Well I can't believe it is Thursday already. I have been trying to decide all week what to review today (I have a few things I want to tell you about) so here is what I picked for today.
This review is MY opinion only, the company did not ask for my opinion but I am giving it anyway:)
This fall I was in the market for a Heart Rate Monitor to use while exercising.
Made by Polar
For committed exercisers – the STAR Training Program tells you how much and how intensively to train.
What comes in the box
I like the watch because it feels like a watch when I wear it. It fits my wrist and the face is not so large that it feels uncomfortable.
I like the smart coaching it offers. When the watch first arrived I was able to enter in my age, weight and height. The watch then told me to put the heart rate strap on my chest and watch on and lay down. It then measured my VO2 max.
I was then able to choose what my training program. It allowed me to choose between
- Improve fitness if your target is to improve your current cardiovascular fitness level and you are able to train regularly.
- Maximize fitness if your target is to maximize your current cardiovascular fitness level, you have been training regularly for at least 10 -12 weeks and training nearly every day is not a problem to you.
- Lose weight if you want to lose some weight and you are able to train several hours per week. This option is only in the FT60 training computer.
I chose maximize fitness. The watch then gives me my weekly targets, weekly calorie burn target and weekly workout time target as well as how much time I should spend in each heart rate zone. Each week it gives me a report of what I actually did compared to what my targets were, all on the watch.
The watch is very easy to use and is very user friendly, which I like.
I did a lot of research on heart rate monitors and read many different reviews. I found the FT60 on Amazon for $146 which was a decent deal. My budget was around $150 and from what I read the FT60 sounded like it had most of what I was looking for.
There customer service is great. As you will see below I did have to send the watch into the company and they communicated well through email to answer my questions and let me know what was going on.
The heart rate strap which has the heart rate sensor attached is one size fits all, well it doesn't fit me. I was having trouble after I first received the FT60 in the mail because the heart rate sensor would not always read my heartbeat. I could run for 30 minutes on the treadmill and it would say my heart never beat (not likely) I emailed the company and sent it in for repair. They had the watch, sensor and strap for a few weeks and sent it back saying nothing was wrong but they replaced the sensor and the strap anyway (which I thought was very nice). But as I wore it the same issue arose. I did some research online and it said when that happens the strap isn't tight enough. The strap felt tight but it did slide as I ran sometimes. So I used a safety pin and tightened the strap and now it works fine. Polar should give size options on the strap, because to be honest a strap that can fit a man's chest will not be tight on my chest, I'm a 32 in that area.
The Polar FT60 offers a few add on pieces to enhance the watch
Overall the watch does what it says it will do, it tracks my heart rate and my calories. Which is one of the things I was looking for and the price was where I needed it to be. The watch and strap are comfortable which is nice because I do forget I am wearing it when I am working out, however the footpod is way too big.
I thought I would like the smart training program but as a runner I am typically in Zone 3 which is the highest heart rate zone and so weekly I am not meeting my targets and it tells me to work more in the lower heart rate zones. So that is not a feature I am truly utilizing. I am not looking to lose weight and I thought the maximize fitness option would force me to push myself into the higher heart rate zones. I understand that the lower zones help you burn more calories from fat but I am a runner and in order to get in those lower zones and stay there I would need to walk. My strength training get's me into those zones but not for a substantial amount of time.
I like the Polar brand, I think the product is good quality and will last.
The Polar FT60 is a good heart rate monitor. It is good for someone who is looking to truly utilize the smart coaching features for weight loss, improve fitness or maximize fitness. It does a great job monitoring your heart rate and calories. It is very user friendly and is like a little computer on your wrist. I just don't feel it is the best heart rate monitor for a runner.
The Polar FT60 has taught me a lot of what to look for in a heart rate monitor for a runner. I think next time I would look for a watch that was specific to runners and that could be used indoors and outdoors. It may mean spending a little bit more money but now I see that it may be worth it in order to get all that I want.
Here's my wish list:
My top choices:
I am always open to trying something new (as long as it isn't too dangerous). I will try a new workout class, a new restaurant, a book I wouldn't normally read, etc. As much as I am OCD and like to control my environment I have learned over the years that trying new things is fun and exciting. I have found some of my favorite passions by doing just that. Take running for example, I never thought I would like to run. Then my brother and sister-in-law talked me into trying an bootcamp run 5 years ago and now I am running half marathons.