Metabolic and cardiorespiratory responses of healthy adults were compared at similar incremental power outputs during a variable-resistance rowing exercise and a fixed-resistance cycle ergometer exercise. Repeated measurements of power (watts), V̇EBTPS, V̇O2 STPD, and HR were obtained on 60 men and 47 women ranging in age from 20 to 74 yr. Average maximal power output for the men was significantly higher (P < 0.05) for cycling than rowing: 207 ± 5.2 W vs 195 ± 58 W (mean ± SE). A similar difference was also observed for women favoring cycling: 135 ± 4.1 W vs 126 ± 4.9 W (mean ± SE). V̇EBTPS, V̇O2 STPD, and HR were significantly higher at all power increments during the rowing graded exercise test (RGXT) when compared with the same exercise intensity during the cycle graded exercise test (CGXT). Consistent linearity was found between V̇EBTPS and V̇O2 STPD and between HR and V̇O2 STPD for both exercises. The linear relationship between V̇EBTPS and V̇O2 STPD for men during RGXT was r = 0.976, P < 0.001, slope = 44.6 ± 1.03, and for women during RGXT it was r = 0.990, P < 0.001, slope = 19.6 ± 0.36. The relationship between HR and V̇O2 STPD for men during rowing was r = 0.989, P < 0.001, slope = 29.1 ± 0.76, and for women during rowing it was r = 0.971, P < 0.001, slope = 35.7 ± 0.89. The linear relationship between VEBTPS and V̇O2 STPD for men during CGXT was r = 0.991, P < 0.001, slope = 31.1 ± 0.98, and for women it was r = 0.959, P < 0.991, slope = 29.6 ± 0.87. The relationship between HR and V̇O2 STPD for men during CGXT was r = 0.997, P < 0.001, slope = 28.1 ± 0.83, and for women it was r = 0.990, R < 0.001, slope = 35.9 ± 0.96. Results indicated that energy costs for rowing ergometery was significantly higher than cycle ergometery at all comparative power outputs including maximum levels. It was concluded that rowing ergometery could be an effective alternative activity for physical fitness and exercise rehabilitation programs.