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ERG Calculator

Created by Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Jun 05, 2023

The ERG calculator (or rowing calculator if you prefer) helps you to calculate the most important parameters associated with using a rowing ergometer. You will be able to estimate your split and total time, distance, or energy in watts depending on which variables you know.

What is an ergometer (ERG)?

The word ergometer comes from the Greek words ergon and metron, which mean work and measure respectively. Therefore, an ergometer is an exercise machine that measures the work performed while exercising.

The ergometer is also one of the names for an indoor rower (rowing machine), and our rowing calculator is for this type of ergometer in particular. The indoor rower measures the amount of energy the rower uses when exercising on the equipment. Typically, these devices display the time it takes to row 500 meters at each strokes power, called the split rate or split. Therefore, another name for this calculator is ERG split calculator.

How to make the use of a rowing calculator?

When using indoor rowers, not all of the parameters you are interested in may be displayed. That's where the ERG split calculator comes to the rescue! Here are the variables you can calculate:

  • Distance;
  • Total time;
  • 500 meters split; and
  • Energy in watts.

You can also check how many calories you burn during your training session using our calories burned calculator.

ERG calculator - a practical example

Using this rowing calculator is really simple. Just fill in any two of the calculator's fields, leaving out the values you want to calculate. Let's test it with a practical example.

John uses his indoor rower everyday. He has recently beaten his personal record, managing to get his 500 m split time down to 1 minute and 34 seconds. He wonders to himself what his total time would be if he were to keep this pace over a full 2000 meters.

  1. We know two values: the 500 m split time and the total distance. That's enough to use ERG split calculator.
  2. John did 500 m using his indoor rower in 1 minute and 34 seconds, which is 94 seconds:

500 meters - 94 seconds

2000 meters - ?

  1. Using proportions, we can create the following equation:

2000 * 94 = 500 * x

(2000 * 94) / 500 = x

376 = x

  1. John should do 2000 meters in 376 seconds, which is 6 minutes and 16 seconds.

Other tools for sports freaks

If you want to enhance your athletic performance, you might find our other tools useful:

  • Heart rate calculator - Allows you to find your maximum and resting heart rates, which are often used to adjust training regimes!
  • Fat burning zone calculator - Carrying some extra weight? After checking your HR, you can use it to find the range in which you'll burn fat the most efficiently!
  • VO2 max calculator - This tool can help you calculate your maxima; aerobic capacity.
Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
500 m split
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