It is the off-season, at least in the sense of not playing as much hockey. Athletes today however, utilize this time to gain a competitive advantage over their opponents by way of training. To accomplish your goals, the usage of a heart rate monitor device is pivotal. This is why I picked up a Polar’s FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Watch. Here is the review.
Polar USA is synonymous with all things heart rate related. They’ve been making heart rate monitors since 1977. Walk in any gym and talk to any athletic trainer and they will tout Polar products as being the only ones worth choosing.
Heart rate training is rather simple; depending on the amount of energy you exude, your heart works accordingly. And, depending on how hard your heart works, the varying type of outcome you can expect from your workout. Most research points to 5 training zones. Depending on your age, sex and overall health, your heart rate zones can be determined.
- Warmup Zone – 50% – 60% of heart rate reserve; warm up and cool-down
- Recover Zone – 60% – 70% of heart rate reserve; slow conditioning or recovery
- Aerobic Zone – 70% – 80% of heart rate reserve; cardiovascular fitness
- Anaerobic Zone – 80% – 90% of heart rate reserve; training to increase lactate threshold
- Redline Zone – 90% – 100% of heart rate reserve; interval training in short spurts
The Polar FT4 falls within the fitness and cross training category. Within its line, there are 2 models lower of it and one above it. It comes in at $99.95 with a chest strap provided. The FT4 is packed with some excellent features that aids in your training:
- Automatic age-based target zone – bpm / % – plug in your age and the watch figures out your personal heart rate zones to train in.
- Heart rate based target zones with visual and audible alarms – begin your workout and know when you are not working hard enough or working too hard. A low and high will be displayed with a a heart tracking your current heart rate moving within the zone. Move outside the designated zones and an audible alarm will sound as well as a visual indicator.
- Manual target zone – bpm % – it is nice to have everything preset, but at times, you may wish to alter your zone as you see fit. Set the low and the high of your zones and train away.
- Polar OwnCal – calorie expenditure – what is a heart rate without knowing how many calories you’ve burned? The watch shows you just how many you’ve burned.
- Average and maximum heart rate of training – a nice feature to have. When done with your workout, you are able to see both your average and maximum heart rate from your workout. You can also see how long you were within your zone.
The Polar FT4 has improved my workouts. I now know how hard I am working and can monitor my workouts more closely. The FT4 provides me with the tools to workout as I need. When I want to add some intensity to my workouts by sprinting at my maximum for a minute, I know when I am ready to push it. When I want to have a lighter day but still want to target some fat, I can make sure I am getting my heart rate in the proper zone. Checking out the calories burned is a motivator when it comes to staying within my caloric intake per day. It looks nice enough to wear, easy enough to see without my glasses, and is as easy as clicking a few buttons.
Overall, I highly recommend the usage of a heart rate monitor, and per the features I was looking for, the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Watch is perfect. It can be ordered through Polar USA, although you will save about $10 if get it at a Best Buy or equivalent.
Have a question or comment, email at EB@hockeyworldblog.com or contact on Twitter @HWBEB.