What are some key features to look for in a heart rate monitor?

  • manpit209

    Posts: 213

    Jun 01, 2010 1:40 AM GMT
    I'm looking to buy a heart rate monitor and since they don't come cheap, I want to know what features are essential. I'm going to be using it to help see how many calories I burn and to determine how long I stay in the target heart rate so that I'm getting the most out of my workout. I want to use it for both cardio and strength training.

    I'm fairly new to using HRMs but many of them seem to be geared toward cardio. I'm currently looking at this HRM from Polar:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001F0PVO4/ref=s9_simh_gw_p200_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0GF2BSQKTTDJ3JS4F95E&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

    Good choice or maybe something else would be better? Thanks for any feedback!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 01, 2010 2:10 AM GMT
    wow, that Polar looks amazing.
    i'd like one too. You gonna buy it ?

    i always only used: current HR, beeping above or below zone. , average HR, time spent above and below, timer & laps of course. ,
    basic models of various brands will offer those readings.

    some people use the data transfer so they can view charts of their trainings. But i never cared about that.
  • HankFit247

    Posts: 205

    Jun 01, 2010 5:11 AM GMT
    Polar is the best brand - http://www.polarusa.com

    Figure out which one suits your needs.

    I'm on my 3rd one in about 10 years.
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    Jun 01, 2010 8:39 AM GMT
    Just brought
    The Forerunner 405CX is the evolution of GPS-enabled training
    about a two month ago and love it.
    Loaded with serious training features, Forerunner 405CX continuously records your time, distance, pace, calories burned and heart rate

    you can share your locations, advanced workouts and courses wirelessly with other Forerunner 405 users. Send your favourite workout to your friends to try, or compete against someone else's recorded course.

    Here is a run of 15 km
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/34202834
    never ones have i lost my GPS signal

    later this month doing the north down run about 30 km.
    someone else's recorded the course last year.
    So next week want to do practise training run against Forerunner's Virtual Partner
    Here is the course
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/15091547
    as you see alot of hills icon_cry.gif

    cost about £220.00

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    Jun 01, 2010 8:48 AM GMT
    I'd HIGHLY recommend the Garmin Forerunner 405CX.

    Depending on how long term you are thinking- I understand it will be your first venutre into HRMs but if you fully intend to make it part of your life the 405CX is an amazing tool.

    Plus, if you start with a cheap one, then get a better one after a while, I think you would be better off just getting a decent one to being with.

    This one has an excellent tracker, much better than Polar form my own personal experience, and teh Virtual Partner feature is excellent for motivation.

    Excellent Satellite Prediction meaning no foot pods needed to measure distance and stride, it is simply a great all round tool.

    www.garmin.com/garmin/cms/site/au/.../Forerunner_405CX


    ($435AUD I can get it for here, and with the exchange rate it is under 400USD)

    I tested it at the Oz Fitness Expo, massive event, and loved it so much I gave away my old Polar and bought this puppy. It's incredible.

    I really should be working for them I talk about them so much icon_smile.gif


    The following is ripped form the site incase you don't want to hit the link above.


    Sydney, 17 April 2009 — Garmin Australiasia Pty. Ltd. a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced the latest in its popular line of GPS-enabled fitness devices, the Forerunner 405CX.
    Showcased at the Garmin stand at the Australian Fitness Expo which starts today, the Forerunner 405CX provides increased accuracy in heart rate-based calorie computation and improved comfort to the Forerunner 405 model that took the fitness world by storm.
    “As today’s sports enthusiasts evolve, so must their technology. Once again Garmin leads the way with our smartest Forerunner yet,” said Matt DeMoss, Sales and Marketing Manager for Garmin Australasia. “Refined data traditionally reserved for elite athletes and specialist trainers is now available to anyone whether they are interested in accurately counting calories or tracking their progress week after week, all through a stylish and comfortable fitness watch.”
    With an RRP of AUD$499, the Forerunner 405CX is the perfect fitness companion for all types of sports and fitness enthusiasts. Using algorithms developed by exercise scientists and world-class athletes, Forerunner 405CX monitors the micro changes in a user’s heart rate and uses that detailed information to better calculate the number of calories burned during aerobic activity. Whether out running, cycling, in a step class at the gym or out hiking, Forerunner 405CX users will get instant gratification as they see the results of their hard work. Those workouts will be more comfortable than ever, with the choice of two additional form-fitting bands to accommodate large and small wrists. At only 60 grams and available in a new deep blue colour, Forerunner 405CX fits in at the gym or around the office.
    In developing the Forerunner 405CX and its heart rate-based calorie computation, Garmin worked with Firstbeat Technologies Ltd., a technology company based in Finland. Firstbeat is an industry leader in heart rate analysis, specialising in developing user-centered software solutions for heart beat signal analysis in exercise and sports, weight management, and stress monitoring applications.
    In addition to monitoring heart rate and counting calories with precision, Forerunner 405CX tracks speed, distance and location accurately and effortlessly, and the revolutionary patent-pending touch bezel on the face of the watch makes navigating the options easier than ever. Simply by tapping, holding or running a finger along the bezel, runners can begin a new workout, access their training history or challenge a Virtual Partner™. The Forerunner 405CX makes training with a Virtual Partner easy and efficient. Runners can adjust the Virtual Partner’s pace without stopping in the middle of a workout, and the Virtual Partner is always on and ready for a challenge!
    The Forerunner 405CX is water-resistant (IPX7) and can be used outdoors or indoors (with an optional, streamlined foot pod that can fit on laces or under certain shoes’ insoles), making it the ultimate year-round, all-weather training tool. The high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix™ quickly acquires and sustains satellite reception, whether you’re tackling an outdoor track or jogging through the urban canyons of skyscrapers. An optional speed/cadence bike sensor helps cyclists monitor their pedaling cadence and wheel speed.
    Once the workout is done, the training is far from over. Using ANT+ technology, the Forerunner 405CX sends workout data to the user’s PC or Mac via automatic wireless data transfer. There’s no need to take off the watch or bother with cables as the computer automatically syncs with the Forerunner 405CX once it’s in close proximity. Runners, joggers, cyclists and hikers can also send courses, goals and workouts to their Forerunner 405CX before they begin, and then the data gets sent back to the user’s computer when the workout is over. Athletes can log their workouts, track their totals, set goals, share workouts with coaches, friends and family and participate in an online fitness community at Garmin ConnectTM — Garmin’s online training site. Users can also share courses and workout data from one Forerunner 405CX to another through wireless data transfer.
    The wireless features of Forerunner 405CX are enabled by ANT+ personal area network technology. ANT+ is a leading wireless interface protocol enabling ultra low power applications like fitness monitors. ANT+ offers all the benefits of digital wireless communications with much lower power consumption than other wireless protocols.
    The Forerunner 405CX is the latest breakthrough from Garmin, which has spent 20 years using technology and innovation to enhance users’ lives, making Garmin a household name in the automotive, aviation, marine, wireless, outdoor and fitness industries.
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    Jun 01, 2010 1:54 PM GMT
    Thank you for this thread! A good HRM was going to be my next fitness toy anyway, so it looks like I'll be ordering the Garmin Forerunner 405CX very soon. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Lozzano

    Posts: 526

    Jun 01, 2010 2:02 PM GMT
    Garmin Forerunner 405CX is so expensive...
    It really worth?
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    Jun 01, 2010 2:31 PM GMT
    Lozzano saidGarmin Forerunner 405CX is so expensive...
    It really worth?
    I don't have it yet, but I'm a huge Garmin fan...been using their products for aviation since 2001, before they were mainstream for the general public. They stand behind their products very well.
    And I'm a "cost is no objective" type of guy. If it's more than I can afford, I'll save for it if I think it's worth it.
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    Jun 01, 2010 2:50 PM GMT
    The Garmin forerunner 405CX is on sale at REI .... good deal. However, you need to choose the best HRM for what you need -- Forerunner 405CX is not ideal for triathletes or duathletes due to some cumbersome features.

    I have had replaced my Garmin forerunner305 3 times due to wear and tear. I just upgraded to Forerunner 310XT -- so far so good.

    Only flaw in all Garmin HRM is the design -- huge watches but great product.

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    Jun 01, 2010 2:58 PM GMT
    n2briefs2 saidThe Garmin forerunner 405CX is on sale at REI .... good deal. However, you need to choose the best HRM for what you need -- Forerunner 405CX is not ideal for triathletes or duathletes due to some cumbersome features.

    I have had replaced my Garmin forerunner305 3 times due to wear and tear. I just upgraded to Forerunner 310XT -- so far so good.

    Only flaw in all Garmin HRM is the design -- huge watches but great product.



    But the 405CX (and OP doesn't seem to be using it for Triathlon etc) might be a little larger, but the absence of need for a foot pod is what drives it for me.

    I hate guessing as it doesn't get results (track history) but the 405CX has all my needs covered, and scope to expand on needs when the need arises.

    The cost is not so bad when you consdier long term gains- it's almost a PT on your wrist!
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    Jun 01, 2010 3:13 PM GMT
    AussieBody said


    But the 405CX (and OP doesn't seem to be using it for Triathlon etc) might be a little larger, but the absence of need for a foot pod is what drives it for me.

    I hate guessing as it doesn't get results (track history) but the 405CX has all my needs covered, and scope to expand on needs when the need arises.

    The cost is not so bad when you consdier long term gains- it's almost a PT on your wrist!

    AussieBody

    you sure you are not working for Garmin or got shares in the company?
    icon_wink.gif

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    Jun 02, 2010 4:23 AM GMT
    i have a forerunner 305 and love it.. or loved it . The HRM died on it. I tried resetting, increasing contacts of battery.. nothing .
    But the gps still works so i still use it.

    Next fall i'll upgrade to a newer model. They are great if you practice various endurance sports: running, cycling, xc skiing . It keeps separate data for each one of them.
  • manpit209

    Posts: 213

    Jun 02, 2010 6:41 AM GMT
    Yea the Garmin is kinda expensive and has many more features than I need. I really just need a HRM that counts calories burned and tells me when I'm in the optimal heart rate. Are there other Garmin products that are more for the basic user? Thanks for all the feedback so far!
  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Jun 02, 2010 6:44 AM GMT
    First thing I looked for was a user replaceable battery , some were sealed & would have had to have been thrown away after they'd ran out of power.
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    Jun 03, 2010 4:08 AM GMT
    manpit209 saidYea the Garmin is kinda expensive and has many more features than I need. I really just need a HRM that counts calories burned and tells me when I'm in the optimal heart rate. Are there other Garmin products that are more for the basic user? Thanks for all the feedback so far!

    you mention optimal hr ...
    are you going with the 220 - your age , and approx 70% of that ?
    that can be very misleading and can mess up your whole training goals and results.