant, and will give you a break from traditional “cardio” exercises like running, bicycling, etc.

It’s also one of the few cardio exercises that hits all the major muscle groups, including quads, biceps, triceps, lats, glutes and abdominal muscles.

It’s great for your cardiovascular conditioning, and you can easily do interval training on it because you can adjust both the resistance level of the row, and you can vary your speed easily (like on a bicycle).

How Should You Row For Maximum Fat Loss?

Here’s the workout I did yesterday and the one you should try if you’re in good shape and want to torch some body fat off quickly. It only takes FIVE to SIX minutes, but I promise you you’ll know you had a great workout!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Row at a steady pace for 1-2 minutes to warm up…
  • Work Interval: At the minute mark Row as hard and fast as you can for 20 seconds…
  • Rest Interval: Row at your warm up pace for 10 seconds…
  • Repeat your work/rest interval 8 more times…
  • You’re done!

Now’s the time to get up, tell your heart it’s NOT going to break through your chest and if necessary, you may have to puke. By round 6,7 and 8 you’re going to REALLY be winded and think you can’t keep going (this is if you’re really rowing as hard and fast as you can during your work intervals)…

… But keep it up — you won’t be going that fast in your last couple rounds but the important part is Intensity of effort meaning you are TRYING to row as fast and as hard as you can (even if you can only manage a medium speed).

What’s So Great About This Workout?

This is the famed tabata protocol. Researchers found that guys who used the routine five days a week for six weeks improved their maximum aerobic capacity by 14%… PLUS, they also improved anaerobic capacity by 28%.

What’s more, scientists noticed the people following the tabata protocol burned 9 TIMES MORE FAT than a group that exercised for an hour a day (doing steady-state aerobics). And your metabolism stays revved up and burns more fat for up to 48 hours after the Tabata protocol.

When Should You Do This Workout?

Try it on your rest days. You can alternate a cardio workout of sprints and a cardio workout like this with rowing to keep your body from adapting and for variety in your cardio routines. If you’re following the DoubleYourGains’ 3-5 program you’ll have 2-3 rest days per week. You could do this rowing routine on one rest day and a different cardio routine on the other to keep it fresh… or just do this routine on both days, it’s your choice.

You’ll get a better feel for how often you can do this routine and still recover once you’ve done it a few times. So get out there and try it today!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Amazing Weight Loss Story December 24, 2008 at 3:59 am

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john smith November 16, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Nice post, I used to do rowing as a form of exercise, but I never knew it helped in burning fat.

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