Lousy/crappy workouts, we have all been plagued by them at one point or another. In fact, sometimes we go to the gym or our workout area feeling good and come out greatly disappointed by our performance in that session. If you have ever had this happen to you, I want you to know that you aren’t the only one and you don’t have to take it personal. I would even dare say that if you workout you have three things guaranteed to you: taxes , death and an occasional sucky training session.
However, there is a way to better prevent this phenomena that leaves questioning your gains and worth as fitness buff, as if all of your awesome previous gains were delusion.
One you have to make sure that you are following some sort of periodized program. Due to our bodies ability to adapt and to prevent overuse of joints, etc. Failure to do so will often lead to the bottom falling out on your results. (More to come on how you can do that soon.)
This post is not about that specific topic but a way to get a glance at your physiology and to know whether or not it is time to kill it, lighten up the load or rest . You may be thinking that you couldn’t afford because it sounds expensive. But thankfully that is not the case, it can cost up to $50 for the accessory and the app can be free. The wonderful thing that I am talking about is heart rate variability or HRV.
As you know, I am a big believer that if you aren’t assessing you are guessing. So before this we used to go back how we feel as to whether we should train or not and it would end up being most of the time because our human physiology is a lot more complex than that. With HRV daily scans, scan get a look a that part of us and see how we ready we are to train and handle stress for each day.
It also can help us better lean our responses to certain foods, our rest needs , issues that are stressful and so-on. This of course will help you improve your health and fitness, due to your eliminating the things that are hindering you without your awareness of them.
Now, just be aware that this is not magic and requires a consistent daily scan and the willingness if necessary to not train hard or at all on a certain day due to what is going on in your autonomic nervous and immune systems.
Let me explain further the readings and what they mean.
It is a well known fact that stress affects us, but what is not a well known fact is that the overload of training is stress also. Which can also affect our health negatively, if we don’t manage and recover from it.
HRV offers us an objective chance to view how well we are doing in terms of this need. It can show how the stresses of our life can affect our workout performance as well as our food choices (what and how much.) ,sleep quality/ needs and so-on.
Now in terms of practical application, you take about two minutes in the morning and then you get a read out of green, which will be something like this:
This simply means that you are ok to train and will most likely not have a crappy workout.
There is also yellow:
Yellow as you could imagine can mean that you need to get in some breathing and other activities to balance out your system. Then a not so intense workout.
Finally there is red:
Which simply means that the day in which that reading was given is a day for mobility, breathing and a nice walk maybe a pooch will go with you.
So as you can see, if you tried to train hard on the last two days with not optimal readings you would have had what you would have called a lousy workout. That is why this post is called a simple way to avoid lousy workouts. So get the strap and spend a few bucks to do so, download an HRV app and get scanning each day to get going and to make serious progress in your fitness.