Updated: May 23
With the advent of smart phones and even smarter watches, technology has helped us measure how fast we run, how far we bike and the trajectory of our swim. Now, new technologies are helping to remove the guesswork in strength training.
Accelerometers are movement monitors that have the ability to capture the intensity of physical activity. The major function of an accelerometer is as a sensor that converts movement into electrical signals proportional to the muscular force producing motion.
Using this velocity-based training to assess athletes and drive training intent, I have seen it improve performance. It is a great tool to have in my coaching toolbox. It is also one you can use on your own to measure improved strength.
The product I use in private training sessions with my elite athletes is the PUSH Pro System. It helps get the most out of every training session. Attached to your arm, hips or barbell with a quick release wrap, an accelerometer measures velocity. Knowing the weight of the device being moved and its velocity, we then learn the amount of power being produced.
Strength, speed and endurance
When you want to get stronger, you strength train. When you want to move fast, you need to work on power. When you desire more stamina, you train endurance. Strength, speed and endurance. All these attributes are worked at different speeds. For example, strength is worked at a slower speed than power.
A trained coach can determine if someone is working at a weight that is too light or too heavy because of the speed the athlete is moving (and if the athlete is moving with proper form at that speed). Using the new technologies available, we can now track velocity and improve strength and athletic performance.