The use of tracking devices in weight lifting workouts has become more commonplace in recent years. More specifically, these devices continue to help velocity-based training evolve more than ever. Now, a brief look at VBT might leave you wondering if you need technology at all to improve the speed of your workout. But the fact is the workout velocity touches several metrics, ignoring which can prove counterproductive in the both long and short term.
For all these reasons, companies are consistently making serious efforts to improve the way to measure and manage the speed of barbells and other types of weights. In general, VBT technology for weight lifting enables you to perform exceptionally well during competitive sports. Remember, high-performance athletics involve the velocity of your movements just as they involve lifting weight.
Current Barbell Tracking Technology – Limitations and Potentials
Barbell tracking is all about motion detection instead of a kinetic measure of power and force. Hence, an athlete or coach must keep in mind that any user error can lead to wrong calculations, which can affect training in the end. These devices are usually physically connected to the barbell. And if you want to use a camera system or a wrist sensor to make indirect measurements, you are going to have to set up specific protocols.
Although there are machines available to measure movements without requiring connecting to a barbell, their validity remains questionable due to the lack of development. So, no matter what technology you intend to use with your weight lifting exercises, ensure that the devices you use are properly validated.
All training devices come with pitfalls and strengths, so you have to make sure that you use the best of those devices and avoid using weaker features.
For instance, linear position transducers help measure distances very effectively, as they are tethered directly to the weight being moved. Another feature used in these machines is an accelerometer, which is not quite good at measuring distances because it uses indirect calculations. However, it is good at detecting rates of speed change. Therefore, they are a good option for explosive motions.
Whether or not a device is trustable depends on a few factors, including the device’s validity and reliability, its effectiveness when used for acute training, and its performance when used for chronic adaptation of training. Generally, lack of validation makes a device’s effectiveness questionable in both the long and short term. Athletes can get useful awareness through analog estimates, but this technique is not quite helpful without objective feedback.
Moreover, most tracking devices available on the market are validated for only a few workouts – generally squat exercises and bench presses. Some systems are proven helpful for measuring jump testing and jump squats. However, no device comes with a validation that it is good for all exercises.
Sometimes, the shortcomings of sensors are compensated with algorithms. For instance, measures based on cameras and accelerometers tend to be imperfect because they are indirect. Managing these measures with algorithms makes them more predictable, but you cannot call them precise.
The quality of components used in a device has a huge say in this entire scenario. A device that can show even the slightest change of motion with the smallest movement is generally more reliable than the one that has to guess a move due to the inability of the sensor. On the other hand, devices with high-quality sensors but sloppy algorithms are not a good choice either.
In the end, even studies that validate a device or its components should be followed carefully, because studies do have nuances.
Barbell Tracking – What Are The Emerging Methods?
The market evolution of the VBT technology for weight lifting depended significantly on the progress in both partial and comprehensive measurements of exercise repetitions. Although some companies claim that they measure the path or trajectory of the motion of a barbell, not much research is available to validate their claims. The barbell path is best measurable with camera systems, which supply data to the algorithm for path measurement or estimation.
Software and Third-Party Support
Software and user experience play a significant role in successful training. This requirement is as vital as the quality of hardware, without which you cannot expect your device to provide you with the correct calculation. With robust software support, your device will perform complex calculations and measurements to provide you with the most trustable information.
The good thing is several athlete management systems have joined hands with hardware vendors. Software companies have also stepped forward to develop APIs to help companies get the best out of their hardware. The eventual beneficiary in this regard is a coach or an athlete who actually has to use the product. With hardware and software companies partnering, the load of delivering quality performance gets divided. As a result, users are set to get the best of both worlds.
What VBT Device To Trust For Your Weight Lifting Program?
All the variables discussed above should explain what kind of device an athlete or coach should use to track performance. Generally, it boils down to the type of workout to be managed. Even if we talk about weight lifting in specific, this subcategory still involves a lot of exercises and programs that you might not be able to track with one device. So your best bet is to look for a piece of technology that offers accurate results for a wide range of exercises.
One of the options to choose is Vitruve, a device utilizing the best VBT technology for weight lifting made to empower your professional weight training regimen. This device uses a high-quality linear position transducer to help you measure your barbell’s movement most accurately. On top of that, this device comes with a highly user-friendly interface powered by a smart algorithm. So, whether you are a coach or athlete, you can benefit from this device to track your movements in the weight training room.