The Polar FT40 heart rate monitor is a mid level HRM that goes beyond the basic features of the entry level devices. With a price tag of just over $109 it is still quite affordable, but quite a step up from the $50 and $60 prices common with entry level ones. These extra features definitely justify the higher price and if you think you are going to be serious about heart rate based training then this model is a very likely contender.
You definitely get a whole lot more for your money and here you find out some of the great features. First to mention is the really cool function of what Polar call Fitness Test. What you do is wear the chest strap after exercising and while you are at rest in order to record your resting heart rate, or your OwnIndex. This is similar to a VO2max index which is a good measure of your aerobic fitness level. By saving multiple results you can easily track how your fitness is improving over time. The watch automatically computes these values making it very easy for you to see your improvements.
Training Load is another feature that really helps in planning your weekly exercises. It essentially advises you when to take rest days and at what intensity you should exercise on what days. This really helps keep you motivated and gives you clear guidance on how much to train; like a personal trainer in your watch. Unless you are a professional athlete or regularly see a personal trainer, then this feature can be a really convenient add on. Many hobby athletes can fall into a trap of over-exercising and not scheduling regular enough rest days. The Polar FT40 heart rate monitor will definitely help you better plan your training.
The final thing to mention is the Calorie counter. This is great for people who want to lose weight, but it is also important for athletes that need to keep track of how much energy they need to replenish after various training sessions. It is not an exact science and the watch bases its calculations on the data you enter about your height, weight and gender. It will however give you a good idea as to how much energy you have used.
This particular model is the black version designed for men, but there is also one for women which is reviewed here. There are not that many heart monitors on the market that give the flexibility of being available in different colors or styles to suit men and women. This means that there is one available for all tastes.
Target zone displays fat burn or fitness improvement
Heart rate target zones with visual and audible alarms
Difficult battery replacement
Cannot change heart rate zones
Also take a look at this very handy comparison table that we have put together in order to make it easier to see the differences between all the different HRMs