best HRM for lifting weights

I have a cool turquoise blue Garmin with a chest strap but I've never been able to get it to work for anything other than a stopwatch pretty much, didn't know if anyone had a quick answer.
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Replies

  • waldo56
    waldo56 Posts: 1,872 Member
    There isn't one.

    The is no useful relationship between breathing rate, heart rate, and calroies burned when strength training.

    A HRM uses heart rate to estimate oxygen consumption which in turn is used to estimate work performed and hence calories burned. Most strength training does not use oxygen in the chemical reaction to produce energy (it is anaerobic exercise, not aerobic exercise) so using a HRM is about like throwing darts blindfolded.

    The high effort and low effort calisthenics entries are solid #'s for strength training. Lots of lollygagging and isolation exercises, and warm up level stuff, use the low effort. Lifting heavy, doing circuits, or otherwise working hard, use the high effort. Or mix them based on how your workout went/what you were doing.
  • msperkey3
    msperkey3 Posts: 93 Member
    I use my hrm for all of my workouts.. cardio and weights... polar ft7. If i'm working out, i use it!
  • JustJennie1
    JustJennie1 Posts: 3,843 Member
    I use mine when I lift my weights and it seems to calculate my HR and calories burned.
  • JoJo0921
    JoJo0921 Posts: 19 Member
    I use a Polar FT4 whenever I do any weights or exercise and I love it!
  • taso42
    taso42 Posts: 8,981 Member
    HRMs are only "accurate" for aerobic activity. It won't really give you a meaningful number for weightlifting.
  • DopeItUp
    DopeItUp Posts: 18,772 Member
    Any of the major brands (Polar, etc) are probably fine. However, none of them will calculate weightlifting calories even remotely correctly. It's still useful for seeing your heart rate if that's what you want to look at.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,530 Member
    I use my hrm for all of my workouts.. cardio and weights... polar ft7. If i'm working out, i use it!
    If you're using it for weight lifting, then the caloric burn is inaccurate.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness industry for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • jacksonpt
    jacksonpt Posts: 10,413 Member
    HRMs are only "accurate" for aerobic activity. It won't really give you a meaningful number for weightlifting.
    this
  • Carolyn_79
    Carolyn_79 Posts: 940 Member
    I use my hrm for all of my workouts.. cardio and weights... polar ft7. If i'm working out, i use it!
    If you're using it for weight lifting, then the caloric burn is inaccurate.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness industry for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    Would you say it overestimates? I belong to a lifting group and members often posts their burns and I find the numbers to be extremely high so I'm curious.
  • I use my FT4 on all my workouts but I do agree that strength training burns are going to be lower than your cardio burns. I think the HRM also has a hard time picking up heart rate on push ups and planks etc.( body weight type workouts). But it does depend on what your doing because my stregth trianing program also has cardio intervals and that's really what the burn on the HRM is accounting for.
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,277 Member
    I use mine when I lift my weights and it seems to calculate my HR and calories burned.

    It estimates them, not calculates them, but it is wrong for non steady state cardio due to the first reply above.

    Just because your HRM said you burned 100 cals during strength training doesn't mean you did, and using that number is most likely an over estimate of the actual burn.
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,277 Member
    I use my FT4 on all my workouts but I do agree that strength training burns are going to be lower than your cardio burns. I think the HRM also has a hard time picking up heart rate on push ups and planks etc.( body weight type workouts). But it does depend on what your doing because my stregth trianing program also has cardio intervals and that's really what the burn on the HRM is accounting for.

    even if it has your HR the cals burned calculation assumes you are doing cardio and the output on the watch will be wrong for this reason.
  • rainbowbow
    rainbowbow Posts: 7,491 Member
    for what purpose? I use my Polar to time my sets, but i DO NOT use it for trying to calculate calories burned. It won't be accurate for lifting; only steady-state cardio.
  • DopeItUp
    DopeItUp Posts: 18,772 Member
    I use my hrm for all of my workouts.. cardio and weights... polar ft7. If i'm working out, i use it!
    If you're using it for weight lifting, then the caloric burn is inaccurate.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness industry for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    Would you say it overestimates? I belong to a lifting group and members often posts their burns and I find the numbers to be extremely high so I'm curious.

    Extremely overestimates. I log about 400-500 for my workouts when my HRM shows up to 1600 for that session. If I log the full 1600 I gain weight or maintain weight at best.
  • kristy6ward
    kristy6ward Posts: 332 Member
    The Polar FT80 was designed with lifting in mind. Look into that model.
  • d2footballJRC
    d2footballJRC Posts: 2,687 Member
    There isn't one.

    The is no useful relationship between breathing rate, heart rate, and calroies burned when strength training.

    A HRM uses heart rate to estimate oxygen consumption which in turn is used to estimate work performed and hence calories burned. Most strength training does not use oxygen in the chemical reaction to produce energy (it is anaerobic exercise, not aerobic exercise) so using a HRM is about like throwing darts blindfolded.

    The high effort and low effort calisthenics entries are solid #'s for strength training. Lots of lollygagging and isolation exercises, and warm up level stuff, use the low effort. Lifting heavy, doing circuits, or otherwise working hard, use the high effort. Or mix them based on how your workout went/what you were doing.

    FT-80 by polar disagrees..

    A validation study proved that heart rate based recovery time improves strength more than training with traditional recovery periods and, on top of that, Strength Training Guidance shortens training time nearly to half[1] – to sum it up, more results in a shorter time.Heart rate monitoring makes your strength training individualized when the Strength Training Guidance tells you optimal recovery periods for effective strength training based on your heart rate.

    1. Piirainen et al. Effects of the HR based recovery period on hormonal and neuromuscular responses during strength training in men and women. Oral presentation at the ECSS annual meeting in Oslo, June 2009.
  • eatcleanNtraindirty
    eatcleanNtraindirty Posts: 444 Member
    I use my hrm for all of my workouts.. cardio and weights... polar ft7. If i'm working out, i use it!
    If you're using it for weight lifting, then the caloric burn is inaccurate.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness industry for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    It's still more accurate then guessing or what MFP suggests. While performing lifts we are anaerobic... which isn't to say that it is "inaccurate" because it calculates calories burned from your heart rate, once a set is done we are back to aerobic activity... i.e. breathing. The more intense your weight training, the higher your heart rate is going to be during and after the set(s). The less intense weight lifting is, the lower your heart rate is going to be. The HRM will reflect this.

    To say that it is inaccurate is frankly absurd. It is going to be a more accurate number of calories burned then what MFP suggests or anything else for that matter because the HRM is tracking your heart rate. Calculating heart rate and calories burned is a much more accurate measure of intensity and duration rather than inputting "60 minutes" into the strength training module in MFP because your 60 minutes of weight lifting may be more intense or less intense than the previous day... more intense = more calories burned, less intense = less calories burned. MFP wouldn't reflect this in your calorie burn. A HRM will.

    It may not be 100% accurate, but it is going to be much closer to 100% accuracy than any other measure. I use a Motorola Motoactv HRM watch and it has different workouts that you can set for the workout you are doing... running, cycling, elliptical, weight lifting, yoga, etc. I believe this would make it the most accurate HRM because it takes into account exactly what type of training you are performing. I've noticed my calorie burns during weightlifting are lower than what my old Polar F6 have estimated.
  • d2footballJRC
    d2footballJRC Posts: 2,687 Member
    The Polar FT80 was designed with lifting in mind. Look into that model.

    I have that model, it's cut my lifting down by about 15 minutes on a 45 minute routine. I love it. I need to upload my newest pictures, The progress is awesome and I love mine. Just - 20% for normal resting calorie consumption and you should be pretty close.
  • jonnythan
    jonnythan Posts: 10,167 Member
    There isn't one.

    The is no useful relationship between breathing rate, heart rate, and calroies burned when strength training.

    A HRM uses heart rate to estimate oxygen consumption which in turn is used to estimate work performed and hence calories burned. Most strength training does not use oxygen in the chemical reaction to produce energy (it is anaerobic exercise, not aerobic exercise) so using a HRM is about like throwing darts blindfolded.

    The high effort and low effort calisthenics entries are solid #'s for strength training. Lots of lollygagging and isolation exercises, and warm up level stuff, use the low effort. Lifting heavy, doing circuits, or otherwise working hard, use the high effort. Or mix them based on how your workout went/what you were doing.

    FT-80 by polar disagrees..

    A validation study proved that heart rate based recovery time improves strength more than training with traditional recovery periods and, on top of that, Strength Training Guidance shortens training time nearly to half[1] – to sum it up, more results in a shorter time.Heart rate monitoring makes your strength training individualized when the Strength Training Guidance tells you optimal recovery periods for effective strength training based on your heart rate.

    1. Piirainen et al. Effects of the HR based recovery period on hormonal and neuromuscular responses during strength training in men and women. Oral presentation at the ECSS annual meeting in Oslo, June 2009.

    The HRM would be useful for telling you when to start the next set.

    It would not be useful for estimating how many calories were burned during the set.
  • jacksonpt
    jacksonpt Posts: 10,413 Member
    Just to throw this out there to further muddy the waters....

    Everything I've read and the people I've talked to (one of them I do consider an expert on the subject) says that if you are lifting very heavy weight at very intense loads (i.e. NOT 3 sets of 15 reps), then the burn will be very similar to a typical cardio burn of similar duration.

    So if you burn 600 cals doing 60 minutes of cardio (nice round numbers for sake of conversation), if you lift very heavy/intense for 60 minutes you'll burn about the same 600 cals. The difference is that cardio burns virtually all those cals during the workout, while lifting burns ~half of them during the workout and the other half post workout as the body repairs muscles.