T Nation

Heart Rate Monitors

I’d like to hear from those who have purchased heart rate monitors. It would be great if I could hear which to avoid if one has had a less than satisfactory experience with theirs, and “if I were in the market for a new monitor” comment. For my next adventure into the “melt the lard off my ass” and my desire to increase my overall workload capacity, I will be using a HIIT style training with a variety of different modalities, but will use the little guideline that Jerry Telle suggested. Briefly, 20 seconds burst training and a low intensity rest period until the heart rate returns to 110-115. This makes more sense to me than just preset go/stop time frames. By measuring the amount of time it takes to return to this heart rate level, and tracking it, wouldn’t I have a crystal clear indication of my progress? Yes I know that there are innumerous immeasurable intangibles, but I am not running an experiment in which the success needs to be measured to the .00001 sec or bpm. Cost is important as well. If those who respond would include the features that they wish they had, have but don’t need, it would be greatly appreciated.

I use the Nike heart rate/ watch monitor… It works fine w/ me… But its expensive. around $200. Polar makes good and decent heart rate monitor at a decent price also. And you don’t need to get one that fancy either. The are some watchs out that you don’t need a strap to take your heart rate. I don’t know the names off the top of my head.But if you go to runners world they might have the information.

While there are a number of heart rate monitors out there and I own one, I stopped using it awhile ago.
Since I have been training most of my life, I am able to experience very high heart rates with only moderate distress.
I while back I posted an article from the New York Times on Heart Rates and Training. The article basically recommended the Precieved Stress Index as a method of cardiovascular training. Do a search and you should be able to find that article. If you can not local it here, let me know and I will repost it. Give this method a try before spending your money. Best of Luck.

I have seen many, and a lot of the features are not what I need. I just don’t want to regret not having them. Heck in a perfect world and a few more funds a downloadable recap of the session, so that I can measure a graph against my output, peak heart rate and return to target, along with my respiration rate. But hey, simply knowing my heart rate is good enough. In your experience, is the watch only version without the chest strap accurate enough, or rather, are chest straps that much of a pain in the ass?

No luck finding that article. I will keep trying.

I use the timex ironman triathlon myself. I have had a problem with the chest strap. It is very tight on my chest, and part of the velcro is exposed, and irritates the skin. They don’t seem to be designed for people who have a large chest measurement. If you get one with a chest strap, make sure you fit in the strap.

Also, personally I find it interesting to know what my heart rate is, but not of any real benefit. I don’t pay any attention to working out in any heart rate myself, and the people that do would probably shit a brick to see the fluctuation from a good HIIT session, although I haven’t used it during one.