It’s difficult for weightlifters to understand their technique without visual feedback.
Many Olympic Training Centers use video replay systems to assist lifters and their coaches during training. A camera continuously records a platform, and the video of the recording is displayed 30 seconds later on a big-screen TV. This allows the lifter to look at the TV after every set to review their form and understand what they’re doing right or wrong. This system also allow coaches to better explain what their athletes need to change by providing them with a visual reference of what the lifters are doing.
Video replay systems are excellent tools for weightlifting and many other sports, however, they’re too expensive for most gyms to purchase and maintain. In place of these bulky systems, most of us use our cellphones to record lifts, but recording and viewing these videos is a nuisance when a lifter is huffing and puffing between sets.
My DIY visual feedback solution:
To try to solve for this, I’ve come up with a good DIY system at Norwood Training Center that has helped me and some of our lifters understand our lifting better.
I Macgyvered a video playback system similar to the ones found in top-notch training centers for roughly $80 that has all the features needed for weightlifting (and other sports). For the tech savvy, I’m mirroring my iPhone to the TV through an Apple TV while running a Video Delay app on the iPhone. Full instructions on how to set this up below.
The system works as follows:
An iPhone is placed anywhere in the gym (ideally set up on a tripod, but not necessary). Video from the iPhone is continually shown on a TV with a delay, allowing the lifter to complete a set, then view it on the TV 10 seconds later (or however many seconds you set up the delay for). The delay is easily adjustable and can be set between 1 second to 10 minutes.
The video can be fast forwarded, rewound or paused using the iPhone / iPad as a remote control. When the video is paused, a drawing tool can be used to bring attention to any positions. All videos can be saved and reviewed later.
What you need to set up a this system:
- A TV – any with an HDMI input
- A router – if you don’t have a router you can still do this: directions
- An Apple TV (generation 3 or 4) – $69
- HDMI cable to connect the Apple TV to the TV – $6
- An iPad or iPhone – I used an old iPhone that doesn’t even have cell service. Any iPhone or iPad can be used on this system once it’s set up.
- Video Delay app (or any other)– $3
- Flexible tripod stand – $16
To set it up:
- Setup Apple TV (instructions are in the packaging and are easy to follow, should take about 2 minutes)
- Download the Video Delay app onto an iPhone or iPad
- Mirror the iPhone screen onto the TV
- Press AirPlay
- Select the Apple TV
- Enable mirroring
- Open the Video Delay app
- Set a delay by swiping in any direction. For me, 30 seconds has been the ideal delay for most exercises.
- Place the iPhone in a good position from which it will record the lifting (ideally on a tripod but not necessary).
- Start lifting. You’ll now be able to review your lifts on the TV screen after each set.
Note: An android phone may be able to do the same with an Apple TV or chromecast, but I haven’t tried this myself. This can also be done with just an iPad, and the video delay app, but for me, a big screen TV is the ideal.
When i used this video replay tool, the best angle for me to view my lifts has been behind me and to the right. I could see the back angle clearly from this position which is helping me to understand what i need to do to engage my legs more in the cleans and front squats.
Let me know what you think, and if you have any other solutions for a cheap video replay system. If you think this could help other lifters, give it a Share. Spread the good word.