I bought my Polar FT7 back in March in order to accurately (or as accurately as possible) track my calorie expenditure in conjunction with using MyFitnessPal to track my calorie consumption.
I know the machines such as treadmills give you an indication as to the number of calories burnt but these miss our important factors such as your sex and height which are important in accurately calculating calorie expenditure which could mean the difference in losing weight and not losing weight!
So further to being gifted a £50 Amazon voucher by a friend (Thank You!) I took the opportunity to purchase a gadget that would do exactly what I needed and after reviewing various makes and models on the market and trying not to go over the £50 too much I finally settled on the Polar FT7.
The Polar FT7 is a Fitness Watch which consists of a chest strap and sensor along with the watch. In order to calculate your heart rate the chest strap must be worn, it’s comfortable and discreet (honestly) and you can however wear the watch as a normal day to day watch if desired.
Before using the watch you are required to enter your personal data such as your height, weight and sex in order for the calorie expenditure calculation to be as accurate as possible (make sure you update this as you lose the weight to ensure the calculations are accurate).
So once you have done all that all you have to do is get moving!
You can use this watch doing absolutely any exercise. I use whilst taking classes, doing weights, using the cross trainer and even swimming! Just make sure you don’t press the buttons on the watch whilst submerged, I tend to start before entering the water and stopping once my hand and arms are dry.
What I love most about this watch is that it doesn’t just tell you how many calories you have burnt but if you workout increased your fitness levels or burnt fat. I am all for the latter and right now as I am trying to lose weight and rid my body of unwanted fat this was the feature that made me chose the Polar FT7.
I guess the main thing that this watch has taught me is that lower intensity workouts are the best for burning fat. You will see me in the gym doing high inclines on a treadmill or a high setting on the cross trainer slowly and not looking like I’m putting in much effort or doing the LBT classes in order to keep my heart rate at the right level to torch fat. More recently I have switched over from using the machines to using weights in a bid to torch more fat and tone up.
You really do not need to go all out sweating your arse off on a treadmill til you can barely breathe to get in shape and I think that is where a lot of people go wrong! I certainly was, but I have a lot of runners who argue this with me. I’m sorry but I’m going by the data on my Polar FT7 along with my personally results of losing 18lbs since I really started to get into this fitness lark at the end of January. It works for me and my knees are crap so you can keep your running!
Moving on there are various other features for the serious athlete such as showing your heart rate whilst working out so you can keep to the required BPM to get the most out of your workout, an overview as to average and maximum heart rate and it also shows a weekly overview of calorie expenditure.
I have also found that there can be a vast difference in the figures the machine tells you and the figures the watch tells you. On certain equipment I can burn around 100 calories more per session, but on others I can burn considerably less. So for example you do not want to be told you’ve burnt 500 calories in a workout when you might have only burnt 250 and therefore eat your exercise calories back because in that case you will be overeating and therefore you will put on weight and will be wondering why exercising is not doing anything for you!
Having started to use the Polar FT7 on the 21st March, I have undertaken 70 hours worth of exercise (92 sessions) and burnt a grand total of 27,825 calories!!! And since I bought this little beauty I cannot work out without it. It’s like a little personal trainer on my arm pushing me to work harder and burn more. It’s like I am constantly battling against my personal best trying to increase my calorie burn since the last workout – especially in class situations.
So does anyone else use a HRM – if so which one and what do you think about it?