Rowing Machine Workouts

Rowing Machine Workouts

Rowing workouts can be a gruelling test of cardio but it’s all too easy to get bored of hammering away until reaching a calorie count or a time goal.
There are various innovative ways of making a stint on the machine more interesting though, with many different CrossFit gyms maneuvering the rower into varied sessions.
Here, Built for Athletes takes a look at some of the best around.


Jackie is a frequently used CrossFit workout dating back to 2009. It’s simple, brutal and effective. Just perform one round for time of a 1000m row, 50 lightweight
thrusters and 30 pull-ups. This workout can be used to get a benchmark of where your fitness is at and you can revisit it as the months go by to get a feel for your progress.

15 Mins On/Off

Again a highly simple approach but one that gets results and tests your body.
This 30-minute workout, in which you row hard for a minute and rest a minute for 15 rounds, will get your body working at a high intensity.

500m Row, 400m Run x 3

If you want to mix running with rowing and get outside, do three rounds of a 500m row and a 400m run for time. You can add in a rest period if you want and then count the total time elapsed (including rest) as your result. As a progression, you could start with three minutes rest, then take it down by a minute each
time you complete the workout.

Start with a rep of one minute hard effort, then increase the duration by one minute each rep up to five. Then complete another rep of five minutes and work your way back down to one. Resting for a minute between each rep, this 40-minute workout makes for a more interesting approach and equates to 30 minutes of effort.

Death By Calories
If you really want a punishing session, you can always rely on a ‘Death by’ workout.
Row one calorie on the first minute, two calories in the second minute and so on, performing the rep on the minute every minute until you can’t complete the required number of calories in a minute anymore.