If you’re at all into health and fitness, a good heart rate monitor is a must-have item. Over the past eight years I’ve used several heart rate monitors, and of those the Timex Ironman is far and away the best of the bunch. I’ve been using the Ironman every day for the past several months and I have absolutely zero complaints.
First–and most importantly–the Ironman is very reliable and accurate. I’ve simultaneously compared my heart rate as measured by the Ironman to my heart rate as measured by my exercise bike’s built-in monitor and the results are are dead-on accurate. The signal strength from the adjustable chest band to the attractive and sporty looking watch is excellent: after hundreds of hours of use the watch has never even once lost the signal from the chest band.
The watch contains all the features I need to track my workouts and also the information I require to determine important stats such as HRrest, HRmax, Heart Rate Reserve, Heart Rate Recovery and VO2max. Those statistics are extremely useful for determining overall health and cardiovascular conditioning improvements. For a more complete discussion of these stats, how to measure them and why they are important, please read my February 14, 2011 blog.
A design feature found in the Ironman that is lacking in many other heart rate monitors is that the battery is user-replaceable. When the battery in my old Polar heart rate monitor died my only option was to send it back to the factory for an expensive replacement (and 4-6 week turn-around time). This is simply not acceptable, as I use my heart rate monitor every day. The Polar wound up in the trash, while the Timex would have been back in action after a quick battery swap.
The display is large and very easy to read. You can easily set the display to show the information that’s most important to you. Personally I have it set to show my heart rate big and bold, and I can clearly see the number with a quick glance even when I’m riding over bumpy terrain on my mountain bike.
The watch is water resistant down to 100 meters, so that’s another big plus if you swim or wear the watch in the rain.
Some of the other useful features of the Ironman include programmable target heart rate zone, average heart rate, peak heart rate, time in zone, recovery heart rate, estimated calories burned, 100-hour chronograph with lap and split, 50 lap memory with average heart rate per lap, 100-hour 2-mode countdown timer, alarm and bright night light.
The watch is easy to use, and while you may not utilize all the features, you’ll love that they are there when/if you need them. I use the split function all the time, and of course the end of workout stats are awesome. The calorie counter, like pretty much all estimates provided by heart rate monitors, is probably not accurate but it’s still cool to measure the results from one session to the next.
I highly recommend this heart rate monitor to all fitness enthusiasts. The Ironman is a rugged, accurate, feature-rich, reliable and attractive heart rate monitor and it will provide you with many, many years of use (and abuse!)
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