Anyone using a muscle oxygen sensor for complementing TR workouts

I have been increasing my ftp above my ramp test by 2-3% per week since I was not getting into the orange or Red zones. I am still able to perform the workouts adequately. I will continue until I can’t perform the workouts at 100%. I have also increased my recovery ride at the end to ensure I hit the blue zone and back to green zone to ensure oxygen recovery. This would probably happen if you got off the bike as well, but I like to have it on bike and part of my data set. Plus I agree with Chad that recovery on bike provides benefits, even if they haven’t been scientifically measured yet.

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Have you found you need to increase the length of your warm up as well?

Yes and no.

No - I am able to go from green to blue and back to green within Chad’s current warmups. And that is what humon wants to happen.

Yes - The humon app typically suggests a longer warmup at the end of the ride. But I think this is their default suggestion and the app does not seem very smart (yet). I hope they improve the analysis.

Yes - My RPE is higher earlier in the workouts and goes down the longer I ride. My later intervals are much stronger, which suggests to me I could have a better workout with a longer warm up. However, I also must consider how much more time I have to spend working out.

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I’ve had a humon hex for almost a year now, and still strap it on before every ride. I have a garmin 1030, and it’s on several pages of the 1030.

I changed my warmups for sure once I got the hex. Previously my warmup consisted of puttering around for a couple minutes at the most before getting on with the work. Now I see SmO2 values rising for up to 15-20 minutes at the start of the ride. I also include some high intensity 30-60s sections in the warmup, because after these, the SmO2 values rise higher than they were in previous steady state section of the warmup.

During the workout, it helps me answer the question why do my legs feel so damn garbage right now? Oh, I went from green to orange and am now in the red. So much of fighting the internal battle during workouts is (for me at least) answering the question of why does this feel so shitty right now? Even if I know it should feel really hard during an interval, getting a measured response that backs my feeling is gratifying, and helps me to keep at it.

There have been workouts where in the past I would think you know what, the legs just aren’t into it today. With the hex, if I see I am in the red during the first interval, I can easily say to myself just get through this, wait for the SmO2 to come up, and see how you feel. The explanation it provides to me gives me the nudge to just keep going, it’ll come around.

The hex can tell you if you are on a good day. There have been days where the values move quickly, in and out of green and red and blue, and I know that things are primed and ready. You know those days when your HR moves up and down quickly? It’s like that, but better.

So I am glad I have the hex, I use it much like I use heart rate, but to me it is more interesting.

It’s unlike power, in that the absolute values move from day to day. I don’t really pay attention to the absolute values compared to previous values, unless they are way different, which sometimes happens and usually a recalibration and double check on placement will fix.

I don’t place it on the quad like the website shows. I have it off to the side on the thickest part of the vastus lateralis. To ensure placement day to day, about once a week I mark the spot with a sharpie, but I know where to put it.

The hex is much more useful indoors than on an outside ride. Riding inside is just so much more precise.

If you are into numbers, give the Hex a try. It’s cheap, and you’ll like it. Once you start the ride, you don’t even feel the thing.


Forgot this link that explains the colors I mentioned

Agree - the warmup thingy is really an eye opener - very cool to see what s going on behind the watts and the HR during the first 30min

Apparent increase in oxygenation during warm-up = increase in skin blood flow.

Thank you for this valuable information.

Personally, I do not look at the colors after warm up. I find seeing the orange and red increases my RPE and decreases the effectiveness of my training. I do however like to look at it post ride for analysis. I look again when I am cooling down.

I also would to see the graph expand in the app to a higher resolution.

Resurrecting this thread since Humon announced recently that they are shutting down. Not really a huge surprise. Their business model was similar to the BSX Insight. Once you sell the hardware to the early adopters, there isn’t much revenue stream so it’s hard to stay afloat.

Anyway, I’ve been using the Humon strictly for their ramp FTP test on the iPhone ap. This quite consistently gave me about 5-6W higher result than the 20’ test and the newer TR ramp test to failure. Typically, I would do the TR ramp test first and Humon second.

Now that Humon shut down their cloud service and back end, the iphone Ap will stop working. This means no automated FTP test. I downloaded all my FTP tests from the Humon website as .csv files with the hope that I could figure out their formula. So far, no dice. My SmO2 curves during the Humon ramp do not look quite as perfect as some of the examples posted in various forums. There’s not an obvious step-off to mark LT2.

On the bright side, the Humon IQ fields on Garmin still work so I’ve started messing around with them. I agree with the posts above that the color indicator is a bit wonky.

Example: There are two Humon data fields available for download to Garmin: SmO2 interval and SmO2 endurance. I have them both showing on the garmin. During Priest +3 (95% x 10’ x 5 with 30" hard starts), both fields show the same SmO2 but the “interval” field is green and the “endurance” field is orange once I’ve recovered from the hard start and stays that way for the entire 10’ interval.

As far as figuring out limiters. Not sure if this link was posted earlier, but it gives a pretty straightforward explanation of how you can find what’s holding you back:

Going from that to a specific plan to alter your physiology is quite a bit harder.

I was using it with my iPhone - just got a edge 520plus, can not pair the damn thing. Any advice?

I had it working with the Edge 830 yesterday.

IIIRC, you have to turn the Humon on with one press - red LED. Then press the button rapidly twice. It should then flash blue. Almost immediately, the 830 began showing SmO2 in the Humon data field I downloaded from ConnectIQ. There was no calibrate prompt. Perhaps the double click assumes you’re holding still for it to calibrate.

Interestingly, when I downloaded the .fit file from the Garmin into GoldenCheetah, it showed all the values GoldenCheetah supports for the Moxy: SmO2 and tHb too. Even though Hemoglobin is not displayed on Garmin, the Humon is sending these data.

Thanks - much appreciated. Unfortunately, already tried, and re-tried. Still wont connect.

First, I’m assuming you are using the humon connectiq data field and not trying to add a sensor.

In Garmin connect go into the settings of the humon connectiq data field and make sure the serial # field is empty. This will allow it to pick up a new humon, then once it connects it will fill in the serial # automatically.

If that still doesn’t work, you can try hard entering the serial # into that setting. But, there’s a particular format that I can’t look up right now. I think its just the first 8 characters of serial with a space after 4th character. If you need to try this step, let me know and I can look up the correct format.

Thanks! I made it work by just de-installing the thing and re-install it, and follow the procedure. :slight_smile:

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I tried the Humon iphone ap today and it still launched and had the old workouts in there. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do their LT test using just the Garmin data field which supposedly will remain functional for a while longer.

If you look at your old LT tests in the Humon ap, the point at which the SmO2 turns red on the graph is the time point they use to give your LT. It was possible to go from this to W with the formula:

LT (Watts) = 0.1661 * time (seconds) + 30

So, if your graph turns red at exactly 24:00 (1440 seconds), your LT = (0.1661 * 1440) + 30 = 269 W.

This is based on the Humon protocol of starting at 30W and increasing by 30W every 3 minutes.

The question is, whether either the interval or endurance data field in Garmin will turn red at the same point as it did in the ramp test protocol. I mentioned above that the two fields will display the same SmO2 but not show the same color. So, the formula for determining the color is more complex.

There is a simplicity to doing a LT test that you can stop right at LT without needing to hang on until you vomit or fall off the bike.

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Interesting. Thanks for the detailed info!! I purchased my Humon 3 months ago and I never tried their LT test. Do you feel the number it outputs is comparable to other testing methods?

I found the Humon consistently 5-6W higher than the 20’ test which is what I used to use or the new TR ramp test.

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So I did a ramp test today. I have a long list of lame excuses but bottom line is I bailed too early and know I coulda/shoulda pushed further. I’ve been using TR for a few years now and have a pretty good feel for how well my FTP is set, based primarily on whether over/unders hurt on the overs and start to feel better on the unders.

I wore my recently acquired (yeah - just before they folded up shop) Humon Hex. Interestingly, when SMO2 turned orange and then leveled off for a minute or so before heading south towards a switch to red, the average power for the “level” period was just a bit above where I’d guessed my FTP to be. I’d expected about a 3% bump, and that minute was about 4.5%.

Yes it’s entirely possible that I looked for a data point that supported my expected result and made me feel better about having wimped out early on my test, but I’m going to try bumping FTP 3% and see how the second half of MV Gen’l Build goes. If O/U’s seem easy I’ll try the 4.5%.

I also realize I’m heading into more VO2 Max intervals where FTP may be a bit less relevant, but will follow up with a note here if it turns out I’ve missed by a mile.

Hopefully this thread will end up to be a good spot for ongoing Humon Hex info sharing as their website is eventually going to go dark. FWIW the iPhone app is still hanging in there today.

I’ve continued to mess with Humon to hopefully keep it somewhat functional once they turn everything off. The iphone ap still worked today. I ran both TR’s ramp test and Humon’s (30W increments x 3’ going one interval (30W) above estimated FTP). The two values were within 1 W of each other. Almost too good to be true.

My initial hope was that while doing the ramp, the Humon data field(s) on the Garmin would turn red right at FTP power or perhaps by some reproducible offset. No dice.
Won’t bother with the details but those colors are a mess and it’s not a simple change from green to red as they SmO2 graph Humon gives you with your FTP result would imply.

Plan B was to record the SmO2 and power on the Garmin while performing the tests, import everything into Golden Cheetah and look at the data. Since I know the FTP that the two tests spit out, maybe there is some fractional decrease in SmO2 or slope of the curve that Humon uses to calculate out FTP. Still parsing this data but it doesn’t look too promising so far.

Best would be if Humon just released their algorithm so you could do Plan B without trying to reverse engineer it. For example: FTP is watts when SmO2 drops to 90% below max SmO2 for at least 3 seconds or whatever.