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choosing an HRM

Old 09-26-05, 11:30 AM
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hmai18
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choosing an HRM

I'm looking at doing a 16-week indoor training program this winter and it's recommended that I get my zones tested to help me train properly. I figure getting zones tested is kind of worthless if I don't have anything to monitor it with, so I'm now considering getting an HRM for use this winter and next season.

I already have a dedicated cycle computer (Sigma BC1600), so all I need is something to monitor my heartrate. Can anybody recommend a specific unit to me? I've browsed some of the older posts and I get the feeling that the Polar A5 would be a pretty good basic unit for me?
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Old 09-26-05, 02:42 PM
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kuan
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Are you going to be in a gym? If so, you should get a Polar or Polar compatible transmitter. A lot of devices at the gym are Polar compatible. I have a Timex but I use my wife's Acumen strap at the gym.

If that's not a concern then I'd just go with something on sale at Performance and look for the $0.99 shipping and 20% off coupons.
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Old 09-26-05, 02:54 PM
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Check the polar f series if you are just looking for HR functions. I got the wife a Polar F6 last week which also has a coded transmitter and web upload features (so you can log in your training excerses) all for about $100.
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Old 09-26-05, 05:34 PM
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sorry if this sounds dumb, I do not go to gyms- but you can wear the chest strap and the treadmill will be able to pick up the signal? wow, that is a good idea. Makes me want to go to the gym.
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Old 09-26-05, 08:13 PM
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kuan
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Originally Posted by cod3man
sorry if this sounds dumb, I do not go to gyms- but you can wear the chest strap and the treadmill will be able to pick up the signal? wow, that is a good idea. Makes me want to go to the gym.
Yeah but it will also broadcast your HR to the machines on either side of you so even if you're cyclin' trim and you're huffin' it running 12 min miles at 156 you had better have a good excuse like you have a 102 temperature or something.
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Old 10-25-05, 08:12 PM
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Whoah. Hold your horses. I have used all brands and can give you some good advice. All you need is a Polar A-1. It will give you reliable heart rates, and is the only unit that will pick weak or irregular beats. Most gym machines use Polar receivers, so you just wear your transmitter belt. The best $50 I ever spent was for the little Polar. I upgraded to a cs200cad just to have a dedicated unit on the bike. I keep my A-1 by the bed for morning resting rates, and taking to the gym. You will learn your personal zone numbers very quickly. During training just having a big easy to read digital number is all I think you need. If you like gadgets and data then go for it. Spend some time at the Polar site, you can learn a lot. My monitor literally keeps me alive.
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Old 10-25-05, 08:22 PM
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Anything by Polar. Some gyms have them available to check out at the front desk. You might try one before you buy . . . borrow a friend's or something. I love using a hrm, but I know many people (and people to whom I have given them as gifts) who avoid them and hate the idea of them. Most who use them, love them though. My hrm has changed my entire workout and fitness awareness (and helped me lose 30 pounds in the process).

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Old 10-27-05, 09:58 AM
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I'm as satisfied with my Polar S-725 as I am with anything I have ever purchased. I had a Timex HRM a few years ago, and while I still like Timex watches, the HRM was junk. Polar is really the only choice (IMO).

PLUS . . . if you're an uber-nerd like me, the software included with most Polar HRMs is fun and really quite useful. My old training diary is obsolete. It's a wonderful training tool and motivator.
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Old 10-27-05, 12:20 PM
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I bought a SigmaSport on special from Nashbar. I don't know if I would recommend this particular unit as I had to return 2 of them before I finally got one that worked. But having gotten past that, I have learned some interesting things just from monitoring it while on a ride - your HR is not always as high or low as you might have thought.

Outside of the gym compatibility issue, I'd try whatever was reasonable but inexpensive and see how it goes. If you want to go nuts, you can always upgrade.
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Old 11-04-05, 05:38 PM
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If you want an HRM for monitoring % Max HR, time in each zone, avg heartrate, audible alarm when your HR drops too low or goes to high during workout the Sports Instruments are a better value than Polar. If you want to download to your software journal, Polar is the way to go.

The Sports Instruments can be found on ebay for about $50 and the polar start around $100.

The main thing I use the HRM for is to maintain performance during long runs (it reminds when I am slacking off when there are no mile markers to set my time by). I used it more in the beginning than now. In the beginning I thought my heart was going to explode when running high intensity intervals and wanted to verify everything was ok. Now that I am not as worried about my head imploding or my heart exploding, I can tell more or less what my heart rate is without the HRM from experience with the HRM.
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