Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Polar FT4F Heart Rate Monitor

Way back when I first started P90X in November 2010, I thought about getting a heart rate monitor. For a couple of the workouts, the suggest having one so that you can track whether or not you're "in the zone". I didn't really think about it seriously until last year when I started using MyFitnessPal and I wanted a more exact count on my calorie burn.

I've been on the lookout for a heart rate monitor for a while. I've been all over Amazon and local sporting good stores looking for the one that was right for me. I wanted a quality HR monitor that would tell me my calorie burn and not cost over $100.
I read reviews before I purchased this heart rate monitor. Two of my favorite health/fitness bloggers both wear and have reviewed their Polar devices.

I was hesitant to buy this one for a while. I somehow convinced myself that I could find a quality heart rate monitor that tracked my calories and zone for $20. I totally found a $15 heart rate monitor too... and it stank. I had to get it crazy tight on my wrist for it to pick up my heart rate. It had zero personalized settings. No calorie counter.

But I guess you get what you pay for.

What ultimately kept me from buying a higher quality one for a long time was the color... which is still kind of silly because I am a huge fan of pink. For some reason I didn't want to draw a lot of attention to the fact that I was wearing a heart rate monitor. (I later learned it comes in other colors)
Ultimately I came to this conclusion: WHAT-EVER.
It looks like a watch. The only way you can really tell that I'm wearing a heart rate monitor is if I walk around topless. I'm talking COMPLETELY topless (aint. gonna. happen. ever.) because I have to tuck the transmitter under my sports bra to get it up close enough to my heart to pick up the beat.
This has been my only complaint about the device. I kinda have to jam the transmitter up into my left boob.
A photo would be TMI. Mi dispiace.

I wasn't super pumped on the idea of wearing something around my ribs, but research (and a little experience) has taught me that wearing the transmitter right next to your heart gets the most accurate read... and it makes me feel like a serious workout pro. ;)

I dig that it not only tells me what my heart rate is, but whether or not I'm in my "zone", and how many calories I've burned.

The first time you turn it on - like any fancy computer nowadays - it walks you through the set up. You enter your age and weight, set the time, etc, and a quick glance at the manual shows you what buttons to push to do what you want. Super easy. I'm one of those people who always over-complicates things, so when set up was easy, and then the transmitter didn't pick up my heart rate, I assumed I set it up wrong.

Nope. I just hadn't jammed it right up into my boob. :P

Do you have a heart rate monitor? How do you like yours? If not, do you think you'll get one?

I received no compensation from Polar or otherwise for this review. 

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