Performance Monitoring System for Periodization Tracking

Project Title: Performance Monitoring System for Periodization Tracking

Project Lead’s Name: Eric Brooks, PhD, ATC


Phone: (513) 529-8105

Please Choose the Primary Affiliation: CEHS

Are There Other Project Team Members?: Yes

Other Project Team Member: Jen Beardslee, MEd, ATC

Other Team Member Email Address:

Brief description of project: Periodization, planned variations of physical training variables (i.e., volume, intensity, frequency, etc.), is a popular topic within the strength and conditioning field (Rhea & Alderman, 2004). Periodized training refers to purposed variation in training programs at regular time intervals in an attempt at generating optimal gains in motor performance and cardiorespiratory endurance (Fleck, 1999). While many approaches of periodization are employed, periodization, in general, varies training stimuli and incorporates planned rest periods in an effort at enhancing an individual's athletic potential. The purported benefits of such training variation have included preparing athletes to peak at the right time, avoiding plateaus in training adaptations, decreasing risk of overtraining, and increasing adaptations as compared to non-periodized training (Fleck & Kraemer, 1996).

At present, research indicates that periodization results in significant fitness gains and results in greater improvements in performance variables compared to other training models (Kraemer & Fleck, 2007). For instance, twenty-four tennis players were randomly placed into one of three training intervention groups: a no resistance exercise control group, a periodized multiple-set resistance training group, or a single-set circuit resistance training group. A significant increase in power output was observed after nine months of training in the periodized training group only. In addition, one-repetition maximum strength for the bench press, free-weight shoulder press, and leg press increased significantly after four, six, and nine months of training in the periodized training group. Significant increases in serve velocity were also observed after four and nine months of training in the periodized training group, whereas no significant changes were observed in the single-set circuit group (Kraemer et al., 2000). In a separate study, the effects of a periodized training intervention on speed, aerobic performance, and repeated sprint ability within elite European soccer players was examined. Study results revealed that the periodized training intervention prompted significant improvement in repeated sprint ability as illustrated by faster 10-meter sprint time. Moreover, the periodized training intervention also led to an improvement in running economy as referenced through significantly reduced maximal oxygen consumption and heart rate (Owen, Wong, Paul, & Dellal, 2012). Being able to improve fitness characteristics that complement the functional nature of an activity or sport such as serve velocity and sprint speed makes periodized training protocols an appealing proposition for strength and conditioning professionals.

As the benefits of periodized training have been documented, the need to monitor an individual's performance measures during a periodized training regimen is justified. At present, outdated monitoring equipment is being used by students, staff, and faculty at Miami University. Updating of performance monitoring equipment would well serve the experiential learning of students in athletic training, exercise science, and strength and conditioning. Benefit would also be gained for Miami University varsity, club, and recreational athletes in their athletic endeavors and physical well-being as many lines of practical application of the equipment could be generated.

The goal of our grant proposal is to obtain a Polar Team Pro performance tracking system (Polar Electro Inc., Lake Success, New York). Acquisition of the system would provide active learning opportunities in both the classroom and clinic for students, staff, and faculty within the Department of Kinesiology and Health, Intercollegiate Athletes, and Campus Recreation. Additionally, the new monitoring system would allow Miami University student-athletes to not only achieve improvements in performance, but it would also help lessen injury occurrence due to over-training.

Does this project focus on graduate student education or graduate student life?: No

If yes, please explain: While the project does not focus on graduate student education per se, there is opportunity for both graduate students and student interns to interact with the technology.

Describe the problem you are attempting to solve and your approach for solving that problem.: Athletes during training and competitive situations may encounter fatigue due to improper training regimens. Unfortunately, this fatigue can lead not only to decreased physical performance, but perhaps to orthopedic injury and adverse general medical conditions. At present, the equipment being utilized to monitor fatigue and training regimens is the Polar Team 2 Heart Rate Monitoring System which is based off of presentation of heart rate in absolute terms as beats per minute, and in relative terms as percentage of the athlete's maximum heart rate (HR%). While the Team 2 system has benefited student-athlete well being in the past, newer tracking technology is available. The Polar Team Pro system, the latest technology, includes heart rate and GPS sensor as well as inertial-based movement measurement. Polar Team Pro uses a five step default categorization of HR% to divide the intensity into respective HR zones. The benefit of using HR Zones instead of absolute HR is that zonal monitoring is comparable between student-athletes. The added utility of the newer Polar heart rate measurement technology is that it provides R-R interval (heart beat to heart beat interval variation) data in +/-1 millisecond resolution. In addition, heart rate measurement averages have a +/-0.4% accuracy in beats per minute (BPM) over the measurement range. Polar monitors are able to capture series of R-R intervals for analysis of HR variability indexes that are as accurate as those recognized by Echocardiogram (ECG) (https:/

The Polar Team Pro sensor uses several pieces of data and filtering algorithms for a student-athlete's acceleration, speed, and distance calculation. The GPS tracks differently indoors vs outdoors. Indoors the GPS data is provided by Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) consisting of acceleration, gyroscope, and magnetometer sensors. Outdoors, where the GPS sensor can acquire satellite signals, GPS is the main method for tracking.

Besides heart rate and movement data, Polar Team Pro provides more detailed information about the training session in order to make it easier for evaluation by athletic trainers and exercise scientists to evaluate the effect of the training session and for planning the subsequent session. The physiological information provided by the system is as follows:

(a) Caloric consumption is measure of energy utilized by an athlete during a training session or game.
(b) Training Load is very specific to Polar in which training intensity is quantified by combining measures such as heart rate, calorie consumption, and mechanical impact and how long the exercise session lasts.
(c) Recovery Status further enhances training load by taking into account the strain of everyday life outside of training and estimates in real time how long it takes for the athlete to recover.

Athletic Trainers and Exercise Scientists are able to evaluate the intensity of training sessions on a team and individual level with the Polar Team Pro System. The system provides objective information that can help athletic performance staff at Miami University make educated decisions when to increase or decrease training intensity in order to protect a student-athlete from injury. Research has shown that high and low acute training loads can predispose athlete to injury (Drew and Finch, 2016). More specifically, it has been found that a training load ratio (i.e., training load from the previous week divided by training load from the last four weeks) is an advantageous method of injury monitoring. It has been shown that student-athletes should maintain training load within the range 0.8-1.3 to simultaneously optimize positive training adaptations while reducing injury events. Polar Team Pro provides objective information required to monitor an athletes training load both internally (heart rate) and externally (acceleration, speed and distance) during periodized training sessions. Also, the most relevant measure besides total distance is the distance covered above a certain velocity. Polar Team Pro categorizes velocities to five user adjustable categories, which helps the Athletic Trainer and Exercise Scientist to simulate velocity requirements of a game during practice. Speed is related to the change in speed (acceleration) and deceleration (decreasing speed). Polar Team Pro system tracks total accelerations. Yes, increased accelerations and decelerations of a student-athlete may be useful to the outcome of the game, but they are very hard on energy metabolism and may cause damage to the musculoskeletal system.

Lastly, Polar Team Pro provides information ranges from physiological data on an individual student-athlete to information of movement and playing tactics of the entire team. Ultimately, the system can assist with injury prevention as well as planning training routines to help improve game performance.

The criteria state that technology fee projects should benefit students in innovative and/or significant ways. How would you describe the innovation and/or significance of your project?: The Polar Team Pro system will have beneficial application to many students, staff, and faculty at Miami University. The new tracking technology will provide students from the various programs within the Department of Kinesiology and Health with dynamic active learning opportunities. Athletic training students will be provided the opportunity to witness how the tracking system can mitigate injury occurrence within Miami University's student-athletes. Kinesiology and exercise science students will be provided the opportunity to witness how the tracking system can optimize student-athlete performance outcomes. Sport Leadership and Management (SLAM) students will be provided the opportunity to market the utilization of the high-tech monitoring system in university public relations materials.

Acquisition of the technology even has application to students in the Psychology department. Chronic and major injury to a student-athlete have major psychosocial implications. Perhaps psychological students could use the technology to help those students who are feeling the onslaught of over training?

Application of the Polar monitoring system could be utilized in the following courses:

  • KNH 184/L Motor Skill Learning and Performance
  • KNH 244/L Functional Anatomy
  • KNH 285/L Examination and Assessment of Athletic Injuries II
  • KNH 286 Practicum in Athletic Training
  • KNH 287/L Examination and Assessment of Athletic Injuries I
  • KNH 289 Therapeutic Exercise and Rehabilitation
  • KNH 382 Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription
  • KNH 381/L Biodynamics of Human Performance
  • KNH 482 Exercise Management of Chronic Disease
  • KNH 453 Movement and Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • KNH 453 Biomechanics of Musculoskeletal Injury
  • KNH 484 Sports Injury Pathology and Emergency Procedures

Considering that two of the above courses - Motor Skill Learning and Performance (KNH 184) and Functional Anatomy (KNH 244) alone enroll more than 500 students per year, it is clear that a lot of students will have the chance to learn from this technology.

In addition, acquisition of the Polar system would be beneficial to many Miami University student-athletes. Faculty and staff would have many application opportunities. Student-athletes within intercollegiate athletics, club sports, and recreational sports could all utilize the equipment. This would not only provide for enhanced performance and decreased injury occurrence, but, in doing so, would greatly enrich student-athletes' time at Miami University.

How will you assess the project?: With staff and faculty supervision, students will monitor heart rate, caloric expenditure, total distance, and total distance above individual-determined velocity. Students will also assess maximal oxygen consumption, determine Max HR, and track individual athlete's body weight fluctuations. As well, students will monitor total accelerations and decelerations which cause difficulties with metabolism/recovery and increase potential for musculoskeletal injury. Students also will track training load within the range 0.8-1.3 to gain positive training adaptation to assist in lowering injury rates. Ultimately, staff athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, and faculty that utilize the equipment will assess the impact on student educational opportunities and their ability to recognize the potential precursors to increased fatigue, musculoskeletal injury, and general medical conditions of student-athletes. This would have positive outcomes for not just the student technicians, but also for the student-athletes being monitored.

Have you applied for and/or received Tech Fee awards in past years?: Yes

If funded, what results did you achieve?: Eric Brooks was a project team member for "Computerized Rehabilitation Assessment and Training" (FY16). Utilization of the NeuroCom VSR Sport has been very beneficial to faculty, staff, and students alike. Not only has the equipment been useful for classroom activities, but it has been used as an outcome measure for a research project undertaken by faculty and students (both graduate and undergraduate students).

The research project was presented at The International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology's 2016 conference.

Smith D, Haworth J*, Brooks EK, Cousins J. Changes in Postural Control and Dual Task Performance Following an Ultramarathon. Miami University, OH, *Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Lead team member for "Computerized Rehabilitation Assessment and Training" (FY16) was Dean Smith, DC, PhD.

Did you submit a final report?: Yes

What happens to the project in year two and beyond? Will there be any ongoing costs such as software or hardware maintenance, supplies, staffing, etc.? How will these be funded?: The technology will continue to be utilized beyond the first year of application. KNH Department policy requires all equipment in KNH laboratories undergo safety and calibration checks as recommended from the equipment manufacturers. The maintenance of the Polar system will be treated similar to modality equipment found in the athletic training lab. Continued costs of running the Polar system will be covered each year through regular KNH laboratory fees.

Budget: Hardware, Other

Hardware Title(s) & Vendor(s): (1) Polar Team Pro System includes: 17 Team Pro Sensors, 1 Pro Team Dock, 1 messenger bag, 17 straps (2) Apple iPad2 Air with Wifi 128GB

Hardware Costs: $8,305.00

Other (please explain): Polar Team Pro System 1 Day Training

Other Costs: $1,875.00

What is the total budget amount requested?: $10,180.00