Perch enables Velocity Based Training (VBT), which allows coaches to put these unknowns (sleep, nutrition, work load, etc) in a black box and utilize velocity as a feedback mechanism. VBT improves safety, preventing athletes from lifting weight that is too heavy for a given day. Perch is providing an affordable, accurate, reliable, and easy-to-use system that every coach and athlete can utilize to realize the benefits of velocity based training.
The Perch module attaches to just about any rack and users can sign into their accounts from a tablet, which is also attached to the rack and Perch module. Perch then films and tracks every rep, allowing both athletes and coaches to analyze the workout, while also refining future workouts.
A digital camera sees the world in three dimensions and follows the movement of the barbell the user is lifting. One important measure is velocity — the speed of each lift. The system can spot the difference between “strong and explosive” motions, or someone who is “barely completing his reps.” Future versions of Perch’s system, he says, will be able to track not just barbells but other items used in workouts, like medicine balls and kettle bells.
Perch aims to improve physical training and coaching by installing a camera and tablet, which is mounted on gym equipment to track and display data like number of reps and velocity. It’s currently targeting college and professional teams, and plans to expand to commercial and home gyms.
When compared to the technology the LSU strength program was previously using, the Perch device will allow LSU to have one of the most efficient and effective velocity-based training programs in college athletics. There’s a culture of staying on the cutting edge within the LSU athletic department.
“Our hope is that with Perch, we can begin to build the foundation for “smart gyms” or gyms with equipment that has our technology installed into it, so that from the moment you walk in to when you walk out, you can get comprehensive data on your workout performance so you can improve in your next session,” Rothman says.
Three weeks after Perch installed units on each of the 22 weight racks at LSU’s indoor football facility on Oct. 1, Tigers coach Ed Orgeron said he noticed differences in his team’s performance on the field. “I think our guys are stronger and quicker and faster,” he said in late October. “I think as the season goes on, there’s not as many injuries this year as there were in years’ past and that’s because of our strength and conditioning.”
Technology like Perch allows coaches and athletes to determine the speed of movement in real time and adjust the weight or exercise accordingly. “Using the velocity-based system we have, Perch, we knew all of the sets and all of the reps and all of the velocities the guys were doing before we left.”