Bored at the Gym? Try This Rowing Workout!

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning! Happy Hump Day!

[image source]


Yesterday’s breakfast kind of bombed, but it still tasted delicious. I made Plantain Pancakes with Maple Coconut Cream and Toasted Walnuts again, but I was impatient and turned up the heat too high on the stove, so my pancakes stuck to the pan and fell apart. I wasn’t about to waste food, so I put the pieces in a bowl, added some Maple Coconut Cream on top, and ate them right up. Delish!



After breakfast, I headed to CrossFit for a workout, which was mostly rowing (15-minute warm-up + 15-minute rowing technique + 25-minute rowing WOD + 5-minute mobility).

CrossFit rowers

Except for a brief stint with crew in college (I rowed for like a month before I realized I preferred boozing-face to early wake-up calls), I never really used an erg (aka indoor rowing machine). Most of the gyms I belonged to over the years had one or two, but I never used them. I didn’t know how and I didn’t think it would be much of a workout. I mean, I always saw old people using the rowing machine.

Since starting CrossFit, however, I quickly learned that rowing is quite a good (ok, ass-kicking) workout. Rowing helps build and tone muscles, strengthens cardio capacity, and increases stamina. Rowing also burns some serious calories. An intense workout on a rowing machine can burn up to 125 calories in 15 minutes or about 500 calories in an hour! [source] That’s almost as much as running!

With that said, here’s the workout we did at CrossFit yesterday in a pin- and printer-friendly format. “Rest 1:1” means you’ll rest for as long as it takes you to row, so, for example, it took me 4:00 to row 1000 meters, so I rested for 4:00 before rowing 500 meters. As you can see, you’ll row for a shorter and shorter distance, so you’ll want to pick up the pace, but your rest time is less, so the workout actually gets quite a bit harder as you progress. My quads were on fire during it!


If you’re new to rowing, check out this video with CrossFit Rowing Coach Shane Farmer, who gives some tips and drills for perfecting your rowing.


After CrossFit, I was really hungry, but it was only 10:45, so I made myself a snack: cantaloupe with avocado, lemon, and honey. Ok, this probably sounds like a weird mix of ingredients, but I swear it was really good!


  • 1 cup chunked cantaloupe
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp honey

Directions: Mix lemon juice and honey together and then toss with cantaloupe and avocado. Eat!

cantaloupe_ _avocado

Question of the Day

Do you ever use the rowing machine/erg for your workouts?

P.S. For the pug people: Introspective Pug Is Introspective About Being A Pug



  1. I’ve only used the rowing machine once during a WOD and it was for 1 minute each time so it seemed pretty easy to me. Is there a way to change resistance on the rowing machines? Or does it just get harder as you continue for a longer period of time?

  2. I discovered the indoor rower when I developed plantar fascitis last June. I couldn’t run so I rowed my tail off. I loved it and I loved how my arms looked after a few months. I still doing it eventhough I’m back to running.

  3. I rowed my freshman year of college and I loved it! Minus the 4:15 alarm…
    It seriously is a great workout and works pretty much every muscle!

  4. I actually just tried rowing with the erg machine the other day, and it is definitely a kick-ass workout! Also, that fruit salad looks more delicious. Did you randomly just come up with that mix? That’s awesome – I’ll have to try it out!

  5. Oh the rower…here’s the challenge I just completed on Jan 26th! From my boxes chat page: “New BFCF Challenge – Open to all members (not gender-biased)
    “The 505 Club”
    I am going to pick a start day for all who wish to participate. (Probably at the end of summer) If you finish, you get an EXCLUSIVE “BFCF 505” T-shirt. No one else will have one, unless they complete the challenge. Challenge is FREE. The price comes in the work to be performed…..100 consecutive days (excluding weekends) of Rowing – 100m the first day, increasing 100m daily. On day 100, you will row 10,000m.
    In total, you will row….505,000m ! YOU MUST ROW EVERY DAY. THIS IS A CHALLENGE, NOT AN OFFERING. IF YOU CAN’T COMMIT, DON’T ENTER. Even if it’s your “Off Day”, you still have to come row. You will not be required to remain on the rower for the entire duration at once. You just have to complete it all on the required day. Come in the morning, do a little. Then come back later to finish if you want. This is as lenient as I will be. NO EXCEPTIONS. If you miss a day, you are out.

    The shirt will definitely be a trophy to wear proud! Who’s interested??

    1. @Krys: I just say this blog and would love the challenge. I see you did this in feb and now it’s August. Can you give me some more inormation

  6. Thanks for all the workouts – I’m actually looking forward to cardio at the gym (what the wha?). I tried the rowing workout you posted and boy are my arms tired.

  7. What do you do when you’re resting? Do you just sit on the machine? I’ve always heard that rowing is amazing but I’ve always been too intimidated to try it.

  8. I tried the rowing workout this morning at the gym all the way over here in Australia =)
    thanks for posting workout inspiration for all of your readers =)
    your blog makes my day, the best!

  9. Pingback: Some Sunday Things
  10. Pingback: Row With It

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