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Recent Graduate Student Projects

Tyler Dobbs (2016)


client walks in AlterG treadmill

The purpose of this study was to compare functional strength and power output in older adults who completed plyometric training in an AlterG treadmill compared to older adults who completed traditional resistance training. Methods: Twenty-three older adults were randomized to a strength (SG), plyometric (PG), or control group (CG). SG and PG exercised 3x/week for 8 weeks while CG performed no exercise. Measures of a timed sit-to-stand, stair climb, estimated maximal muscular strength, and isokinetic power were taken at baseline, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks. A mixed model repeated measures 3×3 (group x time) ANOVA was used to determine if there was a significant interaction for time*group. Results: Significant time*group interactions were found for the chair sit-to-stand (p < 0.05), stair climb time (p < 0.01) and power output during stair climb (p < 0.001). It also demonstrated significant interaction for 60°/sec peak torque flexion (p < 0.01) and extension (p <0.01), 60°/sec power flexion (p <0.05) and extension (p < 0.05) and 180°/sec power flexion (p < 0.01). Estimated 1RM were also significant for the leg press (p <0.05), leg extension (p <0.01), and single leg lunge (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Eight weeks of plyometrics in an AlterG Treadmill can significantly improve performance of a chair sit-to-stand task, improve the time to climb a flight of stairs, significantly increase muscular strength in the leg press, leg extension, single leg lunge, and significantly increase isokinetic knee flexor and extensor power in older adults. In this study, the PG was able to increase muscular strength at the same rate or better than the SG without performing any resistance training. Also, the PG outperformed SG in functional tasks. To the author’s knowledge, this is the first plyometric training study focusing on older adults. Results suggest that plyometrics, if modified and performed in a safe environment, can increase muscular strength and power and improve functional abilities.

Hayden Hess (2017)


The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of the Training Mask 2.0 (TM) on performance (m), blood lactate, heart rate recovery (HRR), stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (Q̇), heart rate variability (HRV), and breath rate recovery (BRR) when used during short-term recovery. Methods: Seven trained males completed two interval training conditions (TM and Sham TM). Each condition consisted of five, 1-min, max effort rows with 3-min recoveries. The TM (or Sham TM) was worn during each 3-min recovery. A repeated measures 2×5 (condition x interval) ANOVA was used to determine significant main effects for condition or interval. Post-hoc analysis was conducted using a one-way ANOVA to identify differences in conditions or intervals with the Bonferroni adjustment. Results: There were no differences between TM and Sham TM conditions for performance (m) (p = 0.094), blood lactate (p = 0.495), HRR (p = 0.533), SV (p = 0.672), Q̇ (p = 0.775), or HRV (p = 0.158), while BRR was improved in the TM condition (p = 0.008). Conclusion: The use of the TM during short-term recovery does not improve rowing performance (m), blood lactate, HRR, SV, Q̇, or HRV during interval training. Contrary to anecdotal reports, the implications for the TM to enhance short-term recovery are not supported.

DJ McDonough (2017)


The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of oral creatine hydrochloride (CrHCl) supplementation on three repeated bouts of bench press and vertical jumping exercises and body composition measures (body weight (BW), fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM)). Methods: Fifteen resistance trained males completed 3 sets of the barbell bench press (70% 1RM) and 3 sets of the repeated counter-movement vertical jump (CMJ; 85% maximal CMJ height), with 2 min rest between sets, before and after a 7 d CrHCl intervention (4 g·day-1). A two-factor repeated measures ANOVA was used to determine significant main effects (time and set) with post-hoc Bonferroni analysis and interaction effects (time x set) for bench press and CMJ performances from pre- to post-intervention. A one-factor repeated measures ANOVA was used to assess pre- to post-intervention differences in body composition. Results: Significant main and interaction effects for time and set were found in the bench press from pre- to post-intervention (p < 0.005, for all) with Bonferroni analysis indicating increased performance on later sets (eg, Set 3 > Set 2 > Set 1, p < 0.005). Significant main effects for time and set were found in the CMJ test from pre- to post-intervention (p < 0.005) but no interaction effect was found (p > 0.05). Post hoc analysis indicated increased performance on later sets. BW was the only body measure to reach significance (p < 0.005). Conclusion: Supplementation with 4 g of CrHCl for 7 d in healthy, resistance trained men significantly increased the number of repetitions performed during intermittent bouts of submaximal bench press and CMJ exercises and body weight.

Britney Price (2017)


Being sedentary is a behavior that is practiced far too often by individuals. This is worrisome because evidence suggests that uninterrupted periods of sitting can be harmful to one’s health. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a cycling workstation, the FitDesk, on work performance, blood pressure, heart rate, and the energy expenditure of college students. It was hypothesized that pedaling with the FitDesk would not have an effect on college students’ typing performance, reading comprehension, and attention/information processing when compared to those sitting at the FitDesk. In addition, an acute reduction in blood pressure, increase in heart rate, and increase in energy expenditure was anticipated in those pedaling with the FitDesk. Twenty sedentary college students randomly assigned to complete a 30-min. pedaling condition and a 30- min. sitting condition using the FitDesk while performing three randomized tasks: a reading comprehension task, typing task, and an attention/information processing task. Energy expenditure and heart rate were assessed during each trial. Blood pressure was measured prior to the start of each trial and at the end of each trial. The results indicated that there were no significant differences in reading comprehension, typing performance, and attention/information processing tasks between the pedaling and sitting conditions. Heart rate, blood pressure, and energy expenditure significantly increased in the pedaling condition when compared to sitting condition. It was concluded that students could pedal with FitDesk and not influence work performance while increasing their energy expenditure, which may help with weight loss and reducing sedentary behavior.

Taylor Thompson (2016)


Introduction: Iron deficiency (ID), measured as serum ferritin (SF), has been found in 31% and 57% of elite male and female athletes respectively. In distance runners, ID has been found to affect up to 41% of men and 82% of women. There are significant health consequences of ID such as decreased bone mineral density, altered thyroid function, immune suppression, and fatigue. Purpose: The present study is to determine if there is a relationship between ID and training reductions due to injury, illness, and fatigue in collegiate distance runners. Hypothesis: Because ID affects bone health, fatigue, thyroid, and immune function, it is hypothesized that distance runners with ID experience training reductions more frequently than athletes with normal SF levels. Methods: A preexisting data set consisting 47 NCAA Division 1 cross country runners’ (M=20 years ± 1.69) SF, injury information, fatigue reports, and training volume was analyzed. SF levels were measured preceding the cross-country season in early September and following the season in early December. Athletes supplemented with ferrous sulfate elixir according to the SF level throughout the season. A generalized linear model investigated associations between training reduction, SF, and training volume. A chi-squared test compared ID athletes (≤35 μg/L) and athletes with normal SF (>35 μg/L). Significance was set at ≤ 0.05. Results: 57.4% of the athletes were IDNA at some point during the season. The IDNA group was twice as likely to experience a training reduction as the normal iron group (p < 0.05). Pre SF (B = -0.042 ± 0.0212), Post SF (B = 0.033 ± 0.0169), and training volume (B = -0.057 ± 0.0229) significantly predicted training reductions (p ≤ 0.05). Conclusion: IDNA was found to be associated with training reductions. Additionally, a higher pre SF value was associated with less training reduction. Athletes’ SF should be tested and corrected through supplementation and diet.

Jonathan Youell (2017)


Mouth rinsing with a carbohydrate (CHO) solution during exercise has been shown to improve endurance exercise performance. However it is unclear if performance is improved to a greater extent with a higher concentration mouth rinse. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a dose-response effect to CHO mouth rinse concentration on endurance performance during a 1h cycling time trial. METHODS: Fourteen male participants, aged 18-45 years old, who cycled a minimum of 30 miles per week, participated in this study. Participants completed five, 1h time trials on a cycle ergometer, each separated by at least five days. During the first trial, participants completed a familiarization trial during which they rinsed with 25ml of water every 15 minutes of the time trial. In a double-blind fashion, participants then completed trials during which a 0%, 3%, 6%, or 12% CHO solution was rinsed in 15-minute intervals during the four experimental trials. Average power, work completed, heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and cadence were recorded during each trial. RESULTS: The results indicated that there were no significant differences in work performed (p = 0.405), average power (p = 0.082), HR (p = 0.399), or RPE (p = 0.764) across any of the experimental trials. CONCLUSION: This study found no improvement in cycling time trial performance when using a CHO mouth rinse and no dose-response to CHO mouth rinse concentration. Further research is warranted to investigate the possibility of a dose-response in a fasted state.

Clare Zamzow (2017)


Client ride stationary bike while attached to monitor

Introduction: Dietary nitrate (NO3-) can serve as a substrate for the important signaling molecule nitric oxide (NO). Recent studies suggest that NO3– beet juice could be beneficial during anaerobic (i.e. short duration, high power) exercise, though this area has received much less attention than beet juice’s effects during aerobic exercise. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if acute dietary NO3– supplementation, in the form of beet juice, could improve measures of anaerobic power in trained, healthy men during a primarily anaerobic bout of exercise. A secondary purpose was to investigate if NO3– supplementation produced a greater increase in performance measures in a 60-second (60-s) bout of exercise compared to a 30-second (30-s) bout. Methods: Fourteen male hockey players participated in this study. The study used a cross-over, double-blind design. The exercise protocol included maximal effort 30-s and 60-s tests on a stationary bike, with a fixed amount of resistance applied. In addition to two familiarization trials, a 30-s placebo trial, 30-s beet juice trial, 60-s placebo trial, and 60-s beet juice trial were completed by each participant in random order, over six total visits. The beet juice supplement (RediBeets, The AIM Companies, Nampa, ID) contained ~8mmol/496 mg of dietary NO3-. Apple-cherry-cranberry juice served as the placebo, containing a negligible amount of NO3.  Paired t-tests were run to compare performance in both the 30-s and 60-s trials, analyzing peak and mean power (W), peak and mean RPM, relative power (W/kg), total work (J), and fatigue index (FI, %). Results: No statistical differences were found between the beet juice and placebo trials for the 30 or 60-s tests. The percent change (∆) for FI was significantly different between the 30 and 60-s tests. The FI decreased between the P30 and B30 (suggesting less fatigue occurred after beet supplementation) while it increased between the P60 and B60 (suggesting less fatigue occurred after placebo supplementation), accounting for the statistical significance when comparing the percent change (∆) during the 30-s test to the change during the 60-s test. No other significant differences emerged when comparing the percent change between the 30 and 60-s tests. Conclusion: A dose of ~8 mmol of beet juice did not improve anaerobic exercise performance during a 30 and 60-s all out cycling sprint. Performance during the 60-s bout was not impacted to a greater extent than the 30-s bout after beet juice supplementation. Beet juice supplementation during high power, anaerobic exercise does not produce similar improvements in performance that have been reported during aerobic exercise.