This is the Polar FT 7 Review...

...everything you need to know before you purchase a Polar FT 7 heart rate monitor. Feel free to contact me with any comments, questions or suggestions!


More Than Just a Heart Rate Monitor: a Polar FT7 Review

Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor, Photo Credit:

Heart rate monitors are really picking up steam as far as a great technique to help us all in our exercise regimen. It’s important to know your stats, calories burned, fat burned, etc. The more you can customize to your own particular type of exercise regimen the better it is and the more likely you are to continue, right?

Well, we’ve been hearing a lot about the Polar FT7 lately so we decided to do a little Polar FT7 review, check out the Polar FT4 by comparison, and see where the FT7 really stacks up in the world of heart rate monitors. From what we are hearing, folks want to know and we’re here to help you find the answers. So, if you are ready let’s get you going on your way to fun and fitness monitored the right way.

Here are some of the important key points that folks want to know about. We will cover every one of these below during our investigation.

  • -We’ll do a basic overview
  • -Special & Smart features
  • -Color choices
  • -How does it compare to the Polar FT4?

Hopefully we haven’t missed any and we’ll be able to outline everything for you well enough that you can answer the questions you are having as well.

What is the Polar FT7: An Overview

A good basic description of the Polar FT7 is that it’s actually a pretty cool and innovative heart rate fitness watch. In fact, it goes way beyond just being a heart rate monitor. This is actually a training computer. (We will explain when we get to Special Features and Smart Features). It’s called a watch but really doesn’t look so much like one. It is sports savvy and designed to give you that active edge. The FT7 is water resistant and can even be worn during swimming though it’s not made for diving.

The color choices are pretty awesome so you can choose one or more to fit your mood and lifestyle. They come in:

  • -Red / silver
  • -Black / red
  • -Black / gold
  • -Black / silver

You can’t go wrong with the colors, but wait until you see the features. You’ll know this is the place to go for fitness help and training. Yep, in a watch. Amazing!

What are the Special Features of the Polar FT7?

Once we started looking at these features, it was hard to figure out what to tell you about the most so we don’t overwhelm you too much. So, what we’ve tried to do is pull out some key points for explanation and list the other main features. Our goal is to make sure we give you a good Polar FT7 review, but not do it with overkill. So here we go.

  • -Body measurement – measure average and max heart rate. You can set target zones for your own personal training based on:
    • -Beats per minute
    • -Percentage of max heart rate
    • -Percentage of heart rate reserve
    • -Polar EnergyPointer – This is a fascinating Smart Feature because it will tell you whether you are using more of your training time on calorie burning or fat burning. You can use this as a tool to help you increase, decrease, and adjust your aerobic and fat burning activity. Not available on the FT4.
    • -Polar OwnCal – counts your kcals (calories) across each session and cumulatively across many session as well
    • -Polar OwnCode – A special Smart code transmission just from Polar. This locks in a specialized code so only your heart rate can be transmitted to your training computer.
    • -Data transfer is available via Mac, PCs, or with   FT7 only.
    • has its own set of features including. This is truly your own personalized, computerized trainer at your disposal. FT7 only
      • -Training analysis
      • -Training diary –track by the session, the day, the week, or the month
      • -Training load – a Polar software that helps you to figure out if you are doing enough or too much, the training load can help you in adjusting your degree of intensity and either shorten or lengthen your sessions as applicable.
      • -Training programs – Of course the trainer could not be complete without optional training programs for everything from running to outdoor sports to general fitness tips and tricks.
      • -Record keeping – Allow up to 99 training files to be stored along with a weekly history. FT4 holds only 10.
      • -Special Training features
      • -A hands-free button-free operation feature
      • -When you have the HeartTouch on without pushing any buttons you can bring your training computer up close to the transmitter and information will transmi
      • -Graphical target indicator – you can see graphically where your training falls into your zones

Polar FT7 Monitors, Photo Credit:

Now those are some pretty down and dirty stats on a product that is just chockfull of great technology to help you succeed. The out of the box package comes with the:

  • -Polar FT7 training computer
  • -Polar FT7 get started guide book
  • -Polar H1 heart rate sensor

What are People Saying about the FT7?

While investigating the options available and the potential for really helping with training and workouts, the Polar FT7 comes in right in there at the top level for quality, features, training support, and durability. Here are a couple of user’s responses on what they really think about the Polar FT7 after using it awhile.

  • -No complaints about this heart rate monitor… It works as promised without any difficulties. I’ve had other monitors in the past that have been much tougher to get a reading on my heart rate. An added bonus — many of the cardio machines at the gym pick up the heart rate signal automatically, so you don’t even need to look down at the watch that much!                                                                         -EPTheBigGuy from LA
  • -I am really pleased with this HR monitor watch. Being a woman, I wanted something sturdy yet not so big it dominated my arm. This fits the bill – very adjustable size wize (both the watch and the chest strap). I am average height, but carry most of my weight in my stomach. The chest strap fits very comfortably to me, and the new feature of being able to simply wet the cloth contacts is great (I was used to the old school hard plastic contacts). According to the product information, you can actually wash the chest strap in the washer – haven’t tried it yet.      –JR

Wow, that sounds like one heck of an exercise buddy doesn’t it? According to reviews around the world, if you are really interested in a monitor that can keep up with you, encourage you, and tell you what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong and how to fix it, then the Polar FT7 is the heart rate monitor for you.

The Bottom Line

The only decision left to be made is are you worth it and are you willing to put yourself out there to say so? If you are, we’d be happy to help you get started experiencing the only and only Polar FT7.

Click here to order your Polar FT7 now!


A Polar FT4 Review


Heart rate monitor training has become far more prevalent than it used to be, and it is not unlikely that you will see several people in your local gym with a heart rate monitor on them at all times. The Polar FT4 is a particularly advanced heart rate monitor that is attractive enough to be worn as a basic watch when you are not monitoring your heart rate, but full-featured enough to give you the kind of data that you need to be more effective while working out.


At first glance, you may not even realize that the Polar FT4 is a heart rate monitor at all since it just looks like a very modern digital watch. But, once you begin looking closer, you will see that there are numerous features that are essential for heart rate training.


What Is the Polar FT4?


The Polar FT4 heart rate monitor has a number of features that set it apart from other brands of heart rate monitors, most notably the large screen. If you have struggled to view your heart rate on other types of heart rate monitors, then you will obviously appreciate this. But, this is also a full-featured heart rate monitor with a comfortable and durable strap that should provide you with the most accurate data possible.



What Features Does the Polar FT4 Have?


The Polar FT4 is able to provide continuous and accurate heart rate data that can be stored on the device. As a result, you will be able to go back and look at your previous workouts and see just how much you have advanced in terms of your fitness and capabilities.


This also has a Smart Calorie feature that uses the personal data that you input to calculate accurate calories burned for any activity. The heart rate chest strap is made from a washable and comfortable material that is comfortable for both men and women. In order to wash this strap, simply remove the heart rate sensor and throw the strap in the washing machine.


The Polar FT4 as a replaceable battery and is water resistant at up to 30 meters, which means that it is a heart rate monitor that that can be used while swimming or even worn in the shower. This makes it much easier for active people and will ensure that the device lasts a long time.


What Do the Reviews Say About This Heart Rate Monitor?


It is remarkable to see how many people have bought the Polar FT4 and immediately were able to realize increases in their fitness as a result of using this kind of heart rate monitoring. This kind of device can make a big difference, especially since this is so easy to use. Almost every Polar FT4 review also mentions that this is a very comfortable heart rate monitor to wear.


“This is exactly what I was looking for. It is affordable but it has a lot of features that makes working out more effective.”

–          Duane,


“This is a great device that does exactly what it says it will. Setting it up is a breeze and it is actually cute.”

–          Elizabeth,


While some people will purchase a heart rate monitor in order to get started with exercising, others use it as a way to step of what they are doing. Both those who are trying to lose weight and those who are trying to become stronger and more athletic are finding that the Polar FT4 meet their needs.


“After losing a lot of weight recently, I needed something like this to help me pushed through to my next goal. I would definitely recommend the FT4.”

–          Jay,


Where Can You Get the Best Price Right Now?


If you were to look for the Polar FT4 at your local sporting goods store, then it is likely that you would probably pay full price which is approximately $100. When you buy this online, you can save up to 50% off the normal price, and be able to choose from five different colors as well. The Polar FT4 comes in green, silver and black, blue, purple and pink, and bronze.


Is the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Right for You?


If you ask anyone who knows anything about heart rate monitors, they will tell you that the Polar FT4 is the standard by which all others are measured. This is certainly one of the most popular heart rate monitors on the market today and because it is made by Polar, it will likely work with just about any type of gym equipment that you are working out on. Whether you are trying to lose weight or get in shape, the Polar FT4 heart rate monitor should provide you with the features that you need to succeed.

Click here to purchase your Polar FT4 today.


Three Immediate Benefits of Using a Heart Rate Monitor (+ Additional Bonus)

Gals Running

Have you ever made a purchase on and immediately thought, “You know, I didn’t really need this”?

I felt that way after purchasing the Polar FT7 heart rate monitor. Buyer’s remorse can be a big de-motivator.

BUT!, upon setting up the heart rate monitor (took less than 5 minutes) and getting prepped for a quick HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session, I strapped on the heart rate monitor and was off.

The benefits of purchasing the heart rate monitor were immediate. Here are just three.

Immediate Feedback

Doing HIITs are a quick way to increase VO2 Max and strength, since you are basically sprinting for seven to twelve minutes while doing strength training exercises. I have been doing these for a few months and had not seen the results I wanted (granted, I have not been consistent and had not adjusted my diet, so there are other variables!:-)).

However, I was immeditely able to get feedback using my heart rate monitor. During the HIIT session, I’d look to see where my heart rate was at any given moment. If it was lower than the “fat-burning” zone, I would go a little harder.

Needless to say, I felt like I was finally pushing myself. I train at home and by myself, so I don’t have someone else pushing me. Having the heart rate monitor giving me instant feedback during my workout was so helpful and motivating.

Immediate Tracking

When you are finished with a session, you stop the heart rate monitor from recording and you can immediately see a summary of your workout. In your exercise data, you receive the following information:

– Duration (of the session)
– Calories burned
– Average heart rate
– Maximum heart rate
– Fat burn (i.e., how much time you spent in the Fat Burning Zone)
– Fitness (i.e., time you spent improving your fitness NOT including the fat burning zone)

I love data. Seriously, I LOVE data. And spreadsheets.

Immediately after the first session, I set up a spreadsheet for tracking. This allows me to compare how I am progressing over time. I also have included the type of workout I’m doing (HIIT, jog, etc.) so that I know I am not comparing apples to oranges, so to speak.

This kind of tracking is something I’ve never done before, and it excites me to no end. I know I can feel like I’m working hard, but tracking my heart rate will let me know if I actually am working hard, and for how long, and over the long haul.

The Polar FT7 (and other heart rate monitors) stores your data as well, so you can sit down at the end of the week and batch all your tracking (see “Immediate Community” for more info on tracking).

Immediate Commitment

Buying this heart rate monitor was a great decision because I am a competitive person by nature, particularly against myself. I try to run a little faster, lift a little heavier, and push my self farther each time I am exercising.

Because of this, as well as the built in tracking function mentioned above, I have consciously made a commitment to not only use this heart rate monitor consistently, but to work out consistently. Tracking the data needs to be a regular activity, and since it’s something that I really like, I’m more than happy to make the commitment to working out.

A lot of folks my say, “I’m not sure I want to commit to working out and the time it takes.” However, one of the best motivators I know is to put your money into it. Invest financially in the tools you will use to get fit and you will see your commitment level quickly rise to meet the challenge of getting in shape.

Immediate Community

As a bonus, I’d tip my hat to the community of Polar heart rate monitor users. Being an introvert, this does not necessarily appeal to me too much, but I know that for some, connecting with other runners, cyclists, etc. is really important.

Polar has put together and entire site dedicated to helping you track you progress and connecting you with others who have similar goals. Polar Personal Trainer is a website that allows you to track your data, participate in workout plans and goals, and also offers a social platform.

I will say that there is a bit of a learning curve on this site, but it seems to be pretty helpful for many folks.

One thing I would recommend is picking up a Polar Flowlink. This will allow you to automatically sync your training data with the Polar Personal Trainer website, instead of having to manually enter all of your training data, session by session. I have tried to enter in the information manually, and it’s not that intuitive.

So, these are the immediate benefits.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Train well!



Photo Credit: “Mike” Michael L. Baird,


Why Using a Heart Rate Monitor Helps You Train Efficiently


Sunset Runner

The heart rate monitors (HRMs) of today have been constructed in a way that is much more affordable for the weekend warriors and non-competitive athletes.  They are less complicated for athletes of all levels and allow you to to get the exact same opinions you might get from the high-priced trainer in the gym down the street. It is like getting an individual mentor strapped in your wrist.


Measure the Right Part of Your Workout

Unless you have an HRM, you probably measure your work out session by the amount of time you’ve spent, or length of distance you’ve run. However, having and using an HRM watch makes it possible to  get a much better indication of effort and the hard work you’ve put into your training session. The HRM will let you know how tough you are completing your exercises, how  good of shape you might be in, and exactly how you’re recovering. Understanding these items is essential to make you work out sessions a lot more helpful (see my article on not wasting your time and money working out).

What is a Heart Rate Monitor?

A heart rate monitor is composed of a device worn over the wrist that looks like a watch, and almost always come with a chest transmitter strap. The wrist strap can be worn as a common sports activities watch  when disconnected from the transmitter strap. You can use it to present you with time of the day, alarms, stopwatch capabilities, etc. The purpose of the chest transmitter is to sense your heartbeat and consistently transmits that facts to your receiver.

There are many units that do not utilize a upper body strap. These HRMs generally measure the pulse once the trainee presses the indicated areas on the watch with their two fingers. While pulse is really a good measurement,  it isn’t going to provide you a similar degree of continuous information and assessment the full chest strap will.

Calculating your Target Heart Rate

When using a heart rate monitor, it is essential to know what your maximum heart rate (MHR) is. The regular equation used is to subtract your age from 220. You could then determine at what percentage of your MHR you need to be training at.

When doing cardiovascular exercises, certain studies claim working out at 60-70% of your MHR will likely be best for extra fat loss.

To develop endurance,  doing exercises during the 70-80% of your MHR will enhance your anaerobic threshold, and allow you to carry on longer during workouts.

More than Just a Heart Rate Monitor

With the development of personal heart rate monitors, there have been some great features added on to make them more user friendly. Some tend to be more practical than some others. Of course, a continuing measurement of heart rate is vital to your efficient workout. If you get a HRM through Polar (see links on this website), you’ll be able to set alarms and time zones and determine where you are compared for your MHR. Most modern heart rate monitors will do all the calculations for you, telling you when to lighten up or turn up the intensity, based on your own exercise session for that  day.

Regardless of what heart rate monitor you buy, use it consistently. It can supply you  with a substantial amount of effective information about your training. It will be there to tell you when to slow down and step it up, maximizing your workouts, and minimizing wasted time. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer a comfortable beeping wristband to an actual personal trainer yelling at me to get the lead out!
Have fun training!



Polar FT4 vs Polar FT7: A Comparison

There is no shortage of heart rate monitors on the market. New models are coming out over year, some have chest straps while others are wrist watch style, and still others slip over a finger to measure your heart rate. This website and blog could go on for a while reviewing each of these. However, I wanted to tackle a basic comparison, staying within the Polar family, and within the same product series (the FT series). Below you’ll find a comparison between the Polar FT4 and the Polar FT7 based on the features and compiled information from several sites.

Smart Coaching Features

It goes without saying that the FT7 is going to have a few more features to it that the FT 4, especially in regards to intuitive calculations. These calculations take your personal body and fitness metrics into consideration. These smart coaching features include:

  • Energy Pointer: Are you trying to burn away the fat or trying to improve your overall fitness? The energy pointer will tell you which of these two zones you’re in and what your result will be when exercising in these zones.
  • Smart Calories: Using the OwnCal application, this feature is one of the most accurate calorie counters on the market. This calorie counter takes your gender, age, body weight, maximum heart rate and height into account as it measures how hard you’re training.
  • Training Load: This smart coaching feature will be your favorite as it tells you when you need to be training and when you need to be resting. At a glance, you can see if you’re over or under-training and how you can improve your work out and results.

Of these smart coaching features, only the Smart Calories feature is available on the FT4. The other two are available on the FT7.

Body Measurement Features

There are several features in this area that the FT4 and the FT7 have in common, and there is probably more overlap between the two here than in any other section. Let’s look at the similarities:

  • Display your average and maximum heart rates during your training periods.
  • Indicate your training percentage zone (Current HR divided by your Max HR), which will let you know if you’re burning fat, improving aerobic capacity, etc.
  • Maximum heart rate indication.
  • Polar OwnCal, allowing you to calculate your kcals burnt during workout.
  • Polar OwnCode, a specific and unique code between the heart rate monitor strap and the wrist unit, so as not to mix up the two signals.

The FT4 will also automatically calculate your target heart rate zone based on your age. You are also able to enter your manual target heart rate zone as a bpm percentage. Conversely, with the FT7, you can enter a manual target heart rate zone yourself as the upper limit of the bpm. 

Data Transfer and

It should be noted at this point that only the FT7 has a data transfer and options. The FT4 is not quite so technologically astute. These programs are compatible with Mac or PC, and the transfer happens via the Polar FlowLink, which is an extra accessory that you’ll need to purchase. There are several advantages to being able to utilize the feature on the FT7:

  • It will help you to analyze your training through the tracking program.
  • There is a training diary as well, and you can follow your training schedule, tracking what you’ve done. You can also use the diary to plan your future work outs as well.
  • The training load feature will help you to monitor how heavy or light you are training. This is what helps you to know if you are under or over-training. The training load feature will help you to better know your limits and adjust your training intensity.
  • There is a feature to vary your training programs following cycling, running, and most other outdoor sports. Training targets can be created for you in this program as well, and you can customize this according to your fitness level.

Recording and Training Features

There are only a couple of training recording features available on the FT4 (and FT7 for that matter). The FT4 allows you to track only your last 10 training sessions. In contrast, the FT7 allows you to track up to 99 training sessions before data is overwritten. You will also be able to sort through all of your training data by weekly summary as well as daily summaries on the FT7 (but not on the FT4).

Training and Watch Features

Of course, these heart rate monitors can also double as watches. These watches have several standard features, and both the FT4 and FT7 have the same watch features, including:

  • Time of the day (obviously)
  • Date and weekday/weekend indicators
  • Two time zones
  • Backlight
  • Low battery indicator
  • Alarm/snooze functions
  • User replaceable battery
  • Water resistant up to 30 meters.

The Bottom Line

Both the FT4 and the FT7 are popular Polar heart rate monitors and both give you great data and superb quality for the price. If all you are looking for is simple tracking week to week and you can store your data somewhere else, the FT4 might be the right heart rate monitor for you. However, if you’d like some more flexibility, more intuitive tracking and a few more advanced option, the FT7 is the heart rate monitor to go with. Neither will break your bank, and you’ll be well on your way to better health and fitness tracking.

Click here to order your FT4 or FT7 now!

You can also check out this helpful video review for more information:


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Don’t Waste Your Time and Money!: Why Heart Rate Monitoring is Essential in Your Workout

There are two painful days of the year when you make that New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, get in shape, and start feeling like you can take on the world again. The first painful day is the day you go to the gym, sign up for a monthly or yearly membership and start your first workout. Not only are you parting with some hard-earned cash (ouch!), but you’re probably nice and sore later that day or the following day (double ouch!). Then comes the second painful day. This is the day a month down the road when you look in the mirror or step on the scale and you see no change. It is painful indeed thinking that you’ve spent hours and dollars to not see anything change!


Avoid the Pain: Getting the Right Equipment

If we’re honest with ourselves, many times we go to the gym and expecting to see instant effects. It might even be that we think just going to the gym is enough (like sleeping on a textbook the night before an exam!). The reality is, losing weight, getting in shape and consistently exercising out is hard work. And it should be!

Fitness experts and scientists agree that one of the main components of cardiovascular health–and therefore overall fitness and weight loss–has to do with raising your heart rate to a level of intensity that can maximize fitness results. Whether your desired results are fat loss, muscle gain or cardiovascular health, heart rate plays an integral part in the outcome of all three.  You’ll  want to continually track your heart rate during your exercises, and a heart rate monitor is probably the most hands off and accurate way to do this (of course, you can definitely take your pulse, but in stopping to do so, you stop your workout and immediately lower your heart rate, giving you an inaccurate indication of which heart rate zone you’re in).

Getting in the Zone: How Fast Should Your Heart Beat?

There are three numbers that you want to be cognizant of when you are thinking about monitoring your heart rate. These numbers are in beats per minute (BPM) and are simple to remember :

  • Resting heart rate
  • Maximum heart rate
  • Target heart rate

Your resting heart rate is exactly what it sounds like: the BPM of your heart when you’re not doing any activity. You can easily measure this with any heart rate monitor or you can find your pulse and count your BPMs yourself. Again, the most acurate reading you’ll get is by using a heart rate monitor.

Your maximum heart rate is even easier to calclulate. This number is typically considered to be two hundred twenty BPMs minus your age (e.g. the maximum heart rate for a thirty year old is 220 – 30 = 190).

Your target heart rate is dependent on your goals fitness goals. Target heart rate is a percentage of your maximum heart rate  used to determine you exercise zone. There are five major heart rate zones:

  1. Resting Zone (your resting heart rate)
  2. Moderate Activity Zone (+/- 50% of your maximum heart rate)
  3. Fat Burning Zone (+/- 65% of your maximum heart rate)
  4. Aerobic Zone (+/- 75% of your maximum heart rate)
  5. Anaerobic Zone (+/- 85% of your maximum heart rate)
  6. VO2 Zone (+/- 95% of your maximum heart rate)

This table is quite helpful in determining your target heart rate depending on your fitness goals:

Fox and Haskell’s formula table from Wikipedia


Using the above table, it is easy to determine which zone you should remain in to enhance your particular fitness goals. If you want to burn fat, make sure you’re maintaining a heart rate that is around 65% of your maximum heart rate (e.g. a thirty year old will want to maintain a heart rate of about 123.5 BPM in order to begin burning fat).


Give it Time: How Long Does This Take!?

The enduring question: how long?!?! In short, the answer is “as long as it takes”. However, there are two different questions to address here.

First, how long should you be working out in these given heart rate zones, taking into account your fitness goals? Good question! This is contingent upon your fitness level to begin with as well as the target heart rate zone you’re going for. Referring to the chart above,  the higher up you move along the y-axis, the less sustained workout you need to achieve your fitness goals according to zone. For example, if you’re working out in the Anaerobic zone, you will probably not be able to maintain a long workout in this zone, and 5-7 minutes is probably a good rule of thumb. Similarly, if you are gardening or strolling a long the Thames, you can sustain the Moderate Activity heart rate for a long time (an hour or two) with little in the way of rest. You should spend 15-20 minutes in the Weight Control and Aerobic zones (or as you are physically able).

Second, how long before you see the results you’re looking for? This is also a good question, and one for another post!:-) However, I can say that the change doesn’t happen overnight, and there are more factors than just heart rate to consider.


The Bottom Line:

Heart rate monitoring is an integral part of working out. The percentage of your maximum heart rate that you can achieve while working out is directly correlated to your fitness goals and the types of results you will see. A heart rate monitor is an excellent way to make sure you are maintaining the correct heart rate zone without having to constantly stop what you’re doing to take your pulse. It can also keep you safe and healthy by ensuring your don’t over-train.

Just as importantly, a heart rate monitor can make sure you’re not under-training either. If you are going to the gym and under-training, you are wasting your time and money, you will not see the results you’re hoping for. Keep that heart rate in mind, but focus on your workout and let the heart rate monitor be your guide.

 Click here to grab a Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor and maximize your workout.

Check out this video from Polar, and let them tell you why you should use a heart rate monitor while working out.

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