View Full Version : Anybody use a Polar Heart Rate Monitor?
I'm considering getting one so that I can better document my calorie burns and so that I can fine tune my workouts to get more bang for the buck.
Iíve had a couple I used for road cycling. There are cheaper brands but when I decide to buy another, Iíll probably go straight to Polar. The price for the most feature-laden models is pretty astronomical.
Batteries on the receiver (the wrist watch) last about two years. The batteries in the chest strap could last that long, depending on how much you use it. IIRC, I replaced the batteries in my first receiver myself. The transmitter is sealed and has to go back to Polar for replacement.
Did you find the information it produced useful.
I have had several HRM's. 1st was an Acumen. It is Polar compatable and worked great until I had to put new batteries in the first time. Unreliable since, plus the watch is a power hog. Then got a Timex Ironman with HRM. All in all, a good unit but the chest strap was not very comfortable. Now am using a Polar "wearlink" chest strap. I exercise on a Concept rowing machine that has a HRM pickup so I didn't get a wrist watch to access the heartrate.
If this is your first HRM, get the Polar. They are about as good as you can get. If you use a health club machine that is HRM compatable, it will pick up your Polar unit. If you are spending more than an entry level amount, consider one with the wearlink chest band. It is infinitely more comfortable than any other one I have used and the battery on the wearlink is user replaceable (at least mine is).
I don't know about monitoring calories with a HRM but to me it is useful two ways. first, since I know how hard I am working, I can't say that a given level of effort is too much work (i can't cheat and make the workout too easy). Second, and more useful, I know when to ease off.
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I ended up buying a Polar F11.
Its been interesting; here's some of my observations.
On the eliptical I tend to work out too hard cardiovascular wise. I'm burining a lot of calories but the percentage of them that come from fat are low.
In the water I'm not working out nearly as hard as I think I am. I think its so hard to really incorporate the legs in the water its hard to get your heart rate up without the demand from those big muscles.
In the weight room you really have to move quickly between exercises but slowly throught each set of reps if you want to keep your heart rate up but not overspeed.
The calorie counter on the machines lie to the tune of about 25% on the positive side.
Of course it will take acouple weeks to see if this information can be leveraged into increased fitness.
Actually depending on the model you get the calories can be very accurate. Some models allow you to enter age,height and weight rather than just making an assumption. Polar has great warranty and will replace no questions asked.
I was writing about the calorie counters on the tredmills that base it on just your weight, not the polar calorie counter.
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