Omegawave: "Worth the 2 minutes?"
Recently I had the fortunate opportunity to spend 2 days with Mark McLaughlin, owner of the Performance Training Center in Oregon, to learn about the Omegawave system and its uses. The seminar was hosted by Bryan Smith, Facility Director at Somerset Fitness and Wellness in New Jersey. Let's just say that after the weekend concluded, I ordered myself a personal unit and had some of my consistent competition athletes do the same. This has completely changed my programming process and I am now able to alter their daily training based on the OMW feedback, and the differences have been immense. Myself being a Jersey guy, I set up a couple visits with Bryan at his facility to see him use this product in action. Here is a little Q&A we had from the visits:
Why is this product different from others that evaluate an athlete's daily readiness?
First off, thank you for the opportunity to be involved in this forum and for allowing me to answer questions involving Omegawave (OMW) and its applications. Secondly, please understand that I am learning this system as I go, and that my answers here are derived from MY experiences using OMW, as well as discussions with the developers of the system. Third, I certainly do not claim to be an expert. I freely acknowledge that there are plenty of individuals who are much more experienced using the system than myself. However, that being said, what I can do is give you my experience using the system in a private sector setting, where the training environment is not always ideal in monitoring physiological adaptations.
Now having provided you all those disclaimers I will do my best to answer your first question! As a profession of strength coaches, we tend to monitor the adaptation process on a very micro level (blood, saliva, HRV etc.) and sometimes fail to realize that the adaptation process is a very broad process that involves multiple biological systems all working to accomplish total and complete adaptation. What Omegawave does is to allow us to monitor the regulation of the adaptation processes and use the accumulated data to determine how best to train our clients towards the correct system, at the correct time and with the correct dosage. In my opinion, this is where OMW differentiates itself from other systems, which do not do all of these.
How does OW measure the functional state of the athletes cardiac, metabolic and central nervous system?
The practical implementation of Omegawave technology is based on the assessment of the readiness of the following physiological systems and the athlete as a whole.
• Overall Readiness (a combination of all the testing parameters combined)
• Readiness of the Central Nervous System via direct current (DC1) potentials of the brain
• Readiness of the Cardiac & Autonomic Nervous System via Heart Rate Variability using five different parameters of testing
• Readiness of the Energy Supply Systems via amplitude-frequency analysis of all components of each ECG complex over two minutes.
If your athlete is trending more parasympathetic dominant, what will basic protocol be for the day, assuming this is off season prep work?
You see this is where I feel that OMW separates itself from the likes of Bioforce HRV or Ithlete (Both great products!). I think everyone reading this is aware of the relationship between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system and how to adapt volumes and intensities to these parameters. That being said, when using OMW it is much more than only looking at HRV. Multiple other factors like DC potential and metabolic indexes all come into play when assessing your athlete and determining the correct stimulus. Now we know that this athlete is PNS dominate, so in this case, from an HRV prospective, I would try to influence her ANS to trend more towards the sympathetic realm by prescribing moderate/high intensity and low volume. But the determination of what type of method and mean we use to bring that down would be determined by the other factors I mentioned before. As Val Nasedkin would say this could be described as "Training the Trainability"
Same question now for a more sympathetic trend?
Same answers as above would apply but obviously we would flip the Volume and Intensities. The idea here is not to train lightly or to apply recovery every time there is a negative output but more about using OMW to tell us what system and what intensities we can train and maximize that session. Our biology will determine what "window" of trainability is open that day, as coaches, our goal is to keep that window open longer!
If you can see changes in an athlete's CNS relatively quick by using certain algorithms, do you use this test the morning of competition to make sure they are ready? If they are not, will you put them through proper training protocol to shift into the best possible readiness state?
Now when you say CNS I am assuming your referring to the DC Potential test that OMW uses. If so, please let me explain what to look for and how to program using the data provided by this test. DC potential is the measure of activation of slow brain activity using something known as Direct Current Potentials of the brain - a reliable method for the assessment of the functional state of the central nervous system (CNS) and the athletes overall readiness for sporting activities. Now, when assessing this index an optimal range according to Starodubtsev is between 20mv and 40mv at rest with new research showing an optimal range for NFL players hovering around 16.5mv. An overly high CNS number would describe a high state of tension where a low number would mean over activity and compensation by this system. Either way the cost of doing business in this negative state is huge.
Give everyone a quick overview of the Elite level, middle distance athlete who came in with a HR of 100, looking completely distraught, and what you did next for her training based on the readings.
First off this athlete was assessed using multiple different methods including POMS, blood and Omegawave. Second, any good coach would be able to tell this athlete was biologically overreached (overtrained?) POMS test below is enough to show that this individual was a little beat up, not to mention her training and injury history and negative Ferritin and Creatine Kinase levels. What we used Omegawave for was to manage her return to play process where we tested her before and after each training session as well as recovery modality to measure response. Truth be told though, she really just needed rest, all Omegawave did was allow us the feedback to know what to train without causing physiological stress and at the same time a costly reduction in fitness.
I am not playing college soccer anymore but am still training relatively hard and plan on competing in some powerlifting meets again soon. I can't seem to ever trend too far on the sympathetic side. Are you saying that I am being soft Sir?
Bryan did not answer this one, he's a good dude.
Thanks again to Mark, Bryan and Anthony Renna for allowing this quick Q&A to get out to those interested. Please don't hesitate to contact Bryan or myself.
Anthony Connors BS, RKC, TPI-CGFI-2
Director of Sports Performance
Nike SPARQ Performance Coach
More about Bryan:
Bryan has a degree in Exercise Physiology and has studied extensively in anatomy, physiology, sport psychology, motor learning, training theory and biomechanics. Bryan is a NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist, a certified USA Weightlifting Club Coach, Track & Field (USATF) Level 1 Coach and is FMS Level 2 Certified.
For more information or to ask a question; please visit www.precisionsportperformance.com or email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org