Here I introduced the rationale for using the LPT and the reliability reported in the literature. I also discussed the importance of athlete education and immediate feedback as underpinning the implementation of this technology to training programs. An important point is that I use the GymAware every session , (and I am fortunate to have a few versions on the gym floor at any one time).
The GymAware is not a device I save for testing – I use it every training session – and as a result, I have been able to develop a reasonable amount of data on my athletes in a short space of time. An athlete can only have a PB if it was recorded on the GymAware (“if it wasn’t used – it did not happen”).
I believe that using the GymAware for every session is an important factor in long-term training analysis and developing player education (not just how to use the GymAware, but helps with education about power, symmetry, recovery and general principles of training and adaptation).
In this two part article, I will outline how I manage this day-to-day use of GymAware in recording and analysing every gym training session. In part one, I will outline some of the key set-up and logistical considerations and in part two some of the analysis, feedback and athlete education points I have used.
Set-up for daily monitoring with GymAware.
Some of these may be simple, but they have ensured a smooth, athlete centred implementation which enables my athletes to use the devices every session.
- If you have more than one PowerTool, label and pair it with one iPad only. This will ensure a quick set-up prior to a session and also allows my athletes to set them.
- Have your athlete list updated, including bodyweight. As mentioned in the last article, many exercises calculate power based on system mass – that includes bodyweight.
- The latest version of GymAware lets you add athletes whilst on the gym floor, which is a great feature (previously, this was a task that could only be achieved via the web). However, I have found the creation of a phantom athlete very handy. I now use Zed Athlete (because this name will be last) and it is quite useful in the following situations:
- On occasion, a coach will bring in on short notice an athlete (experienced or not) and you need to capture a bit of information to see how they compare to the squad. They may actually join the squad at a later date and now you have their original data.
- For the times when you just want to personally play around with the GymAware on a new exercise, or feature, so you don’t corrupt someone else’s data.
- Charging station: this might sound obvious, but we have on the desk a power board with all the PowerTool and iTouch leads ready to charge after each session. The iTouch uses power very quickly on the floor and even in standby, so as soon as the session is done, turn it off and charge it. I also have the GymAware app on my phone as a back-up if one of the touches doesn’t want to cooperate.
- Specific exercise lists. The excellent GymAware set-up on-line permits the creation of customised workouts. I have modified these to simply have two exercise lists – upper and lower body, as shown below. Within each, I have listed only those exercises that will be used on that day.
Once you have the everything set up, you are ready to start using GymAware to record each athlete’s lifts on a daily basis. You will then want to use the results recorded to feed back into your program, to motivate, educate and monitor your athletes. I’ll be discussing my approach to these tasks in part two of this article.