Heart Rate Variability, Omega Wave, and ARP

Polar is the best option IMO…

That’s not been my experience.

The watch better work first time … as their customer service is worse than non-existent.


My past experiences trying to use Polar software have been uniformly terrible. Their actual products are terrific, but they aren’t intuitive to use for the average weekend warrior.

It will be interesting to see what kind of apps are developed for smartphones, as I think in a couple of years they could start to take a huge chunk out of Polar’s business, as user-friendliness is not their strong suit.


I have made a policy of not purchasing Polar

Polar has a good watch and a complicate/terribile software, but if we speak about RR recording specially for dynamic/static HRV, It’s an amazing product!
Then Polar ProTrainer export RR file in ASCII/txt format…no so bad!
I’ve used 20 polar RS800 for monitoring a soccer team with great results!
High level of personalization, every athlete had his watch and belt…my experience was really good.
I agree about the software (It has an interesting integrated function for HRV analysis) , but I’ve not used it alot.

PS: polar has a good test “programs” for training and stress monitoring!

I have both the Polar 810i and the Suunto T6c. I have had good results with both. The only beef I had with the polar was the infra-red interface to transmit data from the watch to computer. It can sometimes be finicky. The Suunto has a hard-wire USB connection. I don’t know if more recent Polar watches have a hard wire connection. If you don’t have an infrared port on your computer, you will have to purchase the IR cable from Polar.

I love my polar rs800.
I find the testing programs easy to use and follow.
It may not spit out a 100 different reasons as to why you are tired or feeling good, in any case, it really does not need to.
I have found, if it says you’re recovered - then you are.
If it says keep training, then keep training
If it says your tired and should rest up for a few days, It’s spot on.

The Fitness testing - or Vo2 max testing - may not be Spot on if compared to say Treadmill testing - but it is consistent if you follow the parameters correctly. Which means, if you compare it to itself, it works a treat. (not very valid for pure sprinters though) - but it is a great test for Distance athletes.

I did the Treadmill Concini test a few wks ago with this watch - Fantastic graphs, and easy to read and follow. Very easy to pick up where my La+ threshold is. Again - pointless for Pure sprinters, but great for Distance folks - and useful info for 400 guys

I should point out, the Polar Pro Trainer 5 software is heaps better than the online software for most other polar watches.

I might trial the Suunto T6c
I know the Polar RR intervals have been validated, but I’ll trial the T6c and see how it goes

I hope to do a validity study comparing a Suunto T6c with a 3-lead ECG at my university. If all is successful, the Suunto will be used in research with athletes.

My unit should arrive any day. For those who use this is it sensitive to muscle strains, back pain etc? I.e. athlete has back pain or knee pain, would the reading show not recovered.?

Possibly - but not directly from the injury. More from the reaction to pain, inactivity, and the stress of being injured (or unable to train or compete).

Having said that, changing fluid levels due to inflammation, changes in muscle tone and other physiological changes may be picked up. It really depends your baseline measurements and how the vary from the baseline.

I agree…

That will be good to see
I would be surprised if it wasn’t comparable

My RS800 came in. I used it on several athletes today, including myself. We all had recovery scores of 2 (normal). I tried it on one athlete after workout and he had a 2 as well.

I’m working through the Kubios and Polar software reports. No idea how to interpret the Kubios stuff yet. I will try to load the graphs when I can figure out how to work it.

It’s a pdf report. Not sure how to load this for forum to see. Tech help?

You need to run your tests on recovery, or tempo days for a few days in a row to create a Base line that the Polar can use to compare things to. Otherwise, you’ll just get a 2 reading.

I can’t remember how many days in a row you need to do this for, it’s in the manual.

Then, if you wait too long betwee tests, you need to re-do that same Base Test line again.

Bold, do you reset the watch before each test? Im still playing around with it.

No way. Every time you reset, you need to do the week or so of baseline testing.
The testing needs something to compare to. Instead of compare to charts or tables, it compares you to you.

Hence why you need a few days of easy work to be rested as your best baseline.

Also, you can’t test other people on the same watch without changing the Profile to that person. Which is easier if done on the computer. So the initial set up getting everybody on the watch takes time.

Just to resurrect this thread, I have been working with an athlete in Michigan, and we have collected around 60 to 70 days of HRV data using the simple Ithlete interface. The data corresponds with a Charlie Francis 100m Short to Long program the athlete is doing. The results were very interesting! I’m still working on combining some data together, then I will post results.

One of the things I can report on right away- the following workout combination had a VERY noticeable positive effect on HRV scores. Keep in mind I have found the exact same thing even with my mediocre massage skills when applied to my athlete.

  1. extensive tempo (in this case it was often the bike tempo workout as access to the outdoors was limited)
  2. EMS using Active Recovery type settings
  3. Massage (traditional Swedish type strokes)

The next step is to attempt the above when in Ottawa, and after receiving a massage from Waldemar. I suspect with his skill the HRV score could (and should) be even greater. For all those who questioned whether tempo actually works as compared to rest, it should provide some food for thought.