I Traded Runs For Ergatta Rower Workouts, and After 2 Weeks, My Abs Are Already Stronger
I had never rowed a stroke in my life before joining CrossFit over four years ago, and it soon became my favorite cardio machine because it offers a full-body workout. After my gym shut down in March due to the pandemic, I got back into running outside, but I really missed rowing. So when Ergatta offered to send me one of its rowing machines to try, I was ecstatic!
What Is an Ergatta Rower?
Ergatta is a water rower, which means it uses actual water rather than a wheel to create smooth resistance. Not only does it feel like you're actually rowing in water, but it sounds like it, too. The first time I used the Ergatta, I just rowed without music or a podcast because the sound of the whooshing water was so calming.
The Ergatta Rower comes with a screen that displays a variety of workouts to choose from, your pace, and your workout history. Keep reading to learn more about these features and to find out what makes the Ergatta such an incredible cardio machine.
How Much Does the Ergatta Rower Cost?
The Ergatta Rower costs $2,199, with the option to pay $107 per month. And for the programming you see on your screen, there's an additional cost of $29 per month or $290 for the year. Once you order your Ergatta, you'll get it within three to five weeks — when I researched ordering another rower, the waiting list was four to six months!
How Is the Ergatta Rower Stored?
One of the best aspects of the Ergatta Rower is that it can be stored standing up. And because it has little wheels on the base, you can easily pull it out to where you want to work out, then push it back against the wall when you're done. It takes less than two minutes to both set it up and put it away. I was able to set it up in the basement in my tiny workout room/home office, and it barely took up any space in the corner. But it's so gorgeous looking, I wouldn't mind if I had to store it in my living room!
The Ergatta Rower Screen
The Ergatta Rower comes with a perfectly sized large touchscreen that allows you to access your own personal profile. My entire family was able to set up their own profiles, and it was really easy to switch from one profile to another. Having our own profiles made us a little competitive with each other, and it was great to see how the Ergatta inspired my 10-year old daughter (who hates exercise) to do a 2,000-meter row!
The Ergatta Rower Workouts
The first time you row, it asks you to do a calibration test where you row for 2,000 meters so it can gauge how fast you need to row for each of these four interval paces: paddle, steady, race (fast), and sprint (fastest).
It utilizes this pace info based on which of these four programs you choose: push programs, interval workouts, race workouts, or open row. Push programs include a set number of workouts to help you reach a goal. Interval workouts include a variety of workouts based on time and pace. Race workouts allow you to virtually race other rowers, which really makes you row hard! Open row allows you to row for a certain time or distance or to just row freely and stop when you want.
These program options made working out a little competitive and game-like, which made it so fun — the time just flew by, and I was dripping with sweat!
Ergatta Interval Workouts
Out of the four programs, the interval workouts were my favorite. I liked how I could customize the type of workout I wanted to do, and it would offer me a few workouts to choose from that varied based on time, number of intervals, and interval pace. I started out with the 10-minute steady-pace workouts and gradually worked my way up to the 60-minute workouts that included sprint-pace intervals.
I also liked that when I chose a workout, it showed a sneak peek of what the pacing intervals looked like (as you can see in this photo). I liked seeing an overview ahead of time to know how many intervals would be race pace or sprint pace, so I could gauge my energy levels that morning. If it looked too hard, I could choose an easier workout, and vice versa.
How Ergatta Tracks Pace
What I loved most about the interval workouts is that as you can see from this blurry picture (sorry, I was taking it while rowing!), that little yellow circle was me. It would move based on how fast or slow I was rowing, which helped me keep the correct pace for that particular interval.
This was so motivating! In CrossFit, we would do intervals on all the cardio machines, but it was up to me to push myself. With this screen staring back at me and telling me to row faster to keep my pace and counting down the minutes or seconds left in the interval, I was inspired to push hard to meet my target — I honestly didn't think I could row that fast! And I felt so proud after and excited to do more.
Ergatta Workout Summary
This is what the screen looks like after performing a workout. The percent at the top indicates how accurately you reached the pace designated for each interval (wahoo, I got 100 percent!). It also shows the total meters distance you rowed, total time of the workout, average split (pace), best split (fastest pace), average power (in watts), energy (calories burned), and your average heart rate (in beats per minute). My favorite part was seeing how many meters I rowed — 11,651 for this workout!
Tracking My Rowing Workout With the Apple Watch
Although the Ergatta tracked all my workouts, I was excited to compare the results to those when using the workout app on my Apple Watch. I was happy to see that my heart rate was pretty similar to my runs. For many of my rowing workouts when I really pushed my pace, my heart rate was much higher. It felt good to work this intensely!
And although I don't care about how many calories I burn during my workouts, it was interesting to see that for this workout, the Ergatta said I burned 467 calories, and the Apple Watch indicated that I burned 266 active calories and 349 total calories — very different results.
The Apple Watch was probably more accurate because it was tracking my heart rate. There is an option to track your heart rate through Ergatta by pairing a heart-rate monitor via Bluetooth, which would yield more accurate calorie results, but I didn't have one to pair.
Ergatta Workout History
After you look over your workout summary, you can go to your workout history, which shows the last 13 workouts you've completed. I rowed over 100,000 meters in two weeks, and that made me feel like such a badass! I'm one of those people who likes to track how many workouts I do per month, so seeing these stats definitely motivates me to keep up with my weekly rowing workouts.
Ergatta Has Active Intelligence
Another cool feature about the Ergatta is that after completing 10 workouts, it uses "active intelligence" based on how you rowed to recalibrate your paddle, steady, race, and sprint paces.
The Ergatta Rower Made Me Stronger
For the past two weeks that I've been using the Ergatta, I haven't run at all, so this has been my main form of cardio. Compared to running, I love how rowing is more of a total-body workout. Even though it looks like it only targets your upper body because you're pulling the handle with your arms, if you're rowing correctly, you're actually really pushing with your feet, so you feel it in the backs of your legs and butt, like you would when deadlifting.
Rowing also really works your abs because you engage them every time you pull. And using this Ergatta Rower in particular made me work my abs more because I was pushing my pace so hard during the sprint intervals. After two weeks just walking around and doing everyday things like carrying groceries, biking my kids to school, and lifting my dog into my daughter's loft, I noticed that my core felt stronger. Everything felt stronger, actually!
Would I Recommend the Ergatta Rower?
While other water rowers may be less expensive, they don't include the touch screen and the workout programs. These are well worth the extra cost because they're essentially like having your own personal coach telling you what workouts to do and pushing you while you do them! If you're looking to get a rower, I would 100 percent recommend an Ergatta.