“ Brand: Kelly Holmes „
I'm sure we all know that Dame Kelly Holmes is a retired Olympic athlete, famed for winning two gold medals for 800 and 1500 metre sprint, in the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Since then she has been involved in numerous fitness initiatives and has even launched her own range of sports clothing and equipment aimed at women, in an exclusive deal with Tesco.
I've recently lost 101 lbs, just over seven stones in old money, and in an effort to maintain that loss, and not put it all back on like I have after recent weight loss attempts; I try to use my local gym as often as I can. While the gym can get boring, little things that appease my love of technology, help my fitness and/or motivate me to push myself further are paramount to that success. After investing in a Fitbit, a high end pedometer (review to follow), I was on the lookout for a heart rate monitor to take my fitness level one step further. I was initially researching the Polar Fit brand of HRM (heart rate monitors) but when I saw this massively reduced on the clearance shelves of Tesco's at the cost of £6.50, I decided it was worth a punt. It is still available online http://www.tesco.com/direct/kelly-holmes-pedometer -and-pulse-watch-purple/211-0681.prd?pageLevel= (remove the space after pedometer) at a cost of £13 and hopefully my review will explain why I still think this is a bit of a bargain.
I was initially drawn to the box on the shelf, it's on slightly bigger than a cereal bar box, and some of the front is cut away revealing the actual watch, enclosed in a transparent plastic mould within. The watch looks quite chunky and plasticky through the packaging. Also in the box that you can't see, are the instructions, a plastic thing which for the life of me I couldn't tell you its purpose. It must be there for something as it fits into a moulded section of the container, but as it's not even mentioned in the instructions all I can say is, if you find out what it's for, could you please let me know? :) Finally, tucked behind the plastic is the transmitter belt with which to measure your heart beat. Both the watch and this belt comes with the batteries needed (CR2032) to get going straight away, although I'm not sure how long they will last for. I've had mine for around two months now, and I can't see any signs of fatigue, in the battery power, not me, as yet.
This rugged looking, yet oddly quite feminine watch, hosts a whole multitude of functions which I hope to explain in more detail. The watch can be used as a normal watch to tell the time, but I'm not sure if you would want to, I certainly don't. I prefer my watches to be on the dainty side. Although rather bulky, like I mentioned before, it still has a feminine air to it, with the mainly white colouring to the watch strap and face surround, stainless steel accents, and a flash of fuschia/pinky purple completes the look.
Although the screen displays a wide variety of information, it still remains easy to read, and is really clear visually. The digital display has really kept its time well as one would expect. Day/date/ year and seconds are displayed too, when none of the other fitness settings are utilised.
One point worth mentioning is that, a wide bulky plastic strap could cause sweating and irritation around the wrist area if you were wearing this for any considerable length of time (as a day to day watch) but on the watch strap either side of the face, there are cut out apertures to maximise air flow and provide a little comfort to the skin. Nine holes over a space of two and a half inches, ensures that this will fit both the largest and smallest of wrists. For reference I don't have particularly tiny wrists and I wear it on the third notch.
~~~Instructions and Set Up~~~
Initial setting up of the watch is aided by a little, and I mean little, 34 page booklet. The font is readable and the wording is easy to comprehend, although set up isn't really as intuitive as one might hope. I don't usually bother with instructions, preferring to get things out of the box and go so to speak, but with this I did feel the need to refer to them on more than one occasion, and had to go over them several times as although they were written in simple terms, there are times during the first few pages where it asks you to complete a task not mentioned until towards the end of the booklet, and there was plenty of flicking to and fro. Take time out to read the booklet and study it would be my recommendation. Once you get that out of the way, it'll just take minutes to set up, and you'll be away.
This watch is absolutely packed full of features and I'm actually amazed at what you get for the price, even at the full R.R.P of £26 it's astounding. Even as a basic watch you'll get dual time, a calendar, an alarm and an hourly chime signal. I like the chime as I can get a rough idea of passing time without having to look at the clock face. I do like to do an hour at least if I can, and I know the chime is hourly but I can still make us of this if I start my gym session even on the half hour, I know when the chime goes off, that I'm half way and don't have much further to go. I could quite easily set the alarm too, it's something I hadn't really thought about before I wrote this review. Not even most day to day watches have half of the aforementioned features.
As a sports watch it features a digital motion sensor for speed detection, target speed zone training, timer, step counter, odometer and calibration for a more personalised and detailed readout; and that's to name but a few. I find the motion sensor feature great because then I can still use this to monitor my performance even without using the HRM function and transmitter belt. Sometimes you don't need both, so I mainly just use the watch in its own right and use the belt when I'm focussing training on a certain level to boost my weight loss attempts if I've had a particularly calorie heavy or lazy day/week. Oops.
As a heart rate monitor it features maximum pulse alert, pulse zone training programs - lead by the results you want i.e. health, fitness or performance. There are zone timers, a pulse out of zone alert which I find absolutely essential. If watch has picked up that my heart rate has dropped and I've started to lag, I hear the beep and I'm instantly putting my all into it again. The final feature being the highest pulse rate, average and lowest pulse so that you can keep a record for monitoring purposes and statistics.
Before I go any further I'd best talk about the belt. This features a sort of pod that contains all the mechanics and battery housing. This is in the centre, and fits really quite flush to the body. Other models I've seen look like they have quite a large battery housing, like a PP3 battery (the one you get in smoke alarms), but this is a watch battery, so lies really quite flat and doesn't get in the way. On either side of this are silicone sections which feature the conductive pads. You need to moisten these with either Saliva (gross) or conductive gel which can be found quite easily and cheaply at Boots the chemist. It's only around two or three pounds yet it's preferable to licking the belt before use. You need to use this to get a more accurate measurement of the electrical impulses from your heart and therefore letting you know how hard your heart is working, or not as the case may be. This whole section including the battery pod is approximately 12 inches long, so will fit nicely across the front of your chest. The rest of the belt (I think band is a much better word, as belts go around your waist) anyway the belt/band is made from a very nice elastic. It doesn't cut in or cause any discomfort and can go from a ladies size 4 I expect, up to a 26/28 in my rough estimation. I'm currently a size 8 after being a size 26ish squeezed into size 24 clothes, so I do have a fair idea about female sizing. Once you've altered it to the correct size for you, there is a simple snap which you can use to put it on and off in future, this negates struggling and trying to get this over your head and under your boobs. Can you imagine it? It's enough to put you off exercise for life. :)
This watch/HRM helps me know my limits and determines my own personalised exercise zones. By working out my/your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) you are able to work towards different targets much more easily and efficiently and without causing injury and stress. For health you need to work between 50-65% of the MHR, for Fitness 65-80% of the MHR, and performance (think of top athletes here) 80 - 95% of the MHR. This might sound a little confusing but this gadget has helped put me on the right track regards my workouts. Before, I think I was putting too much emphasis on going full out and working in intense short bursts, but this watch has proved that working at lesser intensity, for longer, gives me the best results.
Back to the functions, I told you there was more to this watch than you thought. I think I'd better list them now so this review doesn't go on for too long and get boring.
Calorie loss and fat burn during exercise (so you can see if you've earned that chocolate bar)
Calculation of Body Mass Index
1/1000 second 99 laps multi-split stopwatch
EL Backlight (illuminates the watch face for two seconds but this inevitably wears the battery down faster)
Water Resistant Housing
Although I can't testify to its accuracy, never having owned a HRM before and having nothing else to compare it to, I really do think that this is a very good introduction to exercise equipment of this nature; even at the full recommended retail price of £26 this compares extremely favourably. So if you find one at £6.50 like I did snap it up, there may be better and more accurate HRM/Watches out there, but at this price point it's exceptionally hard to beat.
A great introduction to getting more accurate fitness results at an outstanding price - I do not hesitate to give this my highest recommendation and the maximum allowance of five Dooyoo stars. Go for it! What have you got to lose?
This might set your pulse a racing, the Kelly Holmes pedometer and Pulse watch is £13, instead of £26, on promotion with Tesco today. This is a good price to buy it at and I personally do not feel to pay more would be value for money.
Dame Kelly Holmes is a retired double gold Olympic winner for running. She has launched her own product lines of various sports clothing and equipment in an exclusive deal with Tesco. This range is for women. When it comes to the digital LCD screened pedometer she knows what a sportsperson could want and need from the product without having to spend a fortune on it.
The gadget comes in a pretty tasteful purple and white which seems very feminine to me. There is also a grey option which looks smart.
This handy gadget will monitor who well you are doing with those exercises so pump it up and feel great about your exercise progress.
I particularly like to see how many calories I've burnt after putting in my height, age and weight. I often go by a glass of dry white wine containing about seventy-seven calories. Every time I reach the magic number I can celebrate that I've burnt off (or made room for) another glass of wine!
It can also be worn as a chest strap but as a woman I would prefer not to put this against my skin, so I tried this once in private and found the strap stayed on and I feel that the heart monitor was more accurate than when on the wrist. I don't think this colourful watch would suit a man.
The watch screen is large and in the right light conditions clear.
This device is water resistant. I would not consider using it in the swimming pool thought Tesco website do say it is waterproof as the material is plastic. I have worn it outdoors, in the rain, and there are no ill consequences.
The product does come with batteries. After a few months of use I haven't needed to change the battery but I don't relish the day that I do have to and maybe I won't bother. It looks like it could be fiddly.
The stop watch works well and can be really useful, not just for exercise but also for fun and games with other people's children and they have never complained about it! There is also an alarm feature which has a clear sound.
The not so good is that it feels a bit bulky and for me I prefer not to feel encumbered whilst taking part in aerobic exercise. Once, or twice, when moving fast, and running, I have found that the watch has slipped and that messes up the accuracy of recording. As with the machines in the gym, I question the accuracy of these devices. The heart monitor is dubious, as sometimes, my pulse is so slow I think that would make me nearly dead or so fast that I get scared into stopping and calming the rate down before going on. However, it does drive me to compete against my own times and to push harder during my training. I feel the device gives me an indication of how well I am doing.
It can be hard to read the screen in certain light and also whilst moving but I should think this is the case with all these devices.
The wrist strap, on mine, is white which seems a mistake as it shows up the dirt and don't forget people are sweating a lot!
There are complex functions. Setting and resetting the buttons for the different modes was a little tricky initially and I had to get used to that. The accompanying instruction booklet is clear but it is difficult to adjust the modes in reality. Some people might find this a waste of time and quite frustrating. For me the pedometer was fairly new to me and I had little to compare the experience to. It was fun to have a device to monitor my progression and from time to time still is.
Personally, I am not a big fan of clocking up time, heart rate, and calories burnt because one can become obsessed and develop unhealthy fixations. Over time I have been using the pedometer less than during the initial excitement over technological advancement for the individual sportsperson. I am winding down the use from daily, to once a week, to fortnightly, and I can envision it being less frequent in the future. I do get a bit annoyed with the feel of it on my wrist though it is quite lightweight.
These negatives, I suspect, are universal, and does not make this a product not worth buying.
I would advise that this is very good for a start-out pedometer, especially at this price, with plenty of modes too, there is no reason not to give this a go. I think it does well for the budget and you might as well get the same functions that you'll find on a more expensive gadget because I am not sure that they are any more reliable. Kelly Holmes brings the pedometer with multiple functions out of the high price range and into a lower budget aiding sport for all.