How to Monitor Your Heart Rate I Polar FT40 Review

We all want to stay in shape, so what does that mean we do? We workout. This sounds simple enough, but is a lot more challenging than first appears. Why is that? Well, working out is hard, and not just because it’s physically strenuous to lift weights, run a couple of miles, or battle through fatigue. What really makes working out difficult is not seeing results: not knowing if you working out is actually working!

It’s important to recognize that even if you don’t seem to be bulking up each day, or feel like you’re becoming more fit, you really are, it just takes time. However, I know that you want to get the most out of your training sessions, so you work out harder and faster. But, that is NOT the best way to see results. The best way to see results is to train at the right intensity for your body, making sure you’re not under training or over training. One way to ensure you’re doing exactly this is to use a heart rate monitor. Today I’ll be reviewing one such popular monitor, the Polar FT40.

What the Polar FT40 is All About and Why You Should Care

Polar-FT40-Women-Heart-Rate-Monitor-Watch-amazon-buyThe basic function of a Polar FT40 is to monitor your heart rate. It does this with two main components: its computer, which you wear on your wrist, and a transmitter that is worn around your chest. How it works is really pretty simple. The transmitter comes with a strap that stretches to fit around your chest. You simply connect the transmitter to the strap, wet it with water, and put the strap on near the top of your rib cage. You wet it with water so that the transmitter can pick up your heartbeat. Once you’ve done that, you push a button on the wrist computer, and after a couple of seconds the computer picks up your heartbeat. After this, the Polar FT40 is ready to go, and here is where you can get into the really cool features to improve your workouts.

Polar FT40 Top Features

Besides measuring your current heart rate, the Polar FT40 includes a lot of other features to help you track your fitness level and make sure you’re getting the most out of your workouts. The most important of these features are that it:

  • Measures your average to maximum heart rate. This is crucial because each person exercises best within a certain heart rate range. If you’re average is in that range, that means you’re doing a great job exercising. More to come on this fact later.
  • Allows you to define a manual heart rate target zone, which enables you to define your heart rate zone and alerts you if you are working outside of it.
  • Keeps track of how many calories you’ve burned.  This is always a good motivational feature so you can see that each workout is bringing you results.
  • Is equipped with something called the EnergyPointer feature. This all-important feature tells you during each training session if your training is mostly burning fat, or helping you become more fit.
  • Stores important data about your workouts. It keeps weekly totals for calories burned, number of workout sessions per week and month, and other data that you can transfer to your home computer and organize how you want
  • Is water proof, so you can easily exercise outside in damp or rainy conditions.
  • Has a backlight so you can workout at night or in other dark conditions.

What’s New in Polar FT40 that You Cannot Find in Other Products

Possibly the best feature about the Polar FT40 is its fitness test. Before you start using the product, you enter in your age, weight, height, and gender. Then, you lie down and have the device measure your resting heart rate. Using its own unique formula which combines data from your resting heart rate and the information you provided, the Polar FT40 is able to accurately determine your “fitness level.” This allows it to adjust much more accurately for things like how many calories you’ve burned, while also providing feedback on, for example, what heart rate range you should be working in, thus maximizing the efficiency of your workout. This is not found in heart rate monitors of comparable quality or price.

Does It Work?

Most users appear to be very happy with the Polar FT40, with many being surprised at just how accurate this heart rate monitor works. One reviewer noted:

One customer says he loves this HRM and recognizes that the fitness test feature is so important for weight loss as it allows for a more accurate determination of calories burned..

To see if others agree with this reviewer’s assessment, visit the reviews section on


While the product has received a lot of promising reviews, it is not perfect. Three of the most common complaints about the Polar FT40 are that:

  • Customer support may take a long while to respond via email to customer concerns
  • Can be hard to remove the back of the watch and possible to damage because of it. Note, thought, that if you contact the company, they will send you a new back as replacement.
  • The buttons are too close for some people’s liking. The problem with this is that if you aren’t careful, you can accidentally reset the computer in the middle of your workout and lose your data for that session.

Where to buy Polar FT40

Polar-FT40-Women-Heart-Rate-Monitor-Watch-amazon-buyIf you’re looking to buy the Polar FT40, the best place to start your search is on When you go to Amazon to search for a product, even if it’s not directly from the manufacturer’s website, you are certain to get quality service. The shipping will be relatively cheap and reliable, the prices are (usually) cheaper, and it’s a hassle free and safe way to shop online. Plus, the Polar FT40 includes a limited 2 year manufacturer’s warranty against defects, so it should be easier working with a big company like Amazon should anything go wrong with the product. Currently the Polar FT40 is listed as $100.75 on Amazon.

The Polar FT40 has the potential to really help you hone in on the specifics of your workouts; it can show you where you’re working out efficiently, if you could work out harder, or even if you’re working too hard for your body. Plus, the tracking capabilities of calories, daily, and weekly workouts provides you with tangible details showing your progress. Are these benefits worth having the Polar FT40? That’s up to you to decide.

Here are other heart rate monitor products you may want to check out:

Garmin FR 70

Polar FT7

Related News:

Heart Rate Monitor Wikipedia

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