76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Great piece of kit, cannot recommend highly enough! Def worth the money!,
This review is from: Polar FT60 Heart Rate Monitor and Sports Watch (Sports)
I have had this HRM for almost a week now and have been using it every day. It is the first time I have had one like this, in the past I have just had one of the plastic Polar transmitter belts that I bought years ago and I will admit that I was a bit dubious on spending so much money on something I initially had wanted to just give me my heart rate and calories during my regular gym sessions and home workout dvds. However, now I've got it I am so pleased i spent the money because it is definitely worth every penny!
It is very easy to use. You can pretty much get it set up and be ready to go in a matter of minutes. Once it is out the box and you have held in one of the buttons to activate it it switches on and then after that it will stay on until the battery needs replacing. So as soon as you turn it on it asks you to enter personal data such as age, weight, sex, height and so on.
You get the watch, a wear link transmitter belt which contains electrodes that you need to wet before using, and then you also get a transmitter which clips securely to the front of the belt and sends your heart rate etc to the watch. The transmitter belt is machine washable and they recommend you wash it after every 5th use. I haven't done that yet so can't comment on that aspect. If you are shopping around online for an FT60 you will find that some FT60s actually come with a Flow Link as well for data transfer and on mine it actually says on the box "FT60 now with Flow Link."
As Amazon does not mention anything about the Flow Link I am assuming you just get the watch, strap and transmitter as i said earlier in my review. As far as I know i think previously it was just the FT80 that came with Flow Link but maybe that has now changed to include FT60 so probably worth shopping around a bit. I did and got one WITH the Flow Link so saved about £40. I know now if I hadn't I would have been a bit disappointed I couldn't upload my data to computer. Also, I have the purple one which is the women's version and it's very comfortable to wear and fits perfectly.
I bought mine because I was interested in the STAR training program which sounded great along with all the other features. I have mine set up on the weight loss program but there are two others to choose from: fitness improvement is one and I think the other is to maximize performance. Basically, both related to fitness goals anyway. You don't have to set up a training program if you don't want to - once you've entered your basic data you can just press OK whenever you are ready to train and it will search for your heart rate and count the calories you burn etc. However, if you do want to use the STAR program it asks you to do the fitness test which involves lying for a few minutes beforehand to calm down before you actually activate the test. Then once you are relaxed you can go into the menu, select fitness test and it will tell you to lie down and relax while it works out your VO2 max. It takes about 5 minutes then comes back with a score telling you how you did. There is a chart in the manual and also on the website where you can look it up and make comparisons etc. As well as this info it will also ask you what your activity level is and in the manual it gives a few different scenarios for each activity level and you pick the one that closely matches yours. Using all of the info you enter it will calculate a program with a goal for calories you need to burn, how long you need to train for in total and how long you need to train in zone 1, zone 2 and zone 3. Simple as that.
One thing I will say is that the training weeks run from midnight Sunday to Sunday, I am not sure if you can change this to another day and time as I haven't looked it up. I started mine last Friday and on Sunday at midnight (apparently it does this every week at same time but not sure if it does it as a rule or just with STAR training program) an envelope icon appeared on the screen with my results for the previous week, which in my case was Friday to Sunday. It gave details like calories achieved vs target, training time spent vs target and training in each zone vs target. It then tells you what you need to do the following week all over again which in my case has stayed the same but it can tell you whether you need to train the same, train harder, train less in certain zone(s), have a rest week and other things like that. It also asked me to update my weight info and from what I can tell it periodically asks you to take another fitness test. I did this as well but can't remember if it specifically asked me to do this.
Either way the menu is easily accessed and extremely user friendly and you can input this data yourself and take the fitness test anytime and it will automatically update your program with the info. You can change or end the program at any time, view your progress, goals, training files for previous days, weeks, months etc. In the manual it says that when you end a program and start anther you can still view all of the training files from your old program etc to see how you did. The watch saves data of up to 100 training files and after that, the oldest file is replaced by the latest one. When you are training and the HRM is in use you can press the up/down button on the watch to cycle through the menu to display either total calories (this will be in cal or kcal depending on whether the data you first entered was in lb and ft or kg and cm); heart rate; heart rate with the training zone you are currently in and how long you have spent in each of the zones during the current session; training zones and the percentage you have completed for each zone for that week if you are on STAR training program; or if you prefer you can just have the time displayed. Whatever display you have though it tells you at the bottom of the screen the amount of time you have been training for and you can pause the session at anytime and then press another button to continue. There is also a backlight and you can set the watch so that when you raise it to the transmitter the light automatically switches on.
If you love lots of stats and numbers etc like I do to see how you are progressing and to keep you motivated then you can also buy/use the Flow Link which connects to your computer via USB. You need to register on PolarPersonalTrainer.com website and also download the free software called Web Sync off it to use the Flow Link (the software you need to download to use with Flow Link is not compatible with a Mac, only Windows). I had to use an old Windows laptop to upload the training files but I can still access the data on the website once it has been uploaded using my mac if that is any use to anyone. To upload the data you simply place your watch face down on the Flow Link once it has been connected and it quickly uploads all of your training files to your account. If you want to you can leave them there or export them if you need to. I haven't done that myself but I've uploaded my data etc and it's obviously nice to have all of your training files displayed on a screen in front of you in graphs and fancy charts etc and it will do this with your weight as well. Not sure about fitness tests as I've not tried.
You can buy other accessories to go with it if you want to measure your speed and distance but I don't have those so can't comment. But one other thing I thought was great is that once you've registered you can create various challenges or join some if you prefer. You can then compete with others who have registered on the site and the first person to reach the goal etc gets a trophy. Maybe not for everybody but if you are looking for something to make weight loss, exercise and training in general a bit more worthwhile, motivating, more fun and looking to get results then this is great. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Jul 2011 20:34:05 BDT
My Oracle says:
Thank you for the review, it was VERY informative, thanks for taking the time to write it
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jul 2011 20:43:30 BDT
No problem - I still use it now and have no regrets about buying it. Had to change the watch battery a few months ago which was pretty straightforward as well :-)
Posted on 30 Dec 2011 15:09:24 GMT
Laura Dean says:
Awesome review - so detailed - thanks very much! :-)
Posted on 16 Jun 2012 17:40:04 BDT
Annabel Sheardown says:
Great help thankyou, what colour did you get as I can't decide!
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jun 2012 18:03:55 BDT
Annabel Sheardown says:
brill thankyou - decision made!!! training here we come!
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