My trainer talked to me about Heart Rate Variability. It’s some amazing science that I am just now starting to research and learn about. It’s a smart way to do fitness.
Basically it takes a snapshot based on how you are doing that day. So let’s say you show up to CrossFit and you are ready to go all out and BEAST MODE is on. But what if that is not the best thing for you? What if you gave 80% effort and got the same exact results without stressing your CNS? HRV measures your fitness for that day. Sleep, stress, exhaustion, and much more can be determined from your hear rate. The article is a much better teacher than I, but I love this concept.
I have often shown up for CrossFit and wondered if going all out was really necessary. Day after day. Then I would, for one reason or another, have to take a week or two off. After the time off I came back seemingly stronger and faster. But that’s probably not the truth. My body rested and my CNS recovered, and so my work capacity returned. I have been doing crossFit since 2012, I have the L1 cert and I have coached. I lost over 100lbs with CrossFit. I think CrossFit is amazing. But I think that a lot of boxes have this mentality that you just beast mode it. Always. But why? If I can work at 60% one day and get the same results as working 90% another day, then why would I not do that? My CNS is spared the stress and I am less likley to be injured.
So many times I have walked into CrossFit and felt one of two ways. I would look at the board and feel a deep desire and drive to be the best score there. Lift the most weight, go the fastest. And on those days I came close or accomplished that goal. But most of the time I would look at the totals and the scores and just sink. Thinking to myself that I just don’t feel I can do that today. And it’s not mental, it’s not pain or stiffness or mobility. It’s just, I believe, an ability you get as you are more in tune with your body, you know for some reason or another, it’s not a good idea to try and lift 80% of your 1 rep max.
HRV helps you determine this. It helps you know what days to lift 60% of your 1 Rep Max, and the days to go all out. It gives you the ability to be smarter about avoiding injury, and to maximize your workout that day, your recovery, your sleep, etc.
I am really interested in this and will keep reading. I may even grab a device that measures HRV and gives you a Vscore