Sep 21, 2017
Weightroom Tech

New technology is impacting every area of our lives, and strength and conditioning is no exception. Everybody is looking to get an edge, but sometimes the latest technological trend is not what your training program really needs. Before investing time and money in order to bring a trendy tool to your athletes, Bryce Patterson, MS, CSCS, in an article for suggests you ask yourself a few questions to determine if it will truly help you accomplish your goals.

1. Is It Reliable?

Many new technologies may seem exciting, inexpensive, and easy to use, but none of this matters if it is not reliable. These tools are only valuable if they perform consistently and provide accurate readings. For example, if an athlete is using an electric scale and it says they weigh 150 pounds before practice, it should not say they are 180 pounds after practice. Obviously there might be some variation in weight, but clearly that margin of error makes the scale unreliable.

In general, less expensive technology is likely to be less reliable. But in order to get the best product, it may take a lot of money. There is an immense price range when it comes to new technologies, and sometimes the smartest move is to wait until it’s clear which product on the market is worth the price. It’s also helpful to do some research online and talk to other coaches to find out everything you can about a product’s reliability before you decide to spend the money.

2. Is It Practical?

The answer to this question is very much based on your situation and goals. How many athletes are you working with? What do you hope to get out of using the product? And how difficult is the product to use? Sometimes a device may be as simple as strapping it onto an athlete’s wrist or chest while they exercise. But if you don’t know what to do with the data that’s collected, or you are collecting data from over a hundred athletes, it may be impractical to even use it at all.

Remember that no matter what type of technology you hope to implement into your athletes’ training, it is likely going to take some extra time and effort in order to make it worthwhile. It’s unlikely to find a device that will seamlessly fit into your program. Instead, you will probably have to adapt to the device so that you can get the exact data and results you are looking for. If all of this seems to be distracting from your duties as a coach or sucking up too much time, it might not be worth it. But if you find something that is a practical fit for your program, it can be a tremendously valuable tool.

3. Is It Impactful?

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in going after the newest technology that looks the best or seems the coolest. But what’s truly important is whether it’s going to have a positive impact on your program. Whether you are using a device to track progress in the weightroom or monitor your athletes’ sleep, recovery, and nutrition, the value of this data comes down to how you use it. Before subscribing to a new technology, have a clear idea in mind of how and why you want to use it to make a difference in you program.

Once you have a clear goal in mind, search out the product that is designed specifically for that purpose. There are many devices that seem great because they can track a million different metrics, but make sure they can accurately track the specific things that matter to you. If you have an established plan for what to do with the data you collect, then you will be able to get the most out of the technology.

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