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  1. #1
    methtical126 is offline New Member
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    H.R. Monitors on treadmills/bikes, etc.

    Just out of curiousity, how accurate do you think the heart rate monitors are on the bikes, treamills and other equipment at a gym? I'm at the University of Connecticut, and most of their equipment looks very new and high-tech, but I have read posts where people say that most good heart rate monitors strap around your chest, so I'm wondering how accurate a reading from your hands can actually be. Thanks for the input!

  2. #2
    Shrad6 is offline Junior Member
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    The ones on the machine are worthless! Even though they are made by a great company (polar), but they're not very accurate. They're accurate for a few seconds, but its not consistent. I have the one that you strap the transmitter around your chest and then it sends the data to the watch on my wrist. I've done the comparison and like I said sometime for a few seconds it will match, but then sometimes its off by a lot. If your serious I would invest in one that has the transmitter.

  3. #3
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    brian11 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrad6
    The ones on the machine are worthless! Even though they are made by a great company (polar), but they're not very accurate. They're accurate for a few seconds, but its not consistent. I have the one that you strap the transmitter around your chest and then it sends the data to the watch on my wrist. I've done the comparison and like I said sometime for a few seconds it will match, but then sometimes its off by a lot. If your serious I would invest in one that has the transmitter.
    The readings on most machines are going to be pretty accurate actually. At least on a good machine, im not sure about Polar. But readings through your fingertips are very accurate, that is what they use in hospitals often times. Just check your HR every few minutes and do it until it settles within a 3 beat range and that will give a good idea. But of course a store bought monitor will give you a little better reading.

  4. #4
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    Hypertrophy is offline Senior Member
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    Probably more accurate than you can palpate. Polar HR monitors are +/- 1bpm. So they are pretty accurate, (good investment).
    Accuracy of the machine will depend on the machine used; brand, year, condition, etc.

  5. #5
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    63190 is offline Anabolic Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedBaron
    The ones that you hang on to (attached to the cardio equipment) have a few problems inherent to their design. One is how tightly you grip them. Try it sometime. Hold it loosely then grab it tightly and watch the change in the reading. Keeping a constant pressure on the sensor is sometimes tough while you are trying to do cardio.

    The other thing is how many people use them daily and keeping them maintained in a gym environment. If you had a $10,000 life fitness treadmill or bike at home and were the only one using it, it would probably be great. But at the gym, you can get different readings from the same exact exercise done in exactly the same way. I have rotated around machines just to check them out in a couple of gyms. Sometimes the readings are pretty close, sometimes they vary by a large percentage.

    Once one of the machines consistantly said that my heart rate was 62 doing 4.8 miles an hour at 12.5 % incline. I switched machines and then the next one said 128. I checked a third machine and it said 119, but when I took my hands completely off the sensor it would jump from 126 to blank without holding on at all.

    The reason for your own strap on heart monitor is to get some sense of consistancy. As you can see by the example above, it is pretty hard to figure out where you are really at when relying on the cardio equipment supplied monitors....you have to take what machine is available, so unless you want to learn and remember the nuances to all 50 -100 machines in the gym and how they relate to reality, a monitor is a good investment IMO.
    [Butt-head]You said strap on, uh-huh-huh-huh[/Butt-head]

  6. #6
    Shrad6 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian11
    The readings on most machines are going to be pretty accurate actually.
    Your right they are pretty accurate, but they're not consistent. I guess I should have put it in different words. They will give you an accurate reading, but no one ever goes the same exact speed for an hour. You won't realize it, but you might push a slight bit harder or let off a bit and that might make come out of your HR range. I've checked it since I wear my own and a lot of times it will be off maybe not by much, but enough that I'm not within my range. So if your really serious then I would buy one, if not then just use the one on the machine and when you find your HR target stay at that same exact speed.
    Last edited by Shrad6; 09-10-2004 at 08:00 PM.

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