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on February 13, 2012
Love this HRM. I think the fitness test feature is so important for weight loss- it allows for more accurate determination of calories burned.

1 problem I have had- when it was time to change the battery on the chest transmitter (I only knew I needed a new battery b/c I started getting crazy readings, like a HR of 240!), the back was SO hard to remove! I tried coins, screwdrivers..a butter knife...finally my husband removed it with a very large screwdriver- but by then a lot of damage had been done to the back cover (it's just made of plastic).

I contacted Polar on their "live chat" (don't do email- I tried and after a week still no response) and they sent me a new back asap.

SO
1) strange readings =time for new battery
2) FYI- I had to replace the battery within a year- but they are really cheap (like $2.00 each)
3) Be careful when removing the back- use a very large screwdriver (meaning the head of the screwdriver is big)
4) Don't email polar- use live chat
5) If you damage the back, they will quickly send you a new one for free.
So- while I had a problem, it was resolved so well that I still give this 5 stars.
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on May 22, 2013
This is exactly what I wanted when I decided to stop being a couch potato and start building back up my fitness level!

Here's why I picked the ft40 (over the ft4):
* calculates your max heart rate based on your age/weight/resting heart rate (which it has a test for)
* stores up to 50 workouts that you can flip back through
* lets you sync your workouts to your computer, you can see your stats and compare your workouts.
* honestly, I probably would have been fine with the FT4, but I wanted the option to have more options (If I ever decide to train for a half marathon, the FT40 will be more useful)

I love this heart rate monitor because it tells me exactly how hard I'm working, so when my brain tells me "oh hey, this is too hard" I look down at my watch, see that I'm at 60% of my max, and then promptly tell my brain to shut up so I can work harder. It's been incredibly helpful to know just exactly how hard I need to push myself to maintain either a fat burning mode or a fitness mode. The calorie counter is great for me as well. I've been doing insanity and when they say "you can burn up to 800 calories a workout!" that doesn't mean I will! with the FT40 I get a pretty good estimate of how many calories I've actually burned, making figuring out my daily calorie intake that much easier.

If you love to track everything, have a hard time pushing yourself (and need mathematical proof of how hard you're working) get this monitor!
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on December 6, 2011
IF YOU NEED a monitor that is simple and useful, this is the one for you!

I have used polar over the past 3 years and i am very happy of their products. My husband also have this brand. The old models lack the capability of having the user change the batteries but THIS POLAR FT40F HAS IT! This was very important to me as I am using this item at least 5 days a week to run and spin class. No need to send it to have the battery replaced which will probabaly take a week or two.

Features are great! very helpful. I love the fact that it does fitness test. It is very easy to set-up. User friendly.

The look? SUPER STyLISH and cute!I love that it is white and not the normal bulky black look. The wrist band is super soft thought it took me a few hours to get use to the bulkiness since I haven't worn a watch in a month since the wrist injury. The chest strap is super comfy and is coded so it doesn't cross talk while u are in the gym.

PErfect tool for those who wants to step up their game in fitness or varius sports. I am using this tool mainly to run, spin, and do stairs
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on July 9, 2013
The Polar Ft40 is exactly what I was looking for in a heart rate monitor. I have used it virtually every day since I received it 3-4 months ago. I opted for the white watch and find that it is very easy to clean. Here are my pros and cons...

Pros
-Chest strap is comfortable, I never even notice I'm wearing it
-Strap is easily moistened with just water, but I have used electrode jelly as well, both work great
-Watch piece has a few settings on what you would prefer to look at "at-a-glance" during your workout. What is pictured is one of those views (current heart rate and minimum heart rate for "fitness" zone vs "fat burn" zone. You can have it be just your current heart rate, calories burned or the time as well.
-Easily pause your workout and re-start

Cons
-There may be a way but I wish I could have a separate timer function for intervals during my workout
-I've owned my Ft40 for 3-4 months now and had to replace the battery already
-I replaced the battery about 1 month ago and it is starting to lose my heart rate again. I've found when this happens usually the strap needs a good cleaning (wash with like colors, do not dry, or hand wash in sink). I try to wash it once a week at minimum.

**Edited 8/20/13 - I contacted Polar about my last "con" about the device losing my heart rate. They thought it may be a faulty transmitter so they sent me a new one. Fantastic customer service. They also shared with me that I should hand-wash my strap vs put it in the washer so I have been doing that as well. No issues and if it does for some reason lose my heart rate, it finds it again right away. Thank you!!
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on October 19, 2012
GOOD THINGS: It really always seemed to catch right on to my heart rate without much moving effort (like particular placement or anything); I just tucked it under my sports bra and was very comfortable so I didn't notice the strap very often; The screen was clear and easy to see; it's easy to switch between calories or HR in the middle of workout (when I was looking at reviews, I remember people talking about the buttons being hard to push. I think that's a little picky. It wasn't difficult to push at all)

BAD THINGS:
Notice I say "wasn't" - LOL - because I only had this for about 5-6 months before it completely stopped working. My heart rate says "00" and will no longer catch my actual HR. I'm going to call to Polar and see if they'll do something about it. For this amount of money, this thing should've lasted longer. I also had read this happening to a few other reviewers before I bought this, but I bought it thinking "maybe they did something wrong" or "maybe they didn't take care of it"... well, I did take care of mine and sure enough, it still died.

I'll update my review to 4 stars if Polar actually helps me resolve my issue.

If you're one of those people decided between this or a lower model from Polar. I would recommend just buying whatever is the most basic/cheap model they have that will show both HR and calories burned... when it comes down to it, that's really all you need!
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on August 12, 2012
I purchased this Polar Ft40F Women's Heart Rate Monitor watch because I wanted to be able to be able to keep track of how consistent my workouts were. The watch itself works great. There are several different options/screens that can be monitored while in the process of tracking your heart rate. You can watch the time, your heart rate, your heart rate in comparison to the range where it should be, and your total calories burned. The watch will tell you if your heart rate is in a "fitness" zone or "fat burning" zone. To understand the difference I did a little research online, but basically even when you are at your resting heart rate, you are in a "fat burning" zone, and the higher your heart rate goes that moves you into a "fitness" zone. After entering your personal stats the watch calculate your range where you should be and if you exceed the maximum heart rate range it will beep until you lower your heart rate back into the fitness zone.

To clarify, there is an adjustable strap that you put around your chest and snap on the heart rate monitor to the buttons on it. I workout pretty hard, running, biking, rowing, resistance training, and I never even notice or remember the strap is there and it in no way interferes with my workout. It just transmits the information to my watch. I have also found that this watch also transmits my information to my Schwinn exercise bike and may work with other workout gear, which is another plus.

This watch has allowed me to be aware of my effort in my workouts and adjust if necessary to make sure I am meeting my fitness goals. I have no complaints and am very happy with this product.
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on October 23, 2013
I purchased this heart rate monitor about a month ago and am very happy with it! I did not have a lot of money to spend, and I feel like I got a good value for the price. I didn't need all of the bells and whistles like GPS, etc. I just wanted a straightforward HRM that would tell me how hard I'm working. I like that at the end of the workout (when I actually remember to turn it off) it tells me how many calories I burned, what % of calories were from fat, how long I was in my fat burning zones and my conditioning zones, and what my max and average heart rate were. The display is also easy to read.

I was also surprised at how comfortable the strap is. I was very worried how it would fit since I'm a big mama (240 pounds). But it is adjustable and fit just fine. I liked that it was a stretchy material as well as washable (big plus).

Some people commented about a short battery life....I've only had mine a month, so I probably can't help too much, but I have noticed that it does need to be turned off at the end of each workout otherwise the watch will keep reading (or trying to read if the strap was removed) the HRM. I would imagine that would greatly reduce the battery life.
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on January 16, 2012
I love this watch. Helps me keep track of my workouts, heart rate, and calories burnt in a workout. I can also use it for my water class. I would highly recommend this product!!
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on April 17, 2014
Ever since I learned more about heart rate training, I began to implement the use of a heart rate monitor into my own training. I needed my monitor to do these two things: count calories and show heart rate.

*Initial Thoughts*

I had been using my Garmin Forerunner 405CX for indoor workouts. Although it’s a great tool, I didn’t need all the data it offered and the large watch constantly got in the way of everyday tasks. The large, clunky watch was heavy and got pretty banged up throughout the day. I decided to look into the more simple, yet effective Polar heart rate monitors and settled on the Polar FT40. I love how the slim design allowed it to be worn as an everyday watch. As someone who works out throughout the day, I value the ability to press a button to track my calories as I taught a class or trained a client.

*Setup*

Setting up my Polar FT40 couldn’t have been any easier. Upon opening the box, I inputted my information into the watch: height, weight, activity level, gender. The heart rate strap is not as high in quality as Garmin’s premium strap, but it was good enough. One of the best parts about Polar straps is that a replacement can also be purchased for less than $20. I wet the electrodes and put on the HR strap so the watch can conduct the Fitness Test. The Fitness Test calculates your heart rate for a few minutes while you’re in a relaxed state, and then ranks you according to your resting HR. I kicked back, relaxed, and let the Fitness Test do its thing.

Users have reported wonky data within a few months of consistent use, and this is usually fixed by hand washing the HR strap. I always wipe down my watch and HR strap at the end of the day to prevent harmful salt buildup and gently hand wash the strap (without the snap on device) every week.

*During Workouts*

The watch was easy enough to maneuver for my first workout. With a simple click of a button, the watch was able to pick up my heart rate with ease. Throughout the workout, the watch has the ability to manually scroll through a few screens: heart rate, heart rate effect (fat zone vs. fitness zone), calories, and the time. Because of it’s comfortable design, you forget that it’s there. My Forerunner buttons would constantly jab into my wrist and stop time when I performed any exercise that required wrist extension, like a plank. No such problems like that with my FT40.

*Post Workout Data*

Although you can cycle through screens throughout your workout, more information is available at the end of the workout. The calorie counter is especially important because I use that data to input into my food diary. I don’t like to rely on machines or My Fitness Pal to guesstimate how many calories I’ve burned. Granted, the watches guess too, but they take into account more information than software on treadmills.

The FT40 also provides information such as your average and maximum HR, along with what percentage of the workout was low intensity vs. high intensity. Since the body burns a greater percentage of fat in low intensity workouts, this is exemplified through the display, “Cal. Fat”

During the workout, the FT40 has a screen that tells you whether you’re in the Fat Loss vs. Fitness zone. Unfortunately, the number that dictates Fitness is decided solely on the watch and can’t be manually adjusted. The Fitness threshold is set at 65%, which is technically the proper intensity of %maxHR (MHR) to elicit a physiological response in the body. Keep in mind that if you’re in great shape, you’ll need a greater intensity of about 85% to push that adaptation threshold.

If you don’t know your MHR and you’re healthy with good joints, I suggest doing a max test on a treadmill to find your true MHR. If you can’t do that, skip the simple 220-age formula and use 206.9 – (0.67 x age). The latter formula has been shown to be more accurate than the antiquated 220 – age. A max test to test MHR is recommended every five years because MHR declines with age.

Find your resting HR (RHR) by taking your heart rate first thing in the morning. Count the beats for a full 60 seconds and take the average number of a couple of trials. As you get in better shape, your RHR will lower and you will need to update the information stored in your watch.

*Conclusion*

If you need something simple that can get the job though, the FT40 is for you. The simpler FT7 is similar in function except that it doesn’t have the fat loss vs. fitness capabilities. I really love that I can wear my FT40 as an everyday watch and that the HR strap is pretty comfortable. This is a great motivational tool for people who want to increase fitness and monitor their workouts. The calorie counter is indispensable for calorie counters who need to lose or gain weight.
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on June 23, 2012
I enjoy this watch it offers all the qualities I need in a watch. It has calorie burn, max. heart rate, and average heart rate read outs when you are finished with your workout. I sometimes have problem with the transmitter reading when I first started but I just had to get the strap wet and re-tighten it. My only minor complaint is it is a much bigger watch than I have had in the past. So if you are looking for a smaller sized watch this would not be for you. It is a little wider than other female watches from Polar that I have had but, I have used it for a month and am now used to it.
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