Archive for the 'Heart Rate Monitor' Category

Is Mike Still Losing It?

Mike on Sep 17th 2011

As my last post a couple of months ago said, I had a break from the diet over the summer and did gain some weight, but the training never stopped. Several weeks ago I got very strict on the diet again, eating between 1500-2000 calories per day but found the weight just wasn’t coming off. Because of past experience I wasn’t willing to cut my calories any further than that, so I’ve significantly upped my cardio to about an hour per training session. I weight train four days per week for about 45 minutes and then do the hour of cardio on the elliptical machine, making my total workout about two hours long. It would be a bit of an ordeal if not for my Kindle and new BlackBerry PlayBook. Those allow me to get an hour’s worth of reading done during the cardio.

According to my heart rate monitor I’m burning about 3000-4000 calories per week during my workouts, and since increasing the cardio I’ve been seeing a drop of about two pounds per week. That’s a little less than I’d like but I can live with it. If that rate continues I should see the end of the weight loss portion of my program right around two years after I began, in February.

Filed in Exercise,Heart Rate Monitor,Weight loss | 2 responses so far

918 calories burned…or so says my Polar FT80

Mike on Jun 7th 2010

I bought a Polar FT80 Heart Rate Monitor the other day and used it for the first time today. I didn’t pay the outrageous price Polar sells it for ($350), but instead got it from for the much better (but still hefty) price of $260…but that’s without anything like GPS, a foot pod, etc. If you want that then you have to pay a lot extra.  I didn’t get any of those extras because I have absolutely no need for any of them, since I’m pretty confident that I’ll NEVER take up running, triathlons, or anything similar. I’ll be using it in the gym almost exclusively, so the built-in features will be sufficient.

I researched a lot of monitors, but finally settled on the FT80 because of its versatility, and primarily because of its strength training feature. It is the only monitor I found that includes that feature, which makes it perfect for those like me who divide their workouts between weight training and cardio. You can set the training mode to Strength Training and it will give you a graph that rises as your heart rate increases during a weight lifting set. After the set, the graph will begin to fall as your heart rate decreases. When it reaches a specific point predetermined by your max heart rate and zones, it will beep and tell you to start your next set. For me today it worked excellently. During a set my heart rate would get up to around 155-165 and then when it came down to about 125 the watch would tell me to start the next set.

The FT80 also has something called a STAR Training Program, which can be automatically generated for you by doing a “fitness test” (which unexpectedly is performed by lying down and doing nothing for five to ten minutes) and specifying what your training goal is: Improve Fitness or Maximize Fitness. I chose “Maximize” because I met that category’s prerequisites: to have been training for at least 10-12 weeks and have no problem training almost every day. The STAR training program generates four weekly goals for you. You have a specific amount of time you are to exercise in three heart rate zones, and how many calories you are to burn. For me the program set two hours in zone 1, three hours in zone 2, and forty-five minutes in zone 3. The calorie goal was set to 4700. It will automatically monitor the time you spend in each zone as you exercise and approximate the calories you burn. For example, I worked legs today and it said I did 11, 25, and 24 minutes in zones 1, 2, and 3 respectively, and I burned 918 calories. Pretty cool. Further, the program is updated automatically each week and sets new goals for you based on your progress, but of course I haven’t seen this first hand yet, since I just started using it.

The FT80 has a bunch of other features, including the ability to sync the data online, download specific strength training exercises to the watch, and other features that I’ll get to know over time. All isn’t perfect though…it does have one glaring problem. The contrast of the face is poor at best. It is still usable, but I find it strange that they continue to sell it that way. It should be MUCH brighter. And if you check out various reviews online they all agree, the contrast/brightness of the face is the one major weakness of an otherwise excellent product.

All in all, though, and am very satisfied with it so far, and I’m looking forward to getting a lot of use out of it.

Filed in Exercise,Heart Rate Monitor | One response so far