Last month I decided to invest in a Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor to really improve my training. I love data and so wanted to know more about my performance during my workouts. The FT4 had been in my wish list since late last year after seeing practically all of the fitness accounts I follow on Instagram with one. I was hooked, I just had to get one!
To be honest, I didn’t do as much research into Heart Rate Monitors as I probably should have done. There are many different brands that do HRMs, but I was heavily influenced after seeing everyone who I admire had a Polar. I did at least shop around on Polar’s website to see the wide range of HRMs they provided and decided the FT4 was the one for me.
It comes with a chest strap (which you wear just under your bussoms ladies, where the band of your sports bra sits), the heart rate monitor device (which clips on to the chest strap) and the watch, which shows the readings. The Polar FT4 tells you your heart rate, your target zone and whether or not you are in the zone, how long you have been training for, the time and how many calories you have burned.
When you are not training, it displays the date and time like a normal digital watch. Whilst you are training, you can easily flick between the different readings at the press of a button. I like to flick between my target zone and how many calories I’m burning. This shows me that I either need to work harder or take it easy so that I stay in the zone and don’t under or overtrain, as well as motivates me to keep going so that I get a good calorie burn.
I’ve found that having the Polar FT4 HRM helps me push myself further and harder. When doing cardio, I would usually go by distance or time, but since having my Polar FT4 I’ve started checking calories and so I go longer or further until I get to a round number of calories (I just hate ending a workout on 284cals for example- it has to be 290 or 300!). When weight training, if I rest too long between sets my heart rate will drop out of the target zone, so I try to take shorter breaks to keep my heart rate up. If my body really is aching though, I will rest longer, even if I am out of the target zone so as not to cause an injury.