Recent developments in technology has brought about advances in athletic performance and training methods. Gone are the days that training athletes with as much weight on the bar as possible was the guiding principal. Today’s athletes and trainers can use a multitude of different technologies and metrics to improve training and outcomes. With the use of a smart phone and Bluetooth transmitter has brought accurate and reliable data to the athlete and trainer.
One device that I use that has incrementally advanced my training methods and application is the portable and easy-to-use velocity based training (VBT) device called “The Beast”. This small, magnetic devices attaches to the bar and you perform the lift as you normally would. It sends a signal back to your phone that has the app open to determine how fast the bar is moving. The data is accurate, reliable and feedback in instantaneous.
VBT focuses on the speed of the lift rather than how much weight is on the bar. Bar speed is the key component in VBT as is most ground-based sports like football, baseball, volleyball, soccer and track. In one of my previous postings I spoke of the “Specificity Principle”. The specificity principle says that adaptations are specific to the demands of the exercise; train fast-play fast, train slow-play for example. That could be a bit of an oversimplification but essentially this is true.
There are several obvious benefits of using VBT. They are
- Goal Setting: I like to use SMART Goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time sensation. Using VBT, you can schedule your workout, and you can use the data to set and obtain goals.
- Workout Planning and Recording: The Beast app allows the user to plan, record and keep data. Once you have completed a workout you can choose to save the workout and it automatically syncs with your account. I have seen the athletes that I work with be more consistent and motivated to improve using VBT data to monitor and guide their training.
- Motivation: Using instant, quantifiable feedback in the form of speed or power (measured as meters per second or watts respectively) the athlete inherently tries to match or improve each repetition. Position your smart device to display data during the set.
- Auto-Regulation: Athletes who train will agree that there are days that everything feels great and days that training is physically difficult. VBT can instantly give feedback and you can adjust the associated loads to accommodate for micro-fluctuations observed in daily training.
I’m not a gizmo and gadget coach. I used scientific principals and data to drive my programming. I know with the highest degree of certainty using VBT data will improve results.