Review: Garmin ForeRunner 60






My Old Polar HRM
I was in need of a new heart rate monitor after my Polar stopped working. Well it didn't actually stop working but it picks up my heart rate sporadically.  This, after I sent in off to Polar to have a new battery put in.

I honestly think that it is the actual chest strap that is causing me problems.  I changed the battery but my heart rate(according to the monitor) still goes in and out way to often for my liking.  Even when I'm pouring down with sweat it doesn't pick up my heart rate for minutes at a time so I figured it was time to invest in a new one.

This time I was considering a Garmin.  I've seen them on sale at Sam's club but decided that I didn't want to pay that much money..I think it was $209  or something like that.
I looked at some Polar heart rate monitors and decided I would go with the Ft60.  I like Polar because it is compatible with the equipment at the gym. I even asked for it as a Christmas gift but then decided against it because of the price.  I wasn't able to find the FT60 in the store and would have to purchase online from Polar or an authorized retailer.

I ended up doing some more research on Garmin and since it was compatible with my  Body Media Fit( in the sense that now, I would be able to log my heart rate in the BMF  website) I thought a Garmin would give me the most bang for my buck)  I also found out that Garmin is now becoming compatible with some gym equipment although not yet at my gym.

Anyway, I looked at several models and decided that I really didn't need a GPS monitor because I am not a runner and I do the majority (okay, as of late,  all) of my working out indoors..  GPS doesn't really work well indoors as evidenced by my recent bout with Runkeeper and the treadmill.  My GPS on my phone said I had a fair connection so I hop on the treadmill and do my walk/jog.  While it managed to keep track of  the time I was on the treadmill, it didn't track any calories or mileage at all.  Granted, I'm not familiar with runkeeper so I don't know if it was  because of the GPS or the fact that I was on a treadmill and not actually running on the street.  It could even have been that I was walking and not running very much...who knows?

My Garmin FR60 w/chest strap, foot pod & ant stick
Anyway, I decided on the Garmin FR 60.  I chose this model because the only thing that I need in a heart rate monitor is the ability to accurately track my heart rate and calories burned.  This monitor was fine for my purposes and it also came with the Garmin ant Stick, chest strap and foot pod to boot.
It's a fairly older model..I think there is one newer model of this monitor out.. the FR 70 but I chose the 60 because of the extras...ant stick and foot pod which  normally need to  be purchased separately.

I ordered it from Amazon for $99 (  Mind you it was cheaper than the newer model that does not come with the extras) and it arrived on Jan 2nd...right in time for my challenge.  It was a breeze to set-up.  People were complaining (via reviews) that it doesn't tell you how much time you spend in a particular zone( which from my understanding is standard with even the most basic heart rate monitors) but the BMF website allows me to view that information so I'm good.

The one thing that I do not like is the fact that I am unable to view a constant tally of my calories burned.  When I search the history from my watch, calories burned are there and of course when the data is uploaded to the Garmin website( which by the way, this Garmin does automatically when it is near the ant stick) I can see calories burned, so again...I'm good.

With the added foot pod, the Fr60 is also able to tell your mileage and distance. which is a plus for me since I wasn't really concerned with that.  Something to keep in mind is the fact that when wearing  both the chest strap and the foot pod.... the Garmin uses the foot pod to determine your calories burned, whereas when wearing just the chest strap, the strap is used to determine your Heart rate so when I am in a Zumba class, I do not use the foot pod at all.

This monitor was able to pick up my heart rate as soon as I put it on.  I didn't even have to wet it first which I found myself constantly doing with my Polar and the strap is uber comfortable. (I did, however, have one instance where it wasn't picking up a heart rate at all or my heart rate was rather low for the activity that I was doing which was Zumba.  On that day.... when it was picking up a heart rate...it ranged  anywhere from 46bpm to 84bpm which is extremely low for Zumba where I am jumping, booty popping, winding , grinding, merengue-ing and well---you get the point. Normally my heart rate (in that class) is anywhere from 148 to 170 so yes, something was not right.  I did notice when I returned home that I did have the chest strap on upside down. Not sure if this makes a difference or not as I've read that some even wear the monitor on their backs instead of on their chests where it is supposed to be worn.  Anyway, I have Zumba again tomorrow so I will make sure that I'm wearing the chest strap correctly and see If I have any problems.

One last thing to note, that helped push me in the direction of the Garmin (as opposed to Polar) is lack of support for Macs. I did not want to have to use 3rd party software or get up to use my PC whenever I wanted to upload my data so Garmin's native compatibility with Mac ..made this HR monitor the one for me.

 Getting it right,
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5 comments:

I have a nephew who works at Garmin, so good choice! :-) I use a HRM just to track my heart rate and got a small OMRON. Works great for me. My HR gets too high even just walking, so I wear it most of the time. Keep making healthy choices!

Thanks for the encouragement!. Now if only I could get my eating right!

With the chest strap wearing it correctly you have any problem? I will like to know, because i also interest in the fr 60. Thanks for your comments. Aldo

No Aldo, no problems at all. I have made it a point to make sure that I am wearing the chest strap correctly and I have had no problems with it picking up my heart rate ever since. Most times I don't even have to wet the chest strap first. If you are thinking of purchasing from Amazon read the reviews there. I personally love my Garmin!

A GPS receiver is no good on a treadmill because it calculates speed and distance as the time it takes you to get from one latitude/longitude point to another. On a treadmill, you are never actually changing position, so the GPS will read 0. The foot pod that came with the FR60 will allow you to run on a treadmill with great accuracy.

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