When you workout, you want to do everything that you possibly can to make sure you are becoming the most fit and gaining the most muscle. I understand this; that’s why people still do cardio even if their focus is mostly on bulking up, or why people do endurance training when they’re trying to increase their maximum strength.
A really smart way to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your workouts is to monitor your workouts and how your body is reacting. One of the best ways to do this is by using a heart rate monitor.
But therein lays the problem. Sure, there are a lot of heart rate monitors out there for around 30 bucks, but they’re all really bad quality. They will not last you, and they will come with minimum features. The best heart rate monitors, on the other hand, all cost up to a couple hundred dollars. Isn’t there a heart rate monitor out there that comes with a variety of features, is durable, and won’t break the bank? After doing a lot of research, I found one such monitor that might fit that bill: the Polar FT7.
What Polar FT7 is All About and Why You Should Care
Polar FT7 is a heart rate monitor that comes with two main physical components: a watch that you wear on your wrist and a transmitter. The transmitter connects to a bendable strap, which comes with the monitor, and stretches to fit around your chest. Once the transmitter is fit snugly around your chest, you wet the sensors on it and connect it with the watch. Within a couple of moments, the watch has a reading and there’s your heart rate. But unlike a lot of other lower quality heart rate monitors, this one doesn’t just measure your heart rate: it does a whole lot more that can help you improve your workouts.
Polar FT7 Top Features
Some of the top features of the Polar FT7 include:
- Contains a calorie counter. This lets you know how many calories you’re burning from each workout.
- Allows you to set an upper heart rate limit. This means you can set a heart rate that you don’t want to exceed while working out, and if you do, the watch will start beeping, so you then know that you should tone down your workout a little bit.
- It can store up to 99 previous workout data and transfer that data to the computer. This is especially helpful if you are doing some sort of workout program—for example, Insanity—because it allows you to see how your body has progressed over the duration of the program. This is just one way the monitor can show you how efficient you are being while working out.
- Has the “heart touch” feature. This feature is really convenient more than anything else: if you bring your watch close to your heart strap while working out, the watch will beep and show you how long you’ve been working out, and then return to the previous page it was on. This is an easy way of making sure you’re not working out too long or too short.
- The battery is replaceable. This may not seem like a big deal now, but it’s more important than you might think. On a lot of these heart rate monitors, I’ve found, the battery is not self-replaceable, so if the battery dies, guess what you have to do? You have to send your device to the company. And sure, they’ll replace it. But you won’t have your monitor for however long that takes.
- It is water resistant, making it easy to exercise in rain, and has a backlight so you can use it at night.
What’s New in Polar FT7 that You Cannot Find in Other Products
If you compare the Polar FT7 to other top of the line, 250 dollar products, it doesn’t offer much in the way of “new” features. Sure, some of those top products actually don’t have the replaceable battery, so that’s a plus for the FT7. But there are a small sampling of heart rate monitors that do. So why do I even have this section?
I just want to emphasize all of the features that you do get with this product for the comparatively low price. Most heart rate monitors for around this price measures your current heart rate, your range of heart rates, and your average heart rate during a workout, and…that’s about it. The Polar FT7 does indeed do that, but a lot of other things, and for around the same, cheaper price.
Does Polar FT7 Work?
In short, the answer is yes, this product works. It is able to measure your heart rate relatively accurately, has a functioning calorie counter, and collects data reliably with quick and easy access to transfer it to your computer. One particular review well sums up the opinions of many on the subject:
People who have tried the product enjoy it. It appears to be accurate — all the time — and is helping one to know what works for him or her, in terms of increasing the heart rate and burning more calories…
To read other reviews, both good and not so good, visit the reviews page on Amazon.com.
Polar FT7 Complaints
- It might be hard to hear the beeping noise that indicates you’ve passed the upper heart rate limit you have chosen.
- Polar FT7 is not as attractive looking as some people would like. Most of the time the transmitter will be worn under your shirt and not visible, but this is still a legitimate concern.
- Some people don’t like how the chest strap feels on their skin. The feeling of the band wrapping around your chest is a little irritating to some people.
Where to Buy Polar FT7 From
Amazon.com is my recommendation for buying the Polar FT7. Shopping at Amazon ensures that you get quality service and dependable shipping. Plus, the prices are almost always lower. For example, right now the Polar FT7 is selling on Amazon for $72.40, about 30% cheaper than the list price.
Should you buy the Polar FT7? It really is up to you. Just consider the benefits of being able to maximize the efficiency of your workouts and how much that means to you.
Here are other heart rate monitor products you may want to check out: