LSU Football Added Technology to the Weight Room
A 15-0 record and a national championship don’t come easy in big-time college football. Louisiana State University put the finishing touches on its perfect season with an impressive 42-25 win over Clemson in the College Football Playoffs Championship game on January 13 in New Orleans.
The win was the result of the hard work that the Tigers put in on the practice field and in their impressive football weight room under the guidance of Tommy Moffitt, the director of strength and conditioning. Building strength and power by moving steel in the weight room is a big part of football. In October, LSU added cutting-edge technology to the process with the help of a startup named Perch.
The Story Behind Perch
Perch was founded by M.I.T. grads Jacob Rothman, Nate Rodman and Jordan Lucier. The system includes a module that mounts to a weight rack and includes a camera that tracks a weightlifter’s movement. Sets are displayed on a tablet and let the lifter know if they are on target for a prescribed velocity threshold. Real-time feedback helps athletes get the most out of their workouts without additional coaching assistance, and the data can be stored, which helps to track improvement.
“We noticed the trends in fitness philosophy and that everyone had a wearable, Fitbit, Apple Watch, you name it,” said Rothman. “Those are great to get people moving. But for athletes spending the majority of their time in weight room, who want to understand how explosive they’re being, their power output how they’re getting better over time. We didn’t know of anything that existed. We felt that a system that was super easy to set up and super easy to use would be a good long-term solution to enable velocity-based training to be a more ubiquitous form of training. Allowing coaches to implement it more easily and get more out of it.”
LSU and the Future
Perch was installed in the LSU weight room in September. Rothman and his team is focused on professional, collegiate and high school athletics at the moment, but they do see the possibility of applying the same technology in health clubs.
“It is a long-term goal of ours to make it more social, competitive and motivational for a more general population or personal training market,” added Rothman. “We love working with strength and conditioning coaches. They’ve helped us improve our product so much just from the feedback and ideas that they have. The goal is to continue to improve.”