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View Full Version : Suggestions for Heart Rate Monitors that work in the Pool?



rstickney
July 4th, 2009, 02:25 AM
Can anyone recommend a heart rate monitor that works in the pool? I have a Garmin monitor with chest strap which is waterproof, but the transmission doesn't work in the pool. With the Garmin, I can get out of the pool and get a reading, but not while I'm in the water. I've searched the internet and have found very little info on monitors that will actually continue to take/transmit while in the water.

I've seen people mention the Polar s720i, but that model is no longer made. Ideally, I'd like to find a monitor that stores your heartrate readings throughout the workout and will download to a laptop AND works while you are in the water. I'm 47 and had a heart attack a few years back, so I'd really like to have an accurate monitor while I'm swimming.

Thanks for any help you can offer.

RS in New Orleans

Lui
July 4th, 2009, 04:56 AM
I think a Suunto TC3 might do that.
Also check out the Timex Bodylink: Amazon.com: Ironman Triathlon BodyLink System Heart Rate/Altitude/Speed/Distance: Electronics

How about this one: http://www.newlaunches.com/archives/aquapulse_heart_rate_monitor_for_swimming_and_wate r_sports_from_finis.php

I never used a heart rate monitor while swimming so I can't tell you how good they are.

mermaid
July 4th, 2009, 08:04 AM
Perhaps there are too many factors that influence the monitors and that's why you can't find a "good one".
1a) hydrostatic pressure, compression & gravity (or lack of it in the pool)= affects the blood flow, send it gushing back to the heart. Lower heart rate.
1b) hydrostatic pressure = body is working against the resistet pressure of the water, something not found on land. Lungs must work in & out in the water because of the pressure of the water, on land they only need to work 1 way because air doesn't have a measurable pressure (as it is found naturally).
2) water temperature = too hot or too cold affects ability to have a good workout. The cooler the water, the lower the heart rate.
3) dive reflex = your comfort level in the water (any anxiety?)
4) body position = you are forcing your body to work on a horizontal plane rather than a vertical plane, this places stress on the brain in a body awareness kinda' way
5) partial pressure = a gas enters a liquid more redily under pressure, in this case, oxygen is transfered more efficiently to the blood stream reducing the workload of the heart
6) reduced body mass = you weigh less in the water resulting in lower heart rate
7) fitness levels and age are also important to consider when calculating heart rates

I only offer these as suggestions, things to consider when comming to the pool to compare workouts on land and in the water.

There is a formula called "Karvonen Formula", which considers minimum and maximum training thresholds that might suit you needs better. http://www.briancalkins.com/HeartRate.htm

qbrain
July 4th, 2009, 09:43 AM
Finis has one now specifically designed for pool use. I have not tried it, but I too am interested in finding a swim friendly HRM.

The shape is very similar to their SwiMP3, with a little attachment that clips to the ear to monitor the heart rate.

http://www.finisinc.com/Technology/aquapulse_technology.aspx

Looks like it is coming out this summer.

rstickney
July 4th, 2009, 10:51 AM
Perhaps there are too many factors that influence the monitors and that's why you can't find a "good one".
1a) hydrostatic pressure, compression & gravity (or lack of it in the pool)= affects the blood flow, send it gushing back to the heart. Lower heart rate.
1b) hydrostatic pressure = body is working against the resistet pressure of the water, something not found on land. Lungs must work in & out in the water because of the pressure of the water, on land they only need to work 1 way because air doesn't have a measurable pressure (as it is found naturally).
2) water temperature = too hot or too cold affects ability to have a good workout. The cooler the water, the lower the heart rate.
3) dive reflex = your comfort level in the water (any anxiety?)
4) body position = you are forcing your body to work on a horizontal plane rather than a vertical plane, this places stress on the brain in a body awareness kinda' way
5) partial pressure = a gas enters a liquid more redily under pressure, in this case, oxygen is transfered more efficiently to the blood stream reducing the workload of the heart
6) reduced body mass = you weigh less in the water resulting in lower heart rate
7) fitness levels and age are also important to consider when calculating heart rates

I only offer these as suggestions, things to consider when comming to the pool to compare workouts on land and in the water.

There is a formula called "Karvonen Formula", which considers minimum and maximum training thresholds that might suit you needs better. http://www.briancalkins.com/HeartRate.htm


Thanks Mermaid..

This is good info, but I guess my problem is more of a mechanical one. The monitor that I have gives no reading when I'm swimming, it works fine when I'm out of the water. I suspect it has to do with the radio waves transmission from the chest strap to the wrist unit in the water vs. dry land.

Do you use a monitor while you're swimming? If so, can I ask what model it is and if it gives you readings while you're actually in the water?

Thanks

Robert

ALM
July 4th, 2009, 03:34 PM
I have two different Polar monitors that work in the water. Mine are the very basic ones - a chest transmitter and a wristwatch-style receiver. No memory storage - I just look at it occasionally when I've stopped at the wall at the end of an interval.

My monitors are at least 10 years old and still work great. The batteries last a couple of years and then have to be replaced. I send mine to Polar's service center (in Michigan, I believe) to have the batteries changed and the monitor re-calibrated.

The biggest problem you'll probably run into is keeping the monitor on your chest while you're swimming. I knew a guy who had heart problems and used a monitor to make sure his heart rate wasn't getting too high. The only way he could keep it on was to wear it under a men's racing suit (no arms, no legs, but full torso coverage). Of course the cheaper way to do this, if you're not self-conscious, would be to wear a women's suit.

Anna Lea

KEWebb18
July 4th, 2009, 03:50 PM
I wear a Polar F6 HR monitor every day. I can set it for specific HR zones (light, moderate, hard) or customize it. It keeps all of the workouts on the watch, gives you a weekly summary of what you have accomplished, and you can link it to your computer.
The strap does take some getting used to, but Polar does offer more expensive models with a full fabric strap that may be more comfortable.
My only complaint with it is that there is not a "lap" feature on my watch.

rstickney
July 5th, 2009, 11:02 PM
Thanks everyone for your help and advice..Based on the above, it sounds like the problem is with my particular monitor. I'm going to follow Jayhawk and KEWebb18's advice and order a Polar..I'll post and let everyone know how it works out.

I'm new to USMS - it's great to have this resource. Thanks again,

Robert

Chris Stevenson
July 6th, 2009, 08:46 AM
Thanks everyone for your help and advice..Based on the above, it sounds like the problem is with my particular monitor. I'm going to follow Jayhawk and KEWebb18's advice and order a Polar..I'll post and let everyone know how it works out.

I'm new to USMS - it's great to have this resource. Thanks again,

Robert

Be warned: I have a Polar too, which I have used for cycling. I tried it once in the pool and it lasted two laps (or is it lengths?). Even at its tightest it would come right off on the pushoffs. Since they can wear them under their suits, women don't tend to have this problem.

I think you will either need to wear a body suit or go very easy on the pushoffs.

The Finis one looks intriguing but I would have to get used to something yammering numbers in my ear all the time.

rstickney
July 21st, 2009, 04:27 PM
Just an update...I got a Polar F6 about two weeks ago and it works just fine in the pool. I havent had too much problem with it slipping down, but I also have a rather large belly that helps keep it in place.

The only thing I don't like about the F6 is the "sonic link" technology. Seems very fussy about data transfers - a usb link would be much easier and much more reliable. On the other hand, for $100 bucks, it does a great job and gives me the info that I need. For example, yesterday I swam 1200 yards with an average HR of 123 and a max HR of 147. I burned approximately 385 calories during my 40 minute swim. All very useful info for a fat guy trying to lose weight.

Thanks to everyone who posted and shared your thoughts and insight. This is a great forum and it was very helpful.


Robert

New Orleans.

RS

FireRox21
November 13th, 2010, 09:12 PM
Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I have a question about HRMs. I'm about to order my second Polar F6. I absolutely LOVE the thing and never miss a swim without it! I'm having to order a new elastic strap (not the transmitter) as my strap split in half on me and is currently being held together with a FINA approved paper clip! My question is, does anyone use a HRM gel for the electrodes on the transmitter even when they are swimming? I'm tempted to buy the Buh-Bump gel just to see if I get an even more accurate reading (and to encourage me to do some other forms of exercise other than swimming). Is it worth a try to use the gel in the pool? Thanks for any input!