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Benefits of LIT | Blog | Fitness / Health

HOW LONG SHOULD YOU ROW?: WHAT TO DO FOR EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE INDOOR ROWING WORKOUTS

Nov 01, 2021

A woman working out on the LIT Strength Machine

In the last few years, we’ve seen a renewed curiosity about indoor rowing. Whether it’s because you aren’t a fan of traditional exercises such as running or weights, you’re looking for a different type of cardio burn, or you need to rehabilitate after an injury, a whole new generation of people are turning to this incredibly efficient low impact workout because you can get a full-body challenge without ever unstrapping from the rower itself.

The LIT Strength Machine has been dubbed ‘the most versatile machine on the planet’ and for good reason. While it is a strength trainer and pilates reformer, it’s also known for its indoor rowing modality that offers a variety of exercises and Low Impact Training rowing variations.

When it comes to rowing, there are a number of opportunities to optimize your time spent on the machine. And to help you do that, we’re here to answer your questions about timing, review the types of rowing available at LIT, and explore the extraordinary benefits of this low impact favorite.

HOW LONG SHOULD I ROW FOR A GOOD WORKOUT?

We get this one a lot. 

In short, LIT rowing classes offer more — in less time.

But timing is everything — and that’s as true with rowing as with anything else. How you spend it, how you split it up during a workout, and how long you perform at various levels can dramatically impact the results you get from each row. 

When making decisions about desired duration on the rower, your filter should come down to one simple word: GOALS.

Our three signature rowing classes range from 10-40 minutes, offering users the freedom and flexibility to choose classes that align with their personal goals. 

And because our Boltcult members are busy, productive people with their workout typically serving as just one part of a packed day, we ensure each of our Low Impact Training options deliver high-intensity, injury-free, results-driven experiences. 

IS THERE AN IDEAL TIME TO WORK OUT ON A ROWING MACHINE?

To properly answer the question of how long you should spend on a rowing machine, stay focused on that one simple word — goals.

What are your goals? 

Are you looking to shed a few pounds, to gain lean muscle, to improve strength and endurance? Are you looking for sprints and anaerobic spurts or aerobic long form classes that allow you a more steady and consistent pace?

Weight loss, Building muscle, and anaerobic or aerobic exercise are some of the main responses we hear from our Boltcult community.

Justin Norris doing rowing exercise on the LIT Strength Machine

Once you know what you’re working toward, you can use LIT On-Demand programming and our signature LIT rowing classes and variations to begin your journey. And if you’re just looking for a place to get started, be sure and check out our brand new one-week ROWING KICKSTART program to master your technique and form before venturing into other LIT programs.

LOSING WEIGHT WITH THE ROWER

If you are trying to lose weight, you will want to stick with either the Endurance Row or the Tabata Takedown

LIT’s Endurance Row classes are offered in 10-30 minute sessions. Our most popular class delivers challenging sprints that will have you burning an average of 300-400 calories for a 30-minute row. With LIT’s 10 signature variations, and adjustable water resistance from 10-40lbs, you will work 100% of your muscles and improve your stamina and endurance. 

If you want to pack a serious amount of sweat in a short amount of time, our Tabata Takedown classes are a 20×20 favorite! Our most beloved short form rowing program is a 20-minute class with 20-second rowing sprints and variations for the ultimate cardio burn. This class is also available in 10-15 minutes segments as well. 

Justin Norris doing rowing workout on the LIT Strength Machine

During this tabata workout, you will use LIT levels 1 and 2 to perform 20-second sprints with 10-second recovery periods for multiple sets. With our Polar x LIT Heart Rate Sensor, you will focus on staying in performance zone 4 for 80% of your maximum heart rate. Designed for your forearm or bicep, the Polar Verity Sense pairs with the LIT App to display metrics including calories, BPM, duration, and performance zones — and helps you pack a bigger punch with your row.

A woman wearing Polar x LIT Heart Rate Sensor

But perhaps one of the biggest benefits of our Tabata Takedown is putting your body into EPOC — a state of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. 

What does that mean exactly? 

Well, it means that if you can maintain a target heart rate, you can trigger a level of oxygen consumption that allows for a caloric burn for 24 to 72 hours after you’re done working out. 

In other words, LIT rowing keeps you getting LIT — and contributes to weight loss — long after you’re off the machine!

THE LIT DIFFERENCE: BUILDING MUSCLE ON THE ROWER

Not everyone is looking for a cardio burn, weight-loss session. Some people are looking for ways to use indoor rowing as a safer, Low Impact Training alternative to weightlifting or traditional strength training that often comes with a greater risk of injury. 

In fact, at LIT we’ve designed our rowing programming to prove that rowing isn’t just a substitute for people who don’t like other workouts, but a substantial strength training opportunity. And moreover, it helps showcase what we believe at the heart of LIT:

Strength training doesn’t have to mean weight training.

With this in mind, we encourage our Boltcult members to explore our Strength Row programming. These 20-30 minute classes use our resistance band training system to build strength and cardio with every stroke. 

What’s so special about this? 

This rowing format can only be done with the LIT Strength Machine. We’ve taken the traditional rower and redesigned it for a singular Low Impact Training (LIT™) resistance rowing experience — which is to say, bands and adjustable water levels provide an unparalleled opportunity to row with over 100lbs of resistance while increasing strength and protecting your joints.

Justing Norris doing workout on the LIT Strength Machine

Have you ever thought of a bicep curl as a rowing exercise and an alternative to bicep curling with weights? Well, now you can!

One of LIT’s signature strength rowing moves is a bicep curl. You read that right! One of our most effective moves is a rowing stroke focused on a strength training move typically reserved for free weights and functional trainers with cables. But on the LIT Strength Machine, with palms facing up, in a reverse, supine grip, we have members grab the handles and curl upward and downward. The water resistance lengthens and strengthens your biceps through a concentric curling motion. 

A man doing bicep curl on the LIT Strength Machine

This is just one of the many ways you can use LIT rowing to build muscle.

WHY THE LIT STRENGTH MACHINE IS PERFECT FOR AEROBIC OR ANAEROBIC GOALS

The LIT Levels are what set the LIT Strength Machine apart from conventional rowers. With 10-40lbs of water resistance, you can control how much intensity you work at during each of your exercises. 

Additionally, since we know that both aerobic and anaerobic exercises contribute to weight loss and lean muscle building, you can use the LIT Strength Machine for both trajectories. For instance, turning the LIT Level to 4 allows you to complete HIIT, tabata moves and anaerobic workouts — and keeping it on level 1 allows you to focus on aerobic exercise for a steady-state endurance row.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I WORK OUT ON A ROWER? 

Different strokes for different folks, right?! It’s true though. We know that people not only have different goals, but different availability and fitness levels. If you are new to rowing, we suggest you follow our Intro to Rowing program to teach you proper form with a focus on legs, core, and arms, how to use your LIT Levels, and maximize your time. If you’re intermediate or advanced, we recommend sticking to 30+ minute endurance rows that offer a variety of challenging routines.

We don’t expect each member to know the full extent of their fitness levels and capabilities. In fact, a big part of joining the LIT family is learning more about yourself, what your limits are, and pushing past them. To do this in the safest and most efficient manner, you can try out our rowing focused series typically broken into two-week programs that incrementally improve your bandwidth and capabilities with each class. For these programs, you can expect four classes per week, for the two week duration.

SAMPLE LIT ROWING SCHEDULE FOR BEGINNERS

SAMPLE LIT ROWING SCHEDULE FOR INTERMEDIATE ROWER

SAMPLE LIT ROWING SCHEDULE FOR ADVANCED ROWERS

OUR ROWING WILL GET — AND KEEP — YOU LIT!

Traditional rowing machines can be monotonous — but not with the LIT Strength Machine. Our dynamic roster of rowing variations allows you to not only maximize your caloric burn, but also build strength and power in the process. From side to side rows, oblique twists, bicep curls, hinges, pulls, and raises, our variations will take you from the rut of routine indoor rowing to the most revolutionary, versatile experience out there.

Purchase the LIT Strength Machine today with a variety of financing options our signature digital platform, LIT ON-Demand, free for 30 days and see the difference rowing with resistance bands and strength training techniques can have on your body, mind, and spirit.