So, why do you need a heart rate monitor?
- They are extremely more accurate than the machines at the gym. These machines just estimate the calories you are burning, which means they could be off by tens to hundreds of calories on their readings. While they take into consideration your age, gender, and weight, they still aren't as personal as the chest strap on your very own body. You are most likely burning less than the readings say. Ain't that a bummer?
- They track your heart rate and calories burnt while strength training too. Weights, squats, and ab work clearly don't have a reader like cardio machines. This shows you exactly how hard you are working during all aspects of your workout.
- They help you see how you are progressing. Your gym sessions are stored away in fitness files, so you can look back and see your improvements.
- They monitor your "zone." This is the ideal range your heart rate should stay in for maximum results, and to prevent from under-training and over-training.
- They show you which exercises work, and which ones you need to tweak. It's a way for you to personalize your workouts to your own benefit and liking.
I bought my Polar FT4 from Sports Authority, but they are also available at Sports Chalet, Best Buy, Target, REI or online. I suggest you run out and snatch one up. It's time to maximize your workout!