Exercise intensity while rowing is measured in terms of speed or distance and is very subjective as it depends on the individual’s physiology, age, weight, gender, physical condition, etc. These measurements can also vary according to an individual’s fatigue, hydration, stress, and general well-being. The most convenient and accurate method of measuring workout intensity while rowing is to monitor heart rate.
A highly effective method of rowing training is achieved by setting a target training intensity as a percentage of the maximum heart rate of the individual. A high intensity workout to one person may be a moderate intensity workout to another.
The Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) corresponds to maximum aerobic output, and is based on the physiology and fitness level the user. When measuring maximum heart rate, research has shown that results differ according to the type of exercise employed, on a treadmill, maximum heart rates are consistently 5-6 beats higher than on a bicycle ergometer and 2-3 beats higher than on a rowing ergometer. This is because when rowing or cycling the users weight is supported.
The MHR can be estimated by using the age related formula:
Women: MHR = 226 - age Men: MHR = 220 - age
A persons training heart rate can be determined using the Karvonen formula;
Training Heart Rate = (Max Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate x Desired Intensity + Resting Heart Rate)
Example: A 40 year woman wanting to calculate her training heart rate for 60% intensity and she has a resting heart rate of 68 beats per minute (bpm). Her training heart rate at 60% intensity will be as follows:
MHR = 186 beats per minute
RHR = 68 beats per minute
Desired Intensity = 60%
Training HR = 186 - 68 x 0.60 + 68
= 118 x 0.60 + 68
= 70.8 + 68
= 138.8 bpm (beats per minute)
Please treat this age adjusted formula as a guideline which is convenient for the purpose of training. However not all individuals will correspond to this guideline.
When training heart rates should be kept in a zone/range, for example:
Light Exercise Intensity - between 50-60% of your Maximum Heart Rate
Light to Moderate Exercise Intensity - between 60-70% of your Maximum Heart Rate
Moderate to Heavy Exercise Intensity - between 70-80% of your Maximum Heart Rate
Heavy Exercise Intensity - between 80-90% of your Maximum Heart Rate
Most training is done between 55-75% of ones Maximum Heart Rate.
Please consult a qualified physician before engaging in exercise.