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“We Don’t Just Talk About Rowing – We Actually Row!”

Is Concept 2 Rower Good for Weight loss – The New Trend You Must Try!

Is Concept 2 rower good for weight loss

Hi everyone! Today, I want to talk about a subject that’s near and dear to just about everyone – weight loss.

If you haven’t tried to lose weight recently, then I’m sure you know someone who has or is currently on some sort of diets. To your question whether Concept 2 is good for weight loss –

Concept 2 and rowing workouts in general are good for losing weight! Rowing for weight loss is one of the best and most effective ways to attain a healthy weight.

For those of us over 50, you know that trying to lose unwanted weight is incredibly hard! Our bodies have changed, and what used to work for us no longer does.

Are you thinking of doing something drastic, like pills or surgery?

Before you go to extremes, let’s talk about good, old-fashioned ways to drop weight. Yes, you guessed it – diet and exercise!

OK, it’s not exciting, that’s why you see so many fad diets or exercise machines designed to help you win the battle of the bulge.

However, if they worked, why wouldn’t most people be screaming about how great those diet and exercise fads are? Exactly!

I’m not going to preach. If you need to lose some weight, you know it. You know that being overweight isn’t good for you in the long haul.

What you want are answers, and in this article, I’m going to tell you everything I know about using rowing machines like Concept 2 to help you come out a winner!

If You’re Short on Time:

infographic about losing weight and rowing

  • Cutting 500 calories from your daily calorie intake will lead to a 1-pound-a-week weight loss.
  • You can get a toned body by adding aerobic exercise and strength training to your workout program.
  • Concept 2 is a terrific way to get both aerobic training and strength training.
  • There is scientific evidence to back up using HIIT workouts.
  • Rowing workouts are some of the biggest calorie burners on the planet.

Can You Lose Weight with the Concept 2 Rower?

Yes, you can lose excess weight with a Concept 2 if you’re willing to put in the effort. Rowing is a full-body exercise, which makes it a huge calorie burner.

In order to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. This means that you must consume fewer calories than you are burning.

Most people find that they can easily reduce about 250-500 calories each day, which will result in a weight loss of approximately 1/2 to 1 pound per week.

man in white shirt and blue shorts using concept 2 rower

Of course, if you are very overweight, you will lose weight faster than someone who only wants to lose 5 or 10 pounds, but the idea behind it is the same.

Let’s look at that 500-calorie daily reduction. Yes, it is totally possible to do this solely by reducing your food intake. However, most people find it much more beneficial to cut out 250 calories from their daily intake (that’s about 1 lunchtime soda), and then burn the other 250 calories via aerobic exercise.

If you simply cut calories, you’ll still lose weight, but you’ll get that saggy skin and flabby muscles. Not a good look for anyone.

If you want a beautifully toned, slim, and trim body, you should add a superior workout to your diet plan, one that includes rowing.

The Concept 2 is a good choice for calorie burning. You’ll find that you can lose weight rowing perhaps faster than using other types of machines.

Depending on your rowing intensity, you’ll find that a rowing workout can burn as much as 800 calories an hour!

The Much Loved Concept 2 Rower

“The Much Loved Concept 2 Rower”

So if you are combining diet and exercise and planning to cut out 500 calories per day, exercising for 30 minutes using Concept 2 means that you’ll only need to restrict about 100 calories from your diet.

Perhaps you won’t even need to do that! If you do a HIIT workout (high-intensity interval training), you’ll continue to burn calories at a much higher rate for hours after you’ve gotten off of the rowing machine.

Now you know why everyone is talking about using Concept 2, HIIT workouts, and resistance training for losing weight! It’s a no-brainer!

Learn More – Watch our Youtube video below by Rowing Instructor & Coach Max Secunda:

Comparison of Concept 2 Rower to Other Cardio Machines for Weight Loss

While it’s true that I do have a passion for rowing, that doesn’t mean that other types of exercise can’t be helpful. It simply means that rowing is one of the most effective.

Why is that?

Rowing burns more calories per minute than just about any other type of exercise. A 155-pound person burns about 369 calories during a 30-minute indoor rowing workout of vigorous intensity. Of course, you need to work at it. You can’t sit back and do 10 or 15 SPM and think that you’ll burn hundreds of calories.

Compare this to other machines or other types of exercise:

calories burned by different types of exercise

  • An elliptical burns about 324 calories
  • Low-impact aerobics about 198 calories
  • Stair climbing will burn about 216 calories
  • A stationary bike (vigorous intensity) will burn 278
  • Swimming laps (vigorous intensity) 360 calories
  • Running on a treadmill at 4 MPH burns about 200 calories

I believe the only thing that will burn more calories than rowing is jumping rope, but oh! My knees hurt just thinking about it.

Rowing is a super low-impact exercise that is not only easy on the joints, but it also helps you with muscle gain and burns major calories as you exercise! And take note that muscles burn more calories per minute than fats do!

Tips for Staying Motivated When Using Concept 2 Rower for Weight Loss


When it comes to weight loss, everyone is all gung-ho and ready to go at it in the beginning. Gym memberships climb every December and January with people hoping to lose weight, and diet pills and other devices go on sale during this time for the same reason.

Are you worried that you might give in to boredom or lose motivation in your weight reduction and fitness goals?

Below are some tips that might help you while you are rowing for weight loss.

1.  Don’t rely on the scale so much

Weigh yourself once a week, no more! Instead, measure yourself and take a photo. Take new measurements and photos every other week. Muscle weighs more than fat, so don’t fret if the scale doesn’t move.

2.  Join forces!

It’s easy to slack off of your exercise routine when you don’t have to answer to anyone. Make an exercise date with friends, family, or co-workers. If your schedules don’t align, at least talk or text them once a day and discuss how your full-body workout went that day.

3.  Set a reasonable goal

If you have a lot of weight to lose, cut it down into manageable chunks, usually 10 percent of your body weight. For example, if you need to lose 100 pounds, make your first goal 10 pounds. Don’t look at the big picture, focus on the smaller chunks that are easier to manage.
Rowing for Weight Loss Tips

4.  Don’t make it “work”, make it fun!

I had a friend who once practiced Fun Outs, rather than workouts since work didn’t sound like fun! Add some fun to your rowing program. Do races, and competitions among friends, or only allow yourself to watch your favorite series as long as you are sitting on the rowing machine.

5.  Consider rowing machines with built-in motivators

Concept 2 is a terrific rowing machine, but the performance monitor is pretty basic. Consider buying a Hydrow, which has thousands of fun on-the-water workout programs, or Ergatta, which has video game-inspired workouts that have you catch meteors and tokens.

6.  Relax

Remember that exercise shouldn’t be thought of as a one-time thing that you need to accomplish and then quit. Think of exercise as a lifelong habit, like taking a daily shower, that is good for you. If you are sick or just can’t bring yourself to exercise on a certain day, cut yourself some slack and take a day or two off.

I think the main reason people fail on their weight loss journey is that they get bored. Avoid boredom by mixing things up (row today, walk the dog tomorrow, go swimming on Saturday) and stop making your exercise plan “work” that needs to be done and gotten out of the way.

How Long Should I Row on the Concept 2 for Weight Loss?

factors to consider for weight loss infographic

That’s going to depend on many factors, including:

  • How much weight do you need to lose? A person who wants to lose 20 pounds won’t need to work out the same as a person who needs to lose 100 pounds.
  • How fast do you want to lose the extra weight? I know that everyone wants to be rid of that spare tire fast, but if you lose it slowly (1-2 pounds per week), it tends to stay off longer than faster weight loss.
  • How much time do you have? If you only have two hours a week for exercise, you’ll want to take advantage and use the entire 2 hours.

The CDC guidelines recommend 150 minutes per week, which is five 30-minute rowing sessions.

Of course, you can always mix that up and do 4-5 HIIT sessions at 15 minutes (Yep! A 15-minute HIIT rowing machine workout is equal to 30 minutes of steady rowing!) Or you can mix up 3 HIIT workouts on an indoor rower and then do two 30-minute sessions of jogging or swimming or walking, etc.

The majority of people will find that exercising long enough to burn 300-400 calories on Concept 2 is enough to help them lose those 1-2 pounds per week.

Working out 3-5 times per week for 15-30 minutes on a rowing machine like Concept 2 (or until you burn 300-400 calories) is what works for most people who are interested in fat burning.

The Importance of Proper Technique and Form When Using Concept 2 for Weight Loss

Max Secunda working out on a Concept 2 rowing machine

Using a rowing machine like Concept 2 for weight loss is one of the best ways to lose weight and get those toned muscles, including core muscles that everyone wants.

While rowing is fairly simple, the rowing technique needs to be a good one if you want to avoid pain and/or injury.

If you fail to do the rowing strokes properly, it’s very easy to get a lower back ache, upper backache, or elbow or wrist pain.

I recommend that if you are new to rowing, take a basic rowing course first. Most gyms offer this or you can watch some videos on YouTube, like this one, by our own Max Secunda!

Learn more with our full video by Rowing YouTube Influencer Max Secunda:

Set up a mirror next to your rowing machine and watch yourself as you row. Compare your form to the videos you’ve watched and try to correct your mistakes.

My favorite way to teach newbies how to row is to watch a video on a rowing machine that teaches you how to row.

Like Our Video With Expert Rowing Coach Laura Tanley:

I know that you’re anxious to get started on your weight loss journey and reach your weight loss goals quickly, but you don’t want to do a beginner rowing workout and have to stop because of back pain.

Concept 2 is a terrific indoor rower, and if you use it while watching videos that teach you proper rowing form, you’ll be burning that body fat in no time!

Common Myths about Concept 2 and Weight Loss

It’s interesting to me that, in the information age where anything you need to know is right at your fingertips, myths and misconceptions still abound, but they do.

Myths about Concept2 and Weight Loss - an infographic

Let me wipe out a few myths about rowing and weight loss:

  1. Running is better than rowing. Running is terrific for calorie burn, but it’s not easy on the knees, hips, feet, and ankles. Running also doesn’t work the upper body. In comparison, rowing is low impact, works all the major muscle groups, and builds new muscle mass all over the body, something running cannot do.
  2. Concept 2 is too noisy for daily use. Well, there is no doubt that if you’re going to do higher-intensity workouts, Concept 2 might be too noisy for certain living conditions (roommates, day sleepers, tight living quarters), but beginners usually won’t find noise an issue. If it is an issue for you, you can always choose a different rowing machine if you’re worried about noise, such as Hydrow or the Hydrow Wave ( read my article on Hydrow vs Hydrow Wave).
  3. Indoor rowing won’t burn as many calories as outdoor rowing. This simply isn’t true, and I don’t know where or how this rumor got started. Both are excellent for burning calories, and the best thing about indoor rowing? No sunburn!
  4. Rowing is too boring to keep you motivated. I’ve mentioned this already, but let me repeat myself. ALL exercise machines have this issue. Humans get bored when they do the same thing over and over, I don’t care what it is! I know that Concept 2 is one of the biggest-selling rowing machines, but if you want to use rowing for weight loss, you’ll need to combat the boredom factor.

I recommend a smart indoor rower such as the Hydrow, Hydrow Wave, the gamified water rower Ergatta, or the NordicTrack RW900. These indoor rowers not only have programs to teach you the proper rowing stroke, but with thousands of programs, you are sure to find workouts that aren’t as boring as staring at a wall or staring at someone’s butt crack in front of you at the gym.

An indoor rowing machine like Concept 2 may not be perfect, but I can guarantee you that nothing on this earth is.

Calorie burn is what you make it. Make it fun, or you’ll stop doing it.

The Bottom Line

I know that there’s still a lot of ground that I didn’t cover, and I welcome your questions and feedback.

If you found this article helpful, please feel free to pass it on.

Your physical and mental health are two of the most important things you will ever have to deal with in your lifetime.

Take care of both by doing a regular rowing workout routine at least 3 days per week or more.

Stay healthy, friends, and make sure to have fun, highly motivating rowing workouts!