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Sports Science Monthly – August 2017

Welcome to this month’s edition of Sports Science Monthly, where we take a look at recent research in the realm of sports science. In this edition, we take a look at running coordination, the nature vs nurture debate, causes of illnesses and injuries, vitamin D supplementation, caffeine, and test familiarization. Read more

Why Did Usain Bolt Lose?

Athletics fans love statistics, and I’m no different, which is why it was so exciting to hear that the IAAF and Leeds Becket University were to collaborate on a biomechanics project at the recent World Championships, giving us some insight into what makes up a world class performance in athletics. As the Championships finished last weekend, the first initial reports were released for the men’s 100m and 10,000m, men’s discus final, and women’s pole vault final, which you can find here. The extended analysis will come in time, but the initial analysis does contain plenty of interesting bits of information. As my athletics knowledge is primarily limited to the sprints, that is where I’ll focus. The initial report itself does a great job of presenting the pertinent points, but I hope to add a little extra context where possible. Read more

GAINcast Episode 77: More Odds and Ends

Every few months we take a look back at all the short topics we’ve wanted to cover but haven’t had the time. Well, now’s the time. On this episode we take a quick look a several diverse topics. We start off by discussing categorical thinking and its impact on velocity based training, energy systems, and other areas of training. Then we look at genetic testing, training speed, EMGs, FMS, and several other topics. Read more

Can You Repeat That Please?

You might not know it, but scientific research is facing a crisis. Swathes of previously accepted research findings are being called into question, as subsequent experiments have failed to reproduce the same findings as the original papers. This replications crisis is strongest in psychology, especially social psychology, but has roots in, and implications for, all branches of science. And as more coaches are looking for an edge in the latest scientific research and social psychology findings, this has a large impact on coaching too. Read more

The Biology of Our Behaviors

In sport, we’re defined as much by our failures as we are our successes. In my athletics career, I won a World Championships medal, a European Indoor Silver medal, a European under-23 Silver Medal, a European Junior 100m Gold medal, and numerous national senior and age group medals. I was selected for two Olympic Games and five World Championships across two different sports, and yet I’m still perhaps best known for being responsible for being responsible for the disqualification of Great Britain’s 4x100m relay team at the 2008 Olympics, in the event in which we were reigning Gold medalists. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – July 2017

Welcome back to another monthly installment of our sports science round up. This month, we look at low carbohydrate, high fat diets; usually this is the context of endurance performance, but this time we look at it from the perspective of power performance. We also have an interesting case study of unexplained underperformance syndrome, commonly referred to as overtraining, and papers examining mechanisms underpinning muscle hypertrophy, stretching, chronotype, and the genetics of injury. As always, we finish with a quick fire round-up of other interesting papers that have caught my eye this month. Read more

In Defense of Laziness

Recently, I came across an interesting discussion on social media, pre-empted by this tweet from @damselndadugout: Read more

Gene Doping: A Primer

The standard story in life is that we have to play the hand we’re dealt. We can’t choose our genes, and so we have to make the most of what we have, optimizing our training techniques and lifestyle in order to reach our potential, whatever that might be. But this standard story is slowly changing and this might have a major impact on sport. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 107: Performance Nutrition (with Kyle Pfaffenbach)

Nutrition is a field with some exciting developments and trends, but it is also one filled with pseudoscience and gurus. On this week’s episode consultant and professor Kyle Pfaffenbach joins us to talk about how athletes and coaches can make sense of nutrition. We discuss how to create buy-in, nutrient timing, how to individualize nutrition, and more. Read more

Sports Science Monthly – June 2017

Welcome back to another installment of sports science monthly. We kick off this month with a look at strength training frequency and how it might represent a worthwhile avenue for exploration in well-trained athletes looking to gain muscle. We also have a review article examining nutritional periodization, how beliefs can affect how much of an improvement you see from a sports supplement, a case report on rhabdomyolysis, and a look at a new model proposed to explain fatigue. Let’s get going. Read more