When it comes to tracking your workouts, the Polar Ignite 3 can do way more than just track 150 different workout modes. In fact the device has some very impressive intermediate and advanced level workout features that can help you along on your journey to reach your goals.
My expectations at first was very high considering that this category is the Polar Ignite 3’s speciality. After conducting some test, I found the device to perform exceptionally well at all levels, here is a quick summary of my final results.
When I reflect back on the final score, the Polar Ignite 3 deserves a perfect score of 15 out of 15. From testing experience, the device is very well balanced across all levels, whether you are someone that is staying active or looking to improve performance.
In my opinion I think the Polar Ignite 3 is more suited for the intermediate and advanced level. Specifically if you are training for a marathon or improve swimming performance. If you are someone that wants a device that tracks at a basic level, there are other alternatives that I think would be suitable, which I will point out in this article.
Quick Discussion on How I Do The Tests
I think this is important so you get an idea how I go about testing devices for workout mode ability. I have constructed my own testing criteria at all levels, based on the number of smart watch’s that I have tested in the past, and most of the time, the smart watch features that I test tend to be generic.
The testing criteria is not a industry standard, but a collection of information, that can help you make a confident decision before you buy. I also dont like basing my review on my own opinion, so I prefer to present information like a controlled test. That way the information you read is from a unbiased perspective, and not based from a feeling.
Lastly the device scores a point when I use the feature 4 times and must perform consistently and reliably. I will also present a table which shows “available” and “not available”, sometimes devices dont have all the features that I look for in each category. This also gives you an idea of what’s out there in the market, because my testing criteria is based off smart watch’s that I have tested in the past.
Does The Basics Very Well : 5 out of 5
|Various workout modes
|Heart rate variation recording
|Connect to third party apps
|Auto detection workout*
When it comes to tracking your workouts at a basic level, the Polar Ignite 3 has all of the features that I test for at basic level, and after testing, the device deserves it’s rating of 5 out of 5.
As far as the features that are available to test, they all performed reliably and consistently. The calorie counting is very good because it is connected to an advanced feature which I will explain in this article. In terms of various workout modes, there is 150 to choose from, and you have to use the Polar flow app to swap modes.
Heart rate variation is a very reliable feature, and is also used to track your training load status which is a intermediate feature I will briefly explain later. In terms of connecting to third party apps, it’s fairly good and you can get all the information you need in a test article I did earlier, Polar Ignite 3 : Third party app ability could be better.
Lastly is the auto detection workout feature, normally I would do a test to see if the device automatically starts, however the Polar Ignite 3 has a far more advanced auto detection feature. The Polar Ignite 3 has advanced motion detection which I will explain later in this article.
Does Well at Intermediate Level : 5 out of 5
|Ability to measure training load/intensity
|Ability to provide recovery times
|Ability to determine your fitness level
|AI coach feature
|Ability to improve cadence
When it comes to tracking your workouts at intermediate level, the Polar Ignite 3 has all of the features that I test for at this level. Once you understand the metrics, the device provides smart training tips to guide you through your training journey and deserves its rating of 5 out of 5 at intermediate level.
In terms of measuring your training load and intensity, the Polar Ignite 3 has a feature called training load pro. The feature needs three days to collect and analyse your training intensities and sleeping metrics, but once available it’s very useful. Training load pro is similar to Fitbits daily readiness score or Huawei’s Training load status, however the Polar does something differently, and will ask you to reflect on your last workout.
This is a good thing because it allows the device to understand you more, and it will allow the built in AI coach to provide smarter training choices based on your training load. It’s ability to provide recovery times is also managed by the training load pro, depending on the level of intensity of your training’s, training load pro will tell you your bodies actual tolerance to activity.
As far as determining your fitness levels, the Polar Ignite 3 can do this in three ways, the first method is the walking test. This is very good for anyone who’s fitness level is fairly low, and is very straight forward. You do need to plan your route because you need to be in a area that wont impact your GPS location, flat terrain so there is no spike in heart rate (device might mistaken you for struggling), very useful test. The other test’s is more intermediate and advanced level which is Fitness test and running test. All you have to do is follow the AI coach to get you started, and follow through with the test.
GPS tracking is very good, I have written two articles on this which are Polar Ignite 3 : GPS accuracy is very good, but it still has issues and also Polar Ignite 3 : Is power saver settings worth using . First article sees how I go about rating the device for GPS accuracy and the other is GPS accuracy using different GPS recording rates. If GPS tracking matters to you, check out those articles and see my test results.
In regards to improving cadence, the Polar Ignite 3 has a built in running program that is suitable for anyone that is looking to improve running performance for a 5K run, marathon or half marathon. All you really need to focus on your running, and the device will tracking your exercise data and advise you to make adjustments.
Strong Rating at Advanced Level : 5 out of 5
|Ability to connect to motion sensors
|Ability to prepare you for a race
|Ability to provide specialist features to improve performance
|Advanced auto detection (automatically change workout modes based on your motion)
|Ability to provide advanced analytics (similar to Polar flow, Garmin Connect)
When it comes to tracking your workouts at advanced level, the Polar Ignite 3 has all of the features that I test for at this level. After testing each feature, the device performed very well and deserves it’s 5 out of 5 rating. Polar’s specialist features is very good for anyone looking to take their training to the next level.
Everything at this level is very good, and to start off with connecting to motion sensors, I had no trouble doing. I have the Polar H10 heart rate strap and it synced very easily, I dont have any other motion sensor to connect the device with, so unfortunately I tested the heart rate strap.
In terms of preparing you for a race, it’s suited for anyone that is looking to improve long distance running for a 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon. All you need to do is focus on running and the Polar device will track your workouts and make smart decisions based on your training data. However in order for this to work, you must rate your workout at the end of each session.
Your RPE (rate of perceived exertion) is one of the most important factors to consider, so keep that up and the device will analyse and make training suggestions. From there you look back on your training progress in Polar flow, where the system breaks down your training data and provide you with advanced analytics
The last feature, I will be doing a future article on which is the advanced auto detection. This feature is getting better, and some people are not so sure if it can be trusted. The Polar Ignite 3 can provide advanced auto detection for pool swim only, and the device can detect the change in swimming motion (freestyle, breaststroke etc), and track your workout specific to that swimming motion. My swim tester, was very skeptical of the technology, but was surprised of the motion change over had a very small over lap.
Specialist Features To Improve Performance
Polar’s workout tracking is very under rated and from experience my initial thought was the feed back given was a little over scienced. But in order to get the best experience is to let the device do the thinking and just focus on training. Once I changed to that mindset, the feed back is actually very good and if it aligns with our training goal, that’s a real bonus. I will be doing a future article on the specialist features but here is a quick summary of each.
Work rest guide : I used this feature when doing heavy deadlifts, and the work rest guide measured my elevated heart rate. Based on my fitness level, the device estimated the time it takes to reach the right heart rate zone to begin my next set. Normally I would rest around 3 minutes between sets, but I ended up resting around 7 minutes between sets and powered through without too much muscle fatigue.
Fit spark : I think this feature is very useful and I used this feature after recovering from the cold. My training load status found that I was in active for a while and my fitness level was declining. Fitspark would make recommendations based on your training history, and would make suggestions to you on the training length, and heart rate levels to progressively get you back on the right track. Fitspark is a great AI coach, especially if you are a beginner, and make suggestions to help you improve if that is your goal.
How Does The Polar Ignite 3 Rate in The Market.
Tracking workouts is fairly competitive and the Polar Ignite 3 did get a very strong score, and it’s up there with the Polar Pacer which is also another fantastic watch for tracking swimming and running.
|Watch 7, 8 Ultra
|Watch Fit 2
|Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
|Galaxy Watch 4, 5, 5 Pro
|Versa 4, Charge 5, Inspire 3
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you have learnt a lot about the Polar Ignite 3 workout ability. In terms of tracking your workouts, the Polar Ignite 3 deserves it’s perfect score of 15 out of 15 when it comes to tracking your workouts.
The Polar Ignite 3 is really suited for anyone that is looking to improve there running performance for a 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon, including anyone that wants to improve their swimming performance in the pool for breast stroke, free style etc.