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How the Saints are using 3D cameras and motion tracking in the weight room to gain an edge

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The New Orleans Saints are not necessarily trying to make bionic men, but they are feeling around on technology’s leading edge to help their players uncover their peak form in the weight room. So, roll with Saints longtime strength and ...

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Old 07-18-2021, 05:19 PM   #1
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The New Orleans Saints are not necessarily trying to make bionic men, but they are feeling around on technology’s leading edge to help their players uncover their peak form in the weight room.

So, roll with Saints longtime strength and conditioning coach Dan Dalrymple as he puts on his best cinematic voice.

“We have,” he said with a dramatic pause, “the technology.”

The Saints are one of the latest NFL teams to incorporate Perch technology in their weight room. The basics: A 3D camera affixed to a weight rack tracks an athlete’s movement as he or she performs a specific exercise. That movement is then translated into several data points in real time and displayed on a tablet. The goal is to provide smarter and more efficient weight training that eliminates some of strength training’s traditional limitations.

The two most important metrics Perch provides are velocity and power output. Think of how most standard weight lifting routines are laid out: Sets of a specific number of repetitions at a specific weight, a figure that is determined as a percentage of the maximum amount a person can lift in a particular exercise.

“The reality is that maximum was on one specific day when maybe everything was going right, or maybe everything wasn’t going right,” Dalrymple said. “But it’s just one snapshot, it’s not a video.”



Put another way: If you spend the week before you attempt your one-rep max following a stringent wellness routine, your number is going to look a lot different than it would have if you’d have spent the prior week bingeing fast food, alcohol and Netflix. And by the same logic, variations in lifestyle are going to cause regular fluctuations in what, say, 80% of a max effort is on a given day.

Which leads to what Perch co-founder Jacob Rothman called “super imprecise” training.

“The research says that number can fluctuate close to 20% on a daily basis,” Rothman said. “So that means that if you’re really not well rested at all and you set a goal of 85% of your max, for that athlete it may feel like 105% on a given day. And you certainly don’t want your high level athletes, these high-value assets, lifting that amount of weight. They shouldn’t be.

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