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What the Heck is HRV?

I recently had a conversation with someone who was talking to me about training using HRV. You may ask “what the heck is HRV”? It’s short for Heart Rate Variability. I know that helps clarify things a lot, right? Not!

Let me explain, HRV has become popular due to wearable devices. These devices collect the data and then provides you your score. The score indicates how stressful your life has been over the last 24 hours.

If your score is low it means you are stressed and it’s not a good idea to do a high intensity workout. If you score high then you have plenty of energy for that high intensity work out.

This can help athletes guide their workouts to obtain the most fitness gains. What if you do not want to mess with all this?

I read an interesting article that put this all into prospective for the average individual. If you use a little common sense to help guide you on the intensity of your workout it will be just as effective as a device.

Ask yourself 2 questions;

(1) how did you sleep and (2) how do you feel?

Rate the answers on a scale of 1-5 where 1 is lousy and 5 is great. If you are below 3 do a lower intensity workout and if your above 3 a higher intensity workout. I would say that’s much easier and cheaper than any device.


Stuart Thilmany is the owner of Keep the Beat Wellness, a health and wellness studio specializing in personal and small group training for baby boomers, seniors and individuals with various medical conditions where exercise programs are tailored to the individual’s needs. For a complimentary exercise consult you can contact him at (847) 559-1992.

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