Just starting to get back into exercising after a 3 year absence (and letting myself go a bit). I recently started rowing as it is quite intense and involves the full body. I'd just like to know what times I should be aiming for.

I do level 10 (max resistance), 500m sprint followed by a 500m rest and repeat this through the entire workout. Last night I did it in 47.55 minutes. is this a good time?


about me: sex: Male

age: 21

height: 5 foot 7 inches

weight: 99Kg

body type: endomorph

background history: lifted weights from age 16 - 19

Typically I would like to know what times are accepted by certain institutions i.e. Olympic times, World records etc. So that I can compare myself against other records to get a benchmark for where I am right now.

  • I don't think that this question is a good fit for our Q&A format, please look at the FAQ. It is far too localized AND you lack to provide information about yourself. This question could be made into something useful if you ask for ways how to determine a good time on a rowing machine or ask for standardized values that are accepted by some organization.
    – Baarn
    Dec 4, 2012 at 10:44
  • @Informaficker - added some edits to make things clearer
    – Sam Street
    Dec 4, 2012 at 10:57
  • I've updated my answer to give some info on resistance/damper level.
    – rthsyjh
    Dec 4, 2012 at 16:56
  • I'm 67 years old - 6'4" and 260lbs - did 10,000 meters today in 54 min but believe I could do better.....wish I was 21 again. Kris
    – user21656
    Jun 15, 2016 at 2:14

3 Answers 3


Concept 2 actually have a page that may help you. Some of the better times are around the 33 -34 minute mark.

The page is dynamically generated depending upon criteria you enter. Below I've selected a few men age 19-29 heavyweight (>75Kg) world ranking for Concept 2 Rowing:

1   Eric Murray     29  Cambridge, New Zealand      NZL     31:17.2 IND_V D
2   Edward Budimier 21  Norfolk VA                  USA     33:43.5 IND_V I
2   John Madura     21  Hewitt  NJ                  USA     34:13.2 IND   I
3   Rich Connell    27  Dublin  NH                  USA     34:37.0 IND   I

In addition there is some information on the site about damper levels 1 - 10 and racing

Some confusion reigns because rowers tend to use a setting of 3-4. This is because on these settings the machine closely mirrors the feel of a racing boat. As they spend most of their time training in this medium then it makes sense for them to set the machine up to feel like a boat. For the indoor rowers who have never been in a boat, you shouldn't necessarily follow the rowers strategy.

  • 1
    Could you excerpt some of the relevant information on that page, so that it doesn't get lost if the page moves or changes? Dec 4, 2012 at 14:10
  • 1
    @DaveLiepmann The page is dymaically generated but I've taken a few records that fit with the question.
    – rthsyjh
    Dec 4, 2012 at 14:26
  • I edited your answer, if you are unhappy with the changes feel free to revert or edit again.
    – Baarn
    Dec 7, 2012 at 10:24

It's a bit difficult to give you a time to aim for if you are alternating between 500 hard / 500 easy. Work up to sustaining consistent effort over 10,000m on a setting 4 (good for giving you a reasonable feeling of what rowing actually is) and with your background anything under 40mins is solid.

When my team train we target 1:40min/500m hard then 2:00min/500m easy, alternative in either 500m of 1000m efforts for 5000m-10000m. Most non-elite can't sustain this for a full 10000m set though I watched an Olympic kayaker crush it without pushing his heart rate over 160 which was mindblowing to watch.

For real examples of 10000m time on setting 4; our team captain (non-elite) has a record of 36:03 and I have pushed out a 37:11 once but it was hard work.

Hope that helps and gives some motivation!



Firstly, good job being able to row 10000 metres, most people who do not row cannot bash out 2000 metres. Dont worry about the time, worry about completing the set, the time will natrually come down as your fittness rises. Concentrate on technique and not hurting yourself. Watch your pulse rate and breathing as well. If you are nearly dead at the end of it you will eventually get bored of rowing and it will become a chore.

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