I’m sure by now you have seen about a million and 1 different reviews of the Polar A300 fitness watch. So with that being said, I am not going to try to sell you on it, but tell you the truth about my experiences with this product.
Heart Rate Monitor
when I bought my first Polar watch back in 2013, this was the only functionality I needed. Before I used to have the Polar FT7, and this suited me for me needs. I decided to upgrade to the A300 because it had more features that I thought I could benefit from. If you are looking to just track your heart rate during your workouts, then I suggest getting one of the basic models, FT7 or FT4. With the heart rate monitor, during your workout you can see: your currebt heart rate, duration, and after see: your average heart rate, max heart rate, calories burned, and how long you were in each zone for (fitness zone and fat burn zone). this last part is something that you really need to do some research on. A lot of people say a lot of different things so I would highly suggest getting the opinions of multiple people.
As I would guess with all of their products, the heart rate monitor quality would be the same across them all. I think that it is pretty accurate, or as accurate as you are going to get without being strapped up to a machine while working out like you are some sort of lab rat or something. But being able to see where my heart rate is at while I work out I feel motivates me and pushes me further than without that capability. I can easily see just how short of a rest I should be taking by how far my heart rate drops during my resting period. It takes a couple workouts to gauge what that is, as well as what kind of workouts you are doing. Then I set a reasonable heart rate that I do not want to drop under.
For example: if I am doing squats, my heart rate (depending on weight and speed) will reach about 145-150 bpm. Once I rack the weight finishing the set, I take a look to see where I am at, and then know while resting, once my heart rate drops back down to 120 bpm, its time to start my next set. Without being able to see my heart rate, I very easily could have taken a longer break then I should have. Now this also depends on the person. If you are very good at making sure your rest times aren’t too long, then hey that’s great! But for me, I get lazy, I don’t push myself as hard as some people can on their own, so this gives me that little bit of “hey stop slacking off”. It is what works for ME.
Another function that the A300 has over the FT4 and FT7 is that you can specify which kind of workout you are about to be doing. You can choose from walking, cycling, running, and strength training. This is really beneficial if you do different kinds of workouts all the time and you want to be able to differentiate your data in the Ploar Flow App. If you don’t switch up your training then it’s kind of pointless for you.
This was one of the features that got me starting to think about buying this watch. But its capabilities have really blown me away. If you are like me and have a desk job, you probably sit for a good portion of your day. I do a horrible job of making sure I get up and get the blood flowing every now and then. So having this fun reminder is really nice. Why don’t you just set a reminder on your phone? I could do that, but Polar takes it a step further. When you plug your watch into the computer to upload your recent activity data, you can see how many times you ignored this little message throughout the day. And I don’t know about you but if I have physical evidence that I did not do something, especially when it comes to fitness, you best believe I wont be missing any more!
But it doesn’t stop there. You can choose a daily goal of how many steps you want to complete every day. This motivates me for sure! Once I set a goal I do all I can to make sure that I reach it. So that reminder isn’t just to remind me that I have been sitting still for to long, but to also remind me of what my daily goals are and not to forget them.
Lastly, what I just recently discovered is that it not only tells you how many calories you burned during a workout with the heart rate monitor, but how many calories you burn daily! At first I thought, it couldn’t be. But then I did some testing and since you have to put in your body stats (height, weight, age) it’s continuously counting the calories your body is burning, even at rest! I’m guessing it is doing this based on your BMR and then once you start walking, based on your speed of motion, it will count more calories burned. Now I don’t know if this is really how it works, but it made the most logical sense to me!
So that’s it! All in all is rate this about a 9/10! I know I won’t be taking it off anytime soon!
Pros: reliable, fun way to track fitness, as accurate as you can get, fashionable, water proof
Cons: There should be an option intbeteeen the FT7 and the A300 because I can see some people really liking some of the features in the A300, but also not need some of the features as well. For example, they may want to also track their steps, but not care about being able to specify which kind of workout they are about to jump into. Also,it is a pretty expensive purchase. But I would say you are getting what you are paying for. It has been worth every cent spent!