What is a linear Encoder?
A linear encoder is composed of an optic encoder capable of measuring angular movements and a coil that allows linearizing them, in this way, any linear movement can be measured.
It is a very useful tool when it comes to evaluating the work an athlete does in the gym. Thanks to different variables measured by the device (displacement, velocity, acceleration, power …) it’s possible to know with high precision the fitness condition on an athlete daily and without the added fatigue.
In this way, among many other things, you can know how much weight your athelete must train everyday in order to get the maximum match to the lifting session. You can also find and control the fatigue that the athlete accumulates, avoiding possible injuries in their specific sport.
Why use a linear encoder?
The encoder allows knowing the athlete´s 1RM, or their fitness condition in that same session. It is a very precise way of knowing objectively how the athlete is needless to test with very high loads that can excessively cause fatigue or even injuries. It allows you to have great control of what is happening within the weight session, in order to be able to take the maximum advantage and meet the planned objectives.
Which athletes benefit from its use?
Practically any athlete will benefit and will improve in their specific sport by working with weights.
That’s why it does not matter what sport you’re into, if you train in the gym it’s going to be very useful.
Among our clients are:
Swimmers, tennis players, paddle players, wrestlers, boxers, professional BMX competitors, professional soccer players,
Linear encoder or Accelerometer?
Many ask us what device to buy. At a time when accelerometers were becoming popular, we decided to develop the Speed4lifts linear encoder because without a doubt it is the most PRECISE technology to monitor the training, and it’s not only our opinion, there are several validation studies that show how the accelerometers today lack the minimum precision to estimate 1 RM or quantify fatigue correctly.
What advantages has Speed4lifts compared to other linear encoders on the market?
Speed4Lifts was developed taking several coaches’ needs and our own. We knew that the ideal was to have a linear encoder, but what was on the market was extremely expensive for us (several thousand euros) and were also not portable (required a laptop).
For that reason we decided to develop Speed4lifts a completely portable encoder (includes a screen that shows the data in real time, and connects to our Android* and iOS applications in real time showing a large amount of data), scientifically validated and very economical compared to other devices.
* We have temporarily paused updates on Android. We apologize for the inconvenience.
How much does Speed4lifts weight?
Its weight is 365g
How is it fixed to the ground?
In has 6 magnets on the base to hold it over an iron disk and make it stick to the ground.
What is the length of the string?
The length of the rope is about 9 ft. But in case you need extra height, you can place it on some object or hook a rope to the carabiner in order to make it longer.
What is the minimum path that it detects?
One of the advantages of Speed4lifts is that it adapts to your needs. Thanks to the filter that we have incorporated, you can decide from how many inches you want the encoder to detect during a repetition, in order to register the surveys and discard small movements, such as removing the bar from the rack. The filter comes by default at 7 in, any lower movements will be discarded, but you can change it at any time. Watch this video to know how to edit these settings.
What is the sampling frequency?
100Hz Thanks to a subsequent filtering of the serial and interpolation rods, we achieve a very high precision even for very fast lifting.
What minimum velocity can it register?
In exercises such as bench press we have reached velocities of 0.13 ft/s and in deadlift we have managed to record repetitions of 0.32 ft/s.
What maximum velocity can it register?
19 ft/s. You probably won’t ever reach this velocity in any movement while lifting. An average punch could reach about 13 ft/s, so you will hardly find any faster movements at the gym.
What variables are measured?
For the moment, the app shows the distance (ft/in) average propulsive velocity (ft/s), maximum velocity (ft/s) and power (W). But in future updates we will incorporate new variables.
Is it completely portable?
Yes, if you do not want to, you do not have to use your mobile phone, with the built-in screen you can see the route, the average propulsive velocity, the maximum velocity, the repetition in which you are and the remaining battery.
Does it require a mobile application?
No, but it is very useful to get the maximum match. You can save your records, estimate to 1RM, know with what weight to train, know the fatigue that you accumulate…
What is the password to connect to the encoder?
How long does the battery last?
The battery lasts about 8-10h. This is about 2 weeks of training.
How do I know how much battery is left?
On the encoder´s led screen, at the top left you can see% of the battery.
How do I charge the device?
The encoder has a micro USB type b connector, and next to it, it includes a cable that can be connected to both a computer and a 5V transformer.
Next to the micro USB connector there is a red LED that flashes while charging. The charging time is about 2 hours.
Can I turn off the encoder while I rest?
Of course! You will save battery. But the data that is on the OLED screen of the encoder will be lost. On the contrary, you will not lose the data that is in the mobile application.
What data shows the OLED screen?
With the built-in screen you can see the route, the average propulsive velocity, the maximum velocity, the repetition in which you are and the remaining battery.
How do I use the buttons on the screen?
With the buttons below the screen you can navigate between different exercises and between repetitions of the same series. In this video it is shown in more detail:
Can the rope tear after too much use?
After all these years using the Speed4Lifts device, the tope never wore down. We have some engines that simulate several encoder uses, and after more than 30.000 reps, the rope has never been damaged.
Does it break if it falls to the ground?
The outer shell is made of ABS, which makes it resistant, but we can never assure it won’t break. If it falls to the ground, or if a bar or a disc falls on top of it, it can break.
Will it break down if I do weightlifting?
You can do weightlifting with it, but you have to be careful that the bar does not crush the encoder.
Where and how do I place the encoder?
The ideal position is when doing a repetition, the encoder rope comes in and out without moving the angles over the ground. Even so, if you always place the encoder in the same position, it will always measure in the same conditions.
The encoder includes a velcro strap besides the neoprene bag. The velcro strap is to be hooked to the bar like in the picture below.
Does it measure only vertical movements?
No. It measures any movement as long as it is linear, if the string only rotates and doesn’t come in and out, it will not measure the movement..
How do I transport it?
The encoder includes a neoprene bag to protect it.
Can I leave it in the sun or at high temperatures?
We advice not to leave it in the sun because it can reach high temperatures and suffer damage. Do not expose it to temperatures above 40 C.