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Squat depth sensor/beeper?
(Read 32712 times)
James Chochlinski
Judge
 
United States United States Male 15 posts
« on: January 07, 2012, 04:01:35 pm »

Would wearing a squat depth sensor on your leg disqualify a virtualmeet squat?  Or would it be allowed?

I found this sensor on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02CS-cZ1prg
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Christian Burger
Staff  [Moderator, German Translator]
 
Austria Austria Male 598 posts
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 11:50:34 am »

My first thought is that it would take authority away from the judge. It would be hard to judge from a distance if the device has been properly calibrated or being tempered with.

Though I woud find it a cool device for training.
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 10:22:40 pm »

James, a very interesting question. I share the same initial reaction as Christian.

But on the other hand, it is quite common that lifters have people on the sidelines calling out depth which arguably does the same thing. It is also not uncommon to see squats which are called out as good by people on spot being turned down by judges as too high. So it sounds to me like the sensor is just switching a human for a machine: both can be either "well calibrated" and the verdict of both would/should be ignored by the judges. Sensors could be seen as providing an unfair advantage, but is that really different from having an experienced IPF judge call out depth for you in a virtualmeet? One could even argue that sensors would level the playing field since not everyone has IPF judge friends (though not everyone obviously can afford buying a sensor either).

This is one of these tricky things we should make an explicit note for or against in the rules. But based on the current rules, I would not see much basis for turning down a sensor-assisted squat (new term...?) and I would advice judges to not fail someone for that.

More opinions welcome. What should we do with the sensors? We do not yet have any powerlifting meets scheduled for 2012 (more on that in the near future) so we would have time to update the rules before the next meet.

James: I gather you don't have access to a depth sensor and as such are not imminently planning on using one?

Thanks a lot for bringing this interesting question to the table! Smiley
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Tsvetan Vasilev
Lifter
 
Bulgaria Bulgaria Male 21 posts
WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 11:15:39 pm »

Hard call!
I don't think that the sensor should affect the judges - they still get to gauge depth.
I do think that the lifters will benefit from having "depth assistance." One third of the squats are being redlighted because of depth. And here is the tricky part - how much assistance are we allowing? Where's the line between squat shoes and a belt versus wraps and squat suit?

The way I see it shoes and belts make for a safer lift, without increasing weights lifted. Will the sensor increase the weight that you can lift? No. It will only increase the number of white lights.

I would not vote for a rule against sensors, if the judges can tolerate the horrible sound and not get distracted.
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Tsvetan Vasilev, FMS
Warren Djemal
Lifter
 
United Kingdom United Kingdom Male 88 posts
WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2012, 11:44:44 pm »

Interesting, but pointless due to geographical displacement of judges. Plus, that's a piece of equipment that no one is going to buy to gauge depth for one lift in a free online contest.

Useless in contest, useless in training. Your proprioception needs to be able to determine depth for itself.
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 12:02:32 am »

Update: just realized I missed the part about this particular sensor being attached to the leg. I have a strong recollection of also seeing someone sell a laser based depth gauge which you just position so that you cross the beam when at depth triggering the alarm. Attaching a piece of equipment not mentioned in the rules to your body would generally be grounds for disqualification whereas the beam variety would currently not break any rules I can think of.

Also found something called the Safety Squat which is a really cheapo gauge attached to the thigh: http://www.biggerfasterstronger.com/details.asp?pID=576 It sells for less than $50 whereas the YouTube sensor is $130. The latter certainly seems a lot more reliable and designed for IPF depth as opposed to parallel.
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 12:10:15 am »

I also agree with Warren that any powerlifter should be able to tell when they're at depth without any assistance as a result of proper training. But this is of course not the reality for people new to meets as can clearly be seen by the fault percentage on the Meets page as Tsvetan pointed out. There is also a clear trend where lifters realize they need to go lower by getting all reds in their first virtualmeet, using a sensor in preliminary training might be helpful in this regard.

But this is really just paper speculation. It would be fun to test one in practice to see how easy it is to position properly. I would imagine that that is not necessarily straightforward without a bit of trial and error.
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James Chochlinski
Judge
 
United States United States Male 15 posts
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 01:37:23 pm »

Thanks for the responses and the link to the safety squat.   

I was originally planning on ordering the sensor on youtube for training, but the safety squat is more affordable. Will probably order that instead.  Wish it had a video of it in action.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Seems like it would be simple to write a smartphone app to do the same thing.



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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 04:41:58 pm »

Yes please, let us know how it works out. I'm especially interested in hearing how reliably you can set it up. While a Droid Bend or iSquat app would be extremely cool (and provide a good opportunity to upsell some leg holstery for it...), I would similarly guess that you'd had to do a fair amount of fiddling to set it up properly since even minor angle changes can totally break accuracy. It seems to me that the ideal sensor would attach to the very same points used in judging depth, i.e. one sensor on the top of the knee and one at the top of the hip joint.

If anyone finds more varieties of sensors, please let us know. Smiley
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James Chochlinski
Judge
 
United States United States Male 15 posts
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2012, 02:37:47 am »

The safety squat arrived yesterday.  No instruction manual, just a picture.  Tried some squats with it using just the bar.  Seems to work similarly to the youtube video sensor.  Placement just above the knee requires deeper squat to trigger the sensor; Not as deep when placed higher up on the thigh.   It's just a level sensor, so the difference is due to the shape of my thigh. Happy with the safety squat so far.

 
I'll try to get some video uploaded on the weekend.  Feel free to critique my form then.


* SafetySquat.jpg (76.73 KB, 800x600 - viewed 2744 times.)
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James Chochlinski
Judge
 
United States United States Male 15 posts
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2012, 07:05:19 pm »

Video of the safety squat in action.  Didn't go deep enough to trigger a beep on the 2nd and 3rd reps.  Shaking the sensor will also trigger a beep.  Notice it beeps as I take a step toward the rack. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyM1-nzJB0I

Placing it close to the knee requires a deeper squat to trigger it than when it's placed high on the thigh.   I think I'm going to like this for training.
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Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2012, 10:49:45 pm »

Thanks a lot for posting the video, very enlightening! Seems to work decently, but looks like it beeped prematurely on the first rep which was high by a safe margin. I would also place it a bit further towards the knee, in my opinion only the fourth rep hit depth (if you're going for IPF depth and whites in a virtualmeet that is).

I agree that this looks like it could be really useful once you find the sweet spot when setting it up. I would make sure to add a bit of safety margin to make sure you go slightly deeper than require in order to reach convincing depth as to leave the judges no doubts.
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James Chochlinski
Judge
 
United States United States Male 15 posts
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2012, 11:37:25 pm »

Thanks for checking the video.  On the first rep it looked like my shorts caught on the beeper and it beeped as soon as they let go. 

Next time, I'll try placing it closer to the knee (less to the side also) and post another.  Even with the previous placement, probably would have hit depth if I had just waited for a continuous beep.
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Will Connelly
Registered member
 
United States United States Male 3 posts
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2012, 04:24:50 pm »

Thanks a lot for posting the video, very enlightening! Seems to work decently, but looks like it beeped prematurely on the first rep which was high by a safe margin. I would also place it a bit further towards the knee, in my opinion only the fourth rep hit depth (if you're going for IPF depth and whites in a virtualmeet that is).

I agree that this looks like it could be really useful once you find the sweet spot when setting it up. I would make sure to add a bit of safety margin to make sure you go slightly deeper than require in order to reach convincing depth as to leave the judges no doubts.

Thanks.   Would it be possible to do more of these vids and have a judge here check for depth?   That would be very helpful for beginners (me).
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James Chochlinski
Judge
 
United States United States Male 15 posts
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2012, 07:45:15 pm »

I'd be happy to post more videos to get some opinions.  I have feeling that I'm squatting either just at parallel or possibly slightly above.  The convincing depth post has a link to a good article.

If you haven't already, check out the squat videos and judging from previous meets: http://virtualmeet.net/meets/
(look for powerlifting meets since they include squats)

I'm still toying with the idea of creating a simple iphone app that works like the safety squat sensor (if anyone finds an existing app let me know).  It depends on how accurate the iphone level sensor is and I don't even own a mac yet (required for iphone development).  An app might work better because you'd be able to set the angle that would trigger audible alarm.


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