Polar Heart Rate Monitors

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3 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I just got a new polar heart rate monitor. Its supposed to give you an estimate of your VO2 max (the ownindex) and from it calculate your average calories burned during a ride. Does anyone have any experience with this? How accurate are these?

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
self test

I can't vouch for its accuracy, but the results of the self test are remarkably consistant. I guess you can say the same thing about a broken clock...

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)

"polar's vo2max ""feature"" is just an estimate...i wouldn't rely on it. i have a cheapo ""polar s150"" which has the feature but i don't bother using it. i use the hrm's ""basic set"" option which allows you to get a total time, lap times, average/max heart rate (per lap and total). the ""exe set"" option goes further but i don't want to be bothered. :)

when i was racing i used to get annual vo2 max tests at the nicholas institute of sports medicine. not sure if they're still doing it...beth glace was the doctor who supervised testing. usually an intern has a project and needs athletes to test...in return you get a complete vo2 max test (i remember the air hoses, being poked for lactate levels, etc.). my last test revealed a vo2max of 179...not bad for a weekend warior. ;)

gobble, gobble!


Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

It is well documented that V02 max very well correlates to heart rate reserve. This was first demonstrated in the late 1950s by a Finnish researcher named Karvonen. Heart rate reserver is simply your maximum heart rate minus your resting heart rate. Knowing a subject's heart rate reserve, sex, BMI and age, the subject's VO2 max can be estimated. I once tried to find the exact formula, but with no success. I don't know the accuracy either, but I presume for most its within 10%, probably more like 5%.

Keep in mind the fittest individuals of equal age, sex, BMI tend to have very low resting heart rates, not very high maximum heart rates. So, you could just as well monitor your resting heart rate.

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