The research presented in this thesis focuses on the development of wireless, real time
performance monitoring technology within the resistance training domain. The
functionality of current performance monitoring technology and differences in
monitoring ability is investigated through comparative force platform, video and
accelerometer testing and analysis. Determining the complexity of resistance training
exercises and whether performance variable profiles such as acceleration, velocity and
power can be used to characterise lifts is also investigated. A structured user-centred
design process suitable for the sporting domain is proposed and followed throughout the
research to consider the collection, analysis and communication of performance data.
Identifying the user requirements and developing both hardware and software to meet
the requirements also forms a major part of the research. The results indicate that as the
exercise complexity increases, the requirement for sophisticated technology increases.
A simple tri-axial accelerometer can be used to monitor simple linear exercises at the
recreational level. Gyroscope technology is required to monitor complex exercises in
which rotation of the bar occurs. Force platform technology is required at the elite level
to monitor the distribution of force and resultant balance throughout a lift (bilateral
difference). An integrated system consisting of an Inertial Measurement Unit (both
accelerometer and gyroscope technology) and a double plate force platform is required
to accurately monitor performance in the resistance training domain at the elite level.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.