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Our Rowing Machine Calorie Calculator: The Missing Piece to Your Fitness Puzzle

rowing machine calorie calculator the missing piece to your fitness puzzle

Whether you are trying to lose weight or maintaining a healthy weight, it is important to know how many calories you are burning during your workout.

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. You can only do that if you are confident that your rowing machine calorie calculator is giving you an accurate number.

The same is true for those who want to maintain a healthy weight.

If you want to find the most accurate calorie count, you don’t have to remember a bunch of mathematics or try to work out some complicated formula- we’ve done all that work for you! (If you want a Rowing Machine Distance Calculator click here )

My name is Petra, and you’re going to want to bookmark this page for quick reference so you can use our handy calories burned calculator!

Calories Burned Rowing Machine Calculator

Let me get right to the point- check out our calculator below:

Calculators (Master Sheet) – Do Not Publish

Calorie Counter

Calories Burned:

You might be shocked when you use this for the first time, but let me explain a few things to you.

Why Does the Calculator Read So Much Differently than My Rowing Machine?

Depending on your rowing machine, you might be surprised how the number of calories your rowing machine says you’ve burned differs so much from what our calculator says.

This is because most rowing machine calorie counters are set on a generic standard.

For example, your rowing machine might be set for females in their 20s who weigh 140 pounds.

If you’re a female in your 50s and you weigh 200 pounds, you’ll be burning more calories than what your rowing machine says.

a woman working out and a calorie counter showing calculated calories burned on a rowing machine workout

Or sometimes the reverse is true. I think some manufacturers want you to believe that you are burning a lot of calories so you’ll recommend the machine to friends. That really doesn’t do their clients any favors, now does it?

The average person (which is 140-pound female by most calculations) can burn between 500 and 700 calories an hour.

That’s a whole lot of difference, though! If you weigh more or you work out more, you can burn between 860 and 1150 calories per hour!

I don’t know about you, but I want to know if I’m burning 500 or 1100 calories in a workout!

Hopefully, your rowing machine calorie counter is pretty much in line with our calculator, but if it isn’t, you should rely on the calculator and not your rowing machine.

Calories Burned Using METS

You may also calculate the calorie burn rowing or doing other physical activities by using the METS formula.

What Are METS?

what are METS

To understand the concept of MET better, think of it as a number assigned to any activity you do to describe its intensity relative to resting.

In other words, MET is the ratio of your AMR (active metabolic rate) to your BMR (basal metabolic rate) – more on these terms later.

Some MET examples:

  • When you’re resting doing nothing, your MET is 1.
  • When you’re strolling at a slow pace, that activity has a MET of 2, which means that you spend twice the energy strolling at a slow pace than when you were resting.
  • Generally, stationary rowing (or when you’re rowing on an erg) is assigned a MET of 6.

Rowing at various intensities or effort levels also have their respective MET values, as you will see below.

METS Assigned to Erg Rowing at Different Effort Levels

The more effort you exert in your rowing workout, the higher MET value is assigned to your activity, as the chart below shows:

Rowing Workout
Effort MET
General Rowing Moderate Effort 4.8
General Rowing Vigorous Effort 6
Rowing at 100 watts Moderate Effort 7
Rowing at 150 watts Vigorous Effort 8.5
Rowing at 200 watts Very Vigorous Effort 12

For comparison, competitive rowing (whether you’re doing sweep rowing or sculling) has an assigned MET value of 12.

Understanding Basal and Active Metabolic Rates

Your BMR, also called resting metabolic rate or RMR, measures the calories you need to stay alive or the minimum calories to support your normal body functions.

When you’re at rest, whether sleeping or just sitting down doing nothing, your body is still burning calories to keep you warm, operate your heart and lungs, etc.

Your AMR is, as the name implies, the rate of calories you burn when you are active and doing tasks, such as walking, eating, brushing your teeth, working, and exercising.

The Calories Burned Rowing Calculator Based on MET

You can use this calorie burned formula to compare the different amounts of calories you burn rowing at different intensities (different MET values).

It’s also applicable to other forms of exercise or physical activity – just make sure you use the correct assigned MET for that activity/exercise.

MET formula : calculated burn calories on rowing machines


Total Calories Burned in 1 Minute = (3.5 x MET x Body Weight in kg)/200

Sounds confusing? Let’s break it down into numbers that might make it easier.

For Example:

  • Your Body Weight in kg = 63.50 (or 140 pounds)
  • MET, rowing at a moderate pace = 6
  • Workout Duration = 45 minutes

Total Calories Burned = 3.5 x 6 x 63.50 kg / 200 = 6.67 calories/minute x 45 minutes

Total Calories Burned = 300 calories

Of course, you can increase that number by doing high-intensity interval training workouts or increasing your effort level (read: higher MET).

Isn’t that nifty? One formula to use for calculating your calorie burn, whether you’re running on a treadmill, rowing on an erg, swimming, walking, dancing – you only need to know the assigned MET for that activity!

True Calories Burned on a Concept 2

To figure out the true calories burned on a Concept 2, here’s what you should do.

First, do your workout on the rowing machine. Then write down the following – your weight (in pounds), calories burned as displayed on the performance monitor (PM), and the duration of your workout (in minutes).

Formula for True Calories Burned on a Concept 2

Next, input these values to our second formula below:

True Calories Burned = {Calories per PM – 300 + (1.714 x Weight)} x Workout Duration/60 

For Example:

  • Calories per PM (or the Calories displayed on your Concept 2 PM) = 500
  • Weight (your weight in pounds) = 140
  • Workout Duration (the time you spent working out in minutes) = 45

True Calories Burned = {500 – 300 + (1.714 x 140)} x 45 / 60 = {500 – 300 + 240} x 0.75

True Calories Burned = 330 calories

The result you get (330 calories) is the true calories burned during your workout on a Concept 2 and NOT the number shown on the PM (500 calories). That’s quite a discrepancy!

Calories Burned – No Calculators, No Formulas

Alternatively, you can use this chart to figure out your calorie burn without using a calculator or formula.

You only need to take note of your effort level (or the watts displayed on your rowing machine’s PM), your weight (or the weight closest to yours), and find on the chart the corresponding calories burned for that weight and effort level.

Calories Burned on a Rowing Machine for Different Body Weights & Effort Levels

*Based on a 30-minute rowing workout




Calories Burned for Different Body Weights
100 pounds 125 pounds 150 pounds 175 pounds 200 pounds 225 pounds 250 pounds
Moderate Effort (100W) 159 Calories 199 Calories 239 Calories 279 Calories 318 Calories 359 Calories 398 Calories
Vigorous Effort (150W) 168 Calories 242 Calories 290 Calories 338 Calories 387 Calories 435 Calories 483 Calories
Very Vigorous Effort (200W) 273 Calories 341 Calories 409 Calories 478 Calories 546 Calories 614 Calories 682 Calories

Again, this method introduces an approximation because not every weight possible is shown in this chart, but if you weigh exactly 125 pound or 150 pounds, for example, then this chart will work great as a quick reference.

I know this seems like a lot of numbers, but you’ll get a more accurate idea of calories burned if you try all of them and then average them out. I think you’ll find that most calculators are within 10 or 20 calories of one another.

Why Is Calories Burned So Complicated?

why is calories burned so complicated

Our bodies are actually pretty complicated pieces of equipment, if you will.

Everything, and I mean everything, affects the number of calories burned, including:

  • Your sex
  • Your age
  • Your current weight
  • The room temperature
  • Your body’s metabolism rate (which changes almost hourly)
  • The foods you ate recently (or didn’t eat)
  • Your hydration level
  • The number and type of microorganisms in your gut

There is no calculator in the world that can accurately determine some of the things listed above.

However, if you use the calculator/formulas/chart listed here, you’ll find that the average calorie burn for you is fairly consistent from workout to workout (assuming that each workout is the same intensity and duration).

This will help you feel more confident in the calorie burn number that you base your diet and exercise program on.

For example, if the calculators and chart on this page list your calorie burn as 300, 315, and 310, you can safely say that 308 (add all three numbers and divide the sum by 3) is the most accurate number of calories burned.

Compare that number to the number listed on your rowing machine calorie counter. I’m betting your rowing machine gives you a much higher number.

I know that might seem disappointing, but it’s better to know the truth.

The Most Important Thing to Remember

a woman wearing yellow workout bra shown with her torso while she pinches her belly after a moderate intensity rowing session at the gym

While most people think that being overweight is due to a lack of exercise, the truth is that no amount of exercise will undo a poor diet.

And by poor diet, I don’t mean an iced coffee and the occasional donut on a Sunday morning. I’m talking about those high-calorie fruit juices, flavored coffees, and donuts most days of the week, candy or chips for snacks, fast food for dinner, and then ice cream before bed.

No matter how hard you work out or how many calories you burn, you can’t outrun (or out-row) a bad diet.

To lose weight, you need to eat a good diet at least 80 percent of the time. Many people lose weight with diet alone and do little or no exercise.

a person calculating the calories in a serving of salad and some fruits

The problem with doing very little exercise is that you’ll have a lot of flabby muscles and skin to show off for your effort.

The best and easiest way to lose weight is to create a calorie deficit (by consuming fewer calories than you burn) and use cardiovascular exercise to create at least part of that calorie deficit.

The Bottom Line

I hope you’ve found the calories burned calculators and formulas in this article helpful.

Losing weight (or even holding on to a healthy weight) can be a real chore, but using the calories burned rowing calculator above (or using all of them) can go a long way towards helping you reach your weight and fitness goals.

If you’re looking for an indoor rowing machine, you might find this article on the hydrow vs concept 2 helpful.

Stay fit and have fun rowing, everyone!