The world of fitness and athletics has evolved from spending countless hours at the gym to finding a way to train smart. Not just getting to your goals faster but in a much safer and sustainable way.
One of the key trends amongst elite athletes and their training protocols is the usage of HRV as a recovery metric. A metric that tells you whether today is the day to push yourself in the gym or to focus on repair work.
Sounds cool, right? But what is HRV and how is it different from your heart rate.
- HRV or Heart Rate Variability is an indicator of the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system,
- The absolute value of HRV doesn’t have much significance but the directional trend might reveal insights into inflammation state in the body,
- Elite athletes use HRV to track the impact of sleep, exercise, and diet on their overall readiness.
What is HRV?
HRV or Heart Rate Variability is the variation in the time interval between consecutive heartbeats in milliseconds. So basically, if your heart’s BPM ( beats per minute ) is 60, it doesn’t mean that your heart is beating at one beat per sec. In fact, the intervals could vary massively and this variation is what HRV is.
HRV & Recovery
HRV has been extensively used to form correlations around chronic disorders. The correlation between HRV, autonomic nervous system, and cardiac mortality (heart-related disorders ) has been shown in various studies over the last few decades.
But the fastest-growing use cases are around indicating recovery state/readiness of your body. Various randomized trials have proven the correlation between HRV and recovery. There are few key things to take care of while measuring HRV:
- Measure HRV around the same time every day to plot a trend.
- Keep all other conditions like sleep, diet, exercise similar to avoid these factors from influencing your HRV. To measure the impact of one, keep others fixed during the experience.
- The increase/decrease of HRV is a more accurate indicator than the absolute value.
HRV & your training routine
One of the best ways to use HRV-based recovery information is to integrate this with your training routine on Ultrahuman. Here are a couple of interesting ways:
- Plan your rest days on the basis of your recovery state and crush your workouts otherwise.
- Follow your HRV trend to measure if a routine is making you stronger or not. One shoe never fits all.
You can currently use the Ultrahuman M1 to measure HRV.
The idea is to not just look good but feel good as well. Remember the famous quote, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”