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Are you new to rowing? Everyone was once a newbie, and it takes time to acquire new skills. As a beginner, you probably have a lot of questions. Am I doing the strokes correctly? Can I lose weight while rowing? Are there great cardio workouts on a rowing machine?
Since no two persons are exactly alike, the time you need to row 100 meters will differ from other rowers. For experienced rowers, their best 100m row time will be within the range of 13-15 seconds. Average rowers will take anything from 15 to 30 seconds to do 100m, and it’s not surprising for beginners to take longer!
I remember what I thought when I was new to this sport. Rowing seemed so complicated yet so precise that I couldn’t stop watching. I was hooked from the very start, but I didn’t start off with amazing row times, that’s for certain!
Indoor rowing machines are frequently referred to as the erg, which is short for ergometer or the device that tracks your distance, time, and strokes per minute, or SPM.
If you’re looking at the erg on your indoor rower, you might be feeling unsure whether your time is decent, horrible, or fantastic. I’m going to clear up all those questions you have about stroke rate, rowing machines, meter row, and aerobics.
Are you ready? Bookmark this page so you can refer back if you forget any part of it. I’ve got a lot of information to cover, and you’re going to love rowing more than ever before once you understand a few things.
How Many Meters Are in a Row?
The gold standard in rowing is 2,000 meters. This number is based on the fact that 2,000 meters is the standard world championship boat race distance in the official sport.
Not only that, but a 2000m row might also be the best all-around fitness test ever created.
Before we get into time and SPM, let’s talk about some of the other things you may see on the monitor of your rowing equipment.
How to Read the Erg
In the same way that a treadmill performance monitor tracks your speed, incline, distance traveled, MPH, and amount of time you’ve been using it, the performance monitor on your rowing machine will tell you similar data, including:
- Stroke Rate- Think of your stroke rate as your speed. Your SPM will most often be between 18 and 40, and it is not unusual to see that number fluctuate.
- 500 Meter Pace or Split Time- The 500m pace, frequently called split time, is a benchmark of sorts. As your speed improves, the shorter and shorter your split time will be.
- Distance Traveled- Some performance monitors will let you preset a distance (such as 2,000 meters), or you can stop once you’ve reached the distance you have in mind.
- Time- This measurement doesn’t necessarily tell you how long it took you to reach your target. What it refers to is the amount of time you have been rowing. So if you were rowing very slowly to warm up, that time will be included as a part of the overall time measurement, and it doesn’t have anything to do with your 500m time or other racing numbers.
- Heart Rate or Pulse- Some rowing machines have a built-in pulse monitor that you can hold with your hand to measure your beats per minute or BPM. Others may use a chest strap, while others allow you to use Bluetooth for your third-party heart rate monitor. Pulse rate is important, especially for those who want to lose weight and get in some aerobic exercise.
See if your rower comes equipped with a web-based app that allows you to submit your best rowing time, join snow or water races, or see online rankings of other rowers. This feature can provide you an added motivation to do better during your sessions on your machine.
To burn fat, you need to work between 55 and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate and hold it there for at least 20 minutes to force your body to burn fat. You can figure out the maximum heart rate for your age with this calculator.
One Last Tip for Beginners Using a Rowing Machine
I cannot stress enough the importance of doing the rowing stroke properly on your rowing machine. If your form is incorrect, you will not only be rowing inefficiently, but you’re also setting yourself up for pain, mainly lower back pain or shoulder pain. In other words, all that effort isn’t going to pay off the way you imagined.
To get the most out of your workout, I highly recommend that beginners either take some classes at their local gym, or at the very least, watch some videos online, such as this one. You may place a mirror either in front or on the side of your rowing machine so you can watch yourself as you row.
Beginners should not worry so much about SPM or how long it takes to row a set number of meters. What you should do, instead, is practice proper form and posture. Once you’re certain that you’ve attained excellent form in each phase of your stroke (from catch to recovery), you can focus more on meter row or interval training or building muscle.
Please do not try racing or increasing your speed until you have mastered the proper form that each stroke requires.
Be sure to rest at least one day per week. You have no idea just how much you will benefit from taking a rest, and your body will thank you a million times.
- Related Post: What is Scull Rowing?
How Long Does It Take to Row 500 Meters?
This will depend on your current state of fitness, how long you have been rowing, and your weight.
Generally speaking, for anyone who is not a professional athlete, 2 minutes is a good time for a 500m row. You should never compare yourself to anyone else. For instance, this Crossfit trainer manages to do 500m in 1 minute and 18 seconds, and that’s nothing short of amazing. Instead, your goal should be to perfect your technique, do your workouts regularly, and improve on your previous rowing sessions.
If your time is longer than 2 minutes, don’t feel bad. I remember doing a 6-minute split time when I started out! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the numbers on my screen! I thought I was going to need oxygen by the time I finished!
Here’s another way to look at it. If your time is longer than 2 minutes, this will give you a terrific target to work on. Interval training can help you reach that 2-minute goal by boosting your endurance and building up your shoulders.
Must Read Article: Best Rowers for CrossFit
So How Long Does It Take to Row Only 100 Meters?
Any meter row, whether it’s 100m, 500m or 2000m, will depend on your fitness level and the other factors I’ve mentioned earlier.
Many rowers find that 100 meters take only about 15-30 seconds, but you could follow this gentleman’s lead and do it in only 4 strokes!
Again, if you keep rowing longer than those row times, don’t lose hope, take it as a challenge! Keep doing your rowing workouts every day and watch how your weight drops and your speed increases!
Like in everything else, rowers know that practice makes perfect, or in this case, practice brings speed to your exercise routine.
How Many Meters Should I Row in 30 Minutes?
If you have a 2-minute split time on your rowing machine, then you should be able to cover about 7,500 meters in 30 minutes.
If that seems like a daunting task, as I said before, don’t worry about it. Instead, make it your goal. I’ve seen rowers complete 9,000 or 10,000 meters in 30 minutes, but these are professional rowers who have been rowing for years.
Rowing is the best source of exercise since it works at least 86 percent of the muscles in your body. This means that beginners will feel tired rather quickly since they are doing a full-body workout.
Interval training, sometimes called HIIT training, will help you build stamina, so you can get the results you want to see.
Let’s face it, humans want everything fast. We’ve become accustomed to microwave ovens, air fryers, 2-hour Amazon delivery, and movies on demand.
However, using a rower isn’t like that. To get real results, you need to work that body like it’s fire! Keep practicing and make a training plan. This takes effort and discipline, but the outcome will be well worth the effort.
Watch our full review video by Rowing Expert & YouTube Influencer Max Secunda:
What Is Interval Training?
Interval training, frequently called High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, is a type of program that allows us to increase our metabolism, keep burning calories long after we have stopped working out, make losing weight easier, and increase our strength and endurance levels.
HIIT training involves doing short bursts of high-energy activity during your regular workout on the rower.
One example would be after you have warmed up, you would row as fast and as hard as you possibly can for 30 seconds, return to a steady-state of rowing for two minutes, then go back to rowing as hard and fast as possible for 30 seconds. You would repeat this routine for 10 or 20 minutes, or whatever you can manage!
Rowers who want to quickly build stamina find that sprints and HIIT training not only burn more calories but also improve their aerobic capacity.
Even if you aren’t looking to lose weight or win a race, interval training is an intense cardio workout that can reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Can I Mix Meter Row with Interval Training?
You absolutely can.
In fact, it seems to me rowing is the perfect way to mix in bursts of high-energy intervals or HIIT.
For example, after your warm-up, you could row 100 meters at your regular pace, then up the cardio workout by rowing as hard as possible for the next 100 meters, then return to your regular rate for the next 100 meters. Keep up these alternating speed levels and your times are sure to improve.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a solid 30-minute rowing program, or split time effort, but most people see real improvements when they mix shorter or harder intervals along with steady work.
As with any rowing equipment, the benefit that the rower gets out of it is a reflection of the effort that was put into it.
The Bottom Line
One of the best pieces of advice I like to give beginners, besides learning to do each phase of a stroke properly, is that they should never compare themselves to others, especially not when they’re just starting out.
You are unique and you differ from others, whether you’re in the USA or any other country. The fact is that everyone will have different results, even when taking the same advice or working out at the same pace.
Fitness levels, circumstances, and body types differ. Taller people tend to row faster than shorter people, and you can’t do anything to change physical traits.
Younger people also tend to be faster rowers than those who are older. Erging takes practice, lots of practice, and discipline in your workouts will pay off.
What’s a good time for you will depend on your individual factors. This doesn’t mean that you can’t improve on your time or speed, it only means that there will always be someone who is better and worse than you are.
Continue your HIIT workouts, focus on your form, and your times are bound to improve.
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Written by Petra Amara – RowingCrazy.com
CEO & Founder of RowingCrazy, National Rower, Coxswain Womens Eight Team, Rowing Coach & Writer
Petra is a Mother of two and owner of Rowingcrazy.com. Petra lives and breathes rowing, she also has a passion for writing which lead her to start RowingCrazy.com to share her rowing experience and expertise with others.