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  • Al Painter BA, NASM-CPT, PES, CES, TRX Qualified


A long time ago, in a gym far far away, I picked up my first weight. It was a tool to enhance the way I moved on the baseball diamond in high school and to see how close to Terry “The Hulk” Hogan’s 24″ pythons I could get.

Back then, it was see weight, pick weight up. Make sure weight was as heavy as possible EVERY workout, set and rep. There was SWOLE to earn, and I was determined to get it. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this was not only an ineffective approach, but that less may have been more (READ: I wish had Dan John books back then to maximize gym time).

I wish I could go back and tell the youngling back then:

“HEY MR! Believe it or not, you WILL need to rest and actually take recovery days from working out. You also won’t be able to crush yourself every time in the gym buster (you know it just got real when you use the word ‘buster’), and you’re going to need to plan in deload weeks and off days. Oh yeah, how about hitting the back and doing a core exercise or two in between the bench press and preacher curls? The leg press, pec dec, leg extension and tricep dips are wastes of time btw.”

That last one would’ve destroyed me since I was a devout follower of Interstellar Monday/Thu Chest, Shoulder and Tri Day and as well as Tu/Fri International Back, Bi’s and Leg day. If Hallmark sold cards for those holidays, I would’ve had stacks of them to send out.

Had I actually followed a planned recovery strategy, my life would’ve been a lot easier, more SWOLE and I would’ve workedwith my body instead of (very often) against it.

Feel a little tired? I’d work through it. Mentally not into the workout? Suck it up buttercup and get it done.

Sometimes that worked, other times it lead to not working out at all for a while because of an acute case of Young Buck Plus Testosterone Equals DUMB-itis. Had I known about Heart Rate Variability (HRV) back then, it might have made this process a lot easier.

Long story short, HRV gives you a blue print on when to go full throttle, when to dial back intensity or when its time to do multiple sets of “backplanks” (aka, resting while laying down).

I recently started using BioForce HRV Precision Performance to not only measure my readiness to train, but more importantly, my body’s “preference” not to. See, being male, while I don’t suffer from the above mentioned affliction nearly as much, old habits do tend to die hard. Plus, as a busy parent who owns his own business, something like this is invaluable to help me train in the most effective way possible.

What you get:

The BioForce system comes with a Bluetooth heart rate monitor strap (which is compatible with most Polar HRM’s) and “The Ultimate Guide to HRV Training,” a 150 page manual to help you maximize your results from the system. If you’ve got an ANT+ HRM chest strap, it will not be compatible with BioForce.

Now, every morning when I wake up, I put on a heart rate monitor chest strap, rest on the couch for three minutes as the Bioforce app tells me what my intensity level I should be for a workout out, and so far I’ve been very impressed. Especially since it has accurately predicted when I need to take a (CHOKE! GASP!) rest day.

BiofForce is compatible with iOS (iPhone and iPad) and all Android devices. There is also a website where you can analyze your information as well as a great facebook group and community forum on the BioForce site.

Its a system I really believe has a lot to offer everyone from the casual exerciser to the elite level athlete getting paid to compete and all points in between. To give you more detailed information about HRV, I asked BioForce HRV Precision Performance founder Joel Jameison if he’d answer some questions about his system, and he was great enough to take some time out of his schedule to write me back. Here’s what he had to say.

What is HRV?

Heart rate variability is a biofeedback technology that can objectively measure the level of stress and fatigue on the body. It is able to do this by measuring the rhythm of the heart rate because this changes over time as the brain coordinates how the body is responding to the environment, i.e. training, sleep, mental stress, nutrition, etc.

What is Bioforce and how does it measure HRV?

BioForce HRV is a heart rate variability app that uses a Bluetooth transmitter and a mobile app to calculate HRV andprovide training recommendations. This gives users a very simple but powerful way to help manage their training and other areas of their lives as well. It’s able to eliminate so much of the guesswork that goes into most training programs and gives people a way to quickly and easily individualize their training based on their own bodies.

Who should use it?

Anyone that takes their training seriously and wants to get the most out of it will benefit from using HRV technology. The real key is that it really allows people to fine tune their training on an individual basis and this makes all the difference in the world. HRV has more than 50 years of research behind it and is also extremely well validated so people can trust the results are valid and accurate.

How does it help?

BioForce HRV helps people achieve their goals in the same way that GPS helps people get to where they want to go faster and more efficiently. Instead of having to guess how much training is the right amount of how things like nutrition and mental stress are affecting training, HRV gives people an easy and objective way to see this on a daily basis. Not only that, it shows people how their fitness is improving over time so that they can easily determine if their program is taking them in the right direction, or if something needs to be changed. Once people use it, they usually wonder how they ever trained without it.

I’m a Huge BioForce Fan

I agree 100% with that last sentence. I wish I would’ve had this when I was racing, it would’ve made my training that much better. I think this is a very valuable tool in the box for anyone who wants to optimize the way they approach getting more fit regardless of what those goals might be.

One of the things I like the most is how I can instantly know how sleep, hydration, nutrition, previous workouts, etc affected my scores based on what I did the day before. When my HRV score is lower, but resting heart rate goes up or vice versa, I can easily tweak my approach to all of the above mentioned factors to stay on track, or easily get back on it. This system allows you to really get a handle on what you need to do to get more fit.

If you’d like more information on BioForce HRV Precision Performance, head over to their site and have a look around. You’ll be glad you did!

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