Sports Science Monthly – March 2018

In the March edition of Sports Science Monthly we look at new research across a variety of areas including the impact of coaching behavior, Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome, nordic hamstring exercises, genetic testing, monitoring fatigue and more. Read more

The positives and negatives of exercise

We all know that exercise is good for us. The lists of benefits that exercise can give us is as wide as it is varied; it lowers our risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. It provides a mental health benefit. It reduces our chances of having low bone mineral density. It’s an important part of the healthy aging process, with exercise allowing for a maintenance of muscle strength as we grow older, making us less likely to suffer from falls, and keeping us mobile and active for much longer. Read more

The performance enhancing effects of Tylenol

Athletes tend to be very proactive in searching out new performance enhancers, which is why the more recent substances which have broken through in the field of ergogenic aids tend not to be all that well-known, such as (-)-epicatechin. However, over the last ten years, research has started to emerge showing that a much more well-known, household drug may hold some surprising performance enhancing effects. It is so well known, in fact, that it is likely in your medicine cabinet. That drug is paracetamol, often known as acetaminophen or by it’s brand name in America: Tylenol. Read more

GAINcast Episode 106: Lessons learned (with Goldie Sayers)

After more than a decade as the best British javelin thrower, Olympic bronze medalist Goldie Sayers hung up her spikes after the Rio Olympics. After she retired she sat down and penned 36 lessons she learned about sport, success, competition, and life during her distinguished career. On this week’s GAINcast she joins us to reflect on the lessons she learned and how they can help athletes and coaches in any sport. Read more

Correlations don’t prove causation, but we can still learn from them

If you ever take a statistics course, one of the first things you will learn is that correlation does not imply causation. It is one of the main tenants of science and if you wonder why that is the case, just think through some examples like the perfect correlation between ice cream sales and shark attacks per month, or other great examples from the Spurious Correlations website. Simply put, just because two things coincide, doesn’t mean that one caused the other and, even if there is a causal link, which direction it is heading. Read more

GAINcast Episode 104: Polarized training (with Stephen Seiler)

Since the turn of the century perhaps no researcher has been more influential in the endurance world than Stephen Seiler. His study of polarized training methods has framed a new discussion on training intensities thanks to an innovative research approach that started by looking at what elite athletes actually do. On this week’s podcast Seiler joins us to dissect his past research, discuss future projects, and more. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – February 2018

The February edition of Sports Science Monthly is perhaps our most in-depth yet. We take a look at 10 new studies this month on a variety of topics from how soon injury rehabilitation should start, adaptations from small-sided games, how resistance training stacks up against plyometrics, and the ketogenic diet for athletes. In addition, we dive into some novel topics like new research on the placebo effect, RPE, and stress contagion. Read more

Finally, some good news in the fight against doping

Sport has a doping crisis. It has been tainted with drugs scandals for as long as I can remember, from Ben Johnson being stripped of the 100m Olympic Gold in 1988, to the more recent issues surrounding more or less the whole of Russia in the lead up to the Olympics. Among the way, we have mini-scandals – Mo Farah’s doorbell, Alberto Salazar’s cream, British Cycling’s package in a brown bag – which, whilst not direct evidence of wrong doing, further erode public confidence in the cleanliness of sport. Read more

Skeletal muscle has an epigenetic memory . . . so what?

The term epigenetics is becoming increasingly popular, not just in scientific papers, but also in the lay press. The word itself applies to a fairly complex process through which genetic expression is governed, and as such it is frequently mis-understood. I’ve previously explored what epigenetic modifications are, and what they might mean for sport, but a recent paper in this field has got the internet buzzing. Read more

Getting the most out of data collection and usage

In the era of big data, testing and diagnostics has become a central part of testing. But often coaches are more focused on the data than the process. To start with, there are four questions four key questions that coaches must ask when it comes down to testing in training: Read more