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Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor Review

Posted Dec 30 2012 11:30pm

Let’s talk about breakin’ a sweat.  Bustin’ a move.  Throwin’ down a WOD.

We do it.  We live it.  We’re about it.  So shouldn’t we track it?

Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor Review via #polarusa #FitFluential Life before my Polar FT40 was like a life without chocolate (or coffee… or insert your obsession here).

Ergo, oh-my-gosh-unbearable.  You know it’s getting REAL when I bring up chocolate.  All jokes aside, I really do love this bad boy.  Let’s discuss.

If you’re like me, you’ve been seeing these pictures of watches displaying calories burned, heart rate, etc ALL OVER INSTAGRAM and TWITTER.  What’s the deal-io?  Polar USA is.

With the New Year upon us, it’s time for resolutions, goal-setting, and becoming healthy once and for all.  The key to any fitness goal is to exercise at the right intensity, not too hard OR too easy.  The only accurate measure of your individualized intensity is your heart rate.  This is where a heart rate monitor (HRM) comes into play and SAVES THE DAY.

Whether you are new to fitness or an elite athlete, you can reap the benefits.

What is a heart rate monitor anyway?

Take a look at this amazingly information video from Sarah over at  for the simple answer.  And read on for my personal take.

So, a HEART RATE MONITOR is a monitor that… {wait for it} tracks your heart rate.

With this in mind, Polar takes it a step further with their cutting edge technology. They invented the first heart rate monitor over 30 years ago; so they most definitely know what’s up.  A Polar HRM is the easiest and most effective way to continuously measure your heart rate, tracking your progress and performance.

Thanks to FitFluential and Polar USA , I was given the opportunity to review the FT40 model.  From the moment I opened the box, I couldn’t contain my excitement.  I am a fitness-aholic, but I also would take those numbers on the machines as “accurate.”  You know, the accuracy of the treadmill readings of 14,563 burned calories?

Silly, silly me.

From the moment I broke open the box (I was impatient; RIP box), it was so simple to set up and configure my heart rate monitor.  After a few simple settings, it was ready to rumble.  The instructions were very clear and simplistic.  On my first evening with the watch, I took my puppy for a walk.  A 20 minute walk around the block–let’s see where this really gets me.

As you can see, the HRM tracks individualized performance based on heart rate variability.  This is perhaps one of the most unique features of the product.  You can run on a treadmill (putting in your height, weight, etc.) but the accuracy will inevitably fail you.  With a Polar HRM, you get an accurate estimation every single time.

The Energy Pointer keeps it simple; the wrist unit displays two heart rate zones allowing you to easily monitor your intensity.  The Smart Calorie feature displays the calories you burn during a particular workout, and Polar states it “has been validated to be the most accurate estimation of calories burned commercially available.”

You are able to track your average heart rate, maximum heart rate, and your heart rate throughout your workout.  By doing so, you can figure out the intensity of your workout.  It’s quite the motivation.   Read more about training at the right intensity here .

These are the two aspects to this monitor–the wrist unit (watch) and a heart rate sensor that you strap under your chest.

Sorry, no pictures of the chest strap.  I took a few… but couldn’t bring myself to post them.  I didn’t think you needed a belly pic to get the picture anyhow.  At least I hope not.

You strap a WHAT… where?

Yes, I was skeptical of the strap as well.  But, not anymore.  This model comes with a strap that is both soft and comfortable; I don’t even notice it during any form of exercise–cardio, weight-training, etc.  It’s easy to use and discrete, even under a tightly fitted top.

Plus, a heart rate monitor is NOT EFFECTIVE without this strap… no matter what they say. 

On Christmas Eve, my father and I went for a 4-mile run, followed by a special WOD of EPIC proportions.  Dad was exhausted and sore for days; this means I made up a GREAT workout, huh? ;)

THIS is what #FitFluential looks like! via #polarusa

AND, as many of you know, I am now CrossFit-ing .  This posed the perfect challenge for my HRM.  Tracking cardio was one thing, but if it could give me insight into my weight-training workouts, I would be S-O-L-D.

I put it to the test and it passed with flying colors. I have to admit I was a bit surprised at how many less calories I burned during weight-training.  But, I did find it interesting that much of my weight-training consisted of FAT BURN vs. the typical CALORIE BURN of cardio.

Not to mention, I have used my Polar HRM to track my “after-burn,” which yes… actually exists.  This HRM shows me that even after my CrossFit WODs, I am burn, burn, burning at a rapid and increased rate.  How cool is that?  I can dig it.

And what fun would a new toy be if I didn’t put it to the test every now and then with some Just Dance?

Every THREE songs of Just Dance burns over 100 calories! #polarusa #FitFluential

Every THREE songs of Just Dance burns over 100 calories! #polarusa #FitFluential

In conclusion, this HRM rocks my socks. If nothing else, it’s one heck of the motivation to be able to see your stats and record your stats.  Plus, I am the kind of girl who likes to see how many calories I burn.  It makes me feel accomplished.  No shame; I’ll admit it.

I highly recommend this heart rate monitor for anyone who wants to easily track their progress.  This is a worthwhile investment so you know if you’re burning fat, working out at the right intensity, and improving your fitness.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2013!  

Disclosure: I received this product for review purposes from FitFluential LLC and Polar USA. All opinions are my own.

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