Getting started with BioForce HRV
p>Thank you for purchasing BioForce HRV! I guarantee that you are well on your way towards maximizing your results and optimizing your training in a way never before possible.
In this short Quick Start User Guide, I’m going to give you a simple and easy plan to get started using BioForce HRV in your training as quickly as possible. Following the simple steps outlined below will get you up and running in just a few short minutes.
Step 1: Create and activate your BioForce HRV account
The first step to getting started with BioForce HRV is to make sure you have created your personal BioForce HRV account. This account is necessary to unlock the mobile app and connect it to the integrated web application.
The BioForce HRV web application is an extension of the mobile app, offering advanced features and reporting that are not available on the mobile app.
Please note that while it is not necessary to use the web application in order to use BioForce HRV, all data collected on your mobile device will automatically be posted to your private web account should you choose to use it at any point.
When you purchased BioForce HRV, you should have been automatically redirected to create your account.
In case this did not happen for any reason, you can simply visit this page to select your username and password and create your new BioForce HRV account.
*IMPORTANT NOTE* It is required that the email you use to create your account is the same as the one you used to purchase the BioForce HRV system. You can change this to another email once you’ve set up and activated your account.
Step 2: Download the BioForce HRV mobile app
Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll need to download the BioForce HRV mobile app to your chosen device.
For iOS devices, you will find it in the app store. Please note that while you can use the app on the iPad, it is not a native iPad app.
For Android devices, you will need to visit the Google Play store and download the app from there.
Step 3: The BioForce HRV measurement
Once you’ve created your account and installed the app, simply enter your username and password to unlock the app.
The next step, of course, is to start using the BioForce HRV app. In just 2.5 min, BioForce HRV will give you an accurate and precise measure of your daily HRV.
In order to make sure you get a consistent and reliable measurement of HRV, always follow the steps outlined below exactly as written:
If you’re using the BioForce HRV finger sensor, begin by following the instructions in 1a below.
If you are using a BioForce HRV compatible Bluetooth 4.0 transmitter, skip to the instructions in 1b.
BioForce HRV Finger Sensor:
1a. Plug your BioForce HRV finger sensor into the headphone jack of your mobile device and place the tip of your pinky finger into the sensor until you feel contact with the small infrared light.
Make sure that the receiver plugs all the way into the headphone jack. You may have to remove any case from your mobile device.
For iPhone users: you will see the pop-up “‘BioForce HRV’ Would Like to Access the Microphone.” You must select “OK,” or the finger sensor will not detect anything.
2a. Open the “edit” screen and make sure “FS” is selected next to the “Sensors” label.
Bluetooth 4.0 transmitter:
1b. Put on a BioForce HRV compatible transmitter:
- Polar H7
- Under Armor U39
IMPORTANT: Always make sure to thoroughly wet the electrodes on your transmitter in order to get a good signal. Failing to do this can result in errors.
2b. Open the "edit" screen and make sure "BLE" is selected next to the "Sensors" label.
3. Return to the "Measure" screen within the app.
4. In the supine (laying on your back facing up) position, let your HR stabilize for 2-5 minutes
- BioForce HRV will display your resting HR even before the test begins
- Always make sure you are comfortable and in a relaxed position
- For the best results, perform the test in a quiet room without distractions
- If you have a resting HR in the 40's or have problems getting a measurement, it is recommended to take the test in the seated or standing position instead – See FAQ for details.
5. Start the BioForce HRV Measurement
- Once your HR is within your normal resting range, hit the “Start” button to begin.
- Hold the mobile device close to the transmitter belt if not using Bluetooth 4.0
- As soon as BioForce has determined that your HR is stable, a 2.5 min countdown timer will appear on the screen and begin counting down
- If the system detects more than 5 errors during the measurement, the test will abort and you will have to test again – See FAQ at the end of this guide.
- Once the test is complete, make sure to hit “save” before doing anything else.
General HRV measurement guidelines
To get the most out of BioForce HRV, it's best to take the measurement on a daily basis.
Inconsistent measurements will not provide the same level of accuracy in training readiness indicators because these are based on your change in HRV from one reading to the next.
For best results, take the HRV measurement daily at roughly the same time each day. The most accurate measurement period is first thing in the morning, within 30 minutes of waking up.
Although you can take the HRV measurement at other periods in the day, you will get the most reliable, consistent and accurate HRV readings when you take them in the morning. This initial waking period represents the body's most true resting state.
Do not consume caffeinated beverages, stimulants or medications that may affect heart rate or blood pressure prior to taking the HRV measurement as these will impact your HRV.
Stay as relaxed as possible throughout the measurement period.
Not only can moving or talking during the 2.5 min measurement period interrupt the signal between the transmitter and receiver, it can also decrease your HRV and lead to a less accurate reading. Always try to stay motionless and relaxed and do not talk during the measurement.
BioForce HRV Results: The Mobile App
For the purposes of this guide, we'll just cover the basics of how to read your BioForce HRV results to manage your training day.
Much more detail is discussed in "The Ultimate Guide to HRV Training" book, but this brief overview will help you interpret your HRV results once the 2.5 min measurement period has completed.
Once again, always make sure to hit “save” once the HRV measurement has completed. After the 2.5 min period has elapsed, your HRV score will be displayed at the top of the screen and your average resting HR will appear at the bottom of the screen.
Once you have saved your assessment, you will want to hit “chart” to be taken to the chart screen. Here you will see your daily training readiness indicator. The key to understanding your BioForce HRV results is to look at your “daily change” number, both the number itself as well as the color. The three colors possible are green, amber (orange) and red and each indicates different states of training readiness based on your current HRV score compared to previous scores.
The key to understanding your BioForce HRV results is to look at both the color and the value of your “daily change” number.
The three colors possible are green, amber (orange) and red. Each color indicates a different state of training readiness based on your current HRV score compared to your previous scores.
The daily change score will be one of these three colors and can be positive or negative - indicating increases or decreases in HRV compared to previous scores.
Please note: Amber and Red indicators can result from increases or decreases in HRV outside of normal limits. More about this will be covered within "The Ultimate Guide to HRV Training" book, but the important thing to understand is that HRV changes too high or too low compared to your previous readings indicate periods of fatigue. Reeducated training loads are recommended during these times.
Your HRV score
In general, higher baseline HRV numbers correlate with higher levels of aerobic fitness. The following table gives a rough general guideline of where different types of athletes will typically fall on the BioForce HRV scale.
Keep in mind, however, that there are always exceptions to such generalizations and that high HRV does not automatically guarantee a high level of aerobic fitness.
By looking at the trends and changes in you baseline HRV over time, you can get an accurate representation of the change in your aerobic fitness. Increasing baseline HRV numbers – not to be confused with daily fluctuations – indicate a higher level of aerobic fitness and likewise, after a long layoff, you will frequently see a decline in your BioForce HRV number.
Increasing baseline HRV numbers – not to be confused with daily fluctuations – indicate a higher level of aerobic fitness. Not surprisingly, you will frequently see a decline in your BioForce HRV number after a long layoff from aerobic activity.
The "Chart" screen
The chart screen shows your “Daily” “Weekly” and “Monthly” changes in HRV. The weekly and monthly colors will always remain blue, though they can be positive or negative depending on whether there's an increase or decrease in your average HRV during these time periods.
You will see a graph of different colored lines connecting the days you measured your HRV. The line color shown on this screen matches the “daily change” indicator color for each day, as discussed in the previous section.
The blue line running through the middle of the graph represents a “trend line.” This line can be used to see if your overall HRV has increased or decreased during the time period shown on the chart. Please note that by clicking on the chart itself, you can change the time period shown from one
Please note that by clicking on the chart itself, you can change whether the time period displayed is one week, one month, or three months.
The "Edit" screen
The “Edit” screen will allow you to edit your BioForce measurements.
Please note that you can take as many daily readings as you would like, but only your first one will be displayed on the chart. As a general rule, your first HRV test tends to be the most accurate as well.
You can slide your finger to the right on any test to select and delete it. You can also export a .csv file of your HRV assessments through email by clicking on the “Export data by email” icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
Please note that if you delete a measurement in the "Edit" screen, you will also want to delete it in the web app. If you do not do this, the web and mobile apps may show different results. This is because the mobile and web apps will be calculating readiness from a different set of numbers.
Measurements that have been successfully uploaded to the web app will display as white, while any measurements that have not uploaded will appear red. When a measurement does not upload, as can happen if you take a measurement while you do not have internet access, BioForce HRV will automatically retry to upload the data the next time you use the app.
BioForce HRV Results: The Web App
The BioForce HRV web application is an extension of the BioForce HRV system with additional measures and management tools.
Although the mobile app provides all the features you need to effectively use HRV, the extra web app features can provide several additional ways to fine-tune your training and get the absolute best results possible.
You can access the web application by entering your logging in at http://my.bioforcehrv.com. Save this page as a favorite on your browser for quick access when you want to use it.
Make sure to select “Remember me for a month” during the log-in process so you won't have to enter your username and password each time you visit the site.
If you forget your password, you can reset it by clicking on the “Forgot your password?” link.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll have access to several additional web features.
Additional web features:
- Scrollable HRV Graph
- Readiness Score
- Weekly and Monthly Load
- Training Log/Notes
- Support & Community
Scrollable HRV graph
The scrollable HRV graph makes it easier than ever to analyze your changing HRV scores over any time period of time.
You can choose to display HRV, average HRV, and even resting HR scores – turn this feature on in “chart settings” – across any range of time. You can scroll across the graph to see your numbers on any day.
The real advantage to the scrollable graph over the graph in the mobile app is that it's much easier to spot trends in changing HRV over different periods of time. When combined with the additional web features, this makes using HRV even more effective.
The readiness score is a feature of BioForce HRV exclusive to the web and it adds a deeper layer of analysis to go along with the three color indications of green, amber and red.
The readiness score is a numerical score on a scale from 1-10, where 10 is the highest level of readiness and 1 is the lowest.
The algorithm used to determine your readiness score looks at the previous several days of HRV data. For example, a Green indication will show a lower score if it comes after a day of Amber and then
For example, a Green indication will show a higher score if it comes after several straight days of grean than if it comes after a day of Amber and Red.
This scoring provides an additional layer of important analysis – think of it as zooming in to see a picture in finer detail – and it should be used in conjunction with the color indications when determining the right level of training load and/or recovery strategies to optimize results.
Weekly and Monthly HRV Load
As discussed in the "Ultimate Guide to HRV Training," the Weekly and Monthly HRV Load indications provide insight into how much stress the body has been under during the previous 7 and 30 days, respectively. With the BioForce HRV web app, these calculations are done automatically for you and the same three-color system is used.
A green indication of “LOW” means that there has been a relatively low level of stress, as reflected in HRV changes, in the previous week or month. An amber indication of “MED” is short for "medium" and indicates a moderate level of stress. A red indication of “HIGH,” of course, corresponds to a high level of stress.
Although individual variations occur, periods of increasing average HRV most often are seen when weekly and monthly loads are LOW and MED. Also, the risk of injury tends to be significantly greater during periods where both monthly and weekly loads are HIGH.
Training Log Notes
Another great feature of the BioForce web app is the ability to record notes and a training record. To enter a Daily Note, simply click on whatever day you want to add a note to on the scrollable HRV graph.
Your log entries may range from general diet or potential causes of stress notes to very specific training details.
You can also use the Training Record to select the RPE, duration, type of training for the day's training session(s). Each time you enter a Daily Note, a visible notation will be added to the graph. Your last several notes will appear under the graph for you to quickly review as well. You can turn these visible notations on or off by clicking on the “chart settings” button.
This additional web feature makes it easier than ever to connect your training, nutrition and life stress factors so that you’re able to interpret how changes in HRV are related to fitness, performance, injuries, etc.
Support and the BioForce community
The final exclusive web app feature is support and the BioForce HRV Community Forum. Within the Community and Solutions sections, you can do everything from submit a support ticket, to look through FAQ, to interact with other members. and find out how they are using BioForce HRV with their training. These are the places to come to get support.
Whether you are interested in finding out how others are using BioForce HRV or you have questions about the system, this is the place for you.
Managing Your Training with BioForce HRV
BioForce HRV is designed to give you information to help you manage your daily training load.
By measuring your training readiness and how much fatigue you may be accumulating, you are able to make smarter training decisions about how much volume and intensity are appropriate on any given day.
During intense periods of loading, it is common to see days with an amber daily change indicator – suggesting you are under some moderate amount of fatigue. This is normal and a part of the training process. It’s when these indications become too frequent and/or you begin to see red indicators, however, that you are likely heading towards and being in an overstressed and overtrained state, and this is where bad things will inevitably start to happen.
By checking your BioForce HRV scores and indications daily, you can get an inside look at how much stress your body is under and how well it is recovering from it. Too much stress and you will eventually overtrain and see decreases in fitness/performance and possibly even your health and wellness. Too little stress and your body will not be challenged and you will see plateaus or even decreases in these areas.
Using the BioForce HRV system provides you with vital information necessary to accurately manage the training process by optimizing the overall training load. The rest of the "Ultimate Guide to HRV Training" will provide you with a thorough understanding of how to use BioForce HRV to manage the daily, weekly, and monthly training load and get the absolute most out of your training program.
In short, you will be able to fine-tune your training a way never before possible and get better results because of it. Welcome to the future of training and thanks again for becoming part of the BioForce HRV Team!
Troubleshooting & FAQ
Q: The BioForce Measurement is aborting due to “excessive errors.” What is going on?
A: BioForce HRV was designed to ensure that the data used to calculate HRV is as accurate as possible. Because of this, when the signal from the finger sensor or chest strap is not strong enough and/or there are too many irregular heartbeats,the test is aborted and you’ll need to retest.
The first place to diagnose this error is by checking the signal strength. If you’re using the finger sensor, you’ll see a signal strength indicator in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. If you’re using the chest strap, you’ll see the word “connected” there instead. The number of bars indicates the signal strength for the finger sensor, while a green “connected” light indicates s a good chest strap connection.
If you’re not getting a good signal with the finger sensor, the first thing to do is make sure the sensor is plugged completely into the headphone jack. Make sure there is no dirt or dust in the jack and that the sensor is placed properly on your finger. Try moving the finger sensor to a different finger or to a slightly different position until you see a better signal quality.
Also, make sure you hit “ok” if your device prompts you with a high volume warning when you first plug the finger sensor in.
If you’re having trouble with the chest strap, make sure to get the belt wet prior to using it to improve the signal. These belts are designed to be used during exercise, not during rest, and simply wetting the electrodes can make a big difference. Also, make sure the strap tight enough to have good skin contact and the transmitter piece is snapped securely into the belt. Try replacing the battery if necessary.
Still receiving the error even though you have a good signal can occur due to individual variances in your heart rhythm outside the norms (i.e. arrhythmia) and/or in people with very high HRV and very low resting HR. The best solution is to try taking your measurement seated rather than laying down, and if you still see the errors, you can then try it standing. If you are still seeing the errors, you may have an arrhythmia that makes it difficult or impossible to measure HRV.
Q: I don’t understand why my HRV is going up (or down) after a hard training or rest day
A: One of the most important things to understand about HRV is that it reflects many different stressors in a single number. Aside from your training, HRV is affected by everything from lack of sleep to mental stress to being sick. HRV is not always easily predictable and can move both up or down depending on acute stress and accumulated stress.
It’s also worth noting that HRV is variable because the human body is dynamic, constantly changing and adapting. It’s perfectly normal to see fluctuations in HRV just as you’d see day-to-day fluctuations in resting HR, blood pressure, various hormone levels, etc. Just because your HRV went up when you expected it to go down, or vice versa, doesn’t mean HRV is not accurate or reliable. It simply means that there are a lot of variables that impact HRV and the human body is rarely completely predictable. Please read the rest of the "Ultimate Guide to HRV Training" for more info.
Q: I can’t always take the BioForce HRV in the mornings, what about other times of the day?
A: Yes, you can take the measurement at any point in the day, but keep in mind that BioForce HRV is based on how your HRV changes over time. Because of this, it’s important to always try to take the measurement as close to the same time each day as possible.
If you take it at 9am one day and 10pm the next evening, your results will not be as accurate because your evening measurement will reflect whatever stress you encountered that day and your fatigue at the point. Your morning measurement will reflect a more natural rested state. It’s also normal for HRV to fluctuate throughout the day for many reasons so, if possible, a morning measurement is the most ideal. However, if you must take it at other times, make sure all your measurements fall close to this same time frame.
Q: Should I use BioForce HRV only on training days or should I use it on rest days too?
A: The more consistently you use BioForce HRV, the better. Daily readings are always suggested because it’s important to see how your body was impacted by the previous day's stress and to see how your HRV changes as a result of your rest day.
Without daily measurements, the “daily change” and training readiness indicator will not be as accurate because your HRV changes are more spread out. The overall picture of how your body is responding to your training and other stress factors becomes blurred and less precise with less frequent measurements. For the best results, try to use BioForce HRV every day, or at least as close to this as possible.
Q: If I take back to back HRV measurements, why do I often get different results?
A: The short answer is that HRV is not a static measure and like many other measures such as heart rate, blood pressure, etc., it fluctuates from moment to moment. The normal variation of HRV when the measurement is done properly is 2 HRV points on the BioForce scale. Ranges greater than this typically represent outside influences affecting the results. The vast majority of the time, the first HRV test will provide the most accurate reading and there is no reason or benefit to doing multiple tests.