HRV & Performance

By Joel Jamieson

By learning about the link between inflammation and HRV, we can understand the training response on an entirely new level...

The training process: the way the body goes through the training program and increases fitness over time.

The training program disrupts homeostasis, setting off “tripwires” throughout the body leading to specific gene expression

Over time, the body develops changes that allow it to maintain its internal environment with training.

What dictates how well a body adapts to a training program is the relative amount of training versus recovery.

The training threshold: as you train, your ability to train more and more decreases. There are two responses at play in this model:
1. The training response: the body makes progressive changes in strength, speed, endurance, etc. in response to the stress of training.
2. The preservation response: the body begins to shut down to preserve itself in face of so much stress.

Overtraining is an example of the preservation response, where there is a chronic imbalance between stress and recovery that results in persistent decreases in performance.

How does the body sense how much stress the tissues are under to enact the proper response?
While there are many factors, some of the most characteristic are Inflammation & cytokine production

As the body over trains, it enters into a state of chronic inflammation followed by performance decreases.

Relative amounts of inflammation correlate to increases or decreases in the HRV, thus HRV closely relates to performance.

HRV can be used to maximize performance in three ways:
1. Off-season training: monitor changes in aerobic fitness depending on performance goals
2. Peaking for specific event/competition: maintain/improve fitness while minimizing fatigue
3. Throughout competitive season: maintain/improve fitness and skill while minimizing fatigue

HRV gives you the most effective tool available to objectively measure how the body is responding to training

Coming Up Next: How to use HRV to achieve your health, wellness and performance goals.

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