Lots of questions about brands and types of HR monitors and activity trackers. I’ve broken down the video above into a few key points that I want to make sure you understood. If you want to fast forward and see what exact model I recommend and where to get it from, check out my resources page.

Let me differentiate the two first.

(Oh, and I’ve recorded a new podcast where I go into a little more details, and it’s at the bottom of this post if you’re interested)

Heart Rate monitors track your calories burning during a high intensity workout. There’s no other great way of finding out just how many calories you’re burning, than monitoring your heart.

Activity trackers just track your daily movement, mostly done by the swing of your arm or movement of your feet during a walk.

When you combine BOTH of those, you get a more accurate description of calories burned. More importantly though, what get’s tracked gets improved.

If you didn’t know you were dogging it during your workout, or didn’t know you only took 1000 steps that day, you couldn’t fix it.

The true test of health and fitness is not one or the other, but a combination of both.  Don’t steer in one direction too far, you need both for success.

I use Polar based products, I have tried several others and they make the most precise and well built products.

Most heart rate monitors come with a chest strap that communicates with the watch you are wearing, or an app you have running on your phone. I’ve found monitoring through your wrist only is not accurate at all, especially during weight training. Every time you bend your wrist, you lose the heart rate.

Here is how I progressed from cheapest to most expensive. Polar FT4 or FT7 just to get my started for my workout only. Then to a Polar Loop with H7 or H8 Bluetooth monitor to track it all, then to M400 for the added GPS and time/date features. There’s a newer/cheaper model of mine that came out recently that I got for my wife, and it does almost everything mine does except costs half the price. Check out the A300 here.

Hope you’ve found this post helpful and give some type of tracker a shot. If you don’t know whether you’re progressing, it will give your motivation a shot to the stomach.

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