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2016-06-16 12:01

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HRM Chest strap  VS  Wrist

Strapping on a good heart rate monitor is an easy way to supercharge your training. It not only makes your stats more accurate, but it also enables you to start heart rate training in specific zones, which can make your regime more efficient.Increasingly, companies are starting to add heart rate monitors into running watches and fitness trackers, which use optical sensors to detect the blood racing through your veins. But as we've recently found out at Wearable, while these new optical sensors are a great way to ditch the chest strap and get beginners thinking about their heart rate, if you're serious about accuracy, you need to stick to the chest strap for the foreseeable future.

The bottom line is this: if you want pinpoint accuracy, get a chest strap. If you're just after more colour in your workout, and aren't interested in spending your sessions at specific bpms, a wrist-based monitor will do.

 

Working mode:

Heart rate wrist because they're on your wrist, OPTICAL heart rate sensors actually read your blood flow further from the source and accuracy can also be reduced by light leaking in and affecting the sensor.Heart rate belt CIRCUIT type detection is better, track closer to the heart, they tend to be more reliable – provided you've got a good wet contact between the pads and the skin.

Accuracy

Purveyors of wrist-based technology go a long way to convince us otherwise, but there's a great deal of consensus among sports professionals that the chest strap is still your best bet for near-absolute accuracy in heart rate tracking.

Both technologies use algorithms to convert what they read into estimated heart rate but the theory is that, because chest straps track closer to the heart, they tend to be more reliable – provided you've got a good wet contact between the pads and the skin.

 

Heart rate wrist on your wrist, optical heart rate sensors actually read your blood flow further from the source and accuracy can also be reduced by light leaking in and affecting the sensor.

Winner: Chest strap

 

Comfort

The chest strap gets a hard time when it comes to comfort. Anyone who's ever run for more than an hour wearing one will attest, they can get a bit chafey.

In order to ensure you've got that essential good contact there's also a tendency to wear them tight, which can feel restrictive and affect your breathing, psychologically at least.

It's also true that wrist-based heart rate watches tend to need to be done up tight on the wrist and can be uncomfortable over long training sessions but on the whole, the watches offer a happier fit.

Winner: Wrist

 

Forgettability

Ok that's not actually a word but chest strappers will be all too familiar with what it means. You get to the gym and dig around in your bag only to find your HRM is nowhere to be found.

You're sure you put it back in after last night's session but then you did also empty out your gym kit and there's a good chance it'll be lying sweatily on top of your wash basket at home.

You're far less likely to forgetting that watch you wear all the time. Of course, this is all null and void if you have a watch you only use for working out or in fact if you forget to charge it

Winner: Wrist

 

Battery life

HRM chest straps rely on old school watch batteries and while battery life can vary – something like the Fitcare HRM812 will give you a quoted 350 hours of tracking - definitely out lasting all optical heart rate watches on the market.

However, it's vital to remember to unclip it the unit from the strap. Fail to do this and your chest strap will sit in your bag or drawer having the life sucked out if it.

Optical heart rate monitors, on the other hand, will only give you half a dozen sessions or so, depending on how you use them when you're not training.

More frustrating is that almost all of them have their own unique charging cradle that means you either have to remember to charge them at home overnight or cart the charging cable with you wherever you go. Both of which you will almost certainly forget to do at some point.

Winner: Chest strap

 

Price

HRM chest straps can offer a cheaper way to monitor heart rate, particularly if you opt for a Bluetooth device that'll partner with a range of fitness tracking apps to give you a sweet of insights that can match a lot of the cheaper watches.

You can pick up a Bluetooth HRM chest strap where as even the cheapest optical heart rate watch will set you back $99 plus.

Winner: Chest strap

 

HRM Chest Strap vs Wrist:

Well, yes and no. I'll come clean, my preference is for the chest strap but then I'm concerned with accuracy above comfort. That's not true for everyone. Fitness is personal and the most important thing is to find the tools that work best for your own workouts.

 

 

For some people, accuracy is priority, go for the chest strap. If comfort and convenience are top of your list, a watch will probably work best, despite costing a little more.

Fitcare HRM812 heart rate belt supports BLE and ANT+ real time heart rate transmission, HRV tramsmission is available. Works with popular APPs, like Rustastic PRO, Endomondo sports tracker, Wahoo fitness, MAP MY RIDE+, Wahoo Utility, STRAVA, Runkeeper, etc. 

Features:

Bluetooth 4.0 wireless data transmission (actually BLE, ANT+, 5.3k Hz are optional)

Real time heart rate detection

Workable with popular public APP (like Rustastic PRO, Endomondo sports tracker, Wahoo fitness, MAP MY RIDE+, Wahoo Utility, STRAVA, Runkeeper, etc.)

PX4 level waterproof 

Colorful chest belt available, strap length: 65--95cm, ABS device housing

Battery life: 15 month (1pcs CR2032), based on: Work continually in online mode for 1 hour every day

HR first detecting time: 20 sec(In the condition of dry skin)

HR detecting range: 30-240bpm 

Accuracy: ±2bpm (In quiet state)

 

 

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