If your goal is to invest your time to improve your conditioning, there’s a lot you can learn from Warren Buffett. Instead of training as hard as you can and hoping for the best, you have to know know what the key performance indicators (KPI’s) of conditioning are and how to use them.
This is the only way to evaluate whether or not your program is working and make the most informed decisions possible.
So, let’s look at the three most important conditioning KPI’s that can be tracked using Morpheus.
- Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
- Heart rate variability (HRV)
- 60s heart rate recovery (HRR)
Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
There are a couple of reasons that your average resting heart rate is a good conditioning KPI.
First, it’s incredibly easy to measure. All it takes is a good heart rate monitor and a couple minutes a day.
Second, it’s been shown through a good amount of research to broadly correlate well to VO2max—one of the key markers of aerobic fitness.
While your resting heart rate will fluctuate on a daily basis, what you’re looking for is a gradual downward trend in your average over time. This is a very strong KPI that says your conditioning is improving and on the right track.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
HRV is one of the single most important KPI’s in all areas of fitness. This is because it correlates to everything from VO2max, to inflammation, to life expectancy, and just about everything in between.
It correlates to so many areas because it’s a broad marker of your stress tolerance—your body’s ability to cope with the stress of both training AND daily life without breaking.
One of the goals of every conditioning should be to improve this fundamental ability.
Just like with resting HR, you can measure HRV in just a couple of minutes a day.
A Morpheus user posted the graph below in our Facebook group and it’s a great example of how resting heart rate and your HRV change as conditioning improves. This is exactly what you should be looking for to make sure your time and energy are generating a good return on your investment.
Heart Rate Recovery (HRR)
When you’re doing any type of interval conditioning, you should be looking for how fast your heart rate drops within the first 60 seconds of the rest period. If you’re not resting a full 60 seconds, research has also shown the drop in even the first 10- and 30 seconds is also a powerful marker of aerobic fitness and conditioning as well (Watson 2017).
If you’re using Morpheus during your workouts, you can see your heart rate recovery clearly by looking at the the shift from the red zone down to the blue in between intervals.
You can access this by clicking on the "expand" icon on the bottom right of your workout results page.
That will open a landscape view. You can change the time range in the upper right corner to to make it easier to see what you want.
Then you click the graph where you want it and you can drag point to different places.
The example below is showing a 45 beat drop in heart rate in 60 seconds after the end of an interval.
As your conditioning improves, you should see this happen faster and thus you’ll spend more time in the blue as you recover. When this happens, you should also see that you can do more intervals in a row without your heart rate recovery slowing down.