Reading time: 2 min

Summary algorithms are metrics designed to aggregate and simplify multiple physiological and behavioral measurements into three easy-to-interpret outcomes. These scores are presented on a 0 to 100 scale, where 100 is the ‘best’ attainable score. By presenting data in a reader-friendly format, less experience and time is required to interpret each individual’s results, which helps both the end-user as well as any care-takers or data monitors. 

Below are the descriptions of each of three main summary scores presented by Biostrap: Activity, Recovery, and Sleep Scores.

Activity Score

Physical activity is a metric that has been shown to be correlated with numerous health outcomes and diseases. Activity is not exclusive to exercise bouts, and sedentary behavior has also been shown to be associated with health outcomes. 

Therefore, Biostrap calculates activity score using the distribution of activity over the course of a 24-hour window, emphasizing activity during 12 unique hours. Additionally, energy expenditure relative to the user’s goal contributes to the activity score. 

The Biostrap Buzz

Sign up to our email newsletter to receive curated content on the latest news in digital health and health optimization. Plus, special access to Biostrap offers and community updates.

Recovery Score

The recovery score is computed overnight, and is largely a function of the user’s resting heart rate and heart rate variability, compared to their rolling baseline values. Sleep parameters (sleep efficiency and sleep time as a percentage of goal sleep) make up a portion of the recovery score as well.

Sleep Score

Many aspects of a sleep session contribute to the summary Sleep Score. This score is a reflection of sleep duration and efficiency, relative to an individual’s sleep goal. A penalty system reduces the sleep score based on sleep disruptions and adverse physiological measures. The number of awakenings (weighted by severity), resting heart rate (relative to baseline), and low SpO2 readings (weighted by number and severity) all contribute to the sleep score penalty, reducing the overall score. 

Ready to start tracking your Sleep and Recovery? Join our Biostrap family and get started with our Recover Set.

Reading time: 2 min

What is it

Sleep latency is the term given to describe how long it takes to fall asleep. Sleep latency can be highly variable due to behaviors prior to bedtime, such as alcohol, medications, exercise, diet, and blue light exposure, among others. However, tracking sleep latency can provide additional data that can reflect changes in health, behavior, and their interaction.

How is it measured

Sleep latency is measured in minutes from the time an individual attempts to fall asleep to the time when the individual enters sleep. While this can seem rather easy to qualitatively assess for an individual, tracking changes in physiological metrics through photoplethysmography (PPG) and accelerometry provides improved insight as individuals may have difficulty reporting the time of initial sleep onset. By tracking metrics such as heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, and limb movements, a good understanding of bed time and onset of sleep can be made.

The Biostrap Buzz

Sign up to our email newsletter to receive curated content on the latest news in digital health and health optimization. Plus, special access to Biostrap offers and community updates.

Correlations to health conditions

The connection between sleep onset latency and clinical outcomes is less clear than that of total sleep time and deep sleep duration, however, there appears to be correlations between them. It is important to note that directionality and magnitude of latency may or may not have clinical relevance based on the situation that an individual is in. For example, long sleep latencies can be indicative of disorders, particularly related to stress or insomnia; however, shortening sleep latency may not reflect positive changes, as sleep latency is decreased by high amounts of sleep debt and may not reflect an overall positive change. Further, substances such as alcohol may reduce sleep latency but may lead to lesser quality of sleep.

Many of the correlations between latency and health are drawn in anxiety and depression. These psychological disorders are fairly common and are known to affect sleep and sleep latency. However, sleep latency is associated with total sleep duration reduction, which has a feed-forward effect on sleep, where less sleep causes more anxiety and depression. Thus, it can be important to monitor sleep latency changes to catch trends before they become problematic.

Normal or acceptable ranges

The National Sleep Foundation acknowledges up to 30 minutes of sleep latency, regardless of age, as appropriate. Sleep latency of 31-45 minutes is listed as ‘uncertain’, which could be due to individual trends. It stands to reason that very short sleep latency (<5 minutes) could indicate problems with fatigue and sleep deprivation, however, the research on normative values in this range are unclear.

Interpreting trends

Although the clinical recommendations remain unclear, tracking sleep latency could be good for most individuals. This metric, inversely associated with total sleep duration, could provide insight into behavioral changes and how they affect sleep architecture. Should sleep latency trend negatively for an individual, behavioral interventions could be suggested to correct sleep latency, and potentially increase total sleep duration. 

Reading time: 2 min

What is deep sleep

Sleep can be broken down into different ‘stages’ of sleep. Most commonly, sleep is divided into rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and non-REM (NREM) sleep. NREM sleep accounts for the majority of sleep (75-80% of total sleep duration), while REM sleep makes up the rest. Within NREM sleep, there are four stages; the first stage is light sleep and is mostly the transitory onset of sleep; the second stage is also considered light sleep, but makes up a longer duration than stage 1.

The third and fourth stages are considered ‘deep sleep’ and are characterized by slow brain waves. Deep sleep makes up roughly 13-23% of nightly sleep. It is during these stages that sleep is restorative and leads to many adaptive physiological outcomes that help the body adapt and repair. As such, deep sleep has been shown to be more important than total sleep time in affecting physiological outcomes.

How it is measured

Deep sleep is often identified by slow waveforms on an electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures brain wave activity. As an alternative, deep sleep has been shown to have decreased movement and altered vital signs, particularly: lower heart rate, higher heart rate variability, lower blood pressure, lower temperature, and decreased sympathetic activity, among others.

By measuring these changes using wearable technologies (accelerometers and photoplethysmography [PPG]), a close approximation of sleep stage can be made. Using this technology allows for passive measurement with much less equipment than a traditional EEG or polysomnogram.

The Biostrap Buzz

Sign up to our email newsletter to receive curated content on the latest news in digital health and health optimization. Plus, special access to Biostrap offers and community updates.

Correlation with health conditions

Much like with total sleep time, the restorative benefits of deep sleep have robust physiological effects across many organ systems. However, deep sleep appears to be a better indicator of the quality of sleep, compared to the total duration of sleep.

Deep sleep has been shown to affect growth hormone production, glucose metabolism, synaptic processes (e.g. learning/memory formation), and immune function changes. Sleep restriction, affecting the duration of deep sleep, has been linked to many negative health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, poor cognitive function, and many more conditions. As such, it is important to get adequate amounts of sleep that is of good quality, permitting deep sleep.

Normal or acceptable range

Currently, there are not widely accepted values specific to deep sleep. There appears to be an age-related decline in the duration of deep sleep, with minimal change in other sleep stages, in absolute terms. Of each sleep session, most individuals have 13-23% of their duration in deep sleep. The recommended amount of deep sleep has not fully been evaluated, but many experts believe that it is better to have more than less, although high amounts of deep sleep may indicate short term deficiencies.

Interpreting trends

While it is relatively easy to approximate total sleep time by tracking sleep and wake times, deep sleep is much harder to quantify. Use of EEG devices provide a strong understanding of sleep stages and progressions but are less obtainable for an individual on a regular basis. However, using accelerometers and PPG wearables, such as Biostrap, light and deep sleep can be approximated on a nightly basis, and easily tracked over time.

As with total sleep duration, tracking deep sleep can provide insight into its contribution to changes in physiological variables, cognitive and/or athletic performance, mood, fatigue, and other health-related outcomes. As a variable that is more challenging to quantify, monitoring deep sleep over time can also provide insight into lifestyle changes and how they affect deep sleep. For example, tracking how a medication affects deep sleep may provide insight into its efficacy or side effects.

Reading time: 5 min

Body temperature plays an important role in well-being. Getting too warm can signify a fever, while getting too cold can cause bodily systems to shut down. This balance is also important for sleep: if your body isn’t at the right temperature before bed, you may be too uncomfortable to dip into a peaceful slumber.
Learn how to sleep better by optimizing your environments for sleep. Knowing the best temperature for sleep (and creating a bedroom that meets that standard) is one of the best sleep hacks out there.
Here’s what experts have to say about the ideal temperature for restful sleep.

The Best Temperature for Sleep

Being too warm can cause restlessness, and being too cold can lead to muscle contractions and blood vessel constriction, all of which create insomnia. So how should you set your thermostat to ensure the best sleep possible?
According to The National Sleep Foundation, a cool room around 65 degrees Fahrenheit provides the best sleep for most people. However, the average body temperature can vary depending on your age and overall health.
Babies and toddlers, for example, need the room to be between 65 and 70 degrees to sleep well. Women of different ages and even during different times of the month might need more variations, such as a slightly colder than average room, as hormonal changes — for example ovulation — can elevate their normal body temperature.

Body Temperature and Sleep

Your body temperature directly influences your ability to sleep. Why? Because body temperature decreases in response to going to bed. “When you go to sleep, your set point for body temperature — the temperature your brain is trying to achieve — goes down,” Stanford University’s H. Craig Heller, PhD told WebMD.
The deepest phase of sleep, also known as slow-wave deep sleep or non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, occurs in correlation with a drop in brain and core temperatures.This is why decreased body temperature leads to drowsiness, and increased body temperature makes us feel more alert (like when we’re exercising). It’s also why the right bedroom temperature is so important. When you wake up during the night due to uncomfortable conditions, you decrease the amount of NREM and REM sleep your body receives. We need NREM sleep for whole-body restoration, brain detoxification, and REM sleep is crucial for learning and memory consolidation.

The Role of Sleep Disorders and Other Conditions

Natural changes in body temperature are referred to as thermoregulation, according to sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus. He points out that thermoregulation is part of the circadian rhythm, the 24-hour sleep cycle that keeps us awake during the day and resting when the sun goes down.
However, temperature regulation can be influenced by other factors, such as illness, medications, menopause, pregnancy, and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. These can greatly affect both REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and deep sleep. Experiencing these circumstances can cause frequent waking throughout the night, lowering sleep quality and reducing your ability to perform well in everyday life.
But, according to Breus, better sleep can be achieved even when faced with hormone disturbances or sleep disorders. In fact, making a few changes to your environment and routine can help reset your internal thermostat to an ideal sleeping temperature.

Sleep Tips for Better Rest

Now that you understand how the body responds to temperature, you can work toward creating the optimal environment for a good night’s sleep. If you’re constantly hitting snooze when the alarm goes off, it might be time to consider how you can adjust your bedroom surroundings to achieve the rest your body needs.

Adjusting for Climate

No one wants to wake up with night sweats, yet setting the air conditioner to its lowest level can make the room too cold for comfort. If you’re someone who prefers the cold side of the pillow, you know how important it is to avoid overheating during the night.
One way to find a happy medium is to use a fan, which can make a room up to 10 degrees cooler. Using this method reduces energy costs and prevents you from getting too warm throughout the evening.
The most important thing to remember is that comfort is key. Think of your bedroom as a cave — it should be cool, dark, and most of all, quiet.

The Biostrap Buzz

Sign up to our email newsletter to receive curated content on the latest news in digital health and health optimization. Plus, special access to Biostrap offers and community updates.

Bedding and Mattresses

Your bedding is another important aspect of your sleep environment. For example, memory foam pillows and mattresses tend to trap heat and make you feel warmer, especially if you’re a stomach sleeper. One idea is to opt for moisture-wicking sheets that keep you cool during sleep. Cotton sheets tend to be breathable, and some pillows are made with cooling materials that promote airflow. On the other hand you can opt for a gel mattress or a gel mattress mat to place over your memory foam mattress.
If you share a bed with someone else, a larger bed can prevent the transfer of body heat throughout the night, thereby reducing overheating. These simple changes, in combination with maintaining a cool room, can help you maintain an optimal temperature and sleep better throughout the night.

Sleep Habits and Routines

Regulating your body temperature may seem difficult during warmer months, especially if you tend to wake up feeling too warm. One effective — and seemingly counterintuitive — method is to take a warm bath or shower 60-90 minutes before bedtime.
A warm bath positions your body for a cool down once you step out of the bathroom. This kickstarts the cooling cycle that makes your body feel drowsy before bedtime, helping you fall and stay asleep.
Doing this every night can get your body into a routine so that it associates a shower in the evening with the onset of drowsiness. Similarly, drinking a warm cup of tea can warm your body and promote the cooling process so that you feel sleepy before bedtime.

The Best Temperature for Sleep

Finding the ideal sleeping temperature for your body is an important factor for a good night’s sleep. However, there are several more puzzle pieces at play when it comes to creating the ideal sleep environment. Climate, bedding, and nighttime routines all contribute to when you fall asleep — and how well you rest throughout the night.
Taking control of these matters by learning more about your sleep patterns, can ensure that you don’t miss out on a restorative night of sleep. Your quality of sleep is directly affected by your body temperature, bed room environment, and night-time routine, so taking actions to optimize them is important for your health, longevity, and happiness.
How do you know if your sleep routine and bedroom environment is helping you sleep better? By measuring the quality of your sleep, of course. With Biostrap’s standard sleep tracking feature, you’ll gain valuable insights into your sleep quality, from the amount of light and deep sleep you get to time spent in bed as well as sleep latency and nocturnal awakenings, and more. In addition to that, the Biostrap Sleep Lab subscription provides even more comprehensive details including circadian rhythm analysis and individualized bed time recommendations. Sleep is when the body resets, restores, recovers and performs several vital regulatory processes, so once you start sleeping like a pro, you will wake up with the energy and motivation you’ve always wanted.

Reading time: 5 min

Respiratory rate is one of the main vital signs that measure a person’s health. Alongside body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate is an essential measurement for determining well-being. 

Respiratory rate is the rate at which a full breathing cycle occurs, both inhalation and exhalation. While this is something that can be taken over by voluntary control, the majority of respiratory rate is an autonomic process, which occurs as a result of many inputs, including the respiratory center of the brain, which sends physiological sensory information throughout the body.

Age, weight and certain illnesses can all influence a person’s respiration rate. That’s why your normal respiratory rate may differ from the next person’s. If you learn to measure your respiratory rate, you’ll gain a better understanding of what is normal for you.

What Is a Normal Respiratory Rate?

The normal ranges for respiratory rate vary depending on a number of factors. For example, people who regularly practice deep breathing exercises, or those who play woodwind instruments, may take less breaths per minute, whereas people who are less physically fit may take more breaths per minute.

“We don’t really believe in comparing someone to a normal curve,” explains Kevin Longoria, MSc, a clinical exercise physiologist and the Chief Science Officer for Biostrap. “More importantly, we believe in comparing them to themself. We can see what someone’s normal respiratory rate may be and establish a trend. Then, you look at changes in the trend.” This allows you to determine what is a normal respiratory rate and what is abnormal for you as an individual.

In general, an abnormal respiratory rate is when the number of breaths per minute is under 12 or over 25 — but again, this can vary for every individual. A high respiratory rate means that the respiratory system is being overworked when it circulates oxygen through the blood and body. Conditions like asthma or sudden episodes, like an anxiety attack, can increase the number of times a person breathes per minute, resulting in a high respiratory rate.

In contrast, a child’s breathing rate would be different. “The normal respiratory rate changes significantly throughout the first several years of a child’s development,” says Longoria. For example, a baby up to 6-month old will usually have a breathing rate between 30 and 60 breaths per minute. A child between one and five will usually have a breathing rate between 20 and 30. By the time a child is 12, their breathing rate will usually be under 20.

According to Longoria, “abnormally high respiratory rates in children may be a sign of fever, dehydration, or conditions including bronchiolitis or pneumonia. Children may also experience rapid respiratory rates similar to adults due to other medical conditions including acidosis (with diabetes) and asthma.” And these are just a few of the factors that influence respiratory rate.

Factors That Influence Respiratory Rate

There are a number of common conditions that influence a person’s respiratory rate. For example, having anxiety and suffering from panic attacks can result in shallow breathing patterns and an acutely high respiratory rate for a short period of time (also referred to as hyperventilation).

“What’s really important when you look at respiratory rate is understanding autonomic control,” says Longoria. “When we look at the autonomic nervous system, it’s controlling all these voluntary processes like heart rate, respiratory rate, response to exercise, stress hormones, inflammatory processes — essentially things we don’t have to think about.” Factors such as exercise, stress, or changes in heart rate can influence respiratory rate involuntarily.

Shallow breaths or hyperventilation could be caused by the following conditions.

Lung and Airway Diseases

Lung diseases cause reduced oxygen uptake and prevent the lungs from working properly. For example, emphysema, severe/refractory asthma, and chronic bronchitis block a person’s airflow and contribute to an increasing sense of breathlessness.

These diseases are classified under the term Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). Symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness and chronic cough with and without mucus. COPD is primarily caused by smoking cigarettes but can also be associated with genetic conditions.

When it comes to factors that influence respiratory rate, “smoking is an obvious one,” notes Longoria. “If you’re smoking, then you’re getting more tar buildup and essentially causing what’s called a respiratory restriction.” Tar buildup in the lungs will damage your air sacs (alveoli) where gas diffusion takes place. “If we’re limiting the surface area of our lungs, our body will have to compensate with a higher respiratory rate.”

Having COPD is a risk indicator of cardiac arrest, in which the heart suddenly stops beating. Sudden cardiac arrest is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment with a defibrillator. According to Harvard Medical School, more than 13 million Americans have COPD, and it tends to coexist with other conditions, like heart disease. Yet, many people are unaware of COPD.

Anyone who suspects they have COPD can be diagnosed by a spirometry test. This is a simple non-invasive process that evaluates your exhalation to see how well your lungs are working.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders are another leading cause of airway obstruction and respiratory irregularities. During non-REM sleep, the part of our sleep cycle in which we spend 80% of the night, it’s normal to breathe slowly and steadily.

Breathing normally increases and decreases through different sleep stages, and the number of breaths a person takes will vary. However, having a sleep disorder can cause irregular sleep patterns and contribute to respiratory abnormalities. One example is sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder where a person stops breathing for as much as several seconds in their sleep. 

Heart Conditions

Heart problems can also affect a person’s respiratory rate. For example, atrial fibrillation (marked by irregular and rapid heart rate) can cause shortness of breath. When your heart beats irregularly due to atrial fibrillation, you may experience a tight chest and shortness of breath because the heart’s electrical signals don’t fire properly.

The Biostrap Buzz

Sign up to our email newsletter to receive curated content on the latest news in digital health and health optimization. Plus, special access to Biostrap offers and community updates.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Cardiovascular fitness is defined as the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen-rich blood to muscles throughout the body. “If you are frequently exercising, you tend to maintain better lung volume, resting lung capacity, and you have more arterial elasticity,” says Longoria. “Per breath, you’re consuming more oxygen than the next guy.” As a result, your respiratory rate will be lower because it will require fewer breaths to consume the same amount of oxygen.

How to Measure Respiratory Rate

Understanding your respiratory rate can make you more familiar with your body and help you monitor changes as you age. Plus, it can ensure that you recognize when it might be time to consult a medical professional about any changes to your body if changes to your respiratory rate occur.

Respiratory rate can be measured through photoplethysmography (PPG) by measuring the baseline shifts that occur with breathing. The baselines move up and down in an oscillatory pattern, which corresponds to the breath cycle.

A way to use PPG to measure is through a wearable that tracks vital biometrics for both sleep and fitness like Biostrap. “Biostrap is the only clinically-validated sensor system out there,” says Longoria. Wearable trackers can measure your oxygen saturation to indicate how much oxygen is pumping through the blood. It also helps you monitor the effectiveness of your workouts to better understand how blood oxygen levels could be increased through exercise, diet, deep breathing, and other healthy lifestyle changes.

Knowing Your Respiratory Rate

Your respiratory rate tells how much oxygen is flowing through your blood, but it also provides deeper clues to your health. For example, an abnormal respiratory rate can shed light on potential sleep disorders, lung disease, and heart conditions. “It’s an extremely important biometric,” Longoria stresses. “But it’s almost more important to know how and when you’re measuring it.”

Respiratory rate helps us understand changes in our own bodies, especially as we age or try out new approaches to fitness. Measuring your respiratory rate with a wearable that measures and tracks vital biometrics for both sleep and fitness can ensure that you’re always in tune with your body and the breath that keeps it alive.

Reading time: 3 min

Oxygen is one of the essential building blocks of life. Without oxygen, the human body can’t function. Oxygen saturation levels are a way of measuring how much oxygen is in the bloodstream. While most healthy individuals don’t need to monitor their oxygen saturation level, people with certain health conditions or athletes looking for peak performance can benefit from tracking oxygen levels.

Here, we’ll explore everything you need to know about your oxygen saturation level.

What Is Oxygen Saturation?

An oxygen saturation level is the measurement for the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. All organs in the human body need oxygen to function. Oxygen saturation refers to the percentage of hemoglobin that is bound to oxygen when in the artery. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that binds oxygen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. 

Since arterial blood is on the way to the capillaries from the left ventricle of the heart, a high amount of oxygen is expected on hemoglobin, typically greater than 95% saturation. This oxygen is what is required for metabolic processes, namely ATP production, which provides the energy necessary for vital functioning of organs. Reduction in oxygen carrying capacity often results in altered or diminished function, which can lead to acute or chronic disorders.

What Is a Normal Oxygen Saturation Level?

Oxygen saturation greater than 95% is considered normal. Values between 90-95% represent a slightly blunted capacity to carry oxygen, and may or may not be indicative of a meaningful deviation from normal. 

However, oxygen saturation below 90% (hypoxemia) is considered low and usually suggests an abnormality in oxygen handling. Oxygen saturation levels are affected by a variety of agents including the amount of oxygen in the air around you, certain respiratory diseases, and nutrient deficiencies. 

How Is Oxygen Saturation Measured?

Oxygen saturation is measured using a pulse oximeter, commonly called a pulse ox. Readings from this type of test are measured as SpO2. You may not recognize the name, but you’re probably familiar with these devices. A pulse oximeter is the tool that doctors and nurses place on your finger, typically when they’re also checking your blood pressure. 

These devices use photoplethysmography (PPG). PPG utilizes red and infrared light exposure through the skin, which absorbs much of the light. Each form of hemoglobin (unbound or bound to oxygen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide) absorbs wavelengths of light differently.

Oxygenated hemoglobin absorbs more infrared light, whereas de-oxygenated hemoglobin absorbs more red light. This helps us determine the amount of oxygenated hemoglobin relative to total hemoglobin which is expressed as a percentage. 

You can attach the pulse oximeter to fingertips, ear lobes, or toes to get a reading. The test has a margin of error of 2%, meaning it’s less accurate than the arterial blood gases (ABG) test, which is a blood test that measures the acidity, or pH, and the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide from an artery. Dark nail polish colors and temperature can affect the pulse ox readings. Though it’s not as accurate as the ABG test, it is a non-invasive way to get a quick SpO2 reading.

The devices are affordable and can be purchased for use at home if you’re trying to monitor your blood oxygen saturation levels regularly. The Biostrap Recover Set features a wrist-worn device that utilizes PPG to measure various biometrics, including SpO2, with clinical reliability making it easy to track your oxygen saturation levels while you sleep.

The Biostrap Buzz

Sign up to our email newsletter to receive curated content on the latest news in digital health and health optimization. Plus, special access to Biostrap offers and community updates.

Stay on Top of Your Health

Low oxygen saturation levels can be a sign of an underlying health condition. The problem may be caused by a chronic condition or by environmental factors including smoking and pollution. The best way to manage your health is to monitor it regularly. 

Biostrap provides all the tools necessary to accurately monitor your oxygen saturation levels right on your phone. While the wrist-worn device captures your SpO2, among other vital biometrics, with the use of advanced machine learning algorithms, the app offers easy-to-understand and actionable insights into weekly, monthly, and yearly trends. Additionally, you can monitor every single point of data collection that occurred throughout the night, which can help you determine potential dips in your SpO2 levels. These may even call for medical consultation with regards to a sleep disturbance such as sleep apnea events.

Reading time: 4 min

What is a gym to you?

For some, this place may be a sanctuary for the fitness devoted:

A pseudo-religious experience where your barbell lift MUST be executed with perfect form. Your rest MUST precisely be 30-second intervals. You MUST run on the treadmill for a minimum of one hour. And don’t you dare try to strike up a conversation with someone plugged into their Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones… lest you receive the death glare.

For others, it’s more of an anthropological adventure. Think about it – when else can you enter a public space where people give each other unspoken, socially accepted permission to be in ridiculous body positions. I can’t think of too many.

Maybe you think that going to the gym is the only way to become truly healthy and improve biometrics like Heart Rate Variability and Oxygen Saturation. But that is far from the truth! You don’t have to sacrifice fun for fit. As a matter of fact…You can have both:

You can train like a ninja!

Yes, you heard me right. Calisthenics is ninja training.

What is Calisthenics?

Calisthenics is bodyweight training. Any movement that ONLY utilizes your bodyweight can technically be considered calisthenics.

According to the Centers for Disease for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 21.7% of adults 18 years of age or older met the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity. Most fitness activities tend to lean toward aerobic or anaerobic exercise. Calisthenics, on the other hand, are a balanced combination of both.

So why should you do calisthenics? Here are a few reasons why:

Become stronger & leaner

It’s fun!

No gym membership costs

No fancy equipment required

Choose WHEN + WHERE to exercise

If you’re like most fitness beginners, you haven’t worked out in ages. And if you’re the type of person who hates learning complex things, you probably avoid the gym like the plague. The beauty of calisthenics is that it’s straight-forward. But don’t let the ‘easy-to-understand’ movements fool you. Calisthenics will kick your butt.

So how should a beginner start calisthenics training?

With the help of Madbarz, we’ve put together the ultimate beginner calisthenics workout plan you can start immediately:

1. MONDAY: No Equipment Day

Madbarz
No Equipment Workout

4 Rounds:

Max Plank (Hold plank for 30 seconds if you’re a complete beginner)

8 Squats

8 Lunges (each leg)

8 Push Ups

8 Laying Down Leg Raises

Max Mountain Climbers (Do 20 each leg if you’re just starting)

8 Pike Push Ups

This routine is the BEST WAY to start calisthenics because it doesn’t require a single equipment. You can do these in your living room, bedroom, office, in the park – wherever! These foundational exercises will help build up your strength and endurance to perform advanced movements in the future. Think of these as your calisthenic building blocks.

2. TUESDAY: Basic Beginner Day

basic beginner
Basic Beginner Workout

4 Rounds:

7 Close Hands Chin Ups

5 Pull Ups

6 Dips

15 Push Ups

5 Leg Raises

9 Jump Squats

15 Australian Pull Ups

This workout introduces you to calisthenic exercises that require some sort of bar to hang from. Pull up bars are cheap & you can easily get one online or pick one up at a sporting goods store. Most of them will fit your door-frame without causing damage. If you’re feeling outdoorsy, find a park near you that has bars or a playground!

3. WEDNESDAY: Rest Day!

The Biostrap Buzz

Sign up to our email newsletter to receive curated content on the latest news in digital health and health optimization. Plus, special access to Biostrap offers and community updates.

4. THURSDAY: On-The-Go Day

on the go
On-The-Go Workout

4 Rounds:

20 Wide Push Ups

20 Mountain Climbers

60 Seconds of Wall Sit

15 Clap Push Ups

30 Seconds of Superman Hold

30 Squats

60 Seconds of Plank

5. FRIDAY: Fat Removal Day

fat removal
Fat Removal Workout

4 Rounds:

100 Meter Run

5 Dips

45 Seconds of Jumping Jacks

8 Push Ups

30 Seconds of Alternating High Knees

30 Seconds of Mountain Climbers

15 Seconds of Plank

6. SATURDAY: Beginner HIIT DAY

We’re throwing in a beginner’s high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout because it’ll really boost your cardio & calisthenic stamina. HIIT sessions are also proven to be incredibly effective when it comes to fat loss.

4 Rounds:

15-second sprint (Run as fast as you can!)

45-second walk (Don’t stop in place. Keep walking)

1 Round:

30-second sprint (Run as fast as you can!)

1:30 seconds walk + recovery

4 Rounds:

15-second sprint (Run as fast as you can!)

45-second walk (Don’t stop in place. Keep walking)

1 Round:

30-second sprint (Run as fast as you can!)

1:30 seconds walk + recovery

7. SUNDAY: Rest Day!

Don’t forget to wear your Biostrap and share your calisthenics progress with the Biostrap community! We want to see you transform yourself into the strongest & healthiest version of you.