Power training athletes wanted for research by Olympic coach

09 December 2010

Exercise physiologists from The University of Auckland are looking for well-trained athletic people to take part in a study investigating how the human body responds to explosive big-muscle power-training.

“There has been a lot of research into traditional forms of exercise such as endurance or strength training but to date there is very little information about the influences of power training,” says Adam Storey who is leading the research as part of his PhD.

“We want to learn more about how the human body responds to the kind of high-velocity, high-intensity training done by Olympic weightlifters and other strength and power athletes, and which is becoming increasingly popular in gyms around the world.

“The purpose of our study is to investigate the molecular responses to power-training in the blood and muscle of well-trained athletic people. Since most athletic people eat soon after exercise we will also determine how a post-exercise meal influences these responses”

As well as working toward his PhD, Adam is a coach for the New Zealand Olympic weightlifting team whose athletes won two silver medals and broke two New Zealand records at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

“As a researcher and a coach, I’m interested not only in the scientific questions that our study will answer but also the practical implications of our results in improving athletes’ performance.”

“One of the major challenges we face in sport science is that most studies involve people who are not highly trained or use exercise regimes that don’t replicate what athletes do in the real world. This means that coaches cannot take the results and compare them with what they might expect in high performance athletes.

“We’re trying to address this by looking at people who are training on a regular basis and using exercise protocols that are standard in high performance sport settings. We hope that our results will be more applicable not only to coaches but to other sports scientists working in the high performance area.”

The research team is looking for well-trained athletic men aged 18 to 35 years who currently perform high-intensity resistance power-training at least twice per week and have done so for at least the last 6 months.

Adam is conducting the research under the supervision of Associate Professor Heather Smith in the Department of Sport and Exercise Science. The research team includes Masters student Stefan Wette who is also a highly-experienced trainer based at the University’s Health and Performance Clinic.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the study and how to take part can contact Stefan Wette on s.wette@auckland.ac.nz or 021 032 0535.

This study has been approved by the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee (Reference Number 2010/314).