It comes as no surprise that in recent years, many pro teams have incorporated tech into their training programs. From teams like the Flyers to associations like the NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association), PUSH is being used with athletes all over. Today, we'll provide some of the reasons behind the use of PUSH in strength & conditioning facilities across North America.
1 - Stop Counting and Focus on Your Form
As a strength coach, I can tell you that there’s more to training then just reps, sets and load (metrics are important too, but we’ll get to that). Strength training movements (e.g. squats) require skill, like learning how to hit a baseball. If your main focus is on counting how many reps you’re doing, you’re less in tune with your body and missing various cues you should be focusing on.
Focus on 2-3 cues when performing complex strength training movements and let PUSH count the reps for you. When you feel your mechanics breaking down or when fatigue sets in, that’s your indication to move on to the next set/exercise.
2 - Pushing Yourself Has a Whole New Meaning
Research continuously suggests that for optimal gains in power, strength and muscle size, one of the key factors is to move the load you’re working with (whether it be heavy or light) with maximal effort. In a bench press exercise, this means pressing the load with as much speed as you possibly can. Seems logical right, but so many of us fail to do this.
When you get through the sticking point of an exercise (the point where you feel like you’re barely able to overcome the resistance), the lift doesn’t end there. It’s important to continue applying speed after the sticking point, almost as if you’re trying to throw the load upward. Try it for yourself, perform a bench press using the regular approach and do another rep as if your aim was to throw the bar through the ceiling. With PUSH’s velocity feedback, you’ll see the difference.
3 - Stop Relying on Your Memory
“I think I deadlifted 315 last week” - how many times have you heard or said this? Most of us think we’ll remember all of the exercises, loads, reps and sets that we performed on a particular day, the problem is, we don’t.
Progressively altering various aspects of your workouts, whether it be reps or load, will get you the gains you’re looking for. This is arguably the most important principle of training theory. PUSH’s timeline function let’s you review previous sessions so you can modify your upcoming workouts accordingly. Remember, adding as little as 5 pounds to your squat from one week to the next for 3 months could add 60 pounds to your squat - think of the gains in power and strength.
4 - Instant Feedback
Getting to the gym is only half the battle - figuring out when to increase/decrease the load or when to up the reps is an important step that will help optimize your session based on the way your neuromuscular system is firing on that specific day. Without a trainer analyzing your every move, this becomes a challenge even for the most seasoned lifter.
PUSH Assist can’t compete with the knowledge and experience of a strength coach but it surely is a sophisticated, research based system that will get you a whole lot further than guesswork. Pick your training goal, choose the exercises that work best for you and let your velocity output dictate what your loads should be.
5 - Research-Based Metrics at Your Disposal
Although the field of sport science is still relatively young - we’ve come a long way from thinking that how much you lift, is the main determinant of strength/performance gains. The human body is complex interconnected system and the more biometric feedback we receive, the more questions we can have answered. Bottom line, metrics matter.
PUSH reports the metrics that matter. You don’t have to know every detail behind the science of various performance metrics but you should know their practical significance. Let's take a look.
You may not realize it, but knowing how fast you can lift a load is critical indicator of how fresh or fatigued you are. Let’s say that last week your average deadlift velocity was 0.7m/s but this week, at the same load, you’re only moving the load at 0.5m/s. In one week did you really lose that much strength? Unless you’ve been in bed for 7 straight days and nights, chance are there are other reasons for your decreased output. It could be poor sleep, skipping meals or simply training too hard. Remember, to adapt to your training, rest and regeneration are a MUST!
Ok so your velocity is consistent from one week to the next, so how else can you check your progress? Look at your power. Because this metric takes into account both velocity and force (or your load), if both go up, power follows. And I think we all know how important power is in sport these days - if you don’t, just watch 30 seconds of professional football to find out.
Perhaps the most telling metric of them all, work aggregates every rep of every set, providing a snapshot of your entire workout in a single metric. Why is this so valuable? It gives you an indication of how much variety you have in your workouts - and variety is another key training principle. Over the course of a week, if your work output is consistent, you aren’t providing enough variety to your workouts. Too much discrepancy (i.e. super high work in one session followed by super low work in another) isn’t ideal either.
6 - It Looks Badass