Puking with the prowler

Man… what a day.  Yesterday I felt kind of tired so I went to sleep early, perhaps too early…  I woke up around 3, 4, and finally at 5:30.  Not beat, but not completely awake either.  Either way I was excited to work out and try my new toy.

At my local Fry’s electronics store I found this heart rate monitor that connects to your iPhone.  I bought a scosche “my trek” wireless pulse monitor on sale at frys.  It’s not a bad deal, you wear the monitor on your wrist and it picks up your pulse through the strap.  No chest straps, nothing fancy.  I thought it would be interesting to see what my calorie burn rate was, and what my heart rates were before during and after my workout.  Results were mixed.  The monitor works well, but the wrist strap is really not suited to weight lifting activities or any movement where you are working the forearm as that affects the pulse reading.  Activities like kettle bells, dead lifts, didn’t really work that well.  But other activities like pushing the prowler, running, rowing, and other cardiovascular activities this monitor works really well.

The app for iPhone works ok.  The monitor connects via bluetooth.  If you let the monitor get out of range, the app will cease to function, not crash, but not function, even when you get back into range.  That bug interrupted an otherwise smooth user experience. I also had issues with the app if the monitor lost my pulse and needed to recalibrate to continue.  Again, I was forced to restart the app to continue.  Kind of annoying when you’re in the middle of a workout, so eventually I put the device aside and concentrated on my workout.  I will try it again on my next mountain bike ride.

On to the work out.

the pulse rate graph of my rowing warmup


  • I started with a 500 meter row, then stretches.
  • shoulder dislocates while lunging,
  • but kicks,
  • good mornings and overhead squats with a PVC pipe.

The strength routine was something I have been looking forward too.  The prowler for strength

The routine was 4 rounds pushing the prowler.  For each round I pushed the Prowler 10 meters and had a one minute break.  This is where the heart rate monitor was really cool to have around.  Instead of a one minute break, we switch to my actual recovery time, the time it took to get my heart rate down to 100bpm from my max heart rate.  We also confirmed that the weight I was moving was the perfect weight that pushed me to 80% of my maximum heart rate, perfect for my workout.

It was interesting to profile my heart rate over the length of a single round.  As I pushed the prowler my heart rate was steady at about 110-115bpm.  Then once I stopped, my heart rate would increase quickly to a maximum of 141 before slowing.   It was weird to see that, but hey, that’s why you feel winded after an exercise.  Anyway, I would recover within a reasonable amount of time

  1. round one: 1 minute
  2. round two: 1.5 minutes
  3. round three: 2 minutes+
  4. round 4:  5 minutes+

Each of the spikes in heart rate represent the end of a round of pushing the prowler.
230 calories burned for 3 minutes of effort!

Boy the prowler really sucks it out of you… It really does.  That strength round worked me so hard, I threw up.  That was it, work out over…  But I was pushing a total of 215lbs for just over the length of a football field.

We finished the workout with some simple core routines

  • 10 push ups with 35lb weight held overhead,

then the next two on an interval of 30 seconds on, with a rest

  • rope climbers – lie on your back legs up straight, then try to touch your toes, alternating with each arm
  • bicycle – lie on your back, rotating your legs like your riding a bike, then touch the opposite elbow to knee.

The prowler really wiped me out… hard..  Normally when I get home I am famished and really need to eat something NOW..  But not today, I took a shower and slept for about 1/2 hour before getting to the rest of the day.  I guess that is one of the many benefits of working at home.

I am going to keep trying out the heart rate monitor.  It’s just too cool, and I think I like the ability to know how quickly you can recover is fantastic, this technology really adds to the effectiveness of your workout regime.  Despite the issues I have had I will continue to use it where I can.

8 thoughts on “Puking with the prowler

  1. Chris,

    Excellent article. I was just trying to establish something very similar myself. When we are doing prowler work we typically break them into 3 blocks of 10.

    Typically the guys push between 80kg and 120kg (plus the EliteFTS Prowler weights 45kg) for 10 x 30m pushes in 10 minutes. The girls push between 40kg and 50kg (plus the EliteFTS Prowler weights 45kg) for 10 x 30m pushes in 10 minutes.

    So this is done 3 times.

    The guys on average are 180cm tall and weigh 80-85kg

    Girls are on average 165cm and weigh 65kg.

    Could you, based on you findings, put a ball park on the number of calories burned per 10 minutes session for both men and women?

    Any help would be much appreciated.



    • Hi Paul,

      that workout with the prowler sounds intense! I am going to have to try it one of these days. I am 180cm and about 93kg at the moment. Using my scoche my Trek pulse monitor I recorded that prowler workout. The pulse monitor calculated that I burned approximately 290kcal in just over 3 minutes for my prowler for strength routine that I describe in this post.

      I don’t really like to track calories burned while working out. Historically, it has been too hard to measure accurately outside a laboratory and, the calorie burn doesn’t stop at the end of the exercise. What do you do about the calories burned after the routine is done? If you are attempting to measure the effort used to push the prowler, then calories would work, but you need to build a profile for each person doing the exercise. The amount of effort (calories burned) to move 1kg will be different for each individual.

      Thank you for the kind comments

      • Thanks Chris,

        I suppose I was hoping to use your results as a bench mark to assimilate a rough estimate of the cals burned. I agree EPOC needs to be considered but I dont want make this an exact science. Just wanted a ball park.

        I will look to get a wireless iphone pulse monitor.



        • agreed, for a ball park figure, the heart rate monitor will work. It is an interesting subject; how many calories of effort have I used for a given exercise? But I think the only way that will be effective would be to profile your heart rate and calories burned over time.

          I would think that by measuring the calories burned compared to your average heart rate offers a nice measure of your fitness level. On that note, I am really interested in my recovery time. How long does it take for my heart rate to drop to a resting rate? Now my trainer and I can measure my recovery to determine the optimal rest time between rounds. That is has been interesting, because now we can see what routines hit me hard and where I need to work on improving my performance. Again, this will be something to monitor over time.

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