Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Review (Must-Have Fitness Accessory)


I have a new favorite in the accessories department! Thing is, it’s not one of the bags on my covet list or a brand new pair of “I’m fabulous, dahlin” shades. My new fave is a doggone heart rate monitor. I know! Lol. I bought the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor last month and I absolutely love it.

If you’ve stepped on a cardio machine, you know that you’re supposed to hold on to the handles (for dear life) in order for most machines to record your heart rate. Here’s the problem: if you don’t hold on, the machine may beep incessantly because it cannot read your heart rate. I prefer the “Look Ma! No hands!” routine so the reminder can get super annoying.

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Besides the beeping noise, the bigger issue is the accuracy of the gym equipment’s heart rate monitor. It’s well-known that cardio machines tend to overestimate your heart rate and calories burned. Imagine treating yourself to some fries and then finding out you didn’t even burn enough to cover the ketchup. Womp Womp!

I discovered the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor while I was making my rounds on YouTube. A vlogger had been chronicling her workouts with what looked like just a watch. Being the Inspector Gadget that I am, I googled the “watch” and found that it was the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor.

Here’s how Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor works:

  • The package includes: a watch (monitor), an adjustable chest strap & a snap-on sensor (transmitter)
  • Wet the strap (as directed) and put it on around your chest
  • Attach the sensor to the strap
  • Press start on your watch
  • The transmitter will calculate your heart rate and transmit that information to your watch.
  • Once you’re done, press stop to record the workout (Don’t forget to remove the transmitter from the strap! It saves the watch’s battery.)

Review of Polar ft4 heart rate monitor fitness cross-training

What I love about the Polar FT4 Monitor:

  1. The Setup.¬†Setting up the monitor is super easy. All you have to do is input your height, weight, age and gender. You can set heart rate zones and receive alerts if you fall outside of the zone during the workout. (When I’m doing more intense cardio, I tend to increase the zone parameters.)
  2. Syncing Capabilities. When I use the elliptical and arc trainer, the monitor syncs with those machines. Not only can I have a hands-free workout, but I can see my accurate heart rate and calories burned on the machine.
  3. Track Your Progress. With the FT4, you can store the results of up to 10 workouts. This allows you to see how many minutes you’ve spent exercising, compare the calories burned in each session and calculate your lowest and highest heart rate per workout.
  4. Motivation. Go. Go. Go. Go!¬†Something about seeing the amount of calories burned on the Polar watch makes me push harder. Let’s say I burned 600 calories on the elliptical and then another 200 doing strength training. That’s 800 calories. At that point, I’m thinking: “Mel, you should just break 1000 today. Let’s go!” Then I work out a little bit more and next thing you know, I’ve burned 1150 calories!

FT4 isn’t the only heart rate monitor available from Polar. There’s an assortment of heart rate monitors (for different needs) under the Polar brand. Check them out on Polar.com

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  1. Wow! That sounds amazing. They’re super cute, too! How comfortable is the chest strap? Is it a one size fits all? I love the idea of having a visible motivator.

    • Honestly, I forget it’s even on my chest. The strap is soft and more comfortable than a bra band. It can be adjusted and it has tons of stretch. I believe it goes up to 60in.

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