What happens when you combine James Bond like cool styling with cutting edge exercise technology? The answer is the Polar FT80 Training Computer ($319.95). The FT80 is an all in one personal training system with the sole purpose of giving you the tools and knowledge to ensure that you have the very best workout possible.
I have had the privilege of training with this computer for the past week. The package came complete with the Polar FT80 Training computer, Polar WearLink+ Transmitter, Polar FlowLink data transfer unit, and a manual.
I downloaded the free Polar WebSync and FlowLink software, which installed in mere minutes. (Compatible with both PC and Mac computers) I then programmed my training computer, which has a sleek design and fits comfortably. The display is large, well lit, and the buttons were intuitively placed. I was able to easily enter my personal data such as height, weight, and my specific fitness goals as well as program the time and date settings. I completed a short Fit Test and within minutes I was up and running…literally.
The training computer communicates with the WearLink+ Transmitter which snaps into a soft and sturdy chest belt. In the past, I have tried many heart rate monitor belts, and this by far was the most comfortable one that I have ever worn.
I was able to have an excellent workout, as the immediate data that the FT80 provided was so helpful with regards to assisting me in structuring my workout and encouraging me to push harder to ensure that I was in the proper training zone.
Post-workout, I was able to quickly create a free Polar account at www.PolarPersonalTrainer.com which allowed me to upload my data into one convenient location, track my progress, create goals, and network and create challenges with other people with similar fitness goals.
What is so unique to this training computer is the ability to program both strength training and cardiovascular exercise. The strength training graphical interface as well as programmable beeping alarm gives you immediate feedback regarding whether you are in your target zone and allows you to know when you are ready to move onto another set when weight lifting. You can create countless customizable programs based on your personal goals and update new weekly training targets. In addition, the built in STAR exercise program remembers your past workouts and offers updated weekly workout goals based upon your prior exercise results.
Additional add-on accessories are available to enhance your workout experience. These include the Polar S1 Foot Pod which attaches to the laces of your running shoes and measure your speed, distance and pace. For the outdoor training enthusiast you might consider the Polar G1GPS sensor. This unit measures your speed, distance and pace for both running and cycling.
I consider the Polar FT80 Training Computer to be an invaluable training companion and I look forward to my next workout. (Reviewed by Meredith Fire-Hess)