FORM Lifting: Use The Force

When I first started training with weights, I was obsessed with the practice of moving a weight or object from point A to point B in as short a period of time as possible. The ability to move an object faster in the weight room translated to football field better than anything short of learning to anticipate the snap count - I defined this as power.

Power as you know is found in a simple equation: Force Times Distance Over Time.

Over the years, we have been searching for a device that allowed me to measure just that. Having tried a many devices on the market, I was always left unsatisfied with the information and interface between the athlete and coach.

Simply, I wanted a device that allowed me to view and measure in real time the maximum force exerted on a bar throughout a full range movement. When an athlete does a dynamic movement like a clean, snatch or box jump, they cannot complete these movements slowly. It has to be done with maximum acceleration or the movement will not be completed.


What about a squat or bench press? Can those be executed slowly?

Unfortunately, they can. I needed a way to measure how much force an athlete was exerting on the bar, as there is a direction correlation between the force on the bar compared to weight on the bar and the speed in which the movement is completed.

By increasing the speed and force applied to a bar in a full range of motion movement, an athlete will recruit more muscle, increase his/her strength and be able to generate more power.

This translates into greater strength, more muscle and the type of gains that you thought were only possible in the bodybuilding magazines.

This pairs perfectly with the concept of Compensatory Acceleration first discussed by Dr. Fred Hatfield in his book, POWER.

Compensatory Acceleration requires a total effort applied through a full range of motion. This means as the lifter ascends out of a deep squat position for example, his leverage advantage increases. As the mechanical advantage goes up, he/she must work to keep accelerating the bar. This translates to increased efficiency in achieving adaptive overload.

I have utilized Compensatory Acceleration for much of athletic life, having first been coach to use it early in my training with George Zangas.

The ability to accelerate a weight translated to my speed on the field and my ability to hit and strike a blow on opponents. I believe using compensatory acceleration in my training was one of the single most important factors for playing the NFL for 10 years.

Get in EARLY and SAVE BIG: We are excited to announce the Kickstarter launch of the Form Collar [@formlifting]. We've worked with the team at Form Lifting to develop what we believe is one of the most essential training aids for any coach or athlete. The device attaches to the barbell like any other collar, and measures force, speed, acceleration and power and sends this info to your smartphone instantaneously as you train. Yes, there's an app for iOS and Android. Unlike the other wearables we've tetested, the metrics provided are accurate and meaningful, and provide another layer to your training that will help drive more effective power, strength and speed adaptations. Having instantaneous access to info like this during your training is a game changer. Get in early to take advantage of the $150 early bird special. #FormLift #FormCollar #CAT #Velocity #Acceleration #CompensatoryAcceleration #Video #PowerAthlete #EmpowerYourPerformance

A video posted by Power Athlete HQ (@powerathletehq) on

About 14 months ago, I was approached by the team from FORM lifting to aid in the development of a device that could measure and track force generated on the bar during a life, the speed at which the lift was completed and a way to track progress.

FORM Lifting Kickstarter

The Form Collar has become an essential component to our programming to create strength, power and speed.

The most exciting part is the device is in its final days of a Kickstart campaign for funding. The FORM device has almost reached its goal  - if you want to get in on this first round of the device there are only a few spots left.

Remember, it isn’t just how you lift you weight, but how much force you can generate.


Posted in Lifting Weights, Talk to Me Johnnie, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

3 Responses to FORM Lifting: Use The Force

  1. Forrest Rohde

    I follow the link to the Kickstarter campaign, but have difficulty deciphering what exactly is the status. Cali’s plugs sound as though there is a product ready for market. Please help me understand.

    • John

      I thought this was spam. What do you mean you couldn’t decipher what the status was?

      If you click on the link it says “pre-order”, which would imply that Form Collar is taking deposits for units not yet produced.

      If you scroll a bit farther down it says, “Successfully raised $108,359 USD with 491 backers.” This means the KS was funded. I have attached a screen shot.

      In the time it took you to post that question, you could placed a pre-order, celebrated with a air high five the campaign was funded and made yourself a sandwich.


  2. What an amazing tool! I will recommend that for our box in Switzerland. Will it be delivered to europe as well?

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