Did You Know A Polar Heart Monitor Can Evaluate Your Current Fitness Level?
Polar heart rate monitors technology is so advanced that certain models can evaluate your current fitness level.
Knowing where you stand will enable you to achieve your fitness goals with the least amount of time and effort.
I'm sure you've heard the phrase "Train smarter, not harder". The use of Polar heart rate monitors will definitely help you train smarter.
Three of Polar's technological features that will take your fitness training and awareness to another level are the:
1.) Polar Star Training Program 2.) Polar Fitness Test 3.) Polar OwnZone® feature
Polar Star Training Program Video
Polar Fitness Test - How Fit Are You?
Certain Polar HRM models come with the Polar OwnIndex feature also known as the Polar Fitness Test.
The Polar Fitness Test will make you aware of your current fitness level compared to others based on your age and gender.
The Polar Fitness Test is done at REST therefore eliminating the need for a full cardiac load. The results of the test are displayed on your Polar monitor as a value.
You then find your value/index on the OwnIndex® chart. Where your index falls in the chart allows you to compare your current fitness level to other people of the same age and gender.
There are 7 categories of fitness levels.
Very Low, Low, Fair, Moderate, Good, Very Good, Elite
For example: If a 39 year old woman performed the Polar Fitness test and got a value/index of 26, then her fitness level would be considered Low. See the chart below. (Men and Women have separate charts)
After a few weeks of training, you can perform the Fitness Test again to re-evaluate your fitness level. This new reading will determine if your mode of training is working or not.
Now, that's what I call working smarter.
Polar OwnIndex (Fitness Test) Video
Polar OwnZone® Keeps You From Under Training or Over Training!
The Polar OwnZone® feature found in certain models will evaluate your heart rate variability. It will then calculate your target training zones as a percentage of your heart rate max.
These zones will be calculated based not only your training goals, but the Polar Own Zone® can also detect daily variations in your performance and mood.
Therefore, if you are in good shape and relaxed the OwnZone® feature will adjust your training zones higher automatically. If the Polar heart rate monitor detects you in a stressed state (or oncoming illness) the training zones will be adjusted down accordingly.
The Polar OwnZone® feature can do this because it monitors more than just your heart rate. It also measures your heart rate variability.
To put it simply, heart rate variability is your hearts beat to beat measurement. It's rhythm. Similar to the timing of a car. Poor timing in a car can lead to a rough ride.
Polar OwnZone® Video
Polar Was The First To Develop a Wireless Heart Rate Monitor
Polar heart rate monitors are manufactured by Polar Electro. Polar was founded in 1977 and is based in Finland. The world's first wireless heart rate monitor was introduced by Polar over 30 years ago.
Polar heart rate monitors are designed with a deep understanding of the needs and wants of today's athletes.
Polar is the market leader in designing heart rate monitors to improve an athlete’s performance along with helping others achieve their cardiovascular goals as well as weight management.
An important feature is that all Polar products have been developed based on scientific work along with the recommendations from the world's leading sports medicine authorities.
There are 20 different models of Polar heart rate monitors to choose from. They are designed for general fitness, cross training, running and cycling. Therefore you want to purchase a heart rate monitor based upon your goals or specific sport.
There is a brief description of the various models below. If you would like more details, click on the links for complete specifications.
At the bottom of the page I will touch on the Polar models that I recommend and why. The recommendations are for the general fitness enthusiast.
The athlete preparing for competition will have many more variables to consider and should explore each monitor in great detail to get the monitor that is right for their sport.
Why Train With Polar Heart Rate Monitors Video
Polar Heart Rate Monitor Models
Polar heart rate monitors can be divided into three categories:
Get Active, Improve Fitness, and Maximize Performance
GET ACTIVE MODELS
The GET ACTIVE category of Polar heart rate monitors are designed for those going for a lunchtime run or a weekend bike ride.
The GET ACTIVE monitors are considered BASIC heart rate monitors.
For beginner runners and multi sport athletes who want basic heart rate and timing features. Watch Video
Polar CS100 cycling heart rate monitor
For recreational cyclists who want to improve their cycling performance.
IMPROVE FITNESS MODELS
These Polar models are designed to take your fitness to a new level. If your serious about getting fit, losing weight, improving your cardiovascular fitness, or improving your strength training, these are my top recommendations.
This model includes the Polar Fitness Test which measures your aerobic fitness at rest and monitors your progress. It also includes the Energy Pointer that tells you if the main effect of your training is fat burning or fitness improvement. Watch Video
Designed for the fitness enthusiast who wants to improve strength with weight training as well as improve their cardiovascular fitness. Connects to your online training diary at polarpersonaltrainer.com. Watch Video
Polar FA20 activity measurement
This is not a heart rate monitor. The FA20 is designed to monitor calories burned, distance covered, active steps and the duration of your activity. It is for people who want to improve their health and fitness by measuring the impact of their daily activities. Watch Video
Designed for the recreational runner to monitor speed, distance, and heart rate. This model includes the Polar Fitness Test which measures your aerobic fitness at rest and tells you your progress.
Polar CS300 cycling and cross training hrm
For the fitness cyclists who want to wear their training computer on the wrist or on the bike mount. This model contains the Polar Fitness Test and will connect to your online training diary at polarpersonaltrainer.com
Polar CS200cad cycling hrm
For goal oriented cyclists. Measures heart rate combined with current, average and maximum speed. Determines your daily personal heart rate target zones for optimal training and shows your real-time and average pedaling rate. Connects to your online training diary at polarpersonaltrainer.com
MAXIMIZE PERFORMANCE MODELS
These Polar heart rate monitors are designed for the elite athlete wanting to reach the top of their game. If your serious about endurance, efficiency, and beating the competition in your specific sport, then these are the monitors for you.
Advanced running features for the endurance athletes. Includes the Polar Fitness Test and helps the athlete train at the right intensity to avoid over training or inadequate training. Comes with Polar Pro trainer 5 software for analyzing, planning, and keeping a training diary.
Maximum performance for endurance sports. Helps avoid over or under training by helping you to train at the right intensity. Includes the Polar Fitness Test and the Polar Pro Trainer 5 software for analyzing, planning and keeping a training diary.
Advanced training capabilities for the cyclist. Measures your current, average, and maximum speed combined with your heart rate. Comes with Polar Pro Trainer 5 software for planning, analyzing, and keeping a training diary.
Altimeter and barometer features are included for the cyclists seeking to improve cycling performance. Displays altitude measurement and is built with W.I.N.D. technology to guarantee interference free transmissions. Determines your daily personal heart rate target zones for optimal training. Watch Video
Polar CS600X cycling hrm
Designed for those cyclists who compete and want to take their training to the next level. Determines your training and recovery times and improves your cycling techniques using your specific cycling data. The Polar Pro Trainer 5 software is included for planning, analyzing, and keeping a training diary.
Limited-Edition for road cycling. Speed and cadence sensors are included for the serious cyclist. This Limited Edition training computer comes with a laser engraved ID number. Helps you to train at the right intensity, measures your heart rate combined with speed, and improves your cycling technique with cadence measurement.
For the average person looking to increase cardiovascular fitness, improve health, and to maintain/lose weight, I recommend all the:
IMPROVE FITNESS models
This would exclude the FA20 since it is not a heart rate monitor.
Between the two cycling monitors, I recommend the CS300. You will need to purchase a cadence sensor separately if purchasing the CS300.
(Elite athletes should choose from the MAXIMIZE PERFORMANCE models.)
The reason I recommend the IMPROVE FITNESS models for the general fitness enthusiast is because of the FEATURES.
Don't get me wrong. If your under a tight budget, you can start with the BASIC GET ACTIVE MODELS. Something is better than nothing.
However, I feel you can get better overall results when you can evaluate your current fitness level using the Polar Fitness Test and Polar Own Zone® features that are not available in all models.
See the table below for Polar Heart Rate Monitor comparisons of the IMPROVE FITNESS models that I recommend.
FT40 FT60 FT80 RS300x CS300
Polar Own Cal® Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Polar Own Zone® No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Polar Fitness Test Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Polar Own Code® Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Training Programs No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Polarpersonaltrainer.com Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
HR Max Fitness Test Based No No No Yes Yes
HR Max User Set Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Strength Training Guidance No No Yes No No