You need to download the WebSync application from the Polar website. There’s actually no software in the box, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing, since making you download the application will ensure that you’re using the latest version. The other part of the equation is PolarPersonalTrainer – once you’ve registered, all the data from your FT80 will be automatically synchronised, allowing you to view and analyse your results and progress.
Polar has done a good job with its Personal Trainer website, making it easy to see where you need to tweak your training to get to where you want to be. There’s also a very strong community there, with lots of likeminded individuals to give you support or challenge you to do better. The challenges are particularly good, whereby you can set a challenge to yourself and other users – stuff like cycling 100 miles in a week, or burning 10,000 calories in a fortnight. You can create or join challenges at will, making sure that you’re always working towards a tangible goal.
The FT80 isn’t just suited to cardio training either, there’s also a Strength Training setting. If you incorporate weight training into your workouts, the FT80 will monitor your heart rate and tell you the optimum time to start your next set, all the while measuring the amount of calories being burned while you pump that iron.
It probably won’t surprise you that the FT80 with G1 doesn’t come cheap, but then few top-of-the-range products do. The bundle that I’ve been using will set you back £361.64, while the FT80 by itself comes in at £273.55. There’s no denying that that’s a lot of money, but the FT80 is a serious product for someone who’s serious about their fitness and training. If you don’t fall into that category, then there are plenty of other models in the Polar range that will no doubt suit you better, both from financial and feature perspectives.
I’m currently trying to get myself fit for the London to Brighton cycle ride in a few weeks and I can honestly say that the FT80 has significantly improved my training on every level. With that in mind I think that this bundle is worth every penny.
I’ve been using Polar heart rate monitors for years, but calling the FT80 just a heart rate monitor is like calling the McLaren F1 just a car. What Polar has created is a product that’s truly worthy of the ”Fitness Computer” moniker. The level of functionality is staggering, while the general build quality and ease of use are also first rate.
If you do a lot of training outside the G1 GPS sensor is well worth the extra cost and just adds to the already impressive amount of data gathered by the FT80. Polar has also thrown in the simplest data synchronisation system I’ve ever encountered, and a web portal that makes sure you get the most out of all your training data.
If you’re serious about improving, maintaining or maximising your fitness level, the FT80 will help you every step of the way. For me, the FT80 has been something of a revelation – in the short time I’ve been using it, it has already significantly improved the way I train, and consequently the results from those training sessions. In short, I’ll definitely be buying one of these, making it a true Editor’s Choice.
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