Polarizing My Heart…

My heart is polarized on a lot of things… bacon… smelly feet… dirt… the Kardashians… snorting smartie dust… you know… all sorts of things!

Wrong topic…

I’ve been talking about purchasing a heart rate monitor (HRM) for months now.  You know me… draggy feety and her procrastinating brain cells.  My biggest problem was that I purchased one about a year ago and I hated every ounce of that thing.  It had a defect in that it wouldn’t work properly, but it was also uber confusing to set up and then when I “thought” I had it set up, it never held the settings and I never found out how many calories I burned in any exercise session.  I wore the sucker, but all it told me was that I needed a brain… and frankly I don’t need no piece of plastic to give me information I already know!  A week later, I packaged that sucker back up and took it back to the store.  The clerk asked me if it had a “problem”… I obvs told her it was defected with sassy mouth syndrome.  After that horribly frustrating experience, I kind of dropped the idea.  I’d lost 239 pounds just fine without knowing how many calories I burned during exercise… I didn’t need one.  In case anyone was wondering what brand that HRM was… Oregon Scientific… STAY AWAY!!!  Not from Oregon… just from their Scientific Department.

Minds change and mine changes more than the average person’s does.  I think I need one to get a better calculation of calories burned.  When your body gets used to a certain exercise, it doesn’t burn as many calories as it did in the beginning.  It would be nice to know exactly where I stand on calorie burnage and I also think it will help to kick my rear up a notch, hoping for that bigger number burned.  So, I went to Big 5 Sporting Goods and bought me a Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor with chest strap… much like this one:

It took me a minute and a year to figure out which brand I was going to settle on.  I actually purchased one like this online about a month or so back, but then got cold feet and returned it without ever opening the package… plus another friend (what up, Rachel) had told me about the FitBit and I wanted to research into that first.  Some of my smart pals on MFP (you know who you are) finally talked me into this one… no looking back now, onward and upward!  There was the option to purchase the “girlie” version, but the color was some nude color and I’d rather not look like I have a nekked wrist!  😛  Black it is… get back to me Polar when you invent some prettier colors… like purple and tangerine and turquoise and yeller…  I bought it a few days ago, but sadly I’m not strong enough to get it out of the package it came in.  Good laws… I’m going to need to go back to the store to purchase a circular saw and some bandages for when I inevitably cut my hand off trying to open it.  The real excuse is that I worked all weekend, so didn’t have much time to tinker with it and also I’m nervous that I’ll have to read the instruction book and then I’ll have brain spasms.  I’ll get it out today, though… guarantee you that!   Updates to come!

Question of the Day:  Do you use a heart rate monitor or FitBit or BodyBugg?  Does it help your workout? 

 

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15 Comments

Filed under Exercise

15 responses to “Polarizing My Heart…

  1. Natalie

    How exciting! There is nothing better than feeling like a workout is harder because you haven’t done it in a while, feeling like a wuss, then looking at the HRM and proving you did hard work! Harder heart rate and more calories! Plus it’s so much motivation! Get out the chain saw and get that thing fired up!!! Make the chest strap tight enough to contact, and wet the pads! At first I could only stop and start mine. I yelled and screamed at it. I can sort of mostly work it, now. But I still have to yell until my husband changes the weight on it for me. Or I could watch the you tube about it and do it… I can’t even change clock times without having fits!

  2. cl2

    Nope. It probably wouldn’t do anything for me in terms of incentive!! Let us know how it works as I would love to find out.

  3. dessawade

    I have worked with the Body Bug on and off for the last 2 years and I really like it. It’s easy to use. You have to download the info from the bugg to the computer and that’s the only thing that is a bit time consuming.

  4. jen

    I monitored my HR while I was pregnant to make sure it was not too high when I exercised. I just have a simple monitor you wear like a watch. It doesn’t count calories though. Tell us how you like your new one after you try it out.

    • That’s a good idea, Jen for you to monitor your HR while pregnant and exercising. I’ve seen those watch ones without the chest strap for calorie burns. I’ll let you know if I like this one.

  5. Dorothy Dingman

    I made the exact same mistake you made! I went for the Oregon Scientific at Big 5 because it was a great deal. After several hours of frustration trying to set it up, I took it back. You needed a dang PhD to program it. I came back with a Polar FT 7 Girlie version. It was fairly easy to set up, I still have to pull out the manual when I need to update…hopefully soon it will be due to a loss and not a gain.

    I liked knowing a more accurate count of the calories I burned. I didn’t like that there was such a discrepancy between what I had been counting, and what I was actually burning. The funny thing is that MFP always counted higher for me, and I ate back the calories. The Polar gave me less calories burned, which for me lead me to become upset, and so I struggled with working out, when I didn’t earn as many calories.

    • Good… I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who wanted to throw the dang Oregon Scientific in the lake! It was horrid!

      I don’t like the low burnage idea either. Read the post below yours and maybe that will help you. When you think you’ve worked out like a maniac and it shows minimal burn, it’s totally depressing!

  6. Susan

    In the interest of full disclosure….I have an FT7 but there are days I hate it. Why? I work out for 45 minutes with a sadistic trainer and the durn thing says I have burned 120 calories. So, I emailed the good folks at Polar and they said that in order to get a true calories burned calculation, I need to know my VO2 number. Apparently the FT4 has a fitness evaluation you can do to get your VO2 level, but the FT7….not so much. But….they did provide me with a chart that gives an approximate VO2 range by age/gender/fitness level. So, if you set up an account on polarpersonaltrainer.com, and manually adjust the VO2 number, you will eventually get an accurate calories burned number based on the other data from your watch.

    I emailed Polar again to clarify that the only way I can get an accurate calories burned number is to go through the process (above) because there is no way to change the VO2 in the FT7. I haven’t heard back from them (I did ask nicely) but will let you know what I hear if you are interested.

    • Wow, Susan! I have never in my lifetime even heard of a VO2 before! Thank you for the information and I would definitely be interested to hear what you find about changing the VO2 in the FT7. I am kind of nervous about seeing actual calorie burns. Such a bummer that yours was only showing 120 after a grueling workout. Did it look better with the VO2 changed? WOuld you send me a copy of this chart too?

  7. Deanna

    Thank you Susan for so much great information!!! I have the FT4 and I actually DO know my VO2 number, as I have had a couple of metabolic tests done that this result is part of. I knew my HRM wasn’t completely accurate, but I do have the info I need to calculate it. This is awesome to know! Thanks again! Susan, any chance you can help me with changing my VO2 number for my FT4? I didn’t know this existed, so I am unsure how to do this.

    I had first purchased the Polar FT4. Used it for a year and then sold it to get a BodyMedia (along the same lines as BodyBugg or FitBit). I used that for about 6 months. I hate to say it, but they aren’t accurate. The steps taken and sleep evaluation was great, but the daily caloric burn was way off. Upon contacting the company, they pretty much recognized this but there is no solution. Hmmmm. Okay then? I then purchansed another Polar FT4 and love it. You will too Whitney!

  8. Pingback: My Heart Rate Is Broken… « craving a life

  9. Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

    Hey Whitney-
    CONGRATS on purchasing the new HRM and going ahead with opening it and experimenting with it.
    Exciting new chapter in your weight loss journey!
    I do have a HRM but it is just one you wear on your wrist. I was very touched when my Dad bought this for me last year. It showed he was really supportive of my efforts to get healthy.
    My HRM calculates my HR and calories burned according to my age and gender.
    I hear they aren’t as accurate as the ones with the chest strap but it suits my needs.
    I don’t need some of those out there that are hundreds of dollars, GPS, and internet connectivity for heaven’s sake.
    Just like my scale doesn’t have all those bells and whistles…neither does my HRM or my cell phone…LOL.

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