Testing Painsled

Today I did an easy row and some weights.

For the easy row I used the Chrome app function of Painsled. Although I don’t like its name, it’s an interesting app (in beta). I stumbled upon it on the Concept2 forum because the developer advertised a mobile version. What it does? It connects to the PM monitor and then logs data (stroke data). There is an iOS app that works with the wireless enabled PM5. For my PM3 I have to use the USB connection and use the Chrome App version. Here’s a screenshot:


It works pretty nicely. You basically have it running on your computer and don’t care about it. You use the PM to set up workouts and row them. The app just follows what you are doing on the erg and logs each stroke. It shows the data on the screen, so you basically have an extra erg monitor with some data (stroke power curve, watts, 500m pace all in one screen). The logs correspond to the Just Rows or Workouts that you did on the erg. I guess when the PM saves to the log card, a new log is started in PainSled.

After rowing, you can export the data to a CSV file. I did that and then played a bit with Dan Burpee’s spreadsheet so I could manually copy data from the CSV to the spreadsheet and create pretty graphs:

Warming up – a 2k row
A 3x1500m / 30 second rest – pace and heart rate
3x1500m / 30 sec rest – stroke rate and heart rate

I like the philosphy of the app. Just a data logger. There is a TCX export plugin available which I couldn’t get to work. Also, I noted that the cumulative meters in the CSV file stopped after the second 1500m interval. Probably a bug in the software, but the stroke specific data were there so I could easily correct it.

The CSV file is very complete. Here are the data that I found in it:

  1. Start time of stroke (time stamp)
  2. Interval distance at start of stroke
  3. Workout (cumulative) distance at start of stroke
  4. Stroke Number (easy if you want to count strokes)
  5. Stroke type (1 for waiting, 0 for work)
  6. Interval number – I miss this one in RowPro
  7. Workout State (“waiting to row” / “work distance interval” / “interval rest”, etc
  8. Stroke drive duration in ms
  9. Stroke drive meters
  10. Stroke recovery duration in ms
  11. Stroke recovery meters
  12. Stroke duration
  13. Stroke meters
  14. Stroke pace (seconds per km)
  15. Stroke rate (strokes per minute)
  16. Stroke Watts
  17. Stroke Heart Rate
  18. Stroke Drag Factor
  19. Elapsed time
  20. Stroke Calorie Counter
  21. Workout start time stamp
  22. Workout end time stamp
  23. Total workout meters
  24. Total workout stroke count
  25. Workout type (e.g. “distance interval” or “just row”)
  26. Workout Interval Count
  27. Workout rest time
  28. Workout Erg model
  29. Workout Erg Serial number
  30. Workout Erg Odometer
  31. Stroke force map

And if you can write plugins, you could probably make a function to upload the row to Concept2 and other nifty things. A semi automatic excel to extract data from the CSV file is easy and very interesting.

Unfortunately I don’t have a PM5 (nor will I see many PM5 monitors on the hotel gym or crossfit box ergs that I frequent), so the mobile app is useless for me at the moment. In that respect, ErgStick seems promising.

So definitely something to watch.

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