This title is just not true, but I had to get you here because you probably think athlete monitoring is super cool, but have no idea how it will help you if you dont have a PhD in Metabolomics and Human Physiology.
Coach Davis recently posted an article about his history with Heart Rate Variability Monitoring. It was modest and understandable. Cute. BUT, what he didnt mention is that he is one of the top five maybe even top three professionals in this country in the athlete monitoring and subsequent training programming field. The problem is painting that picture is incredibly complex so even the distilled version is still semi-mind boggling if you have never seen words like parasympathetic, vagus nuclei, and autonomic centers. The guy translates Russian space manuals for god sakes.
I just dont get that into it. I hate video games and Slavic languages, but I will drive across the country for one tidbit on movement or nutrition. Yet, as a coach if you do not have a working knowledge of catabolic and anabolic processes, as well as how the human body recovers from stress you should probably get on that it is kind of the very essence of your job.
Given the difference in Coach Davis and my passions it is a no-homo intellectual two-step between the two of us. Also, he has a much better beard which pisses me off and is only slightly unrelated to the subject. Nevertheless, what I have found is that this constant exchange of information leads to the other being very proficient at the others subject. This means that I have a watered down yet concise and practical approach to Heart Rate Variability and Athlete Monitoring that is better than 99.9% of anyone out there trying to take advantage of these type of technologies. And on the other side he is light years ahead of most conventionally trained PTs and Nutritionists. So what is the simple side of complexity for Athlete Monitoring? Why do it?
To me, asking whether you should utilize HRV or other athlete monitoring systems is like asking if you should communicate with each other in a marriage. You could just live together, have sex, split bills, and pop out some mini humans and call it day, but that is not how a marriage works or why it is fruitful. It is fun because you talk, listen, adjust, and continually search out how you can have a ridculously good time together while still remembering why you found each other in the first place. Thats what athlete monitoring allows coaches to do so much better with their athletes. It forces us to ask hard questions from ourselves and from them and then implores us take actions to make positive change.
All that said there are two types of clients or athletes who really really benefit from HRV monitoring, specifically with the OmegaWave. The first is Complainers and the second we will call Hard Chargers (TM Mat Foreman)
These are the guys and gals that never ever want to get after it. If there is one drop of ice in a square mile of the training facility they are out too risky must eat jelly donuts. The OmegaWave allows you and them to see when they are really wore down or when it is all in their heads. It allows you as a coach to break through the bullshit and hold them accountable to attributes that change quicker and are more volatile than strength gains or weight loss (leading indicators). At the end of the day these guys are still going to complain, but you can punch them in the face with knowledge and even some tough love conditioning when necessary because you know what they really need.
Hard chargers are the infantrymen and women that always want to attack. Got um on the run – attack. Outnumbered – attack. Havent slept in three days – attackkkkkk! But in order to win the war you need colonels, generals, and lieutenants to slow those bad mothers down and make sure that their charging is tactical and leads to positive rewards for them and the cause. Athlete monitoring is probably most pivotal with this group of athletes because they will never tell you if they are not recovering or if something traumatic is going on in their lives. They are a box of silence when it comes to woo woo stuff like feelings and emotions, but the OmegaWave allows you to see inside. How are they adapting to volume? How are their functional systems holding up under their current work and stress loads? How is their autonomic nervous system functioning on a daily basis?
These are the types of clients that you can drive into the ground until there is nothing left but skin and bones, they are also the type of clients that can flourish beyond anything you thought possible when you find the right mix of volume and intensity that produces a sea of jaw dropping results. Being in a communicative relationship with these types of athletes is not going to happen for a long time because they are so guarded. The OmegaWave immediately offers a chink in their armor that they dont even have to know exists and you as a coach are the only one who can peer through. At the end of the day someone has to get in there, because someone has to protect them from themselves.
If you are unsure if you should be monitoring your athletes it means you most definitely should. Even if at first you just collect data to learn and become better as a coach it is worth it. Your athletes believe in you and it is the 21st century, use technology not to replace what you do but to enhance what you do beyond measure and then fucking measure it.
By: Ben House