After reading Mladen’s blog, I decided that I should share my positive findings with Gymaware, since power is making a comeback in sports. His post on olympic lifting was excellent, and I hope he writes more.Power training and power testing are sometimes not the same, and here is a great way to integrate both monitoring and actual interventions into a good program. I am not against force plates and contact mats, but jump testing and power training must be considered as separate entities because some athletes can jump well without training. If you are not lifting, most athletes will be exposed, especially on the power and strength lifts. I have received many texts and emails regarding Eliteform and other systems, and I suggest one save their money and invest into tools that are more portable and flexible.
Testing is training and training is testing in many ways, but sometimes passive monitoring (HRV, TMG, blood analysis) is more helpful because the strain of testing can drive athletes deeper into fatigue. I just don’t get why the minds behind omegawave had such demanding jump tests to gage power. Even if the athlete was ready, you spend precious time and energy testing a gross test instead of getting better with smarter options. Here are the benefits to using squat jumps with a light load and my sick, dying, dead assessment that I named after my days lifeguarding in the early 1990s. The system includes interventions:
The test is not draining enough to nail the coffin to tired athletes
The test is portable and simple to do with everyone at all levels
The test does have enough training effect to get an intrinsic benefit to the time used
The data is wirelessly sent to an iphone or ipad and can be stored in the cloud
Administrating the test is just as fast as the just jump mat and if one is training that day the gymaware units can be integrated into the platforms for olympic lifts and dare I say back squats. I rarely adjust workouts because I have the luxury of seeing athletes 6 out of 7 days, but if you are getting surprises and seeing athletes less frequently I choose three options if athletes are not ready to go hard.
If the athlete is tired we do the same rep scheme and lower the load 10-20% lower and work technique. If they are dying we do the same thing but cut off the last set. If dead we do the warm-up weights and lighter exercises and remind them of sleep, nutrition, and lifestyle. Days off are those with symptoms of illness that could be communicable and not worth stressing them. I do think light exercise tends to make people feel better so I am not a fan of telling them to go home unless they have great attendance and could use a day off. This is only for those that are lifting heavy and are training seriously. Many times I get athletes that lunges and single leg movements are the primary stimulus so it’s not necessary for people with poor training backgrounds to do this type of monitoring. You have to train hard and frequently to worry about recovery.
I am a huge fan of Gymaware and find it to be a far smarter investment than all of the expensive systems out there. With the gymaware app integrating to the iPhone or iPod touch, you can spend a fraction of the money outfitting a gym and the data is just as valuable. The people behind gymaware are outstanding and have some good videos on monitoring recovery and training here.