WEIGHT ROOM TECHNOLOGY PURCHASE PROCESS
Deciding to invest in technology is a big decision for any program. Whether the school is well-funded, the purchase is based on donations, or a STEM grant is part of the purchasing process, figuring out how to allocate funds and justify the value of the cost of technology is no small task. Justifying that purchase for a weight room, where maybe ⅓ of the total student body frequents, is often even harder.
Perch currently has a many customers who have gone through a similar purchase process. We want to help shed some light on the purchase process for programs that may be strapped for funds, to help make it easier for coaches and administrators to incorporate.
Ultimately, we are here to help you every step of the way from providing resources and materials, to being on calls with decision makers. Whatever you need!
WHAT IS VBT? VBT is a way to program strength training that uses the speed of a barbell or implement or body to dictate external load, instead of an arbitrary percentage of a rep max. Using velocity zones to train for specific traits, athletes are able to train with precision for specific adaptations.
WHAT IS WEIGHT ROOM TECHNOLOGY? Weight room technology is simply technology used in the weight room to provide objective data points regarding athlete performance to strength and conditioning practitioners.
HOW VBT AND WEIGHT ROOM TECHNOLOGY HELPS ATHLETES EXCEL
Injury Prevention: Both Velocity Based Training (or VBT) and other weight room technology and is able to account for fatigue levels and daily readiness. Athletes' daily readiness can rapidly fluctuate based on hormones, diet, stress, sleep, games & competitions, home life, school work, and plenty of other things. By ensuring athletes train within a specific zone, and adjust the load to stay in that zone, we are ensuring their health and safety, regardless of daily fluctuations. We can also track their long term progress in this way. Moreover, this can help create an open dialogue between coaches and athletes to get to the bottom of any issues that may be happening outside the weight room
Autoregulation: This fancy term just means athletes are able to regulate their loads based on velocity zones. If they have a set velocity zone (let’s say strength-speed as the trait, so 0.75m/s - 1.0m/s) they are aiming for, and are consistently lifting underneath that zone, they need to take some weight off of the barbell to stay within that zone and stay training for that trait. And the inverse is true too. Using a VBT device, autoregulation is enabled in your weight room. This keeps athletes safe and healthy and performing optimally inside and outside the weight room. This means more opportunities to perform and succeed.
Neuromuscular Adaptations: Early adaptations for athletes with younger training ages are more neuromuscular than musculature. This just means they are still learning patterns efficiently, instead of growing muscle. With objective VBT feedback, athletes can train at lighter loads and higher volumes, to groove the neuromuscular patterns more frequently, while continually monitoring fatigue and providing the appropriate stimulus for specific adaptations. The nature of VBT is autoregulation, for athletes learning movement patterns at submaximal loads, higher volume will lead to quicker adaptation if done safely. This is important at any level of competition where adding load to dysfunctional movement patterns can put athletes at greater risk for injury.
HOW TO JUSTIFY PURCHASING WEIGHT ROOM TECHNOLOGY
Student Athlete Safety: For all of the reasons we mentioned above (autoregulation, fatigue monitoring, injury prevention) VBT and weight room technology can help promote athlete safety. Inside the weight room, velocity devices can serve as an additional set of eyes, helping coaches who may have limited resources, and more athletes than they can observe at once. And because velocity devices and other forms of weight room technology can account for fatigue and readiness, athletes are much less likely to overtrain in the weight room, leaving them prepared to perform on their field of play, instead of too tired or at risk of injury.
Inter Curriculum Benefits: One of the best things we have seen our coaching partners do is include the rest of the school in this purchase. When administrators see weight room technology in use, they see expensive devices for the weight room and thus a small population of the student body. But when the rest of the student body is able to benefit from this tech, it opens up many opportunities. Read some examples below!
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Include the entire school in your decision making process. With everyone bought in, from educators to administrators to coaches, a large purchase makes a lot more sense.
- STEM Grants are readily available across the country for incorporating technology. Weight rooms are in essence just classrooms and can enhance education and enthusiasm for STEM in students across the population who may not see the benefits of learning without an athletic lens.
- Safety and wellness is the number one reason VBT is gaining in popularity, it is a tool that can help increase the health and safety of student athletes, which is huge in a setting where daily fluctuations are incredibly vast
- Donors help with larger technology purchases. Perch has a donor form and we are always happy to do in-services with donors to help you pitch the value of velocity based training technology
- Include the statistics department. Have stats students build athlete profiles based on the data Perch collects and track progress over time.
- Include the marketing or journalism departments. Have students create incredible photos and videos highlighting the technology and the benefits it has to offer.
- Include the anatomy and physiology departments. Literally putting flesh and bone onto muscle fiber types and enhancing student understanding of force, power, and strength.
- Include the computer science and information technology departments. Assess and evaluate the technology and software behind it, and come up with ideas of their own for innovative solutions.
- Use this technology to get otherwise unmotivated students and student athletes to get excited about science, technology, and engineering, by painting a picture of how to incorporate STEM into their passions and pursue careers they may never have considered.