Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Outsourcing Intent?

Josh Leeger commented on a case study he did with himself measuring HRV using both the Ithlete and BioForce app. Seeing some potential limitations, Josh raises some interesting questions.

Using heart rate variability to measure recovery from exercise…or not
Using heart rate variability to measure recovery from exercise…or not? Part 2

Josh also sent me the following:

Signs of overload after an intense training
"The lack of effects in biomarkers together with the changes observed in psychological assessment indicates that an intensified training can produce psychological disturbances prone to early overreaching developement."

It makes me question, does, or can, the quantification of certain biomarkers trump personally perceived psycho-physiological states? It probably depends on the athlete's level of awareness... but also things like a burning desire to train/compete, and a love for sport, and training: the process... or hate for it all.

I am not sure "outsourcing" an athlete's physiology can ever equal being, well... one with one's self.  A questionnaire, or possibly an open, candid conversation with the athlete and coach... trust can go a long way.

Just as a metric from a machine might suggest not training, an athlete's personal decision based off a questionnaire or an athlete not 'feeling' it decides not to train, however the coach challenges the athlete to go forward with training... and goes on to great performances and medals: learning how to, at times, suck it up. One will never know if that was the right decision to train that day (those days) or not.

A great athlete/coach relationship is something very sacred: a wise coach, an athlete(s) with full awareness and a raging will is something to behold.

"You got to pull on that bar like you're ripping the head off of a goddamn lion" -Donny Shankle.

I doubt on those days, Glenn Pendlay says, "No Donny, you're not training today."


Steve Reishus said...

I agree for the most part. Training, in my opinion, should solidify your self awareness and slowly reduce your external dependence. However, I do see the value of other markers as well. I've never used HRV nor do I see it being of much value to my type of training, but I have often found that my psychological state had little to do with my performance. Rewind that. I found that regardless of where it was, it was possible to manipulate my state of mind to a position that allowed me to train and perform much better han anticipated. One way to do that involved outside data. When I used to squat to TM every day, I found that external data was very useful, particularly in the form of video. I would review every lift between sets and find that often what felt extremely difficult was a visually easy lift. I used this habitually to flip off the doubt switch and push maximal weights day after day when I would have shut it down much sooner if going by feel alone. I hit my best competition and gym squats this way while training every day, sometimes twice a day, to whatever max I could achieve and relying on the external data I received from simple video. It allowed an easy override on days I was having poor internal dialogue. I don't remember who said it, but "how you feel is a lie" was true for me in this case (not saying this applies to anyone else, as I can only speak to my experience).
I'm rambling. I guess my whole point is that it's probably most important to find external data that strengthens or repositions the mind of the athlete in a positive way as opposed to taking over his/her decision making or self awareness. Really though, a coach would be the best technology for that anyway.
Great topic and thanks for the links to the interesting articles. Hope your doing well, Aaron.

Aaron Schwenzfeier said...

Thanks for the comment Steve.

I like what you have to say, and agree, whatever it takes to align/re-align their mind with current goals. In the end, the athlete is the athlete... not the coach or anyone/anything else.

I would ask, who's responsible for success? Or failure?

Manda said...

Succes is attributable to the athlete, but failure is usually the government's fault.

Seriously though, you're right on. I think it's always in the athlete's hands. You don't see great athletes developed by technology and gurus, you see them developed in spite of them.

Like Occam's Razor (select the hypothesis that makes the fewest assumptions), athletics would probably benefit from utilizing training with the least complexity and fewest variables, at least until knowledge of self can really be built.

Manda said...

Oops. That was me commenting as my wife apparently.