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Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor Watch

Polar FT40 heart rate monitor watchThe FT40 is a mid-level monitor that is marketed in both men's and women's models (picture). According to a product description:

The FT40 is packed with innovative training features to help you toward your exercise goals. First off, the watch displays heart rate info in several ways, including as a percentage of your maximum heart rate, as beats per minute, and within a graphical target zone indicator. The watch also offers a visual and audible alarm for when you exceed or dip below your target zone--a great way to stay motivated while on the track. And users will love the EnergyPointer, ZonePointer, and Polar OwnCal modes.

The EnergyPointer determines the point at which your training no longer just burns fat but also improves your overall fitness level--an ideal feature for high-performance runners.

The ZonePointer, meanwhile, is an audible and visual feature on the display of your FT40 that shows you where your current heart rate sits within your target heart rate zone.

Finally, the Polar OwnCal mode shows your energy expenditure during one exercise session, as well as your accumulated kilocalories during several exercise sessions. You can also set daily and weekly exercise goals in terms of calorie expenditure, helping you achieve both short-term and long-term goals.

You can read more at the Polar website.

According to a review at the FitSugar website:

Being a woman, I was immediately drawn to its great color and design; it's much cooler than my other heart rate monitors of the past. I have even gotten compliments on it outside of the gym (big brownie points there).

The heart rate monitor does all the normal stuff that an average heart rate monitor does, such as showing your heart rate, calories burned, time, stopwatch, etc., but there are a few goodies that this watch also provides. The EnergyPointer calculates the point where training is turning fat-burning into fitness improvement. It also has a fitness test feature, which is able to measures your aerobic fitness at rest in just five minutes. Both features are very useful for someone who is looking to improve their own fitness without hiring an actual personal trainer.

A reviewer at the About.com: Exercise website concluded:

Pros

* Stylish - The FT40 is stylish and comes in a variety of colors with light floral patterns printed on the strap, which may appeal to women
* Easy to use - The instruction manual is easy to understand, set up is a snap and it's easy to navigate the screens during workouts
* Great for beginners - The FT40 may have more bells and whistles than beginners need, but they'll enjoy the extra guidance the FT40 provides in choosing workout intensity
* Motivating - Being able to see your progress during and after your workouts and review your training data at any time is encouraging and may help you stick with your workout program
* Great accessories - The Polar FlowLink (which costs an extra $54) makes it easy to transfer workout data to the website and women can use the Cardio Sports Bra, which includes a built-in heart rate sensor

Cons

* Heart Rate - My biggest issue with the FT40 is the inability to view my heart rate zones or to change them. While you can change the upper heart rate, you can't adjust the lower limits. This is frustrating when the heart rate zones are too low, as they were for me.
* The Fat-Burning Zone - Another problem I had was with their promise that staying at a low intensity will help exercisers burn more fat. This is a myth that's been around for decades and exercisers may not realize that, while lower intensity workouts have their place, higher intensity exercise burns more calories.
* Price - At around $155, this is one of the pricier HRMs

Overall, there are many more pros than cons with the FT40, making it a great choice, especially for new exercisers.

You can see a YouTube video here.

* Get the latest price on the Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor Watch. Also, check out the Polar Store at Amazon.com for special offers and promotions, as well as user reviews and information on new products.

See also my Guide to Buying the Best Heart Rate Monitor.

November 16th, 2009

 

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