T Nation

Heart Rate Monitors - Anyone a Guru on Them?


Plan on NY goals of more conditioning and MMA over a focus on OL/PL. Want a heart rate monitor I can wear all day long, lifts, MMA, yoga, walks, etc. Fitbit seemed tempting but military guys I know say they are breaking them in 3-4 months, but I know they are probably hammering them.

Polar and Garmin seem to be the popular brands, but I have no idea how to sort through the models and features as I am not a fan of technology.

So posting up in case someone here is a techy junky and can give some input on the current HR monitor market.



Having used a Polar HRM since 1990, I know a bit about them. For a HRM to be Accurate, it must have a Chest transmitter. That way it picks up the heart rate most accurately.

When using the chest transmitter, get it wet first by licking the electrode pickups. The saliva is yours, and the saline content helps with proper transmission.

Garmin also makes an excellent product.

Stay away from ANY device that says it can read you heart rate from your wrist.
These are Notoriously Inaccurate and are not worth shit.

Companies as we know are great at misinformation misdirection, and maybe even moreso in the fitness industry.

Anyway …


Thank you…my military buddies use Garmin, and when I was doing research for performance under stress I worked with Polar and they were great products and people. So this advice seems spot on. One person told me Garmin 910 or 920 (but said they cost $400-500 so that isn’t happening ha) and Polar told me to check out there M400 which is more reasonably priced.

Do you use yours for lifting? I was going to try to use it for lifting, yoga, and MMA if certain classes I can get away with wearing it doing pads and such.


I will use mine when I do my Prowler Pull / Pushes and my Farmers Walks.
I usually go as hard as possible for 50 meters on either of those, and when
my heart rate returns to 65% of maximal, I hit up the next lap.

I do a Heavy Hard day followed by an easier speed day. I do this twice per week.
Usually in the morning about 6am. I then lift in the evening about 6 pm.

So it looks like this. Sat/Sun on, mon off, tues/ wed on, thr/ fri off.
Seems to work well, with enough recovery.

I will use the HRM first thing in the morning to monitor if my HR has returned to normal,
if it has not, i will usually back off a bit that morning and evening.


Very nice. Yea I forgot to add in last reply I want to use it on conditioning like sleds, ropes, strongman kind of circuits, etc. so learning to use it like you are would be beneficial.

And I’m curious how taxing MMA types of classes and yoga is.

Used to use HRM To see how I could drop HR with breathing or mediation too.

Slacked off on conditioning for a few years so have a lot of room for improvement. I can always throw up heavy weights so don’t think ill get that weak or drop too much weight haha.