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Centre for Sports Science Support & Physiological Testing at the University of Essex

Student during lab testing
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Lab Sessions

There are four Lab Sessions available:


1. Exercise Physiology

The most popular lab session as it provides maximal aerobic and anaerobic performance testing with opportunities for pupils to collect data, analyse and enhance their understand of exercise physiology. Exercise tests include sub-maximal predictive VO2max, VO2max (bike/treadmill) and Wingate 30 second cycle tests.


2. Body Composition

A session to enhance pupilís understanding of why body composition is important in particular sports and its methods of assessment. Pupils have the opportunity to experience hydrostatic weighing, skinfold caliper measurements, bioelectrical impedance and somatotyping.


3. Sports Nutrition

Includes a discussion of sports nutrition, healthy eating, hydration and special athlete requirements within a sporting context. Pupils have the opportunity to analyse their diet after recording a 2 day diet diary prior to their visit. An opportunity to self evaluate nutritional and calorie intake, with the inclusion of bioelectrical impedance body fat measures.


4. Biomechanics

an opportunity for pupils to view the extensive range of equipment used to analyse an athletes performance. Pupils are allocated groups and given an unfamiliar skill to perform and video. Using specialist software they overlay their performance with that of an elite performer and identify coaching points for improvement of performance. Finally, they repeat their original skill to identify improvements.


5. Sports Psychology School Session

This session introduces pupils to important psychological factors in sport. It mainly focuses on stress, competitive anxiety, and strategies to reduce these obstacles between athletes and successful sporting performance. Pupils get the opportunity to experience the application of different psychological tools (self-talk, imagery, coaching, and relaxation) in two practical exercises. These exercises are also supposed to familiarise pupils with sports psychological research methods and will involve the comparison of the psychological tools on two performance tasks (netball shooting and golf putting).


All lab sessions include data collection sheets for pupils to collect information on their visit.


Student running to measure sprint speed

Sprint speed is measured using timing gates for split second accuracy


Technician doing a blood test in the lab

The Wingate test is used to
measure sprint power





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