Since I am one of the, *ahem*…mature, (chronologically speaking only) Miss Fits, I feel it’s very important for me to take care of myself outside the gym. One of the aspects of our training that may seem unusual to a lot of people is the emphasis placed on rest and recovery. I personally love to get crushed in the gym, drip sweat and feel like I’m going to puke if I do one more prowler set. Hard workouts are great, but they should be thoughtfully incorporated into your training. As someone who has used exercise as stress relief, I know this is much easier said than done.
Fellow Miss Fit Suzanne and I both use BioForce HRV as a tool to help determine training readiness. It basically looks at the variability between heartbeats and calculates a number and color based on your sympathetic/ parasympathetic status. Green means you’re free to train your heart out, orange, you may want to scale it back a bit, and red, you may want to consider taking a rest day. Suzanne and I have both found that life stressors and poor sleep have the greatest impact on our HRV readings. Jim frequently asks about our readings before we start our workout and will tailor the intensity based on these numbers. Since we both love hard exercise, it forces us to “work in so we can work out”. If I’m orange one day, I make it a point to get more sleep so I can get back to green and work out hard or lift heavy.
Jim strongly encouraged us to get the HRV system because we both would be in the gym daily if given the option. Just tonight I had to ask for permission to train tomorrow, which will be my third day in a row. The answer depends on my HRV reading; if I’m green I can train. That means tonight I eat well, go to bed early, and maybe even meditate before I check my numbers in the morning. Earning the right to exercise hard has been a little tough to wrap my mind around. You have to pay to play, and in this case, payment is in the form of taking care of yourself outside the gym.