College – Issue 34

professional rugby clubs regarding the development of bigger, faster, stronger athletes. My current research focus is to develop a method that accurately quantifies resistance training loads and then relate these findings to physical and physiological responses. Simply put, what amount of resistance training gives our athletes the optimal outcome for strength and power. What is your advice to College students? From an academic standpoint, choose subjects you enjoy. If you enjoy PE, Biology and Health, it is unlikely you’ll come out of school and become an accountant. It is much more likely you’ll do something with those subjects! Choose the things you enjoy because it comes down to that old adage, if you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life. From a sporting perspective, remember that strength development (that is, force development) is fundamental to many physical characteristics (for example, power). You cannot be powerful if you are not strong (force x velocity=power). When you are strong every jump, every tackle, every acceleration is made easier. I currently have a paper published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that goes into more detail on this. My doctorate investigated how we can improve the efficiency and efficacy of resistance training in adolescent rugby athletes. The main findings were that the implementation of supersets and tri-sets are highly efficient methods of training, yet they cause greater rates of perceived exertion, neuromuscular fatigue, alterations in testosterone, and muscle damage. If we manipulate What did your thesis investigate?

the exercise order during these training methods we can attain alternative adaptations (for example, do you want fast, powerful muscles? Do you want muscles with high work capacity?) Furthermore, I investigated a method of providing kinematic feedback that can enhance strength and power development. Are you a keen sportsman yourself? If I had known what I know now, I might have gone further. That is why it is so exciting to work with young athletes now.

of Nutrition at the University of Wollongong. At the same time, I also enrolled in a Master of Exercise Science at Edith Cowan University – neither knew about the other, so I was balancing quite an intense workload! Finally, I was given the chance to complete a PhD at Leeds Beckett University in the UK. How did you choose your doctorate topic and why did you choose Leeds Beckett? I was given a scholarship by the English Rugby Union to study at Leeds Beckett University. My doctorate was based around the optimisation of strength and conditioning for elite adolescent rugby union players – these are the players who go on to play international rugby. My job has been to research and then design the training programmes. How did you hear about the Tripp Travelling Scholarship? I remember seeing the scholarship in College , so I contacted the school and was very fortunate to receive the assistance. Have you always set yourself short-term and long-term goals? What’s next? I am one of those people who always needs a goal. I am now a Research Fellow at Leeds Beckett University and consult with “Choose the things you enjoy because it comes down to that old adage, if you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” Jonathon Weakley

College Issue 34 2018


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