Dr. Mike Nelson on Using Heart Rate Variability to Improve Recovery and Training

Dr. Mike Nelson on Using Heart Rate Variability to Improve Recovery and Training
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When I first heard about heart rate variability (HRV), I was expecting it to be yet another lame “biohacking” gimmick.

The pitch is by analyzing the rhythm of your heart beat with special software, you can gauge how stressed your body is and adjust accordingly.

For instance, if you wake up and your HRV indicates your body is overstressed, you may want to save the heavy squat or deadlift workout for another day, or if your HRV has been off for several days in a row, it might be time to deload or take a diet break or get a little more sleep.

Again, it sounds like very fake news, but lo and behold, there’s good evidence of its validity. This is why high-level athletes have been using it for years, and now that the technology has become cheaper, it’s becoming more popular among recreational athletes too. 

In this episode with HRV expert Dr. Mike Nelson, you’re going to get a crash course in HRV, including how to measure and track your HRV, what lifestyle factors affect it most, how to use it to regulate your training, and more.

Let’s dive in.

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5:13 – What is heart rate variability? 

10:06 – What are the differences between average heart rate and heart rate variability?

15:07 – What do higher and lower levels of heart rate variability indicate?

17:26 – Why is variability affected by the physiology?

25:08 – What affects heart rate variability? 

37:36 – Does diet affect heart rate variability? Does caffeine affect HRV as well? 

40:02 – How does diet affect heart rate variability? 

58:07 – How much does training intensity affect heart rate variability? 

01:15:24 – Is there a specific range where you you tell the client to slow down?

01:30:35 – How does nutrition affect heart rate variability?

01:43:04 – How can someone track their heart rate variability? 

Mentioned on the show: 

Dr. Mike Nelson’s Website

Shop Legion Supplements Here

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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Mike Matthews is a bestselling fitness author of Bigger Leaner Stronger, Thinner Leaner Stronger, and The Shredded Chef, as well the founder of Legion Athletics.

His simple and science-based approach to building muscle, losing fat, and getting healthy has sold over a million books and helped thousands of people build their best bodies ever, and his work has been featured in many popular outlets including Esquire, Men’s Health, Elle, Women’s Health, Muscle & Strength, and more, as well as on FOX and ABC.

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