Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor

January 9th, 2013 | Posted by Erica House in Fitness | Reviews

As I said in my Happiness Video I am usually quite adverse to material possessions. However, I have my exceptions.


Polar HR


I have fallen in love with the Polar FT40  Heart Rate Monitor. I haven’t engaged in a single physical activity without wearing it since I received it before Christmas and if anything were to happen to mine I’d cry and run out and replace it immediately.

Check out my Video Review on how easy it is to use and what I love so much about it:

As I mention in the video there is a huge difference in the amount of calories burned depending on what type of activity I’m doing. For those of you who have done the Banish Fat Boost Metabolism DVD you know what an absolute killer it is. I was pretty surprised that I didn’t even break 300 calories in almost an hour of working out but look at that even split of calories burned from fat burn and fitness (cardio). Zero equipment used and I got my strength and cardio workout in at once!

2013-01-03 09.06.32

For running – the Polar helped me see that RunKeeper’s calories burned were significantly lower than what I was actually burning!

2013-01-05 10.55.48

I try not to get to hung up on calories burned/consumed. However, it is important to me to have a rough idea of how much I’m burning to make sure I’m eating the right amount. Ever since I started using the Polar I eat a bit more on long run days and slightly less than I was on strength days.

The monitor is SO easy to use (I can be a total dunce figuring out gadgets) and I had it out of the box and ready to workout in 2 minutes. It has absolutely motivated me to workout harder in my routines so I can keep my heart rate up and it’s also given me a new enthusiasm for doing all of my home DVD’s (which I was getting pretty bored with) since I can now see how much I was burning with each one!


I know many of you are working toward Health related goals for the New Years and I can’t think of a better treat for yourself to help keep you motivated than the Polar monitor.

Do you use a Heart Rate monitor? Would you like to?

What are some other high intensity cardio workouts I should try aside from running? 

Disclaimer: I was provided the Polar FT40 through Fitfluential LLC in exchange for my honest review.

I really do love it as much as I say so.

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47 Responses

  • I’ve heard great things about these! I got a Body Media arm band, so I’ve been using that, and I love how that tracks your calories for everything, as well. It’s just interesting (and motivating!) to see it!

  • Melissa says:

    I have a garmin forerunner10 that I got for Christmas but there’s so much snow here that I haven’t been able to use it! I know you do a lot of workout videos but my favorite intensity work out is cardio kickboxing. I take a class at a local gym and it’s one of the best workouts I’ve ever done.

    • Erica House says:

      The first time I lost weight (about 20 lbs in high school) I was taking step aerobics as my gym credit in school and going to a ladies gym after to do cardio kickboxing. It was intense! Such an amazing calorie blaster!

  • That is a pretty cool set up I have to say…

  • Jodi says:

    I’m kinda depressed to see that Banish Fat Boost Metabolism only burns about 300 calories. :( Must get my treadmill fixed!

    • Erica House says:

      I KNOW!
      But, keep in mind, with my weight and fitness level I don’t burn calories as much as other people do. Also, I just read last night in my Health magazine that people who did strength exercises for 15 minutes burned an extra 100 calories a day for THREE days after! So, you do continue to burn more calories after strength and you don’t get that same after effect from cardio. Also, the strength workouts I do help keep my legs and core strong so I can run even more!

  • Erika says:

    I don’t get all the numbers. Can you explain the splits you had for the JM video? I love that video and feel like it is such an awesome cardio workout. What was your after burn for that video?

    I really like snowshoeing and am very curious as to what my calorie burn is for that. It is not just walking!

    • Erica House says:

      I’m not sure what you mean by splits! Which numbers are you referring to?
      I’m sure snoeshoeing burns WAY more calories that normal walking!

  • Patty says:

    I am treating myself to one next month! :) Been wanting one for the longest time. Great review!

  • I NEED one ASAP! I do not know how I’ve gone this long without one. Loved the review.

  • Kammie says:

    Great vlog! I just got my polar too and started using it. I’d love it if you did more, you have a great voice, it’s soothing for some reason. I’d like to learn your take on the fat burn and fitness zones and how to look at them when working out. I heard that the fat burn zone doesn’t actually exist or work, would you agree with this?

    • Erica House says:

      Thank you! I had someone tell me I sounded like Anne Hathaway the other day – totally made me uber happy :D

      The best way I found to explain the Fat Burn Zone concept was off this website: http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/The-Myth-of-the-Fat-burning-Zone
      “At lower intensities the body may burn 50 percent of the calories from fat, while at higher intensities it may only burn 35 percent. But at higher intensities you burn way more total calories—and more fat calories overall—than you do at lower intensities.”

      Makes sense! I’m happy in either zone, fat burned, calories burned … whatever keeps me happy in my skinny jeans!

  • Devan says:

    Awesome! Wow, you’re really nice! :) I am in your dietbet, I heard about it through Barbara Davis who writes the bold blend blog. I am loving looking through your stuff! I use a fitbit but am very aware that it can’t possibly track accurate calories as it only bases it on steps. I like it but it was $100 as well and while it’s a neat gadget and does some cool stuff it can’t compare to your gadget. :) I’ve gotta show some real progress though before I can justify spending another $100 on another fitness gadget when I’ve been inconsistent at best. I love fitness and have even taken up running in the past year, which I would have never believed, but I have problems with food. I feel like I need a therapist rather than a trainer. All I can do is keep trying to make one good decision at a time and put one foot in front of the other, literally! :) I look forward to the dietbet payoff and I intend to get on your next one too! Thanks for trying to help us! We appreciate it! :) Devan (38MWF, mommy of 2 littles)

    • Erica House says:

      Devan – I’m so glad you were able to check my blog out! I hope you are enjoying the DietBet. It’s been incredible seeing everyone so supportive of one another. I’m already looking forward to the next one I’ll host in March!
      I’ve heard wonderful things about the FitBit. I think I’m partial to the Polar just because I’m really most concerned with calories burned (versus steps taken etc) and Polar seems to be doing the best job at tracking that!
      I also just started taking up running in the last year. This February will mark my 1 year anniversary and, if my knee cooperates, I’m celebrating it early with my first half marathon!

  • rach says:

    Hi, I absolutely adore your blog and would love to ask you questions about food and stuff. Do you or have you ever counted calories /? I am very limited in exercise/activity because normally I am only a walker, but since I live in a place where snowstorms occur every 2 days (literally, home-bound storms atrocious) I have days of just…sitting. You’d think I could exercise, BUT I can’t. Live in a box of an apartment with a very older lady who would freak out any kinda noise. So….in meantime, I eat because I have an “emotional” attachment to food. Seriously. Added to this is that I have very bad digestive issues…I believe I need to try out an elimination diet, but very unsure. I am curretnly “kind” of eating paleo…not really, but kindof. And STILL feel like crap. I heard of this book “The Plan” that makes sense and about a 2 day detox type of regime, etc. My goals? Not to lose weight, but to be healthy and not gain “fat” weight. So how do I do this in this situation….what matters most? : calories in and out (how much does one need to SIT all day cause I’m there , but I’m eating things out of control admittedly) , or the foods eaten, or the exercise. I’m so worried and tired of this kind of cycle. Thanks for any emails to me. SUPER appreciated. YUMMY food.

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  • I just got the Polar wearlink as well! I use a Nike+ watch to link to it and also found it incredibly easy to use :) I’m a bit confused by my resting heart rate though, which keeps coming up at around 55-60bpm – which i realize is great, but I’m not in that great shape so it seems fishy to me. I was also pleasantly surprised when I noticed my treadmill picked up the signal as well!

  • Zdenka says:

    Hello, I have Polar FT 40 too. My problem is, that I dont know when I have to start a heart rate. When Im at rest, or after short warm-up?
    And also…. I have 30 years, W, 176/60 and my limit between fat and fitness is 125-130 (heart rate) and I think that is very low. In according to some schedule I should have max for fat burn 160. I dont know, if is normal, or is my polar incorrect. Thank you for your advice.

    • Erica House says:

      I always start mine right before I begin to warm-up. Your HR range of 125-130 sounds accurate for the ‘fat burn’ zone. I prefer to keep my heart rate above that zone though as it burns fat and more calories! For your age, assuming your overall healthy, 160 is a great HR to aim for while working out.

  • cyndirichau says:

    Hi Erica…I follow a lot of fit girls on FB and they have the FT40…I ordered them for my hubby and I and we both have been having problems with it stopping and not reading our heart rate…it has been really frustrating…have you experienced this at all? I love it when it works and don’t want to give it up…would love to know if you have had this problem? Cyndi

    • Erica House says:

      Oh man that would be frustrating! I think I had that happen to me twice when I first started using it in December. I noticed it was when I hadn’t ‘wet’ the band enough. Now, I make sure to run it under the water for a few seconds on each electrode patch and I haven’t had that problem again. Try doing that, and if it still doesn’t work I’d consider sending it back! I suspect that the extra water should do the trick though – it seems strange that both you and the hubs would get one’s that were ‘defective’!

      • Cyndi says:

        I will try that and see if that helps…mine has one strip across the back…each electrode patch? Do you wet the band on the front and back?

        • Erica House says:

          Hmm … mine has just two small strips on eiher side of the sensor. Definitely try to just wet it excessively, before I realized that was the problem I’d be out mid-run trying to use my spit to get it wet again so it would pick up the signal. Not cute!

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  • jeremy says:

    Hi, great video review. I am curious, this is JUST a HR monitor, correct (aka, not a stop watch, gps, etc)? Does that mean you wear additional gear when running to track mileage and whatnot? If so, what are you thoughts on that–how much of a burden is it wearing multiple devices?(I’ve worn multiple watches when trying to compare them in the past and found it semi annoying, hehe)

    • Erica House says:

      Yes – just a HR monitor. I use RunKeeper on my iPhone that’s strapped to my arm to track pace and distance. Before I started training for a marathon it was fine (3 runs a week and not to concerned with pace.) Now, I’m definitely looking at a gps/HR watch. The sound on my iPhone stopped or else I could use RunKeeper to tell me when I hit each mile and what my pace is, and I’m leaning toward getting a gps watch and holding out on a new phone until I’m eligible for an upgrade next year :)

  • Kat says:

    I have finally taken the plunge and ordered mine. I can’t wait to receive it!! I do a lot of the Firm workouts which combine cardio bursts with strength training and I am eager to see how many calories they really burn. Do you find this product to be reliable for that type of workout?

    • Erica House says:

      As far as I know my polar has been accurate for every workout that I do (at home strength/cardio, running, etc.) I absolutely love mine still!

      • Kat says:

        Thats awesome!! Thank you for your reply.

      • Kat says:

        Thanks for your review. It helped in my decision on which one to get. I got mine yesterday and was excited to use it for the first time! I used it to track my 90 minute walk on the treadmill at a steady pace. LOVE IT! Can’t wait to use it today to see how much I burn with my workout video. :-) This should make tracking my calories and knowing how many to eat back MUCH better!! Looking forward to making this my best year yet.

        • Erica House says:

          90 minutes on the treadmill?! You beast! I did about that on Saturday prepping for a race this weekend and I wanted to die.

          • Kat says:

            Ah yes but I was only going at a pace of 3.5mph :-) When I have to resort to the treadmill for a long workout I pop a movie in on my laptop.

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  • zakarisz says:

    Hi Erica,

    Is this device stays connected with your mobile phone during a run? I mean I want to track and collect my heart rate data during my run with Runkeeper.