EMS Max Strength Journal

Tyrone, I have looked into changing the HRV standing to lying protocol and the FAQ on the Ithlete website (http://myithlete.com/FAQ.html#faq11) says it shouldn’t matter as long as the readings are consistent. It also mentions that the research saying that RHRs below 50 would likely cause skewed data.

I don’t have any major training goals right now besides getting healthy and think this would be a good time to experiment. I think taking the measurement from a lying position would be a lot more convenient. Here are my results from the past three days since switching to the lying measurement:

Saturday - 91.7 HRV, RHR -60.8
Sunday - 91.6 HRV, RHR - 65.3
Monday - 85.8 HRV, RHR - 61.1 (stayed out later than usual last night and didn’t get as much sleep.)

I’ll be posting this stuff daily here to see if it stays consistent.

Week 2, Monday, 5.6.13
HRV - 86, RHR - 61
DB Bulgarian Split Squat - 4 x 10, 45lb DBs
RDL - 3 x 10, 165lbs
ISO Lunge - 2 x 30sec

EMS Speedcoach Level 1
Quads - 41
Hamstrings - 30
Glutes - 38

I can already start to tell that my legs are gaining the muscular size closer to where they once were after two sessions of MaxS EMS. I used different pad placement for the hamstrings and glutes this time. For hamstrings I used to use the rectangular 50x90mm pads for the upper pad placement but the stick wears off a lot faster than the square 50x50mm pads. I now just use all 50x50 for the hamstrings. For the Glutes now I’m using the recommendations from the Globus manual that involves placing three 50x50mm pads on the glute and one 50x90mm pad on each upper hamstring. I noticed a tremendous difference in the glute contractions and it even involved less milli-Amps/power than how I was previously placing the pads.

I found RHR and HRV were never very correlated. Often low RHRs didn’t mean great HRV scores. I also think a subjective test each morning such as a “feel great, feel so-so, feel terrible” helps to correlate what might be ideal for you. Zeo or newer sleep products also help get you more indices. With those you can do all sorts of ratios on sleep, HRV etc. Not sure if it has merit given the time and the lack of proof, but might be something to explore if you do have time and energy for it.

Initially I did not notice any correlation between RHR and HRV, but after having done it consistently I do notice my HRV is normally better the lower my RHR is. This is not always the case though. I have also been able to guess pretty well if my HRV is going to be “great, so-so, terrible” by how I am feeling before and during the test.

I have generally found the same- the lower the resting heart rate, the better the nervous system status. We currently have a lot of data on a Michigan based athlete doing a Short to Long program. I am looking forward to sharing some of that data in the near future.

Tuesday, 5.6.13
HRV - 84, RHR - 64
Bench - 205 x 10, 185 x 10, 165 x 10
NG Chin-ups - 5 x 5 w/ 10lbs added
Contrast shower - ended on hot
EMS Active Recovery Mode - 10min each
Quads - 14
Hamstrings - 20
Glutes -32

I have more lame news to tell about my hip - I’m not even going to get to see the surgeon until mid June because he’s super booked. Part of the reason why I’m getting in so late is because the office secretaries just now sent my info in today when my MRIs were complete last week. Jeez these doctors are causing me to lose all kinds of training time…

Bench was easy today, will go for 225 next week. I don’t have any muscular soreness from yesterday’s EMS session.

So I got a chance to look through Mike’s HRV data. We currently have 110 days of data, with 51 out of 110 days having an HRV score of 80.0 or higher.

Out of the 51 days with scores higher than 80.0, there are 15 days with scores of 85 or higher. They are listed below;

05/6 HRV 87.3 HR 64.1
5/5 HRV 85.3 HR 59.1
4/25 HRV 85.1 HR 67.4
4/23 HRV 85.5 HR 66.5
4/18 HRV 85.1 HR 67.3
4/8 HRV 87.8 HR 60.3
3/14 HRV 88.8 HR 58.4
3/13 HRV 87.9 HR 60.8
2/15 HRV 88.3 HR 58.2
2/11 HRV 86.3 HR 63.0
2/9 HRV 85.6 HR 62.6
1/30 HRV 86.2 HR 59.6
1/27 HRV 87.1 HR 59.9
1/26 HRV 87.5 HR 62.8
1/23 HRV 87.8 HR 53.7

You can see once HRV climbs to 87’s, he has a resting HR of below 60 virtually every time, so there does appear to be a pretty clear correlation between lowest heart rate and highest HRV score. Obviously the sample size is limited, but it’s growing daily!

When I get more time, I can drill down deeper and start to show the effects on HRV of tempo, EMS, and massage. Very interesting stuff!

Tyrone, keep in mind that Mike is also following the recommended Ithlete measurement protocol by taking a standing measurement immediately after waking. I know it’s not ideal to compare Ithlete measurements between two people, but his standing HRV/RHR measurements are better than my lying HRV/RHR measurements! If he were to do a lying measurement, his RHR might get below 40 which makes the standing measurement very necessary for him.

Also, the Ithlete is coming out with a team app now. I bet you could get a beta version of it if you talk to the Ithlete people: http://myithlete.com/blog/?p=1592


It will be interesting to see your results with tempo, EMS, etc and HRV. I have noticed some trends and it will be interesting to see if you are seeing the same things with the athletes you are testing.

Kyle, I just got the Ithlete Team email! Exciting stuff. I think I will get in touch with them soon.

You make a good point about Mike’s heart rate. I’m glad you pointed out that part in the FAQ that mentions heart rates below 50 can skew results. I think for my taller athlete a seated test might be a better idea, as I bet his heart rate rises a bit more than the average person on standing. We can always count on you to be thorough!

With regard to recovery, we were amazed by the effects of tempo, EMS, and massage on HRV. I’m going to keep my mouth shut until I can compile our evidence though!

Should be quite interesting to see how this plays out with the outdoor season. #TeamADD

Wednesday, 5.8.13
HRV - 91.9, RHR -59.3
Bulgarian Split Squat - 3 x 10, 50’s
SL Leg Curl - (2-0-2) 3 x 10
Speedcoach Lv1 EMS:
Quads - 43
Hamstrings - 29
Glutes - 43

Forgot to do ISO split lunges today. Prior to the training today, my quads were quite heavy/sore from Monday’s training session. Overall the EMS session went well again. On other good news, I got an earlier appointment with the surgeon now. My wait is still 3.5 weeks, but it’s better than 5 weeks.

Hey there,

I will start a new thread shortly where we can go through the indoor season. Should be some fun stuff to look at.

(Sorry for the threadjack Kyle!)

Thursday, 5.9.13
HRV - 86.3, 66.1
Bench - 3 x 10, 185lbs
NG Pullups - 3 x 5
-BB work

Friday, 5.10.13
HRV - 82.0, RHR - 67.1
-Graduation, completed my undergrad degree on time.

Saturday, 5.11.13
HRV - 85.3, RHR - 65.2
Bulgarian Split Squat - 4 x 10, 40lb DBs
DB RDL - 3 x 10, 55’s
ISO Lunge - 2 x 30sec

Speedcoach level 1
Quads - 48
Hamstrings - 33
Glutes - 46

I’ve just completed 4 sessions with the level 1 speedcoach and will start going with level 2 next week. I was able to tolerate higher intensities today and will need leather to bite down on for the next session. I did 3 EMS sessions this week and next week I will try to ramp it up to 4 sessions depending on how much time I have.

Week 3, Monday, 5.13.13
HRV - 92.4 (all time high), RHR - 61.2

Bulgarian Split Squat - 3 x 10, 55lb DBs
DB RDL - 3 x 10, 55’s
ISO Lunge - 1 x 60sec each

Speedcoach lv2
Quads - 48
Hamstrings - 37
Glutes - 51

I don’t know if my pad placement is bad or what but I’m having to use 5-10 more mA on my left side just to get an equal feel for both sides. It seemes like my right side which is the side that’s not hurt is getting a much stronger contraction.

Tuesday, 5.14.13
HRV - 84.7, RHR - 66.3

Bench - 225 x 10, 205 x 10, 175 x 10
NG Pullups - 3 x 5, BW+20lbs
BB Work

Will do active recovery EMS later tonight. Good news is that I’ve managed to get an earlier appointment with the surgeon which is this upcoming Monday. From there I’m hoping I can get the arthroscopy very quickly.

Wednesday, 5.15.13
HRV - 91.5, RHR - 60.6
Bulgarian Split Squat - 4 x 10, 45’s
DB RDL - 3 x 12, 60’s
ISO Lunge - 1 x 60sec

Speedcoach lv2
Quads - 52
Hamstrings - 39
Glutes - 52

My tolerance is becoming a lot stronger since I started the max strength EMS work. Good thing is that I know I’m still far away from maxing out the machine…

Thursday, 5.16.13
HRV - 86.0, RHR - 66.6
Bench - 205 x 10, 185 x 10, 185 x 7+3 myo reps
NG pullups - 3 x 5 (1-0-3-0)
BB work - 20min

EMS active recovery - quads only for 20min

Friday, 5.17.13
HRV - 88.6, RHR - 63.6
Front Rack BB Rev Lunge - 2 x 6 (wanted to try these out and didn’t like them.
DB Bulgarian Split Squat - 4 x 8, 60’s
DB RDL - 3 x 10 - 60, 65, 70

Speedcoach lv2
Quads - 53
Hamstrings -45
Glutes - 59

My hip is still feeling strong doing the SL work. I’ve been trying to find different/better exercises that Bulgarian SS, but I’ve found the best in my situation right now. I’m going to unload on everything next week, and maybe get 1-2 MaxS EMS sessions in next week. Monday is when I meet with the surgeon for the first time, I’m hoping I hear the news that I want to hear.

Week 4, Monday, 5.20.13
HRV - 99.7, RHR - 58.7

I may train later today and edit this post but I wanted to update my visit with the surgeon today. He’s a very well respected surgeon. It was overall an encouraging visit, however it won’t be until July 11th until I finally have the surgery (8 weeks). He told me I have a good chance of coming back to Olympic weightlifting, but my recovery time depends on how much hard articular labral cartilage I have torn. He can repair the softer/more superficial cartilage pretty easily, but he’ll have to do a microfracture procedure where he inserts cadaever cells into the socket to repair the deep tissue. The more deep cartilage I have torn, the longer I have to spend on crutches. I have to stay on crutches for at least 2 weeks minimum but it could be 6 weeks depending on if he has to do the microfracture procedure. Full rehab will take 3-4 months which will mean it will be at least by October/November before I can start training hard again if everything goes well. Finally, I asked him if I have avascular necrosis and he’s told me that there’s a very good chance that I do not have it.

I really have to be careful with my training now to make sure that I don’t irritate any more deep cartilage. He didn’t tell me to stop doing any activity so I will keep doing the single leg work as long as there’s zero pain. I’m going to continue doing a lot of upperbody Poliquin style bodybuilding work during this time, especially heavy benching. EMS Max strength will also continue to be a good friend of mine over these next 6-7 months.

As far as my HRV numbers this morning, it was a lot higher than it usually is. I don’t know if it was because I woke up 3hrs earlier than normal, well rested myself this weekend, or what.

Tuesday, 5.21.13
HRV - 94.8, RHR - 58.1
Bench - 3 x 5 w/ 185 (easy this week)
Incline Hammer Press 4021 - 3 x 12, 35lbs
Arnold Press - 4021 - 3 x 10, 15lb DBs
Butterfly Lateral Raise machine - 4022 - 3 x 8, 50lbs
Seated French Press machine 4021 - 3 x 12, 40lbs

Wednesday, 5.22.13
HRV - 102.6, RHR - 53.8
Bulgarian SS - 4 x 6, 65’s
DB RDL - 3 x 10, 45’s
SL Leg Press - 40X1 - 3 x 12
SL Leg Ext - 4021 - 2 x 10

Speedcoach lv2
Quads - 27/19 (27 on VL, 19 on VMO), seated straight leg position
Hamstrings - 39/31 (left/right)
Glutes- 56/41 (left/right)

Thursday, 5.23.13
HRV - 81, RHR - 64.8
Pullups - 3 x 5 +10lbs
Wide Grip Lat PD 4021 - 4 x 10
Seated Hammer Row 4021 -4 x 10
Incline DB curl 2020 - 4 x 10

EMS Active Recovery mode

I have no idea why my HRV skyrocketed into the 100’s Wednesday. The only change that I’ve recently had in my daily life is that I added L-Glycine before bed lately. My other guess is that it could be that the pollen count has been lower than usual which means less inflammation to what I’m allergic to. As of today, my HRV dropped down over 20 points and I’ve been sneezing all day along with the pollen levels raising considerably. I think there’s a correlation.

With the EMS yesterday, I didn’t have access to put my feet into the leg extension machine while doing the max contractions and I wasn’t able to even use half the mA with the seated straight leg position. It was also much more painful. I’m going to experiment with different pad placements to see if I can make a positive change.

Friday, 5.24.13
HRV - 93, RHR - 59.4
Bulgarian SS - 4x10, 60’s
Prone SL Leg Curl 40X0, 4x8
Lying hip abduction - 5050 2x15

Week 5
Vacation Week, Friday was the only day that I trained.

Friday, 5.31.13
89.7 62.8
Bulgarian SS - 3x10, 60’s
Prone SL Leg Curl 40X0, 4x8, 30-45lbs
Lying hip abduction - 5050 2x15

5 Weeks until Surgery
Monday 6.3.13
HRV - 97.6 RHR - 56.5
Max Effort Spin Bike Sprints - 3x20sec, 2x10sec, 4-5min rest
Prone SL Leg Curl (foot turned Inward) 40X0 - 10, 5, 5, 5. 30-45lbs
Seated SL Leg Curl (foot turned Out) 40X0 - 4x6, 50lbs
SL Leg Press 2020 - 3x15, 130lbs

Speedcoach lv1
Quads - 54/48
Hamstrings - 39/30
Glutes - 53/43

Wasn’t able to train during vacation and was afraid that my EMS unit wouldn’t pass through security at the airport so I didn’t bring it. I tried out some bike sprints and did feel some irritation in the hip so I’ll have to discard them. I loved doing them, easy to get lactate buildup but not worth damaging any soft tissue over it. If I do them again, I will have to have less hip flexion in the movement. With the EMS session today, I used contact gel for the first time and felt much strong contractions and less of a pin/needles feeling. Regarding HRV/RHR during my vacation, the numbers stayed real high up in the 97/55 range.

Tuesday, 6.4.13
HRV - 89, RHR - 69.8
A1). Single Arm DB OH Press 40X0 -5 x 8, 20, 40 (fail), 30, 30, 30
A2). CG Chin-up 40X0 - 5 x 6, BW
B1). Flat NG DB Bench 2020 - 4 x 10, 30-35’s
B2). BO Lateral Raise 2020 - 4 x 8, 15’s
C1). Incline DB Curl 3010 - 4 x 8, 15’s
C2). Supinated EZ Bar French Press - 4 x 12, 30lb bar
D1). Shoulder Ext Rotation 5020 - 3 x 10, 5lbs
D2). Prone Wrist Curl - 1010 - 3 x 15, 20lb BB

EMS Active Recovery - 20min quads only

After reading Charles Poliquin’s updated Poliquin Principles book, I decided to give his structural balance in the shoulders advice a try. With the Single Arm OH DB Press I was much stronger with my right side than my left. I think it will be important in getting my shoulders bulletproof before going back into weightlifting.

Wednesday, 6.5.13
HRV - 84.5, RHR - 69.8
Bulgarian SS - 3 x 10, 60’s
Prone SL Leg Curl 3020 - 10, 5, 5, 5 30-40lbs
DB RDL 2020 - 45’s x 10, 60’s x 8, 75’s x 8
Hip Abd 5050 - 2 x 15

I realize my HRV numbers are going down drastically and it’s recommending me to take a complete rest day but I’m going to ignore it and see how it and my body responds. I was a bit sore today but felt fine mentally. I may do an EMS session later today depending on how occupied I get, I’ll edit this post if I do.