Sep 1, 2017Understanding strength and conditioning technology
Using a program such as Excel, it’s certainly possible for a coach to develop a record-keeping system for athletes. BFS took this a step further by developing a computer-aided system that not only records workouts, but automatically prescribes future workouts. The innovative software brought an additional and unexpected benefit by motivating athletes to exceed the computer’s expectations. This unique feature inspired Richard Knowley, director of computer programming at BFS, to call the program Beat the Computer.
The Beat the Computer program was a hit, freeing coaches from painstaking administrative work. Then BFS decided to take the program to the next level with individual and team reports, so that coaches and athletes could compare an athlete not only to current team members but also to the all-time leaders on the team and to BFS national standards. The result was Knowley’s Athletic Achievement Software, which was eventually combined with Beat the Computer and called Beat the Computer Pro.
The first goal of this latest software was to produce individual progress reports on all the major exercises and field tests in the BFS program. Each report is divided into three categories: Ironman Ranking, Power Ranking, and Recommendations.
The Ironman data shows the athlete’s performance in the core lifts, while the Power Ranking compares the field tests. The ranking, based on a score of 1 to 10, divides the results into a point value based on national standards, school grade level, and the ranking in the school. Finally, the report contains a computerized assessment area that provides recommendations based upon the athlete’s results, such as paying more attention to diet or flexibility.
The next goal of the program is to show athletes how they compare to current and past members in individual results. Athletes can choose to print a report that takes any of the benchmarks from the individual reports pertaining to current team members and provides top 10 lists of all the major core lifts and field tests, or they can select a report that provides a historical perspective by producing top 10 lists of the best performances in those tests in the history of the school.
The next level of technology that has improved the administration of the BFS program and eliminated paperwork is the BFS Set – Rep Log app. Just like our BFS Set – Rep Logbooks, coaches can use this to guide their athletes through the BFS program so they know exactly which lifts to do and how many sets and reps to perform. However, unlike the BFS Beat the Computer program, the weight lifted for each set is determined by the individual athlete based on past performance, so that the athlete takes more responsibility for his or her own program.
With the numerous responsibilities involved in coaching and the ever-increasing size of weight training classes, BFS wanted to find more efficient ways to motivate athletes, monitor their progress, and reduce paperwork without sacrificing quality coaching. Using computer-aided software such as Beat the Computer and the BFS Set – Rep Log app fulfills this goal.