The Validity and Reliability of Commercially Available Resistance Training Monitoring Devices: A Systematic Review
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Weakley, J., Morrison, M., García-Ramos, A., Johnston, R., James, L., & Cole, M. H. (2021). The Validity and Reliability of Commercially Available Resistance Training Monitoring Devices: A Systematic Review. Sports Medicine, 1-60. [https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-020-01382-w]
Background Monitoring resistance training has a range of unique difficulties due to differences in physical characteristics and capacity between athletes, and the indoor environment in which it often occurs. Traditionally, methods such as volume load have been used, but these have inherent flaws. In recent times, numerous portable and affordable devices have been made available that purport to accurately and reliably measure kinetic and kinematic outputs, potentially offering practitioners a means of measuring resistance training loads with confidence. However, a thorough and systematic review of the literature describing the reliability and validity of these devices has yet to be undertaken, which may lead to uncertainty from practitioners on the utility of these devices. Objective A systematic review of studies that investigate the validity and/or reliability of commercially available devices that quantify kinetic and kinematic outputs during resistance training. Methods Following PRISMA guidelines, a systematic search of SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, and Medline was performed; studies included were (1) original research investigations; (2) full-text articles written in English; (3) published in a peer-reviewed academic journal; and (4) assessed the validity and/or reliability of commercially available portable devices that quantify resistance training exercises. Results A total of 129 studies were retrieved, of which 47 were duplicates. The titles and abstracts of 82 studies were screened and the full text of 40 manuscripts were assessed. A total of 31 studies met the inclusion criteria. Additional 13 studies, identified via reference list assessment, were included. Therefore, a total of 44 studies were included in this review. Conclusion Most of the studies within this review did not utilise a gold-standard criterion measure when assessing validity. This has likely led to under or overreporting of error for certain devices. Furthermore, studies that have quantified intradevice reliability have often failed to distinguish between technological and biological variability which has likely altered the true precision of each device. However, it appears linear transducers which have greater accuracy and reliability compared to other forms of device. Future research should endeavour to utilise gold-standard criterion measures across a broader range of exercises (including weightlifting movements) and relative loads.