When it comes to rowing for calories, there is much confusion. All of a sudden we feel like we’ve been thrown into a different dimension and we’re driving at km/h, or for some of us, trying to figure out how much weight is on a barbell in kilograms. Perhaps for you, it’s the other way around.
What seemed simple and measurable now makes us feel like were rowing in the dark! In this video, we show how you can finally make sense of rowing for calories so you can row blind no more.
As a result, you will be able to put actual numbers such as distance, split, and cal/h to your desired outcome so you know just how hard you need to go. This is priceless information to have whether it be competition or training and reaching your full potential in fitness.
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Rowing For Calories vs. Rowing For Meters
We understand the confusion. Not unlike the confusion an American might feel driving in England where they drive on the other side of the road, moving at speed limits displayed in km/h and pay in pounds instead of dollars at the gas station where they are selling the gas by the liter and not the gallon. Even in weightlifting, it seems confusing when one begins to use kilos or in tack when one might program run 4 – 400m laps compared to a 1-mile run. A similar situation is happening with rowing when it comes to rowing for time or distance versus rowing for calories.
What Actually Changes
There is a common pattern in the situations described above. The difference in the unit of measurement. When you drive on the other side of the road you still need to push the gas to accelerate or push the break to slow down, driving in km/h doesn’t make you faster or slower, it just appears in a different unit. Paying in pounds instead of dollars to fill up your gas tank in liters doesn’t make it bigger or smaller than in gallons. A 220.5 lb snatch feels just as heavy as a 100kg one. And, you can run 1600m in the same 6 minutes you run a mile in 6 minutes. The unit of measurement is changing but nothing else. You will still use the same snatch technique and that perfect pose running. The same is also true when you row for distance, time or calories. Your technique, power output or basic machine setting shouldn’t change regarding the given conditions.
It’s not surprising when changing units it causes some confusion. However, it can be cleared up by understanding the relation between one unit and another. The question at hand isn’t how to row for calories, but how you can translate calories to units you are familiar with. How can you translate the cal/h to a 500m pace that makes sense or the other way around?
Distance measures how far you’ve gone. How far you’ve gone depends on how fast you’ve gone for how long. When you go faster you go farther in any given period of time. Calories measures how much energy you’ve put into the system. When you go faster, you put more energy into the rower at any given period of time. Therefore, calories are a unit of energy.
Energy = Power Output x Time
Power output is measured by the rowing machine every second based on the duration of the row, how fast the flywheel slows down, how many times it spins around, and the chosen unit displayed on the monitor. Calories are calculated based on power output performed over a certain time.
The Actual Difference
We already mentioned rowing for calories is just a different unit of measurement. What we didn’t mention is rowing at a higher cal/h (lower average 500m pace) will eventually result in lower total distance as well. In our case, if Jason is 18.3 seconds faster on his average 500m pace he would have gained 1:09.2 and would have rowed 143m less.
Know and Understand Your Numbers
Now that you understand the only thing changing is the unit of measurement, your technique and most efficient machine settings such as your drag factor should remain the same. And, when you go faster you are rewarded exponentially when rowing for calories.
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