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Polar FT 40 Heart Rate Monitor

The Polar FT 40 heart rate monitor is a nice step up from the Polar FT4. The FT 40 goes beyond simply showing your heart rate and calories burned with its EnergyPointer function. During your training session, the EnergyPointer tells you the effect of your training – whether you’re improving fat burning or improving aerobic fitness and displays it graphically so you get instant feedback to help you reach your exercise goals.

The FT 40 also has a neat fitness testing function. Using resting heart rate and heart rate variability, the FT 40 can predict your level of fitness and VO2max in just five minutes. You can then track your workouts and progress with Polar Software by transferring your workout results from your heart rate monitor to your computer.

What I really like about the new Polar heart rate monitors, is that they allow for button free operation during workouts. To switch between displays, simply bring the watch close to your chest and it will beep and change functions.

In addition to its exercise functions, the Polar FT 40 features an alarm clock with snooze, date and weekday indicator, dual time zone monitor, and a low battery indicator.

The quick & dirty:
Where you can find one:
REI: $165 (Women’s)
Amazon: $129.95 (Men’s)

Why they rock:

  • The EnergyPointer tells you if the main effect of your training is fitness improvement or fat burning
  • The Polar Fitness test measures your aerobic fitness at rest and tells you your progress
  • Displays calories burned
  • Comes with comfortable textile transmitter and coded heart rate transmission to avoid cross-talk

Seat-of-the-pants rating: 9 out of 10

I’ve been running with the Polar FT4 for years and can say that Polar offers reliable and accurate heart rate readings. I would love to upgrade to a heart rate monitor that can be uploaded to a PC so I can track my workouts. If I did, I would most definitely go with the Garmin Forerunner since it, unlike the Polar FT40, it can track distance and speed with its GPS capabilities. But if you’re looking for a high quality heart rate monitor that can track your average heart rate and calories burned with some sweet exercising monitoring features – the Polar FT40 may be perfect for you.

Looking to buy? Here’s where you can get one:
REI: $165 (Women’s)
Amazon: $129.95 (Men’s)