Dr. Mike T. Nelson – The Heart of Training and HRV

Dr. Mike T. Nelson is one of the foremost experts on exercise physiology and biomechanics. In this interview, he illuminates a concept that has been gaining traction in endurance and hybrid athlete circles: heart rate variability. What is HRV? How can you measure it, and why does it matter in your training and recovery? How can you analyze your training and the effect, positive or negative, that it has on your heart? All of these questions and more are addressed in this in-depth talk!

This podcast was brought to you by Complete Human Performance: The Leader in Multisport Coaching CHP.

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  1. HRV seems like a holistic system of measurement as it can pertain to work stress / other demands of life that can factor into the measurement. I’m still finding a pattern as it has been less than a week since I’ve been using Elite HRV. The main thing that I have discovered is that it seems that when I work out towards the end of the day (my gym has our class 7-9pm) the app says that my body is fatigued in the morning during the readings.

    In saying this, when I work out earlier in the day, even though it might have been quite an intense session, the app is saying I’m well rested and ready to train again.

    • Hi Jason,

      Thanks for sharing your HRV results!

      I liked how Dr Nelson discussed various different sports and applications for HRV. We want to avoid overtraining syndrome by responding to significant falls in HRV over consecutive days, rather than day-to-day changes which are normal following a hard training session.

      I sometimes experienced burnout fatigue as a competitive physique athlete years ago, well before HRV chest straps were around. Looking back, it would take me several weeks to return to form, and the burnout would often precede a cold or flu. These days rather than training to a static periodisation timetable, I tend to train hard and start measuring my HRV after a week or two. Then when my HRV drops over a few straight days, or life just gets in the way, I’ll do a recovery week plus of light cardio. This works for me.

      Of course everyone has their own training style and fitness/competition goals. If this includes periods of intense training then HRV can definitely be a good early warning system for preventing burnout, illness or injury.

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