One observation I’ve made from monitoring my own HRV is that I will typically see major acute decreases in my trend following new training stimuli. However, after a few weeks of consistent training with the new program, I will see much smaller fluctuation in response to workouts despite high RPE. Essentially, with familiarity of the training stimulus, the body may experience less of an “alarm” stage. This enables higher training frequencies and volumes with less soreness and so forth.
Below is a small sample of some team data I’ve collected in a collegiate soccer team I worked with this past year. What your viewing is the first 3 days (Mon-Tues-Wed) of a new training cycle (Figure 1) and then the same training cycle performed a few weeks later with typical incremental progressions in resistance (for strength training) and distance (for conditioning) (Figure 2). On Monday’s we lifted in the morning and practiced and conditioned in the afternoon. Tuesday’s were off entirely. Therefore Monday’s HRV scores follow a weekend of rest representing “baseline”, Tuesday scores reflect Monday’s workload, and Wednesday marks 48 hours post workout (training resumed Wednesday afternoon).
In the first week of the new training program and structure (figure 1), 9 of 11 players showed a decrease in HRV following Monday’s workout (some more than others). A few weeks later, only 5 of 11 players showed an acute decrease.
Further discussion and analysis with much more data (complete weeks, periods of overload and deload, sRPE, psychometrics, etc.) and from measures obtained in supine and standing positions will be left for the manuscript.