The HR2VP app upgrades your heart rate monitor to a power meter by using an algorithm. You can now use Zwift without having a power meter, or use it when exercising (running) with only your heart rate monitor. But does it work properly and does it add value? Read it in this review!
Why convert Heart Rate to Power
At first you might think converting heart rate to power is impossible and useless. At least that was my first thought. But let’s see how it works and dive into some possibilities. HR2VP is an app that you can easily connect to your ANT+ or Bluetooth heart rate monitor. It converts your heart rate data into virtual power (VP). You can connect it live to your Garmin, Wahoo or other device. Afterwards the app sends your workout to Strava. You can also connect HR2VP to Zwift as if it is a power meter. You can therefore Zwift without having a smart trainer or power meter.
But what if you already have a power meter or smart trainer? You can then use the HR2VP app whenever you exercise without your power meter. For instance at your gym, or when running, or when using your mountain bike when you only have a power meter at your race bike. Why? Because you probably prefer to analyze all your data based on power. Especially when you work with metrics like Training Stress Score (TSS), Fitness (CTL), Functional Threshold Power (FTP), Acute- or Chronic Training Load (ATL/CTL), Intensity Factor (IF) or any other power based metric.
Does it work? Virtual Power vs Actual Power
CycleOps tried to get power data out of there PowerCal heart rate monitor, but that did not work out well. To increase accuracy compared to CycleOps, HR2VP added individual parameters for their algorithm such as resting heart rate, maximum HR, FTP and weight.
But still, how could you predict power based on heart rate, when heart rate has a delay to intensity and a drift during your workout. Simply by adding this to your algorithm, HR2VP thought! They therefore claim to put your watts in the right training zone within 10 seconds. Let’s take you through some pictures.
In the beginning I thought converting heart rate to power is interesting, but not very useful nor accurately possible. Now I think it is useful, even (or maybe especially) when you already use a power meter. Having all workouts expressed in power is a big advantage to mixing heart rate and power data. I also could not believe how accurate the algorithm already is. You can use it afterwards to track training load, but also live when your intervals are longer than about 60 seconds.
When I tested HR2VP I thought of a way to increase accuracy on a personal level. Why not feed the algorithm with both heart rate and power, whenever you use both? So it is more accurate when you only use heart rate. Before I could suggest this idea I already received an email from HR2VP founder Grégory Cordier with a link where you can add a workout with heart rate and power to better estimate your FTP. That looks like a very interesting starting point in the further development of this heart rate to virtual power app. You can download the app from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Try it for free or purchase it for about 2 euros per month. Let us know what you think 🙂
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Founder of Molab, Human Movement Scientist and Freelance Content Marketer.