Looking for advice on heart rate monitors

I have read that chest strap HR monitors are the best way to calculate calories burned but I have not had any luck with them. I have used the Polar H7 Bluetooth and replaced it 3 times in less than 6 months before giving up. Within about a month it just stops syncing to my phone. Now, I am looking into getting a new HR monitor vs waiting for the Apple Watch vs. Fitbit Charge HR. I'm asking for advice on the HR monitors because I'm not convinced that the wrist type trackers will be accurate. Currently, I walk 3-4 times a week and plan on getting back to the gym ASAP (cardio classes, spin, yoga, plus hiking) and I use Endomondo as my tracking app for fitness. Thanks :)
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Replies

  • editorgrrl
    editorgrrl Posts: 7,060 Member
    azkunk wrote: »
    I am looking into getting a new HR monitor vs waiting for the Apple Watch vs. Fitbit Charge HR. I'm asking for advice on the HR monitors because I'm not convinced that the wrist type trackers will be accurate.

    FYI, I have a Fitbit Flex and Jawbone UP24. They aren't heart-rate monitors, but they do calculate your TDEE. The only proof of accuracy is results, and I lost the weight & have kept it off for six months.

    That said, I'm kinda tempted to upgrade to the Fitbit Charge HR and Jawbone UP3 when they come out. I love gadgets! (Obviously—I have two activity trackers. And a Fitbit Aria Wifi scale.)
  • NicoleisQuantized
    NicoleisQuantized Posts: 344 Member
    Have you tried any of the Polar FT series HRM? I had a FT4 and now a FT60 and they are absolutely wonderful.
  • azkunk
    azkunk Posts: 956 Member
    I agree that the proof is in the results but I am very motivated by the gadgets. I really can't decide. I never had the wrist type but I am concerned that driving would mess it up.
  • azkunk
    azkunk Posts: 956 Member
    Have you tried any of the Polar FT series HRM? I had a FT4 and now a FT60 and they are absolutely wonderful.

    Does it sync to your phone?
  • cardbucfan
    cardbucfan Posts: 10,396 Member
    I have a polar f4. It has a chest strap and a watch that shows the output while you are exercising. It's not an activity tracker like a fitbit-it's specifically for working out. This polar does not sync to anything, I manually add my exercise calories from it into MFP. I also have a fitbit one for the rest of my day. A HRM and an activity tracker measure different things so determine exactly what you are looking for.
  • azkunk
    azkunk Posts: 956 Member
    I am looking for a HRM. I don't really think the fitness trackers are as accurate. But I think I want a bluetooth on so that I can sync it with Endomondo during my workouts for an accurate calorie count. When the Polar H7 worked, it was perfect.
  • cardbucfan
    cardbucfan Posts: 10,396 Member
    Well, I've had several different polar models and always had good luck without the Bluetooth syncing feature. I also don't have my phone anywhere near me when I work out! Polar has pretty decent customer service have you contacted them about your H7?
  • azkunk
    azkunk Posts: 956 Member
    It's been about a year since I gave up on it. I recently read that you need to be far away from the device when pairing. I am going to look for my H7, change the battery and give it another try.
  • SKME2013
    SKME2013 Posts: 704 Member
    I would look into the Polar M400. Got great reviews and gives you a lot for your money. Check out Dcrainmaker's review on the Internet.
    Stef.
  • CrabbyGuy666
    CrabbyGuy666 Posts: 14 Member
    azkunk wrote: »
    I am looking for a HRM. I don't really think the fitness trackers are as accurate. But I think I want a bluetooth on so that I can sync it with Endomondo during my workouts for an accurate calorie count. When the Polar H7 worked, it was perfect.

    I bought the Wahoo Tickr X. I received it on 12/18; so not a lot of time to provide feedback - but I love it. It will record up to 16 hours of info that can be downloaded where ever later.

    Like a weirdo; I've been wearing it all day just to see how many calories I rack up. Eventually; I too will be getting the Apple Watch.

    I *think* the data can be sent to other apps and portions can be broken out. I havent figured out where yet. I posted a question, got 3 places to try. 1 was a paid site; not interested. #2 was Strava. I just tried it today. Didnt work. I havent totally sorted out the problem. I think because I am working on the treadmill, not actually moving... is the cause.

    I am walking on the treadmill @ 11.5% grade. I use the RunKeeper app which has an option to monitor progress even when no motion is taking place. She's telling me I start @ 80-90% heart rate; but spend the duration at 90-100% heart rate. She hasnt told me to initiate the defibrillator app; so I think all is going well. Making progress actually.

    I bought the Polar H7; due to arrive today. I'm interested to compare results.
  • brianpperkins
    brianpperkins Posts: 6,124 Member
    All day wear will not produce an accurate caloric reading.
  • CrabbyGuy666
    CrabbyGuy666 Posts: 14 Member
    All day wear will not produce an accurate caloric reading.

    Yes... I realize that the closest accurate data is 'calories burned when actually exercising'. My tracking has been informational only.

    I have also wondered when a heart rate monitor IS calculating exercise calories, that it subtracts the calories needed for everyday function.

  • brianpperkins
    brianpperkins Posts: 6,124 Member
    All day wear will not produce an accurate caloric reading.

    Yes... I realize that the closest accurate data is 'calories burned when actually exercising'. My tracking has been informational only.

    I have also wondered when a heart rate monitor IS calculating exercise calories, that it subtracts the calories needed for everyday function.

    That depends on the model. Most report gross, not net, calories.
  • azkunk
    azkunk Posts: 956 Member
    azkunk wrote: »
    I bought the Polar H7; due to arrive today. I'm interested to compare results.

    Let me know what you think of the two. The Wahoo will pair with Endomondo. I tried replacing the batteries and syncing my H7 today but I could only get it to read my HR for a couple of minutes. Is your Wahoo Bluetooth?
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    azkunk wrote: »
    Currently, I walk 3-4 times a week

    Walking doesn't elevate the heart rate into the range where any HRM calorie estimation will be remotely accurate.

    HRMs are designed to work in the aerobic range with relatively smooth transition, so whilst walking is smooth it's not elevating, unless you're already grossly unfit.
    cardio classes, spin, yoga

    For all three of those the calorie estimations will be excessive as they tend to take you into the anaerobic range with rapid transitions of heart rate.

  • CrabbyGuy666
    CrabbyGuy666 Posts: 14 Member
    azkunk wrote: »
    Is your Wahoo Bluetooth?

    Sure is. I've used it every day I've had it and it's always paired. I'm working my way through various apps and heart rate is always displayed when I'm in any of them. (I'm going to try Endomondo next.)

    If Polar would have had a HRM that did have memory; I would have bought it as I like the fact that Polar can work on machines too.

    On the Polar; I wonder if sliding a little piece of plastic over the battery before reinstalling the cover would prevent the moisture issue. Not sure how much room is available.

    I'll post back in a week, after comparing the two. Not sure that will be of any help; sounds like the Polar needs time to develop an issue. For that matter; perhaps the Wahoo too.

    I find the data really motivational, and I regret spending a week making a decision in buying my HRM. It would have been nice, on Day 1, to have my HRM data.

    Good luck on your decision & I'm jealous that you can walk outside year 'round! :)

  • azkunk
    azkunk Posts: 956 Member
    edited December 2014
    azkunk wrote: »
    Is your Wahoo Bluetooth?
    Good luck on your decision & I'm jealous that you can walk outside year 'round! :)

    It is lovely to be able to workout outside year round. I used to live back east and will never go back. Summers can get a bit rough her though. I have to walk at the crack of dawn. I think I am going to go with the Wahoo. Endomondo's site notes it as "Endomondo ready gear". So, I think I will give it a shot.


    azkunk wrote: »
    cardio classes, spin, yoga

    For all three of those the calorie estimations will be excessive as they tend to take you into the anaerobic range with rapid transitions of heart rate.

    I never heard/ read that HRMs were not accurate for this type of activity. I will have to research some more. Has anyone else heard of this.
  • brianpperkins
    brianpperkins Posts: 6,124 Member
    edited December 2014
    HRMs only approach accurate for certain activities under certain conditions. Yoga, lifting, HIIT (or any intervals), dance ... not going to get an accurate estimate from an HRM. It's not what the devices are designed or programmed to do. The relationships between heart rate, oxygen uptake, effort, etc just either aren't there or aren't established to the point where a formula can get created and put into a device.

    Read this ...
    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/Azdak/view/the-real-facts-about-hrms-and-calories-what-you-need-to-know-before-purchasing-an-hrm-or-using-one-21472
  • azkunk
    azkunk Posts: 956 Member
    HRMs only approach accurate for certain activities under certain conditions. Yoga, lifting, HIIT (or any intervals), dance ... not going to get an accurate estimate from an HRM. It's not what the devices are designed or programmed to do. The relationships between heart rate, oxygen uptake, effort, etc just either aren't there or aren't established to the point where a formula can get created and put into a device.

    Maybe I'll hold off on the HRM and get a tracker. It's purely for motivation. I typically do not eat back the calories that I expend. What about hiking, is it accurate for hiking (2-4 hours with elevation)?
  • editorgrrl
    editorgrrl Posts: 7,060 Member
    azkunk wrote: »
    Maybe I'll hold off on the HRM and get a tracker. It's purely for motivation. I typically do not eat back the calories that I expend.

    Activity trackers (like Fitbit) show your TDEE—way more accurately than any online calculator. When you connect your accounts, MFP compares your tracker burn to your MFP activity level and adjusts your calorie goal accordingly.