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VERT fitness
   
EXERCISE MODES, APPLICATIONS,
AND DIAGNOSTIC EVALUATION
 

In addition to providing bi-directional, bilateral, or unilateral exercise, VERT can create User Defined exercises. User Defined exercises can include an entire range of variation on standard exercises that will allow the clinician or coach to create an exercise for a specific need of the user.

Most conventional exercises start in the upstroke or upward movement of the bar except for the Squat which is assumed to start with downward motion first. VERT has the ability to reprogram the starting position of any exercise.

Exercise Modes
There are two separate modes of exercises, with 3 sub functions, through which VERT controls the performance and data of an exercise. All five of these appear in the Exercise Modes box in the parameter screen.

Variable Velocity Mode: Variable Velocity mode is a passive mode where the machine accommodates the forces exerted by the user throughout the range of motion, and at the same time restricts the speed of movement to a predetermined velocity pattern which may simulate the dynamics of real motion. This mode offers accommodating resistance during acceleration and deceleration as well as during isometric holds.

In Variable Velocity mode, the velocity or speed at which the bar is permitted to move is maintained at a pre-selected value, regardless of how hard the user pushes against it. In addition to maintaining a constant velocity VERT can be programmed to vary the velocity as a function of bar position in any pattern that the user may desire, thus the name Variable Velocity.

Variable Velocity mode exercise has a distinct advantage over resistance mode exercise: you don't need to know the individual's strength level in order to set up or begin exercising, nor is any adjustment necessary as the subject trains and increases in strength. The subject always pushes as hard as he or she can against the bar, and the computer automatically adjusts the resistance in order to maintain the desired bar velocity. In addition to maintaining a constant velocity, VERT can be programmed to vary the velocity as a function of bar position in any pattern that you desire.

Variable Resistance Mode: Variable Resistance is the mode most similar to traditional weight training. In the variable resistance mode, a level of force can be set which the user must exert, in order to move the bar. In addition to maintaining a constant resistance, VERT can be programmed to vary the resistance as a function of bar position in any pattern that the user may desire, thus the name Variable Resistance. This feature allows the user to program greater or lesser amounts of weight, at any point in the motion, to accommodate for injuries and natural mechanical inefficiencies. It is a well know feature of anatomy that the mechanical advantage of most muscles changes as the associated body joint is flexed or extended. The variable resistance mode allows an exercise to compensate for this change, becoming progressively easier or more difficult, and thus maintain a more constant muscular exertion through the entire range of movement.

The reporting changes in speed as a function of changing load is excellent complementary data to the force/torque curve, which has led to the discovery of certain pathological cases, as well as talent recognition in youths and adults. These are only a few examples of the benefits of this mode.

Sub Functions
The following three functions are all sub functions of the Variable Velocity and Variable Resistance Modes. Each sub function can be used in either the Variable Velocity Mode or the Variable Resistance Mode.

Work Training: Work Training is a velocity mode exercise with an additional feature. Rather than specifying the number of repetitions to be performed, work training specifies the total amount of work to be performed. Whether the user generates a great deal of work with only a few repetitions and greater force, or many repetitions with little force, a certain amount of work must be completed. Work is defined as the product of the force on the bar times the distance the bar is moved, and thus is proportional to the energy expended during exercise. Work training exercises, when performed at a continuous pace with a reasonably high amount of work, have a cardiovascular training effect as well as a muscular training effect.

Fatigue Training: Fatigue Training is a velocity mode exercise with an additional feature. Rather than specifying the number of repetitions to be performed, fatigue training specifies the degree of muscular fatigue to be achieved during exercise. Fatigue is measured by comparing the average force for each repetition (upstroke portion) with the highest average force measured for all repetitions. This measurement is expressed as a percent of the highest average force, so that your fatigue level starts at 100%, and drops as your average force level drops. For example, a 75% fatigue exercise would continue until the average force produced in two consecutive repetitions was 75% or less of the average force for the strongest repetition. Fatigue mode can be viewed as a means to increase endurance, by gradually increasing the amount of repetitions that the user can do before falling below the fatigue floor. The fatigue mode is also an extremely efficient way of maintaining intensity in an exercise, as the user will need to maintain a certain level of intensity to continue the exercise.

Timed Exercise: Timed Exercise can be performed in either variable resistance or variable velocity mode. Rather than specifying the number of repetitions to be performed, exercise specifies the period of time. At the end of that time period, that exercise will terminate regardless of the amount of work or repetition completed.

Application
The application of all these exercise modes will become obvious to anyone who becomes familiar with the system. There is no replacement for experience in working with the system; however, there are some basic guidelines that serve as good starting points in setting levels on the VERT for specific types of training. There are six basic categories that serve as outlines for the most common uses:

  • High level strength
  • General Strength/conditioning
  • Power
  • Muscle endurance
  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Speed

Each of these categories indicates a corresponding change in the level of resistance or velocity. In order to determine the proper levels for each user, a test should be performed to determine the maximum speed at which the user can perform the exercise. This test can be performed in the variable resistance mode by setting the resistance to a minimal resistance (1-5 lbs.), or by increasing the variable velocity to a very high speed. After several trials the highest speed the user is capable of obtaining can be determined. That maximum will be considered 100% of speed value. The following are suggested percentages of this speed value:

Set Duration for Muscular Endurance: 45 seconds - 3 minutes

  • High level strength - 8% - 15% (few repetitions)
  • General strength/conditioning - 12% - 20%
  • Power - 30% - 40% (highest power output occurs at these levels)
  • Muscular endurance - 50% - 60% (high speed power events)

Set Duration for Cardiovascular Endurance: 3 minutes or longer

  • Cardiovascular Endurance - 35% - over 60%
  • Speed Training - over 60%

Common questions are:

  • How much work should be assigned to an exercise?
  • At what fatigue level should the set be terminated?
  • What is the right number of repetitions for a specific training program?

One approach to this situation is to determine the duration of the activity that needs improvement. Then, that time duration to an exercise. At the end of the exercise the system reports the total amount of work, the number of repetitions performed, and the fatigue level at the end of the set. The next step will be to assign to Work Mode, that amount of work to an exercise program. When the user reaches a point where they can achieve the same amount of work in 15% to 20% less time than those performed initially, the program can be changed to repetitions. In Variable Velocity Mode, assign 10% - 15% more repetitions than were initially performed. Once the user can perform 20% to 30% more work than the initial amount, the program can be changed to the Fatigue Mode. The goal should now be to complete as much work as possible and as many repetitions as possible within a set. The total amount of work performed should become greater than what was performed in the other training modes.

The purpose of demonstrating this approach is to make the user understand that there is a very close relationship between the different modes. The information reported in each mode can also be used to tailor programs more accurately and more specifically to the needs of the exerciser.

Diagnostic Evaluation
Diagnostic Evaluation is a feature that allows VERT to measure the user's maximum capabilities. These measurements are used in a variety of ways by VERT. When diagnostics are being performed up to three values are measure and recorded:

  • Range of motion - The range of motion is established by going through a single repetition.
  • Maximum speed throughout the range - The maximum speed is established by setting resistance to minimal value and
    then have the user move the bar through the range of motions as fast as he can.
  • Maximum force throughout the range - The maximum force of the user is established by exerting maximum effort
    throughout the range of movement.

These values are entered into the system to allow the system to adjust to the user with an even higher accuracy. The maximum speed and force recorded during the exercise are used by the system to determine proper valve adjustments that are best fitted to the individual's performance, whether it is an improvement in performance due to training, or a decrease in performance due to injury.

When Diagnostics are performed in the manual mode, the values are only stored for as long as the same exercise is being performed. Diagnostics in the programmed mode will be stored in the memory of the program and can be updated from time to time. You may have only one set to Diagnostic values per each exercise.

Sampling Period for Rehab Data
The system allows 5 minutes or 250 repetitions, whichever comes first, for Rehab Sampling. During this time, the system collects all Rehab data on every repetition performed for statistical analysis and graphical presentation. The information is summarized in Rehab Table, Rehab Ration, Stamina Report, Wave form, and fatigue curves. The Sampling period does not affect any of the exercise rations. An exercise can be performed over 250 repetitions, but data will only be measured for the first 250 repetitions.

 
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