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My new Garmin HRM-Dual heart rate monitor chest strap review

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I just received my new Garmin HRM-Dual heart rate monitor chest strap from Amazon today and took it directly to spin class at CYCLEBAR Columbia Pike. I love it! It's exactly what I needed.

I just received my new Garmin HRM-Dual heart rate monitor chest strap from Amazon today and took it directly to spin class at CYCLEBAR Columbia Pike. I love it! It's exactly what I needed.

It supports dual Bluetooth signals and also ANT+. Now I don't need a series of Garmin 010 10997 00, Polar H7, and Scosche Rhythm+ straps to combine together to connect to the Concept2 PM5, the iPod Touch, the Garmin 920xt, and even the Keiser M3 and the Schwinn spin bikes at CYCLEBAR. Technically-speaking, the HRM-Dual transmits real-time heart rate data over ANT+ connectivity and dual BLUETOOTH Low Energy (LE) technology

The new Garmin HRM-Dual heart rate monitor chest strap replaces them all. Don't pay attention to what DC Rainmaker says about this strap with regards to it being just bundle-fodder, this is the strap I have been waiting for. Yes, maybe the Wahoo TICKR through TICKRX are better value at the low end ($50) and offers more functionality like memory at the high end ($80); however, I will never use the Wahoo app nor will I ever need the memory feature. While the baseline TICKR does offer the same functionality at $20 less, it's no a Garmin, its battery lasts 1/3 as long, and what's $20 over the next decade that I'll probably be using it on all of my machines and devices. 

Garmin HRM-Dual heart rate monitor chest strap

Other than that DC Rainmaker did an amazing review both on his site and on YouTube.

I also prefer the electrical (ECG) heart rate monitors over optical (PPG) heart rate monitors. While they both work, I have deep veins and so sometimes the optical heart rate monitors are either delayed or they can get lost for a few seconds. While the ICG monitors, such as the HRM-Dual, require moisture to make a solid connection with the pulse and heart rate, I keep a tube of Spectra 360 Electrode Gel next to my Concept2, which seems to work. 

Yes, it is more expensive than the competition but the battery lasts 3.5 years and it's Garmin and when you think about it, if it replaces everything, even spin class, the rowing ergometer, the SkiErg, and my watches and bikes, then I'm good to go.

I had been using both a Polar H7 around my chest and a Scosche Rhythm+ optical heart rate monitor that I wore on my arm. The Polar H7 supports Bluetooth and the Scosche Rhythm+ supports ANT+.

So, I'm pretty psyched about it. It worked perfectly with my watch and my Schwinn Blue Carbon spin bike without a hiccup; however, the signal is pretty strong so my neighbor cyclist recorded my ANT+ signal on her monitor while she was riding as well. I mean, that doesn't matter much to me—and most riders at CYCLEBAR don't seem to wear heart rate monitors—so I'll see how it works out over time.

Garmin HRM-Dual heart rate monitor chest strap


  1. Heart Rate Strap (Chest Strap): A device worn around the chest to measure and transmit the user's heart rate to other devices, typically used in fitness and sports training.

  2. ANT+: A wireless protocol mainly used for fitness tracking devices to communicate with other devices.

  3. Bluetooth Low Energy (LE): A wireless communication technology designed for short-range communication between devices. It's energy-efficient, allowing for longer battery life.

  4. ECG (Electrical): Refers to Electrocardiography, a method to record the electrical activity of the heart over a period.

  5. PPG (Optical): Refers to Photoplethysmography, a method to detect blood volume changes in the microvascular bed of tissue by using optical techniques.

  6. Heart Rate Training: A method of training where athletes use their heart rate zones to guide their workouts, ensuring they're training at the right intensity.

  7. MAF Training: Stands for Maximum Aerobic Function. A type of heart rate training developed by Dr. Phil Maffetone. It focuses on staying below a specific heart rate threshold to improve aerobic capacity.

  8. Low Heart Rate Training: A type of training focused on maintaining a heart rate below a certain threshold to build endurance and aerobic capacity.


  1. What is a Garmin HRM-Dual heart rate monitor chest strap?
    It's a heart rate monitor chest strap by Garmin that measures and transmits the user's heart rate data over ANT+ connectivity and dual BLUETOOTH Low Energy (LE) technology.

  2. Why would someone prefer ECG heart rate monitors over PPG?
    ECG heart rate monitors, like the Garmin HRM-Dual, measure electrical activity and can be more reliable for people with deep veins or other issues that might make optical (PPG) readings less accurate.

  3. What is the difference between ANT+ and Bluetooth LE?
    Both are wireless communication technologies. ANT+ is mainly used for fitness tracking devices, while Bluetooth LE is a more general-purpose technology that's energy-efficient.

  4. What is the benefit of the Garmin HRM-Dual over other heart rate straps?
    It offers dual connectivity (ANT+ and Bluetooth LE), potentially longer battery life, and replaces multiple other heart rate straps, providing value over the long term.

  5. What should be done if the ECG monitor doesn't detect the heart rate properly?
    Moisture can help in improving the connection. Using something like the Spectra 360 Electrode Gel can ensure a solid connection.

Heart Rate Training and Zones:

  • Heart Rate Zones: These are ranges of heart rates that correspond to levels of workout intensity. For example, Zone 1 might be a very light intensity where you're barely working, and Zone 5 might be maximum effort.

  • Why Use Zones? Using heart rate zones can ensure you're working at the right intensity for your goals, whether it's burning fat, improving endurance, or increasing speed.

  • MAF Training: This approach involves working out at a heart rate that's specific to your age and other factors, ensuring you're building aerobic capacity without overtraining.

  • Low Heart Rate Training: This approach is based on the idea that staying below a certain heart rate threshold will build endurance and aerobic capacity without causing undue stress on the body.

Utilizing a device like the Garmin HRM-Dual can assist in accurate tracking and thus better results in heart rate-based training methods.