BioForce HRV Performance Monitoring

Yeah, like that’s different from anyone else in this world (the stress part anyway).

What is different is that you, like me, can do something about.

Stress is a fact of life. In fact you need some stress in order to live and thrive. What you don’t need is the excess stress that causes so many health problems.

Too much stress and you are just inviting overtraining, injuries, and illness. “Come on in Mr. Cold/Virus/Muscle Pull (or worse)”.

And that is where measuring HRV comes in.

HRV, or Heart Rate Variability, is something that most people outside of geeky training circles probably haven’t heard of, but I assure you it won’t be long before you will.

Having used Joel Jamieson’s BioForce HRV myself over the past year, and with some of our coaches and clients over the last few months, I assure you there is good reason for all the noise.

The research on HRV is massive, some of which you can reference at the end of this article. For a cool overview of exactly what HRV is and why it matters, check this article out – http://www.8weeksout.com/2011/12/05/heart-rate-variability-research-review/

Why am I so excited about HRV and what it can do for you our student?

Consider this:

What if there was a quick, easy, and totally non-invasive way to measure your stress and fatigue levels, and your readiness to train, in only 2.5 minutes a day?

What if there was a way to know if you should crank it up as hard as you should go in the gym today, or back off? If that 8 or 10 miles you ran or 30 miles you biked caused excessive fatigue, or if it is all systems go?

What if there was a way to know if you were doing the right things outside of the gym (The Other 165) to make sure you are getting the best results in the gym and all that hard work is actually working for you? If you could see how your stress levels, sleep and/or nutrition are affecting not only your training, but your overall health?

Sounds too good to be true?

Well from a coaches perspective this is amazing stuff. Because while we are constantly striving to write the best training programs for your goals, that’s not the whole picture. Proper recovery from that training is where the magic happens. Only when we can recover properly and apply the training stimulus again at the right time can we make maximum progress. That’s what recovery weeks are all about. Making sure that we don’t push our training to the point where we over-train, which can take many weeks to recover from.

While we can measure many things in the gym – body comp, power, speed and strength for instance – to a large extent measuring recovery has always been a guess. A highly educated guess to be sure, but as a coach who always wants to see my clients get better faster and maximize progress, having a way to know for sure you are ready to train is the holy grail!

But not so fast you say. I am not training for the Olympics for crying out loud. Is this something that really benefits me, the person who just wants to lose a few pounds, not hurt, and be healthy?

So glad you asked!

Because evidence is showing this same short daily assessment is also shown to be a marker of:

  • Systemic Inflammation
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Alzheimer ’s disease
  • Metabolic Dysfunction
  • Diabetes
  • And others

It can also show the effect that sleep quality, job and life stress, excess body fat and depression may be having on the development of disease and your overall health.

You don’t have to take my word for it. At the bottom of this post I have referenced a number of studies and journals that have and are examining the evidence.

My experience with HRV

I am what you call an early adopter. When something new comes out in the realm of training and there is evidence it can help me get better, I am there. Such was the case with BioForce HRV. I first picked it up about 18 months ago and tested it out. It was cool for me to utilize, but what I really wanted was to get into the hands of our clients – now that would be cool! If we could see on a daily basis your readiness to train and adjust accordingly – THAT would be the bomb.

Fast forward to April of this year, when the news came out that BioForce had developed the software platform to do exactly that. BioForce was going to certify 100 trainers nationwide, teach them how to properly use the system and interpret the results, and keep on the cutting edge of training research and technology. I promptly applied, was accepted, and finished my certification in May. Since that time we have been testing the system internally, and just a few weeks ago started getting it into the hands of our clients.

Here’s what a couple of Get Fit NH’s BioForce HRV users have to say:

“My HRV score continues to both fascinate and help me work smarter toward my goal of running a full marathon. Over the last few weeks I have become more aware of how much nutrition, sleep, and training load play in recovery and how my body feels and adapts. I have watched my HRV score improve with cleaner eating and more sleep. This in turn has given me more energy to attend Get Fit 4 days a week and keep up with my marathon training. HRV has enabled my coaches and I to make more informed decisions about my training to keep me healthy and injury free. My long runs have become a little easier, I am pushing myself more in class, and my clothes fit a lot better.” – Becky

“Bioforce HRV has helped me gain an understanding of how factors like sleep, stress and nutrition impact my readiness to train. By providing a daily indicator that reflects all of these, I am better able to decide when it is best to train and when it is better to back off. Having this knowledge has also challenged me to focus things like sleeping and reducing stress to ensure I am ready to train. For the past month, it has helped me avoid injury and improve my fitness while training for a marathon and continuing at Get Fit NH.” – Jayne

So where do you fit in?

HRV is the real deal guys. I predict that within a short time HRV is going to play a huge role in the predicting and management of disease. My goal is to have every student of Get Fit NH using HRV to manage their stress and help us to make better training decisions together.

If you are ready to get going please contact me personally and we can talk about how HRV fits into your training plan and how to get started.

Make It Happen!

Coach Dean

HRV Research & Studies

You may need the vagus nerve to understand pathophysiology and to treat diseases
http://www.clinsci.org/cs/122/0323/1220323.pdf

Cytokines and the immunomodulatory function of the vagus nerve
http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/content/102/4/453.full.pdf

Fat meets the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway
http://jem.rupress.org/content/202/8/1017.full.pdf+html

Chronic stress, glucocorticoid receptor resistance, inflammation, and disease risk
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/03/26/1118355109.full.pdf+html

Depression and the Heart
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3861051/pdf/main.pdf

Self-reported sleep quality, job stress, and daytime autonomic activities assessed in terms of short-term heart rate variability among male white-collar workers
https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/indhealth1963/36/3/36_3_263/_pdf

Does Physical Activity Increase Life Expectancy? A Review of the Literature
http://www.antiagingage.com/pdf/Does-Physical-Activity-Increase-Life-Expectancy_a-Review-of-the-Literature-2012.pdf

Diet-induced obesity, adipose inflammation, and metabolic dysfunction correlating with PAR2 expression are attenuated by PAR2 antagonism
http://www.fasebj.org/content/27/12/4757.full.pdf

Strength gains after resistance training: the effect of stressful, negative life events
http://www.edb.utexas.edu/education/assets/files/KHE/Bartholomew%20Publicatoins/JSCR_2008.pdf

The Relationship between Heart Rate Variability and Adiposity Differs for Central and Overall Adiposity
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jobe/2012/149516/

Cytokine hypothesis of overtraining: a physiological adaptation to excessive stress?
http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/10694113

Effect of 2 Soccer Matches in a Week on Physical Performance and Injury Rate
http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/38/9/1752.abstract

The impact of burnout on human physiology and on operational performance: a prospective study of soldiers enrolled in the combat diver qualification course
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2588792/?page=1

Heart rate variability reflects self-regulatory strength, effort, and fatigue
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17444926

 

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