Polar FT40

I recently have gotten into spinning. It is an incredible workout, and I really enjoy it. Great music, sweating, riding a “bike.” Oh yes, and the instructor shouting at you to work harder. It really is awesome, I swear!

Anyway, I can get sort of obsessive about things. When I get into something, I research the hell out of it and then have to get all the “toys” associated with it. So what does that mean for spinning? Well lets see –

-Cycling shorts. Luckily, I already had these from bike riding during the summer. They really do make a difference. I just added a pair of cycling “knickers” too.

– Cycling shoes. I had been using my regular sneakers, and the soles of my feet were really hurting me during my workouts. So, I decided to pick up a pair of cycling shoes. These are different than sneakers because they have a much stiffer sole, and they also clip into the pedals on the bike. I can’t express what a difference these made in my workout. My legs work totally differently with these on vs. sneakers.

– Heart rate monitor. So now we get to the newest addition to my collection. I had been going back and forth on this for awhile. Actually, I started thinking about getting one when I did couch to 5k over the summer because sometimes I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest, but I never took the plunge although I certainly looked at them about 8 million times on Amazon. In some of my spinning classes, the instructors will shout out where your heart rate would be – 65% of maximum, 85% of maximum, etc. I had no clue how to gauge this on my own. For a few weeks I contemplated getting one. And after doing my extensive research, I decided it would help me with my workouts. Not only with spinning, but any other activities I do as well. Being within certain heart rate ranges determine whether you are in a fat burn zone or a fitness zone. It also tells you if you need to work harder or need to back off a bit.

I decided on the Polar FT40, which I ordered from Amazon.

After the UPS truck dropped it off, I ripped open the box right away. It comes all packaged in this box.

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And everything is all neatly packaged inside.

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Before I took everything out of the box, I saw this disclaimer which I thought was interesting. What was I going to be doing with this thing anyway?? It sounds like something that should be on a product that is of a very, um, personal nature. Not a watch. But then I realized it was probably referring to the chest strap which gets all sweaty and gross.

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So, I took everything out of the box. The transmitter snaps onto the chest strap. You have to wet the back of the chest strap where the electrodes are before putting it on.

The watch or “training computer” is really easy to set up. I had it done within a few minutes.

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The watch is not bad looking either. A lot of these things are really bulky and ugly. I really like the white color and the pink accents. Also – I have the tiniest wrists ever. Usually I have to put watches on the very last hole, and sometimes that is even too big. This fit me really well. I didn’t even have to put it on the last hole. And it also doesn’t look gigantic. I mean, its on the larger side, but I like big watches.

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I took it for a spin today (haha – pun intended) in spin class. The chest strap fit comfortably under my sports bra, and I didn’t feel it at all during my workout. And I was in for a shock that a lot of the time I was working at over 90% of my maximum heart rate, with an average of 88% of maximum. So I was in the “fitness” level pretty much the whole time, which was the goal of today’s class. The watch has a light built in, so I was able to look at it in the dark room although it was kind of annoying to have to press the button while my hands were all slippery from sweat!

At the end of the workout, the watch told me the number of calories burned, the time spent in the fat burn zone, and the time spent in the fitness zone. It displayed my maximum and minimum heart rate percentages during the workout.

All in all, I am very happy with this purchase and think it will be a great asset to my workouts.

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