How to Lose 40 Pounds on the Rowing Machine

Row, row, row your way to a thinner you without ever having to get near the water.
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Maybe you've seen them tucked away in a corner of the gym: Rowing machines simulate rowing on dry land and offer a wallop of a workout, burning about 438 calories per hour for a 160-pound person. Of course, the number of calories you'll burn depends on how much you weigh and how hard you work in each session, but you can easily burn a significant amount of calories in each rowing workout, which will help you lose 40 pounds. Combine your rowing workouts with strength training and a reduced-calorie diet to see even quicker results.

    Step 1

    Calculate how many calories you'll burn during each rowing session to figure out how long it would take you to lose 40 pounds with rowing alone. This means not changing your diet or doing any other type of exercise. If you weigh 200 pounds, you'll burn 546 calories each hour of rowing. If you row for one hour three days a week, or 30 minutes six days a week, you'll burn 1,638 calories each week. To lose 1 pound of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories. That means, if you make no other changes, it will take you approximately 85 weeks to lose 40 pounds rowing three hours each week.

    Step 2

    Increase your intensity on the rowing machine to burn more calories and lose the 40 pounds more quickly. According to the MyFitnessPal calories-burned calculator, if you row for one hour at a very vigorous pace, you can burn 816 calories each hour. If you row three hours a week, that's 2,448 calories burned each week. You can increase the intensity of your workout by increasing the resistance of the rowing machine, by rowing faster, or a combination of both.

    Step 3

    Perform interval training so you can push yourself even harder to burn even more calories. Row at an all-out pace for one minute and follow it with one or two minutes of a more moderately paced row instead of rowing at a steady pace for your 30- or 60-minute workout. According to fitness blogger and expert Charlotte Andersen, high-intensity exercise, such as interval training, burns more calories both during the workout and in the 24 hours following the workout. That's right, do intervals and your body will keep burning fat even while you're getting some shut-eye.


    • Add strength training to your workout regimen to build more muscle and increase your metabolism. Perform total-body strength-training workouts two or three days each week targeting each major muscle group: arms, chest, back, abs and legs. Perform one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise to muscle failure.


    • Reduce your calorie intake to lose the 40 pounds more quickly. Cutting 500 calories from your daily diet will help you lose a pound a week, in addition to what you'll be losing with your rowing workout. Cut out sweets, sodas and refined-grain products, and increase your intake of fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains to easily shave calories off your daily diet.


    • Make sure you have already achieved a good level of fitness before you increase the intensity of your rowing workouts to avoid injury. Start with workouts of 10 minutes at a moderate pace and work up to longer, more intense workouts.

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