Total Gym Vs Rowing Machine: People often ask me about the difference between doing total gym workouts and rowing machine workouts only. It’s easy to say that a total gym workout will be helpful but I prefer educating my clients as well and explaining to them why things are how they are.
So, what do we mean by the total gym? People use it to refer to the different kinds of training such as resistance training, cardiovascular training, and so on. Since the rowing machine works on both aspects too, people ask if they can only stick to the rowing machine.
Also Read: 5 x 5 Workout Plan
Total Gym Vs Rowing Machine: Why Total Gym?
Simply put, if someone is referring to the total gym then he or she is referring to different kinds of machines required for resistance training as well as cardiovascular training. Instead of just going by a random term like total gym we can dedicate ourselves to what are the components involved.
The five health components everyone needs to work on are as follows:
- Muscular Strength: the ability of your muscles to produce force
- Muscular endurance: the ability of your muscles to work repeatedly without getting fatigued
- Cardiovascular: the ability of your heart and lungs to pump blood properly as to sustain optimum cardiovascular function
- Body composition: the composition of your body that consists of lean mass and fat-free
- Flexibility: the combined ability of your joints and muscles to move a Limb thrift full range of motion.
To focus on all of these components you need the so-called total gym workout. Let’s discuss why using only a rolling machine cannot work on all these components of our health.
Why Rowing Machine can only be a part of your schedule?
As mentioned earlier, the rowing machine is a great choice to improve cardiovascular fitness as well as muscular strength and endurance because major muscle groups of your body such as the gluteus, hamstrings, shoulder, and quadriceps work hard.
However, a rowing machine in no way replaces all the compound movements that you can do in the gym such as deadlifts, squats, and bench presses. It includes the isolation movements required to train muscle groups like biceps and abdominals too.
Cardiovascular fitness is your Prime target your muscles are more likely to get 48 before you reach your maximum oxygen uptake.
Why can’t Rowing Machine train all Muscle Groups?
In order to perform optimum strength training exercises, we need to target all the major muscle groups in our body and perform some compound movements and various isolation movements. This includes training the major muscle groups with external resistance and following the principle of progressive overload.
In this case, you mainly focused on improving your muscular strength and endurance. There is no way to expect the same benefits by just using the rowing machine. The rowing machine can only be used as a part of your workout schedule and even as a regular warm-up exercise. To understand this simply, we can say, if you want to specialize in physics, you would study a major in physics and not biomechanics because even though biomechanics includes physics, it’s not like studying a major in physics.
Why can’t a rowing machine be best for cardiovascular Fitness?
The rowing machine is known to provide a good amount of cardiovascular fitness. However, when compared to other cardio machines such as a treadmill or elliptical trainer, a comparison cannot be made. This is because a machine like an elliptical trainer does not use specific muscle groups like a rowing machine but uses the full body, and you can increase the resistance to your movement.
For optimal cardiovascular training, it will be recommended to use a variety of exercise types and machines instead of just using the rowing machine.
Bottom line: Total Gym Vs Rowing Machine
The simple rule about Fitness is that it’s much more than muscle gain and fat loss.
There are various parameters you need to consider, such as flexibility, mobility, stability, balance, and so on. It will be recommended to work with a coach in case you have a definite goal and don’t know how to exactly plan to achieve it.