I’ve been using pulse watches for my various endurance sports for almost 20 years and regularly share my experiences with my friends who love sports. We welcome you here on our heart rate monitor test watch, with which we help you a little in the decision-making, to select the appropriate heart rate monitor. As more and more people are doing sports or planning to become active in sports these days , the demand for useful fitness accessories , among others for a heart rate monitor or fitness bracelet, is expected to be high.
But most are faced with the decision of whether a heart rate monitor without or at least one with chest belt would be more advantageous? As the wearing of chest straps for pulse measurement many athletes feel annoying or uncomfortable, some manufacturers offer therefore pulse watches with integrated heart rate measurement .
Accordingly, we have tested in our pulse watch test , according to many testers, best heart rate monitor and evaluated the results. The range of pulse watch models is very diverse, from the simple entry-level heart rate monitors to “professional” pulse watches is available in department stores and online shops everything.
So that you do not fall in the rain when buying a (new) heart rate monitor , we give you in our pulse watch test a comprehensive overview of the most proven heart rate monitors on the market. We will inform you what to look for when buying a heart rate monitor so that you get what you expect. Only then can you be assured that you have made a truly lucrative and useful investment . So that you can also see a wide range of products on one, we have rated several pulse watches in the categories entry-level, advanced and professional pulse watch and made available. Therefore , we recommend , as usual, the test winner , so the first of each of our pulse watch test, as these are usually thedeliver the best test results.
Table of Contents
- What is a heart rate monitor and do I really need it?
- Different types of heart rate monitor watches
- Who should buy a heart rate monitor?
- Without a personal coach it works!
- Do I need a GPS heart rate monitor?
- Heart rate monitor or fitness bracelet
- Training control over the heart rate
- The determination of the maximum pulse
- Rule of thumb
- The different training areas
- Training forms and goals
What is a heart rate monitor and do I really need it?
Heart rate monitors can show your heart rate, the time, the speed you are walking, walking, swimming or cycling, and much more. In order to train specifically, onehas found that the pulse rate is the deciding factor for success and failure . He decides if you have fun or frustration during the sport. Everyone has already experienced it. They look forward to a little jogging tour after work, but after a few hundred meters tells you your inner bastard. Stop it, today you’re unfit, you never make the rounds.
Probably that was just because you ran too fast. Your heart rate was too high and you entered the anaerobic area. The episode. The fun was over even before you burned the first calories. After dealing with sports and my body at the time, one thing quickly became clear to me. If I already do sports then I want to achieve at least two things. It should be fun and bring a desired success . Quickly I knew, then I should definitely buy a heart rate monitor, because with her I can decide whether I smile satisfied or exhausted and frustrated after the sports unit under the shower. A heart rate monitor allows exact pulse-controlled training both for the sports novice and for the ambitious competitive athlete. So you can see training success relatively quickly. Without a heart rate monitor, you get it out of the belly and without a plan. And who has no plan will reach his goal difficult.
Different types of heart rate monitor watches
It usually consists of two, formerly as three components. The heart rate monitor itself, the chest strap and sometimes even from a separate GPS transmitter. Whereby these devices with separate GPS are almost impossible to buy.
- The heart rate monitor with chest strap
- Heart rate monitor without chest strap
The heart rate monitor with chest strap
Such pulse watches usually consist of two, earlier also of three components, namely the heart rate monitoritself, the chest strap and sometimes even from a separate GPS transmitter. Whereby you can hardly buy these devices with a separate GPS .
What should be considered in pulse watches with chest strap!
When putting on the chest belt for the first time you should take it easy, because the circumference can normally be adjusted. A very elastic and adjustable strap makes this possible. The straps can be bought in three sizes. The middle of the three sizes is the standard , so to speak . Without stretching measures this 65 cm and stretched to a maximum of 110-130 cm.
During training , the chest strap should not be loose, so that it can not slip while running . That would only paralyze the runner’s nerves . Some heart rate monitors can also be larger straps same order together, if the standard is not sufficient.
As for the belt position , so you should find the best for yourself. Ideally, the strap is under the breast muscle in the middle or slightly laterally towards the heart postponed.
If now the pulse is not displayed, because the signals do not reach the heart rate monitor, the following points should be considered!
” Batteries Check of belt and / or battery from the sports watch functionality
” possibly the chest strap is not securely attached or wrong
” , the sensor should be slightly moist
” chest hair in men could also be the cause. Shorten!
»Check for compatibility! The strap must be adapted to the heart rate monitor
So you do not have to pay attention to all these points, you can simply buy a heart rate monitor without chest strap .
- By measuring the heart rate via the breast sensor ,
- very accurate measurement data can be recorded
- very large product selection
- Heart rate watches with chest strap are often available at a reasonable price
- Radio exchange either via Bluetooth connection or the radio standard ANT +
- Some runners scrape the chest belt on the skin, uncomfortable while wearing.
- If the chest strap is too tight, it can easily press on the breathing.
- If the chest strap is too loose, it slips when running, which can be uncomfortable especially on longer stretches.
- Chest straps need to be regularly cleaned and disinfected, otherwise there is a risk of infection by mycoses (fungi).
Tip 1: If the chest strap of the heart rate monitor that you want to throw him forever in the trash, then you should try to turn the chest strap , which is the part with the heart rate measurement on the back. The running clock still gets the heart rate data delivered and most runners then scrub nothing.
Tip 2: The sports bra manufacturer Shock Absorber has made a bra in which the ladies, if he agrees with you, could do without the annoying chest strap. He calls himself Shock Absorber HRM Perfect Run.
- Integrated sensors allow easy attachment of the heart rate transmitter directly to the bra .
- Compatible with most pulse meters on the market with single click attachment. Optimum breast support with Infinity-8 support system. Comfortable and smooth wearing thanks to soft and seamless processing of the inner cups. The straps and back closure are upholstered.
This applies to sport watches with chest strap:
When putting on the chest belt for the first time, you should take a little time. All straps that I have bought so far with the scope could be adjusted very well . This is a very elastic and adjustable elastic responsible. Many straps can be bought on the internet in three sizes. XS-S, M-XXL (standard) and XXXL. Expressed in centimeters, the standard chest strap measures 65 cm minimum and unstretched, maximally stretched depending on the manufacturer 110 – 130 cm . The chest strap should already sit quite tight, otherwise he could later slip under the running and that annoys. If this standard size does not suit you, you can buy a larger or smaller chest strap on most heart rate monitors.
The position of the chest strap should at best sit a little below the chest / breast muscle. The transmitter can be positioned in the middle or a little bit towards the heart. I have found that the chest strap but also works in slightly different places very well. So if the belt does not bother you at another point, then just try it out. Just as the manufacturers launch a new GPS sports watch every few months, so does the chest belt. Here, too, the development continues. Meanwhile, almost all of them have a soft chest strap made entirely of textile in their program. The transmitter is then only made of plastic and can be solved with two snaps simply from the belt. Thus, the belt can also be washed very easily. Either by hand or in a laundry bag in the washing machine.
What if the chest strap does not send a signal to the sports watch?
- First check the batteries of the strap or the battery of the sports watch
- Maybe the chest strap is too loose
- Moisten the sensor from the belt – can occur in people with dry skin
- Men’s hair can be blamed on the chest – hair falling or shaving.
- The chest strap is compatible with the GPS heart rate monitor. Not every strap fits every sports watch!
And if this is all too stupid, because the chest strap just disturbs and rubs the skin sore, you should take care of the idea, maybe to buy a heart rate monitor without a chest strap . But I’ll come to that soon.
Heart rate monitors without chest strap
The GPS heart rate monitors or fitness watches without chest strap are still relatively new on the market. You can only buy them for a few years.
Heart rate monitor by finger measurement?
The pulse recording takes place in such a heart rate monitor via a sensor plate on the housing. The finger is simply placed on the sensor surface and the pulse is already shown on the display .
- no chest strap required
- on the chest strap can be dispensed with
- continuous heart rate monitoring
- Meanwhile, the latest devices offer very good readings
- More and more heart rate monitors without chest strap are coming onto the market
- a 24/7 activity tracker makes a lot of sense here
- no continuous heart rate detection depending on the integrated technique deviates the actual value from pulse measurement must be stopped for a short time no tracking option with this type of heart rate monitor
- still relatively expensive
- In winter, I find this measurement method among the entire textiles quite impractical!
First of all, we must mention that this type of heart rate monitor is an alternative . Obviously, the disadvantages are in the foreground here. Everyone can decide for themselves what is the easiest and most pleasant for them. Should also be mentioned that this method for the measurement of the pulse, is to put it mildly, out of date . For this, the manufacturers are more at the forefront of progress. Ie. There are hardly any manufacturers of this heart rate monitor. Our recommendation is therefore: You should be as state-of-the-art as possible and keep up. Especially if the advanced technique produces something useful , such as. B. new and profitable features.
You should pay attention to this with heart rate monitors without a chest strap.
- In these sports watches, it is important that the bracelet sits relatively close to the wrist . Otherwise, the heart rate detection might become too inaccurate. The bracelet must not cut too hard. The pulse watches from TomTom I really liked at this point because the band is broader than usual and I felt so no pressure at all.
- My measurement results, which I got while running from a sports watch with and without a chest strap, were identical except for very small differences . However, the results of weight training and the extreme uphill riding of the bike were a bit different. But that would not stop me from buying a heart rate monitor without a chest strap. Then rather the higher price.
- Currently, all major manufacturers such as Polar, Garmin and TomTom pulse watches without chest strap on offer. Certainly, the price will soon be cheaper due to greater competition and higher volumes. More recently, Garmin, TomTom and Polar have responded to low-cost pulse watches and fitness bracelets from the Far East. With their entry-level models, you now get current heart rate monitors without chest strap well.
Who should buy a heart rate monitor?
The sports watches that I show in my heart rate monitor comparison page , are particularly suitable for athletes who want to consciously deal with their body, their quality of training and intensity of training .
This can be either the recreational athlete or the ambitious competitive athlete. Especially I would like to address the group that does not have so much to do with sports.
- the sports or returnees
- People who want to lose a few pounds
- untrained people
- people with health problems
- but also the elderly
If you think that you belong to this second group, then I would like to say a very LOT to you , that you are thinking about sports and your health. Otherwise you would not be here on my heart rate monitor test page. And especially the people from the second group, should think about buying a GPS heart rate watch. Maybe you were soon infected by the “running virus”. Because sports or especially jogging can be extremely fun , if you align it correctly to your current condition. I just say pleasure instead of frustration ….
I am always happy when I see older people with 60-70 years still jogging. Since I think respect, so I would like to be fit at that age. Inspire me. Or younger people who may have a few kilos, or more, too much on their hips, but walk or walk at their pace and look happy. They at least do something for themselves and their bodies, and will probably achieve their goals as long as they enjoy the sport.
Unfortunately, but also sees the joggers mine, the last few years without sports, must be made right today in this run again. They run much too fast and after a few kilometers they stand with a bright red head, annoyed and with side stabbing, on the roadside. That’s it then again … A good heart rate monitor and a little bit of knowledge about her body, and something probably does not happen anymore.
Without a personal coach it works!
With a GPS heart rate monitor or just a fitness watch and a little expertise from magazines, blogs , etc. you can be your own trainer! Training in general means: All measures to increase or maintain athletic performance. The quality of a training depends on many factors and you should constantly improve your training methods and use the best resources . A slow regeneration running as example, at the right time, the increase performance tremendously. A difficult mountain run, on the other hand, can at certain times throw back a profiter who prepares for a marathon for many days or even weeks. So you just his bodyand getting to know abilities better, a fitness watch is necessary.
Do I need a GPS heart rate monitor?
- For some time, athletes have had the opportunity to track the distance traveled, the pace of the workout and the altitude using GPS heart rate monitors. For a few years, this technique has come into its infancy and really recommended to any runner or biker .
- The advantage: Even in unfamiliar terrain, such as on vacation and on new routes you can measure training runs very accurately. Each of us does not want to estimate how far he has been today, he wants to know the meter best.
- But also the vertical meters covered can be read relatively precisely, especially in the quite current GPS heart rate monitors. Very handy when hiking, biking but also at mountain runs.
- Many a GPS heart rate monitor brings the athlete back to the starting point with a “back to start” function using GPS data. Can be very helpful in running in foreign areas.
The downside: these GPS heart rate monitors cost a little more, unfortunately, these watches are also small power guzzlers. The more functions these clocks contain and the smaller the battery, the faster they must be reconnected to a power source. But we are already used to it from our smartphones. The batteries of most GPS heart rate monitors will last at least 8 hours when fully charged. That should be enough for most athletes.
When starting, you have to wait some time for some devices until the pulse watch with GPS finds a satellite signal . Since it is already a ritual with so many runners to lay the running clock on the windowsill or balcony to get a signal while throwing yourself in the Laufklammoten. Here, too, the technology has made great progress already.
Meanwhile one waits with good GPS sports watches less than 30 seconds for a signal. Some heart rate monitors even calculate the satellite orbit for about 7 to 14 days in advance, so that they have found a signal even in just a few seconds during this time when you go to work again. Very convenient.
In my pulse watch test, I have tested it accurately in making pulse monitors. How long I had to wait for a first signal in a new environment, and how long I had to wait the next day, it was usually shorter because the data from the satellite were immediately ready.
Heart rate monitor or fitness bracelet
The fitness bracelet is currently the latest trend that many well-known manufacturers such as Polar, Garmin, Fitbit, Sony and Samsung jumped on. They are also called fitness trackers , “to track” means as much as track. And nothing else makes this fitness watch. She follows the wearer at every turn. It collects a lot of data from any movement, sometimes up to a hundred different sports and evaluates them. But where are the exact differences? Depending on the model of heart rate monitor and fitness bracelet, the differences are not that big anymore.
But I would make the following distinctions:
- The fitness bracelet is intended to animate the wearer to move
- It should be worn on the wrist for 24 hours
- The Fitness Tracker shows daily activity, calories burned and steps / steps taken
- In some fitness bracelets, the diet can be incorporated via the smartphone
- Due to the many colorful fitness apps, the smart fitness trackers are more likely to move.
- they are mostly more stylish and smaller than a heart rate monitor
- Fitness watches, however, are more for those who already know that they need sport to live
Training control over the heart rate
Before you do that you need some information from your body. You need to find out how high your resting and maximum heart rate is. Only then can you set your heart rate monitor to the optimal training range for a normal endurance run, regeneration run or an interval workout.
Resting pulse and its meaning:
It is best to measure the resting heart rate in bed in the morning before getting up. Create heart rate monitor and go. The normal values of the rather untrained are 60 to 80 beats per minute. Good endurance athletes count 40 to 50 heartbeats and below. Very practical with many Polar heart rate monitors is the fitness test , which should be done early in the morning. It shows you the development you have made within different time periods.
Of course, the rest pulse is different for many people. It can also differ genetically but also by age, weight, gender, etc. But on the whole, the resting heart rate is already a very good indicator of your training condition.
- An excessive resting heartbeat may also have the following causes .
- a possible onset of illness, medication
- too much stress from the previous day
- too little sleep, too much alcohol or cigarette consumption the day before
- Heat, in the cold, however, you have a lower heart rate
The determination of the maximum pulse
- The maximum pulse is the highest possible pulse that you can achieve at full load . He sinks with increasing age by approx . 1 blow per year of life. Its absolute height is not a characteristic of your performance. The maximum pulse is also changeable by training, not some believe it.
- The height of the maximum pulse is primarily genetic. One should only know where the individual maximum heart rate is, because it is a very important reference for controlling the training according to heart rate.
- If you plan to get your individual maximum heart rate, it is important to know first if you are healthy. Otherwise this border crossing is too big a risk for your cardiovascular system. You should not have a heart defect, cardiac arrhythmia or any other injuries.
- You determine the maximum heart rate during training with a reliable heart rate monitor , in which, after carefully warming up for at least 10 – 15 minutes, you increase the tempo for five minutes until you are clearly out of breath. Then you slipped out of the tiring pace for a minute, until you can not run faster. Now you should be very close to your maximum heart rate. Yes, that sounds like the most intense reading I know, but you have to do that only once.
- Alternatively, after warming up for at least 10 – 15 minutes, you can also run uphill or on a treadmill in a gym at ten percent incline for five minutes until you’re out of breath, and then run another minute as fast as you can. You now have the attention of fitness visitors near your treadmill as well as your individual maximum heart rate. Well done!
Rule of thumb
The different training areas
Now you know your individual maximum heart rate and can set this value to 100 percent. Most bestsellers from my heart rate monitor test ask for your individual maximum heart rate and now align the different types of training afterwards. Here are a few clues that you can compare with the training suggestions that will suggest the very good heart rate monitor.
Training forms and goals
|training form||Pulse% max.HF||energy||Share of training|
|Regeneration run, jogging||<70||Fat is burned||20%|
|Normal, quiet endurance run||70-80||Fat and carbohydrates||50 – 60%|
|Tempo endurance, long interval training||80 – 90||more carbs less fat||20 – 30%|
|Short interval training, sprints||> 90||carbohydrates||0 – 5%|
The training or stress pulse
- You now know how to determine your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate. Now it goes on with the training pulse . In the upper table, you can see what amount of training the respective form of training should make.
- Important for an improvement of the condition is that you also change the training forms . Otherwise the body gets used to the strain and you do not get fitter. The body needs variety. These various training programs are a major component of very good GPS heart rate monitors.
- If you compare the heart rate at a similar load at regular intervals, you can possibly progress well if you stick to training plans.
- You’ll notice if you run your “home stretch” more often, which in a few weeks your sports watch will show a lower heart rate even though you’ve been running at the same speed. That would mean that you have made very good progress with your training. The weather should be similar, otherwise the comparison of course does not match.
- The type of energy supply is also an important issue for proper training. Here one distinguishes between aerobic endurance and anerobic endurance.
- The aerobic endurance means that the energy supply in the area of excess oxygen happens. For example, when walking, jogging or endurance run. That is, the body brings enough oxygen-rich blood to the muscle cells. Who wants to lose weight should know that the fat metabolism can be activated very well. He should walk in this area for a long time.
- Then there is the anerobic endurance . Here, the energy is provided almost without the participation of oxygen. That happens in a finish sprint or in a 400 meter run. During this time, the body uses adenosine triphosphate. It is the “quick change” for the energy metabolism. Likewise, carbohydrates are also provided in the form of glycolysis for the short-term energy of the body. At least until the supplies dry up. This produces as an intermediate lactic acid or lactate. After a minute or two, this leads to a power dip.