How to pick a sport tester
The selection of sport testers is wide, there’s a lot of parameters and not everyone understands all of this. That’s why we’ll try to show it to you.
Why do you need a sport tester?
If you’re not a professional athlete with a team of coaches and doctors, you can find it rather difficult to understand the impact of your training to your organism. You can train a little to accomplish your goals or you can train too much. If you overdo it, you can even harm yourself. And that’s why it’s good to use a sport tester while training. On a display, you can see your current heart rate which can help you to adjust the intensity of training. Most of sport testers also count calories, some even the percentage of fat from burned calories and many more interesting details. You can use them to even better optimization of you training and therefore even faster way of accomplishing your goals.
Sport tester can measure heart rate by several ways. However for sports, the most common way of measuring your heart rate is with a chest strap.
You can encounter sport testers that measure heart rate by touching a special space on the sport tester. You just put your finger on the dedicated spot and after five to ten seconds, your current heart rate is shown. This type of measuring isn’t suitable for dynamic sports. Imagine putting your finger on your watch while running, before you can see your heart rate. On top of that, the measuring happens only if you touch your watch. Sport testers like that are suitable for tourism.
Compared to that, measuring with a chest strap has several bonuses. A chest strap measures all the time, when it’s attached to your body. You don’t have to press anything. The data are transferred to the sport tester wireless. Therefore, you can see your current heart rate while training. Modern chest straps are comfortable and pleasant to wear. After a while of training, you barely know you‘re wearing it.
Measuring of heart rate is universal and it’s not dedicated just to specific sports.
You can use a sport tester while running, on a bike, on skates, while cross-country skiing, on ski, in a gym or even while kayaking. If you don’t need anything but measuring your heart rate, you can use basically any sport tester.
For those who want more information, there are several model situations.
I’m a beginner and I want cheap and good sport tester.
If you need only heart rate and calories measuring, there are many sport testers to choose from; the most favourite ones are Sigma PC15.11, Sigma PC 10.11, and Sigma PC 22.13.
I’m starting with training and mostly, I want to lose weight.
We recommend sport testers that can count the percentage of fat from burned calories. For example, Beurer PM 25 can’t do that, but it can tell you if you’re burning fats or whether your condition is getting better.
I’m a runner.
Again, it’s important to decide what you need for running. If you can get by with heart rate a time measuring, you can just pick basically any sport tester.
For interval training, we recommend more advanced sport testers that are specifically equipped for that; Garmin Forerunner 25 or Garmin Forerunner 235 Optic.
If you need to measure the elapsed distance and your speed, pick a sport tester with foot pod. The best models are Sigma RC 1209 or Sigma RC 14.11, which has a pedometer integrated inside the chest strap. Other good choices are Polar M400, Polar A300 and so on.
I do couple of sports and I’d like to measure speed and elapsed distance.
Thanks to the GPS technology, you can measure speed and elapsed distance basically at any outdoor activity. Unlike with food pod, you’re not limited only to walking or running. The most famous sport testers with GPS are from Garmin. The most accessible sport tester with GPS is Garmin Forerunner 25 which has a GPS integrated inside it. Other favourite models are Garmin Forerunner 15, Polar M400, and Garmin Vivoactive.
I’m a triathlonist.
Triathlon is very difficult on functions when it comes to sport testers. Sport tester must be able to measure heart rate in the water, connect external sensors like foot pod or cyclist sensors, and export data to PC. The basic problem is measuring heart rate in the water, which is something that most sport testers have problems with. The ideal choice for a triathlonist would be Polar V800 which was specifically designed for these purposes. It meets all of the conditions listed above, plus thanks to profiles (swimming, running, bike) it can run demanded functions and sensors just with switching the profile.
I’m a tourist/climber.
As a tourist, alpinist and climber you’ll appreciate altimeter. The combination of sport tester (heart rate measurer) and altimeter is not very common, therefore there’s only a few models to chose from. For example, Beurer PM 90. The altitude can be also measured with some Garmins with GPS. For example, Garmin FR620.
If you need outdoor watch with compass, barometer, altimeter and heart rate measurer, the ideal choice could be Garmin Fenix3, Suunto Ambit3 Vertical or Garmin Tactix Bravo.
I’m a cyclist.
If you spend all your training on a bike and don’t use your sport tester during other sports, we recommend purchasing a cyclometer with heart rate measurer. Some of the favourite models are Sigma ROX or Polar M450. However, if you don’t want to be limited only to a bike and you’d rather have a sport tester in a form of watch, again you can pick almost any other sport tester. It depends on your expectations.
If none of the model examples is your case or if you’re just not sure with your selection, don’t hesitate to ask in the discussion.