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Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor
The Polar FT7 heart rate monitor is the next model up from the Polar FT4 in the new Polar FT series. It is a wireless heart rate monitor using coded transmission and is designed to replace the older Polar F6 and Polar F7. The FT7 has two variants: a black silver one for both men and women and a black gold one for women.
The main features of the FT7 heart rate monitor are:
- Continuous heart rate monitoring so you can check your real time heart rate while exercising
- Automatic Setup of Fat Burning and Fitness Improvement Heart Rate Zones (with alarm): You input your age and personal profile and it works out your maximum heart rate (MHR). You can input your MHR yourself if you know what it is. It then sets up the two zones based on your MHR and your current physical condition.
- EnergyPointer: When you train, this is a graphical pointer which tells you which zone you are in so that you know if the main effect of your current training effort will result in fat burning or fitness improvement. You can lock into a particular zone, depending on your goal for the session.
- Heart rate upper limit (while exercising) can be set. This is an important feature for those users who might be advised by doctors not to train beyond a certain heart rate limit. Note that this is different from MHR, which is the absolute maximum of your HR.
- Heart rate can be displayed either as beats per minute (BPM) or percentage of maximum heart rate (% MHR)
- Data displayed during training: real time heart rate, calories, duration.
- Stop watch to start, pause, resume or stop your exercise session
- Training session is stored in a file. A file can recall the following data: duration, calories, average heart rate, maximum heart rate, time spent in fat burning zone, time spent in fitness improvement zone
- The Polar FT7 stores 99 files, with each file representing a given training session. You can thus review details of any one of your past 99 workouts.
- You can review your weekly training summary: Total duration, number of sessions, calories burnt for the week
- You can also review totals starting from a given date: Total duration, total number of sessions, total calories burnt
- Time, date, alarm, 2 time zones
- Button lock to prevent accidental presses
- HeartTouch: During training you can see the time of day display and turn on the backlight by simply bringing the wrist watch close the transmitter belt.
- Wireless heart rate monitor with a coded analogue chest strap transmitter (WearLink) and a wrist watch receiver. Both the wrist watch's and the WearLink chest strap's batteries can be self-replaced. The coded wireless transmission avoids interference and cross-talk from other heart rate monitor users exercsing nearby
- Water resistant up to 30m. To maintain water resistance, do not press buttons while under water.
- Polar FlowLink (optional): This is an optional device that allows you to transfer training data from your wrist watch to your computer for analysis
The Polar FT7 is the next model after the Polar FT4 in the Polar fitness series. The differences between the two models are highlighted in bold in the list above. Bold in black means those features are found in FT7 but not in FT4.
The main additional features for the Polar FT7 (over those of Polar FT4) are:
- It now implements the ideas of a fat burning zone and fitness improvement zone. The EnergyPointer on the wrist watch informs you which zone you are training. See more below.
- It can now store training data up to 99 workout sessions. The FT4 can store up to 10 sessions' data.
- You now have a weekly training summary, and you can decide whether your training week starts from Saturday, Sunday or Monday.
- You can now upload data to a computer via Polar FlowLink. But note that this is a separately purchase.
Polar FT7 has introduced a highly interesting feature. It works out your own personal fat burning zone and fitness improvement zone, based on your own profile data and your current physical condition. This is a clever piece of technology that detects your current state of fitness from your heart rate and heart rate variability. It is capable of adjusting your training intensities dynamically in real time while you are training, depending on your actual physical condition. This way you are always given two training zones, that may vary from training session to training session (or sometimes even within a single session), but which are always adapted to your own condition and fitness. This is impressive.
Training at the Fat Burning Zone (at a lower intensity) generally means that fat is the main source of energy during the workout. This is great for those aiming to lose weight. Training at the Fitness Improvement Zone (at a higher intensity) generally means that carbohydrates is the main energy source. Here you are training to strengthen your heart and increase blood circulation, leading to improvement in you cardiovascular fitness.
However, there is one feature that the Polar FT7 has given up, which may be important to some users. This is the manual setting of BOTH the upper and lower heart rate limits. The FT7 allows you to set an upper limit in your training, but not a lower limit. So if you want train exactly between 80% and 90% of your maximum heart rate, you won't be able to set it up on the FT7. This omission may not be important for most recreational exercisers, since the simple objectives of training for weight loss (fat burning zone) or for improved fitness (fitness improvement zone) are probably sufficient for them. However, for those that require precise training ranges, then the omission may become an issue.
The Polar FT7 heart rate monitor introduces a highly clever technology to work out how best to achieve your training objective: fat burning or fitness improvement. It works out the zones for you to train in based on your personal data and your physical condition. This is excellent for those who are looking for some guidance as to the amount of effort they should put in their training session.
The Polar FT7 also has increased its memory capability. It also now offers you a view of your weekly totals. Furthermore, you can upload data to a computer if you buy an optional Polar FlowLink device. It gives up a feature which may be important for some: the manual setting of a precise heart rate training zone.
The FT7 comes in two models. In particular for women there is a black gold and more elegant version of the Polar FT7 which can be worn all day.
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Further information: Visit Polar's official web site.
Next up in the Polar FT series is the Polar FT40.
Not sure which heart rate monitor is right for you? Take a look at the Which Heart Rate Monitor page.
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