Suunto Vector HRM

The Suunto Vector heart rate monitor is a device that falls into the higher range for quite serious athletes. If you are into cross country, hiking or mountaineering sports then this HRM and watch will have some great functionality for you, and is well worth paying over $250. Of all the watches available, this is probably one of the most feature rich ones you could buy.

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Track Energy Burned With Heart Rate Monitor Calorie Counter Features

One of the great features of modern heart rate monitors is that they can give you a relatively accurate calculation of how many calories you burn on any given training session. Using heart rate monitor calorie counter feature will help you with weight loss training plans and also for dietary plans for performance athletes.


Before we get to the advantages of using a heart rate monitor to track your calories burned I would like to draw your attention to three HRMs that have been reviewed on this site, which feature calorie counting features. These monitors are among the most popular devices sold on Amazon and our reviews are very positive.


Brand: PolarBrand: PolarBrand: Timex
Model: FT7Model: FT4Model: Personal Trainer
Calorie Counter: YesCalorie Counter: YesCalorie Counter: Yes
Warranty: 2 YearsWarranty: 2 YearsWarranty: 1 Year
Water Resistant: Yes 30mWater Resistant: Yes 30mWater Resistant: Yes 30m
Battery: 2 YearsBattery: 18 MonthsBattery: 2 Years
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All these heart rate monitors are of excellent quality and are very reasonable. For less than $100 you can get started with some pretty feature rich devices. As you can see there are many other functions that will help you with your training, and the more money you spend the more data will be tracked. But even with one of the more basic devices will be enough to help you track calories brined.


Weight Loss

Heart rate monitor calorie counter functions are very useful if you are exercising to achieve weight loss. When you know exactly how many calories you have burned during certain exercise sessions you can then best target those running or cycling routes that achieve the highest levels of energy usage.


You will be surprised how quickly you can get into a routine of training the right way. When losing weight is your main aim then it can be quite frustrating when your training does not provide the results you really had hoped for. But when you see numbers that represent your fitness level and energy used you get much better feedback about what you are achieving. It also makes sense to record everything you eat over a period of time as this can reveal whether you are still taking on too many calories which will be very counter productive.


Dietary Needs

But also if you are a performance athlete or amateur training for a competitive event such calorie data is extremely useful for your dietary plan. It is very important that you prepare for training sessions with certain food intake. And just as important is replenishing energy you lost during training.


By having data about your energy usage, you can then come up with a meal that replenishes that energy. By adding up the calories contained in certain food you can quickly identify precisely how much food you need to eat in order to make sure you do not have too little energy for the next training session or even competitive event.



A heart rate monitor calorie counter is vital for athletes of all types and will greatly help you figure out the best diet for your own goals and training plans. Keep track of this data over time and you get a really good picture of your progress. Training and food intake are extremely closely related and should not be looked at in isolation of each other.

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Review

The Polar FT4 heart rate monitor is one of the most popular heart rate monitor watches sold on Amazon. Over 300 people have reviewed this item and given it an average 4.4 star rating. That kind of rating is extremely good and when you read the reviews by some of the customers you will see what a great heart rate monitor this really is.

That is a very high rating and I encourage you to take a look at some of the reviews, as it can help you understand what people are using it for and how it is helping them. With a $70 price tag this is a very affordable heart rate monitor for anybody who is trying to analyse their exercise and workout sessions.Continue reading

Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor Review

The Polar FT7 heart rate monitor is very similar in style and functionality to the FT4 monitor, but it does pack some extra features that are worth pointing out. The average Amazon review is coming in at 4.2 stars out of over 400 reviews, which does indicate that a lot of people are very happy with this product.

Like the FT4, the Polar FT7 has a built-in calorie calculator which upon entering your height, weight, age and gender, tells you exactly how many calories you have burned during a workout. This is especially handy for people who are targeting weight loss, but also for anyone trying to optimize their diet for their training.

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Timex Ironman Run Trainer Review

The Timex Ironman Run Trainer is a great mid level heart rate monitor, with the added bonus of having GPS built in. Given the price range this is a fantastic feature to have, which you would usually only find on higher spec and price models. It also has a lot of bells and whistles that let you expand your heart rate training ability and significantly improve your performance.

The GPS allows you track your speed and distance in addition to your heart rate and calories burned. All this data can then be used to track your performance during different workout sessions. All the data can be uploaded to the TrainingPeaks online application to give you a better display of your individual workout sessions.Continue reading

Polar RS100 Heart Rate Monitor Watch

The Polar RS100 heart rate monitor is the most basic one offered by Polar and is ideal for beginners who want to start using their heart rate data to optimize their training and track performance during a workout session. If you are new to using your heart rate data to help improve your performance, and you do not want to spend a lot of money to find out whether this information will be of use to you then this is the ideal watch for you.

With a price tag of less than $70 you get the watch and heart rate sensor which is strapped around your chest. The large display of the watch will show you your total exercise time, lap times and your heart rate. The great thing is that the watch face is large enough to make all the information easily readable. This is sometimes not the case when additional info is being displayed, so this is a great plus for the Polar RS100 Heart Rate Monitor.

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Timex T5G941 Heart Rate Monitor Watch

The Timex T5G941 heart rate monitor is a great device for a beginner. As an entry level device this is a great choice for any beginner. Timex are one of the top manufacturers of heart rate monitors and they function very well, even at the basic level.

With a price tag of less than $40 on Amazon, this is a very affordable monitor for any beginner. It certainly is not packed with features like calorie calculator, but if you are just trying to improve your workouts using heart rate feedback then this watch will do it for you. It is very simple to learn how to use and does not have a large selection of buttons to trigger different features. This is very important for beginners as you want to have as little distractions as possible.

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Suunto Ambit GPS Heart Rate Monitor Watch

The Suunto Ambit heart rate monitor is probably the Cadillac among the heart rate monitors available today, and both the features and the price show how much it is geared towards performance and professional athletes. With a price tag of $500 you really want to be sure that you need and will use all the features that this device packs.

But even at that price, you will not be disappointed by the possibilities that this HRM will deliver. For a serious athlete and outdoor enthusiast this is a lot more than just a heart rate monitor. It will give you an amazing amount of information about your training session and the  route you traveled on, which will allow you to plan and execute training regimes much more efficiently.

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GPS Running Heart Rate Monitor

The best heart rate monitor you could possibly buy is one that has a built in GPS chip that tracks your movement, tells you the speed you are moving at and the distance you have travelled. For most people it will not be something they really need but many people still buy one as a gadget with built in GPS.

Where such a HRM comes in very handy is if you want to keep track of the routes you have run or hiked. Pretty much any GPS heart rate monitor can be linked up with a computer to upload its data to a tracking application that can display all your past workout data and the routes you took.

For a serious athlete this can be incredibly useful information as you can better plan running a specific route to achieve a certain average heart rate.

best heart rate monitor 1For example, lets say you are planning a run where you want to achieve a higher than normal heart rate, and you know that you have had a few workout sessions in the past that achieved this. You can then look at your training history and check which routes achieved higher average heart rates, maybe because they involved more hills. Or periodic inclines.

One thing to keep in mind with GPS based devices is that a GPS chip requires an awful lot of energy. This has two impacts. Firstly, GPS chips use up a lot of energy, which drains the battery quite quickly.  Despite having quite large rechargeable batteries you will find that you have less than 24 hours of power. Make sure you remind yourself to recharge the watch very regularly.

Secondly, the watch will be quite a bit bulkier than many other monitors you can get, because of the size of the battery and the chip. This may not be an issue if you really do need such a watch, but if you are getting it just as a gadget, then you need to factor this in. This also does not make it the most suitable watch for everyday use.

Alternatively you can use a GPS enabled smartphone and simply buy a compatible heart rate chest strap. This will give you the same functionality without needing to buy an expensive separate HRM. What you will need is an App installed that can read the data coming from the chest strap. There are some free apps available with limited functionality, but for a couple of dollars you can get an App that has some additional features and links up to Google maps to track your route.

Timex Ironman Global Trainer With GPSThe options with a smartphone are quite extensive, but many people prefer to have a separate device. If you are looking for some information on available devices then take a look at the ones reviewed on this site. Our very convenient comparison table can be sorted by GPS functionality giving you a quick way to see some of the most popular devices. It makes it much easier to compare different models and makes, so you can choose the features you want and then decide on a price you are willing to pay.
photo credit: thomas_sly

New Balance N4 Heart Rate Monitor Watch Review

The New Balance N4 heart rate monitor is a great entry level device specifically designed for women. At a price of $60 it is a very affordable HRM for anyone exercising casually. But even if you are a more advanced or performance athlete, the N4 may be a great choice due to its quite small design and profile. As many heart rate monitors can be quite bulky, this is a novel feature to see.

For a small sized HRM this watch has the great feature of being able to display two lines of data at the same time. So you can see your heart rate and the stop watch or calories burned at the same time without having to press a button on the watch. This is very helpful as it can be annoying and distracting to get that info while you are working out. With a quick glance you will have the information you need without having to press buttons, leaving you to simply focus on your pace and performance.

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