As more innovation and technology enters our daily lives, they bring better ways to improve our performance training. The days of using a spiral notebook in gyms and weight rooms have been replaced by a dizzying array of apps and trackers to log sets, reps, weights, and more.
Heart rate monitoring straps have been replaced by smart workout watches that track not only training heart rates but heart rate activity 24 hours per day.
In the weight room, strength training is enhanced by the use of velocity monitors that monitor the speed and velocity of reps. Power can now be tracked rep by rep.
Recovery has become synonymous with training, and technology and innovation have created ways now to track our bodies' recovery cycles.
Tracking these recovery cycles has allowed us to tailor and customized our training approach on a daily basis. We can create entire training plans according to how we recover.
With so much technology available, its easy to get lost in a sea of trial and error trying to find out what works best for you. Here are two guidelines when deciding to use technology and innovation to your performance training advantage.
What do you want to track?
The first guideline is the GOAL: what do you want to accomplish? The goal can be wide-ranging, depending on your sport or area of emphasis. Runners may be looking at ways to track distance, so wearable GPS technology, along with heart rate monitoring capabilities, would be their cup of tea. A soccer player may be looking at increasing strength and power in the weight room, so a velocity tracker and lifting journal app would be more of what they are looking for.
Both of the above athletes may be highly interested in recovery, so a 24/7 recovery tracker would be an idea for both to monitor rest and recovery.
The key is in determining your training goal and seeing what kind of technology fits that can help you get to achieve it.
How do you plan to use the information that technology brings?
Having the technology and being able to track something that gives you specific measurements is great. Now how do you plan to use it?
Data obtained from performance technology tracking sources can be wide and varied.
GPR technology can give you distance, top and low speeds. Heart rate technology can give you real-time heart rate info during training and when you are at rest. Recovery Technology can give you an entire array of information such as how well you sleep, how your body deals with stress, how nutrition plays a role in your recovery, and more.
Tons of information can be obtained from technology. The key is in sifting through the info obtained to determine what can be useful to help get to your end desired goal. And sometimes, it may not be one goal, but several small goals in your overall plan that technology can help you to achieve one milestone at a time.
Performance Training Tech examples
Below are some performance technology sources and a quick overview of what they each do:
- Whoop Band Worn 24/7, Whoop Band optimizes the way you recover, train, & sleep. It helps you to set training goals by monitoring daily Heart Rate Variability and does live Heart Rate Tracking. It measures real time strain and stress on your body from exercise, activity, and throughout the entire day. Whoop organizes data around HRV and sleeps in order to give users scores on their "Strain" and "Recovery" via app system on smartphones.
- Push Band Tracker This arm-worn velocity tracker is synced to smartphones or iPad and gives feedback on each rep performed. A great way to measure the movement and velocity of the training load in real-time. A constant workout barometer that lets you know if loads are optimal and help you train and be mindful of HOW you move each rep.
- Train Heroic This is primarily created for strength coaches. However, there is currently a platform available for individual athletes. With this training app, strength training reps, sets, and loads can be tracked during training sessions. This creates a unique training history for each user. It provides a great way to track training progress over time.
There are a host of other means and tools that harnesses the power of technology and innovation for performance training. The "trick" is in finding out how these resources can help you reach your training goal(s) and how they fit into your training arsenal.