I just purchased a Polar M61, and think the rig is kinda cool....
I have a couple of questions about the Fit Test and Own Zone features.
The instructions direct the Fit Test to be done lying down in a relaxed environment for 5 min. or so. I did this and got a score, based on heart rate variability at rest.
Interestingly, the LifeCycle I ride at work also has a Fit Test feature that is based on a warm up session on the bike. Again I got a score, but based on only one HR reading and after the machine measured how much work I had done. .
These very different methods yielded almost the exact same result. So what do you pros think of the test?
Also, two minor problems....when using the LifeCycle at work, my watch won't pick up the signal from my chest strap (interference?). And I went in the pool at the gym and again no signal. Is this common? It's supposed to work in the water.
Finally, any feedback on the accuracy of Polar's Own Zone test? It gives me an OZ.V range of 130-150....seems about right to me. Slightly lower than the 220-age method which makes sense because I have a resting HR of about 60.
2003 Koga Miyata TwinTraveller, 2004 Koga Miyata RoadWinner, 2005 Koga Miyata X-RunnerAlloy
I've recently purchased a Polar HRM myself (S210). I've taken the fitness test a number of times, and I noticed a variation in the results of approximately 10%. I must admit that when I had the lower "score", I was suffering from a minor cold.
It has however beeen consistent in predicting my HRmax (maximum heartrate), which I always has to be within 3 bpm. However, as I've "clocked" it to be about 10 bpm's higher than the predicted maximum I'm also having my doubts about the reliability.
Your problem of not being ablt to use it on the lifecycle may indeed be related to interference. Try to keep you receiver to your side instead of to your front. If needed, you can always remove it from your wrist and place it somewhere nearby.
You should be able to use it in the pool but beware that the water in the pool contains plenty of chemicals, which may make it react different.
The OwnZone is a feature that allows you do do your training/exercising within a preset heartrate range. This range is determined based on a percentage of your HRmax, and your primary goal for exercising. For example, 50-60% of the HRmax may be useful for starters after a long period of inactivity, wheras 70%-85% may form the basis for more advanced training.
You may also want to check out their website www.polar.fi. It offers a "Personal Trainer" that you can use to determine your personalized exercise program. (Don't expect too much of it, but it's free.) Also www.howtobefit.com offers good info.