5 Things To Consider Before Purchasing a Velocity Based Training Device

If you’re reading this article you’re probably in the process of uncovering which Velocity Based Training device is best for you. When we first released GymAware 20 years ago there were only two systems to choose from. These days the market is flooded and we maintain the best approach is to buy once and buy well. 

We have spent decades talking people through their purchasing decisions, this has informed how our products have developed over time. As best as we can, we have summarised our experience into the following 5 factors. We suggest you consider these before buying a Velocity Based Training device. 

1. REPEATABILITY AND RELIABILITY 

Accurate measurements are paramount if you want to make training decisions based on data. Just as importantly, trust and buy-in will diminish if the people using the system (athletes and coaches) realise the numbers are wrong. 

VBT is proven to be an excellent training methodology. Coaches can quickly individualize programs, quantify intensity and account for everyday fatigue with an objective metric. We question how you could implement velocity based training if your VBT system is inaccurate. How can you confidentiality push an athlete, or stop them training, if there is 10% error or more in the readings? We don’t believe this improves on the status quo. 

Based on our own research, measurement error could result in you or your athletes receiving a vastly different training volume or load compared to the intended outcome. For example, in one series of tests with a competitor product we observed an athlete regularly push out to 11 reps, when the control (GymAware) indicated they should have stopped at rep five. 

It’s often hard to know if your device is inaccurate just by looking at the numbers. This is why independent research is so important. And if you look into it you will see over and over again that GymAware is one of a small number of suitably validated, reliable products. And in that small number, it outperforms time and time again. 

2. EASE OF USE

Another key consideration is ease of use. Introducing technology in the weight room can be challenging and could easily become a distraction or a frustration. 

Ideally you want a system that is going to make your life easier and is simple to use. 

So consider things like: 

  • Can you use the product straight out of the box? Is the software easy to follow and does it seem logical? 
  • Do you need to create your exercise library first? By default your system should have a large inbuilt exercise library of all the common types of lifts. 
  • Is it easy to set up? Can you travel with it? How portable is it? 
  • Does it often require calibration? Let’s hope not!
  • Look for a system that has minimal physical interactions when training. Do you need to manually press START and STOP for every set? Do you have to pause between reps to wait for the system? How will that work in your busy weight room?
  • Will the system auto step you through a pre planned workout? Can you easily program workouts in advance? 
  • Do you need to be connected to WIFI when lifting? 

One thing we really recommend is to download the FLEX app and see what it’s like, even if you don’t have the device yet. This will really show you what sets us apart. 

3. VALUE 

The bottom line value is extremely important. Note the word VALUE and not COST!

The device has to be affordable, however it still needs to perform the basic functions that it was designed to do. And it needs to do this without hidden costs, poor user experience, or cheap construction. 

Consider things like:

  • Is the device robust? Does it look and feel like it’s going to last for years? Can the battery and parts be individually replaced or is it a throw away item after the warranty period has expired?
  • Can you use it without a subscription? Be on the lookout for business models that give hardware away at a very low cost but then require you to pay for an online subscription to use it properly.
  • Check that any subscription offers genuine features you might need as you grow as a VBT practitioner.

4. SERVICE AND SUPPORT

Consider the team behind the products. Reach out to them and you will be able to get a sense of what the company is like and what they are offering. Do you get a sense for how much they care about you as a customer. 

Consider things like: 

  • What sort of support do they offer? 
  • Do they have a proven record? How long have they been around for?
  • Can you talk to a person directly for support?
  • Do they offer training material and extra information, so that it can assist you with getting the most out of the product?
  • Ask your fellow coaches if they have any experience with these companies and what they are like. 

Book a call today!

5. NO COMING SOONS 

With GymAware and FLEX you get a comprehensive feature set that is years ahead of the competition. We are always adding polish, but there is very little not contained within our Apps or online Cloud portal. 

Beware of being promised features and tech improvements in the future, especially if it is available elsewhere. Even more so if it is critical to your purchasing decisions. As the competition has grown in the market, we are seeing bigger and bigger promises and more let downs than ever before. 

Things to consider: 

  • What is the current feature set? Does it have all the features you need now?
  • To what level is that feature implemented? Does it look solid? Or is it another check box?
  • How often does the company update their software? How big are the updates?
  • Do you want to buy from a company that leads industry development? Or one that copies? 

Closing

There are many other factors and considerations to assess when deciding which velocity based training device is right for you. Although, we believe that if you assess and consider the 5 points we have covered you will be well on your way to making the correct decision. 

For more information on FLEX please visit the products page.

For more information on GymAware (our team based system) visit the website

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