By: Andrew Wolf, M.S. E.D.
I just had the great pleasure to do my first Heart Rate Diagnostic (HRD) on a Miraval guest. This is a new service that I am offering here at Miraval and I am really excited about it for many reasons. In the HRD I have the unique ability to take the extra time that the client and I need to get a more comprehensive picture of where their cardiovascular fitness is and where a client’s heart rate should be in order to improve it.
The key to this is something called cardiac drift. If I were to get on a treadmill at four miles per hour at two percent grade something would happen. My heart rate would quickly go up and level off. However about 8-10 minutes later the heart rate would slowly start to drift up even though I was doing the same workout. This is the phenomenon called cardiac drift. By taking extra time to perform the sub maximal cardiovascular test I can take this effect out of the heart rate equation and give people heart rate guidelines that are much more “real world” applicable.
I also have the time to slowly work on a client’s ventilatory threshold. I know you think you do not know what I am talking about but you do. As you work out harder and harder you breathe a little deeper and a little faster. However, at some point things seem to go off the rails and you start huffing and puffing. This is the time where people stop breathing at 29-35 breaths per minute and start breathing at 45+ breaths per minute. This happens because your muscles are producing so much Carbon Dioxide that normal breathing will not get rid of it so you have to hyperventilate. This is known as the ventilatory threshold, lactate threshold or the anaerobic threshold. No matter what you call it this is where exercise becomes non-sustainable but also really productive. Knowing exactly where this is allows me to prescribe exercise that pushes the envelope without pushing my clients over a cliff.
Most importantly this is a service that is entirely about the health and function of a person’s cardiovascular system. Will getting more fit make weight loss and diabetes control easier. Absolutely it will, but this service is an oasis where the real reason for exercise is allowed to percolate to the surface and be discussed in all the detail that it really deserves.
More About Andrew Wolf:
Earning his master’s degree at the Human Performance Lab UT Austin, Andrew specializes in exercise performance enhancement as well as diabetes treatment and prevention through enhanced metabolic function. Andrew’s expertise can help you gain a deeper understanding on how your fitness level may be impeding or aiding in the prevention of some of today’s most common and preventable diseases.