Polar FT7: A Review

Good morning! I am feeling sooooo tired this morning because I was up until almost 1am reading! I love it when books keep me up because they are so hard to put down, but my body hates me the morning after. I’m currently reading The Help and yesterday alone I read almost 200 pages! It’s so good.

So I realize I haven’t really mentioned much about working out on here, but that’s because I got a new toy and have been waiting to use it a few times before writing about it on here! Polar USA sent me the Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor to use and review on the blog, and so far I am loving it. Full disclosure, they sent me the HRM for free, but as always, I will be giving you my honest opinion of the product.

I’ve actually wanted a Polar HRM for a while now, because while I love love LOVE my Garmin, I hate that I can’t use it indoors. Now that the weather is cooler, most of my workouts have transitioned inside, and I like to be able to keep track of my workouts. The Polar HRM is awesome because you can use it inside, and it calculates calorie burn based off of your heart rate, which is much more accurate than my Garmin which calculates it off age/weight.

The HRM arrived on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and it was so easy to get going right out of the box.

Polar Goods

The box came with the watch itself, a chest strap, the transmitter to plug into the chest strap, and two user guides. All you do is turn on the watch and it prompts you to answer a few questions, (birthday, date, language, weight, height, etc) and then you wet the inside of the chest strap, put it on, and press the start button on the watch. The watch syncs with the heart rate monitor and as soon as your heart rate shows up on the watch, you’re ready to go. You just press “start” once you begin working out and it keeps track of the time your working out, your heart rate, and your calorie burn, and then you press “stop” when you’re done and it gives you an overview of your total time working out plus the calorie burn.

The watch itself is very comfortable, and much smaller than the Garmin.


I wasted no time, and started working out almost immediately after receiving the box on Wednesday night. I knew that the measurements of calorie burn on the treadmill would be a lot different than the true calorie burn, but I had NO idea how much of a difference there would be. Most of the time, when running 4-5 miles on the treadmill, the treadmill said I had burned over 100 extra calories than the Polar did. Crazy!

Workout 1: Wednesday Night.


Workout 2: Friday Morning.


Workout 3: Saturday Afternoon.


Workout 4: Monday Night (last night).


I love that I can keep track of my calorie burn, and each day I’ve pushed a little further to hit a certain calorie burn milestone (especially Saturday!). The treadmills in my gym are equipped to hook up to Polar HRMs, so my treadmill syncs with the watch and puts my true heart rate up on the screen the whole time. I usually keep the calorie burn screen up on the watch (which just has the total calories burned in big numbers) while I’m working out to keep track of where I am. Once I’m ready to crack down to lose the last few pounds (any day now…) I think this is going to be a very useful tool since looking at calories in v. calories out is the “simplest” way to lose weight.

I am so excited to keep using this Polar HRM to track my workouts, especially now that 99% of my workouts have been indoors. I also can’t wait to use it during The Shred and Bikram to see how many calories I burn during those activities. I’m sure there are a lot more features that I haven’t explored yet, but the basics of this FT7 are amazing.

Do you have a heart rate monitor? What kind and do you like it or not so much? If not, how do you keep track of your workouts?

16 Comments on Polar FT7: A Review

  1. Maria
    November 30, 2010 at 9:51 am (10 years ago)

    Beth, how expensive is this item if you were to purchase it vs. the garmin that you have been using?

    Waterford, MI

    • Beth
      November 30, 2010 at 9:57 am (10 years ago)

      Hi Maria – It’s cheaper than the Garmin! Full price retail is 119.95 but Amazon.com has it for 77.86 with free shipping. The Garmin is 299.99 retail.

  2. mindy @ just a one girl revolution.
    November 30, 2010 at 10:00 am (10 years ago)

    I’ve got the F4 and I love it. I haven’t been using it a ton lately because the chest strap was doing some serious chafing on my back, but it’s so fun to see the calories burned! One thing to keep in mind is there has been some debate on the accuracy…some people say it overestimates the total calorie burn. I usually knock off about 50 or so, just to be safe.

    As for books, LOVE The Help! If you haven’t read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I recommend that!

  3. Ashleigh
    November 30, 2010 at 11:10 am (10 years ago)

    I got a polar HRM for Christmas last year and it has been the best Christmas present ever! I love it and I can’t imagine working out without it now. It really pushes me to do 5 more minutes when I feel like quiting and I love how on Mondays it tells me the amount of minutes I worked out and the amount of calories burned.

  4. the chirpy bird
    November 30, 2010 at 12:19 pm (10 years ago)

    Oh boy, I don’t need a heart rate monitor to tell me I’m not working out nearly enough! But boy oh boy are you a good runner! holy heck i need to step up my game!
    xox tash

  5. Lisa
    November 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm (10 years ago)

    Ooh! You’re so lucky you got it for free!

    I’ve had my Polar F6 for 2 years now. I LOVE it! It changed my workout in so many ways. It was such an awesome thing to finally know exactly how many calories I burned.

  6. Liz @ lizrunsdc
    November 30, 2010 at 12:53 pm (10 years ago)

    Hmmm maybe I should start wearing my HRM again! I used to wear one fairly often when I exercised but just fell out of the habit. I love treadmills that sync up with them.

  7. Kate
    December 1, 2010 at 11:01 pm (10 years ago)

    I have a Polar F6 and I LOVE it. I seriously don’t like working out without it. I wear it every time I work out and log my calories burned (as well as duration and peak hr and average hr) on dailymile.com (which if you haven’t use, you should definitely check it out). It definitely motivates me every time I work out, I honestly wonder what I did before I had one… 🙂

  8. Monica
    December 2, 2010 at 1:25 am (10 years ago)

    I love Polar’s products. I use their most basic HRM watch, I believe the P7 something or another, and it helps get the job done, but definitely does not look as cool or fancy as yours does!

    I love using my watch to help keep me on track during workouts. I not only love to see how many calories I burn, but I love to monitor my recovery time from sprints and to push my output when my heart rate starts to drop into a full on recovery range. It is cool to get a feel for your heart’s aerobic capacity.

  9. Kari
    January 7, 2011 at 9:47 pm (10 years ago)

    I’ve been contemplating getting a hrm for a couple years now, and now that I’m getting serious about tracking my food and calories I was thinking it would be great to know how many calories I burn working out. I’m just wondering….would that chest strap fit a girl my size?

    • Beth
      January 7, 2011 at 10:47 pm (10 years ago)

      Hi Kari-

      I don’t know what your size is, but the chest strap is adjustable and gets really big. I have a pretty large rib cage (I’m in 38s for bras) and I have it on almost the smallest, and it gets a lot bigger, so my guess would be yes. They are under $90 with free shipping on Amazon.com right now (link above in post) and I use it almost exclusively now when I work out. I love it.

  10. Kari
    January 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm (10 years ago)

    Thanks Beth. My bra’s are 42 so if you are a 38 and there is plenty of room it sounds like it would probably fit. I saw that it’s on sale at Amazon. I’ve read lots of reviews on different ones from Polar but this one sounds great because you can replace the battery yourself. Thanks again!

  11. Kristina
    June 30, 2013 at 4:09 am (7 years ago)

    Hi! 🙂 How’s the fit of the Silver Men’s FT7 on a petite woman 5’2″? I’m torn between choosing the red one or that silver one and I’m just curious about the size. I’ll be using it for my run trainings. Thanks in advance and nice website! 😀

  12. Tiffany
    July 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm (7 years ago)

    Do you have to wear the chest strap when working out?


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