The Exercise Physiologist works closely with the coach, athlete and all other services providers to optimise the coaching and training objectives.
This can use a variety of technical and practical approaches. Exercise Physiology can help answer many questions, for example:
- What are the profiles of my athletes?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What is the physical demand of competition?
- Do my athletes maintain their endurance during a strength training cycle?
- How should I plan my training year or cycle?
- Does this training cycle achieve its objective?
- What intensity should I train at in this phase of training?
- How do my athletes compare to the World's best?
- How to my athletes respond to hard training and to competitions (both at home and abroad)?
- What is the best way to prepare this athlete?
- Is my athlete back to full fitness after illness/injury?
- Are they better suited to a longer distance/different position?
Key Roles of an Exercise Physiologist
Exercise Physiologists in the institute network engage with many people on a daily basis to support the coach and athlete and coordinate and manage physiological support. They may work with one sport or several sports, at one level or several levels.
Examples of the key roles of an Exercise Physiologist include:
- To engage with the coach to maximise the effects of training
- To impact on the day-to-day coaching and long term development of the athlete
- To provide initial physiological assessments for baseline information and use this to help the coach formulate a periodised training plan
- To use this individual physiological information to provide an evidence base for specific, individualised training programmes to individual priority athletes or more general guidance to groups of athletes as appropriate
- To provide regular monitoring and reassessments to update and refine the periodised plan for each athlete
- To provide monitoring support to teams both home and abroad on training camps and at competitions. This will help refine the physiological targets, aims and objectives for the periodised plan
- To provide benchmark physiological information to direct long term athlete development
- To coordinate the involvement of other support providers as necessary to maximise the effects of training and athletic performance
- To act as a valuable information resource to help develop both coach and athlete into high performing sportspeople
Exercise Physiology Tool Box
These are accessible by all service providers and used in an integrative manner as appropriate. Equipment includes:
- Video camera and editing facilities
- Aqua Pacer - aquatic pacing device
- Several ergometers to quantify energy expenditure such as treadmills and cycles
- Muscle Lab for measuring muscle activity
- Blood analysis for monitoring metabolic markers of training intensity
- Global Positioning Systems to track movement in the outdoor sporting arena
- Heart Rate monitors for recording physical exercise intensity
- Heart Rate Variability to track recovery and autonomic functionality
- Osmometers for monitoring body dehydration
- Perceptual goggles to reinforce sports technique
- Electronic timing systems for developing and monitoring speed and agility