The ERG/Rowing Machine: The Most Efficient of Your Workout Time

I must admit that I have been very disgruntled with the (predictable) influx of new gym goers that have shown up post-January 1st. However, this recent swarm has actually resulted in me trying new machines that I typically avoid when I have free range of equipment.

For example, this past week, I had planned on making a short trip to the gym (I had evening plans) for a quick cardio session on the treadmill. When I arrived, I was greeted by a packed gym, and a waiting line for all treadmills and elliptical’s. What to do…what to do? I could leave, I could wait, or I could lift. — OR — I could visit my long-ignored acquaintance, the rowing machine (or the ERG).

I knew from friends that had been rowers in high school and college that this was a phenomenal workout, but feeling much more comfortable on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical I rarely if ever attempted working out on this foreign contraption. What does ERG even mean? (Turns out after a quick visit to Wikipedia, ERG that ERG is short for ergometer, or a measuring device for the amount of work expended.)

My take on the ERG? It’s my new favorite piece of gym equipment. Being a proponent of quick, cheap, and efficient workouts I am utterly embarrassed by my ignorance of this machine. While I am skeptical of the “calories burned” metric on any workout equipment, I was floored to find that after only 17.5 minutes on the ERG (at the highest setting (10)) I had burnt 777 calories!! Even if this metric was radically off (by 30% say) it is still nowhere near the calories burnt through an equivalent amount of time on other equipment. In addition to the “calories burned” stat, I also felt that it very much complied with my struggle for functional strength gains. After stepping off of the ERG, I felt that I had just completed 3+ sets of shrugs, upright rows, and squats on a typical lifting day. Never have I stepped off a piece of cardio equipment and also felt like I had just lifted.The ERG is an amazing piece of cardio equipment, that I will add into my cardio routine from this point forward. I highly recommend that you at least try it in your next cardio day.

I was also surprised to find that an ERG is actually reasonably priced (when compared to standard cardio options) when I looked on Amazon. Maybe when I get out of school (i.e., I am back making money and not spending it) I will grab one of these to add to my future home gym (a dream of my future home owning experience.)

Enjoy your rowing!

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