Heart Rate Monitor

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Heart Rate Monitor

Post by LifeIsGood » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:26 pm

I've been on a pretty active exercise program since I retired 3 yrs ago. I'm in the process of reading "Younger Next Year" written by Chris Crowley and Dr. Harry Lodge. They say that having a heart rate monitor is essential when working out.
Does anyone have a make and model that they recommend or perhaps one to avoid?


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Post by ryuns » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:44 pm

I don't own one, but the Garmin Forerunner line up is pretty standard. Get the cheapest one with the features you need.

There are a huge number of people in the triathlon community who use heart rate monitors, and a lot of research is showing that interval (HIIT) training is the best for your body, so I think that encourages people to use heart rate monitors. But for me, I do just as well keeping a steady mind on my perceived exertion. On a scale of 1 to 100 (% effort), I think 50 to 100 corresponds pretty well to percent of maximum heart rate. I'm sure I regularly approach my max heart rate when I'm running intervals or playing soccer or biking up a hill or what-have-you, and I think a heart rate monitor would just stress me out. "190 bpm! I better chill out!" Or whatever.

YMMV and you may have reason to be more careful about staying in your target heart rate.
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Post by Rob5TCP » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:48 pm

I own several - Polar is the "king" of brands - they have 30-40 different models with different features - from $69 to $500+

Make sure you get one where both batteries (heart rate monitor (HRM) and the piece that wraps around your chest both have easily replaceable batteries.

Here is a link to Polar

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Post by livesoft » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:50 pm

For the last few months, I've been using almost every day an old Polar one that my wife had. I just ordered a Garmin FR60 (Forerunner 60) because I wanted more than just a pulse readout on my wrist. There is a good review on the web of this by DCRainmaker as well as other HRMs.

Perceived effort or exertion is also another way to do all this, but you have to calibrate PE to HR at some point. I can guess within 5 bpm what my HR is nowadays based on my PE.

You might also enjoy www.runningforfitness.org

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Post by Rob5TCP » Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:53 pm

Whoops= here is the link to their brochure
plus a chart feature

http://clubtechnology.polarusa.com/doc/ ... all-09.pdf

Here is Polar USA


Some of the higher end models also include a GPS. I go without one because I know the areas I bike in. Besides, my Droid has a GPS.

My personal one is the F7 - the battery is replaceable on both the heart strap and the watch as well. Good basic functions:
current heart rate
maximum heart rate
average heart rate
time exercising
time within "zone"

Keeps a history of up to 8 workouts.
F6 is less and is the same model but I believe the heart strap has to be replaced (because the battery is not-replaceable).

Here is a chart of most models - I am not sure if it is still current

Last edited by Rob5TCP on Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by sandburg » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:11 pm

The Timex Ironman Road Trainer is popular too.

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Post by billb » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:12 pm

Really love my Polar F6. Doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it fits my needs.

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Post by Tonen » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:16 pm

I use a Timex Ironman - you can buy a dongle with it to download your data to a web account http://home.trainingpeaks.com/ where you can look at it in detail (graphs and so on). The download software is pretty old and creaky though - eg doesnt run on later than MacOSX 10.4. It may be better on a PC.

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Post by Opponent Process » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:35 pm

I'm training for my first sprint tri and just bought a Garmin Forerunner 305. mostly just for fun, but having numbers to play with keeps me motivated. with the accompanying program, I made this sweet graph of me going up and down Cowles Mtn. here in San Diego. you can easily calculate recovery HR, and, for example, see how much faster you have to run down the mountain to maintain a minimum HR. it also has settings for bike and "other activities".

if you have a Wii, the EA Active 2.0 will have an HRM packaged with it when it comes out this Fall.
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Post by CaliJim » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:50 pm

Last edited by CaliJim on Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by R2 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:49 pm

I've found the Garmin 305 with heart rate monitor to be a good value. I use it primarily for running and find the GPS/HRM combination to be useful to measure fitness progress. I use "SportTracks" software to log and evaluate my workouts and races. It is freeware. Newer versions of the Garmin are smaller and more attractive, but also more expensive.

If you are primarily doing cardio exercises inside, the polar models link with some treadmills and elliptical trainers, and may be a good match.

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