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heart rate monitors

hi everyone i need some advice want to get a hrm but it needs to be reliable and accurate very easy to set up and use,not to expensive,come with a chest strap and most importantly have a calories burnt function,
can anyone recommend some or web sites i can look at? thanks
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Hi Pillboy,

Now, Im not AGAINST HRMs, but in my experience you don't really need them.

I use the Rate of Percieved Exertion (RPE) test with clients. If for example the client is cycling, I will ask him / her to give me a score between 1 - 10 on how maximally they think they are pushing themselves.

1 would be very very light, 10 would be maximum speed, and wouldn't be be able to go for longer than 10-15 seconds.

Now the funny thing about this test is that several research studies have shown that a persons RPE score is almost always equivelant to their heart rate, within 5-10 BPM.

So, if someone says they feel they are working at 6/10, this will often mean that they are working at 60% of their maximum heart rate.

As for the calorie counting, I honestly think there is no point whatsoever in doing so. Even though is based on the whole calories in vs calorie out model, thats not really the way your body works with exercise. When you exercise at a certain pace, your body will raise its metabolism and you will burn more calories AFTER the workout.

No form of exercise really burns that many calories. It is the repair of your body afterwards that causes the body to use up calories. So the number you would be recording is usually too insignificant to be worth measuring.

The best way to measure your exercise progress is to set definitive goals based on the exercise you are doing.

If you are using a cycle, you may set a goal of cycling a distance of X km in under X minutes.

If lifting weights you would want to get X amount of reps with a certain weight, then move to the next weight up and set new targets.

But like I said, Im not against the use of HRMs at all costs, I just find them non-essential, and I work with plenty of clients with heart conditions and have never had any problems without one. If you have different reasons for wanting the HRM however, by all means you may find it useful.

My thoughts on exercise calorie counting however, are that its an outdated concept that has no value to anyone.

Laura Croft

Happily maintaining
Now the funny thing about this test is that several research studies have shown that a persons RPE score is almost always equivelant to their heart rate, within 5-10 BPM..
If you are still around Justin, I'd really like to see those studies.

I've been using a HRM for a few years as do a lot of my friends (triathletes and runners) and find that result somewhat difficult to believe. Even some of my running friends that are pretty darn good (sub three marathon runners) check their heart rate when doing their long runs, and before as well.

On both good and tired days, my heart rate can be much different to my RPE. I'm not saying that HRMs are for everyone, I use one because I do base training etc. I'm also using one right now because of some other health issues and my resting heart rate really tells me where my body is at. FWIW I have tried to ignore my RHR if it was too high but the results of what I'm going through were noticeably worse on days I'd ignored it.

I'm glad you aren't against them for all :)


Silver Member
S: 20st3.2lb C: 19st12.3lb G: 14st0lb BMI: 47.8 Loss: 0st4.9lb(1.73%)
i got a cheap one in the argos clearence, at 4.99

no chest strap but its find for what i use it for, out walkiing dog, climbing stairs and just gerally being nosey at my HR

its also waterproof to 30M but is USELESS in a pool, apparently my HR was 40bpm after 30mins of swimming, hahahaha its 100 or so at rest
Laura Croft - No as i said, of course Im not agaisnt them, for example I use them with certain athletes. We find where the heart rate ranges spike during intense bouts of the sport, and then work to get to these levels for specific times during our session.

I just wouldn't want people thinking they necessarily need to splash out money for one to enhance their general training.

Unfortunatley I don't have reference to the studies, all I know is that they must have been published a fair few years back. The results were discussed in an academic lecture and I've taken that anecdotal theory to use with clients and in personal experience have found that the claims do seem accurate.

However, the people I mainly work with for fat loss would not be as highly trained as you and your friends, so maybe the fact that you probably have lower resting heart rates would affect this rating?

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