Dissertation ideas

I’m currently in the second year of a degree in sport and exercise science and I need to start thinking about a subject for my dissertation.
I’ve seen a few idea’s brought up that people wanted to see research into so if you have any areas or ideas that you would like to see investigated please fire away!

My interest lies mostly in physiology of sprinting/jumping and strength and power.

An idea I’m considering at the moment is testing the idea that there may be performance window after performing overspeed sprinting where an individual can hit a higher top speed and/or acceleration. And therefore the implications for it’s use in a competition warm-up.

Ideas and feedback please!

how about something along the lines of “the omega wave’s ability to accurately predict training preparedness for thowers/explosive athletes?”

why? - several of people I respect are using it, and I’d love to see some more documented feedback on its accuracy/validity.

Very interesting product… I will definately consider it - I’ll have to have a dig for previous research.

Another idea I had was to measure the length and slenderness of athletes’ achilles tendons and see whether it significantly effects sprint and jump performance…

There are already several studies on the HRV accuracy especially the VO2max data. Correlations are about 0.65 if I remember correctly.

Pick something that you like, but keep it simple. It might seem cool to try something in depth and complicated, but it’s hard enough already.

How about extending this to include the use of depth jumps, bounds for speed, vibration platform, ems and max weights to see whether there exists a potentiation effect, and if so what is the length of the windows respectively. You could then have a “conventional” warm-up to see if the other methods lead to better performances.

You could then compare ALL the methods to see which is the most effective.

You could test to see if there is potentiation from doing any of the above for anaerobic alactic type max efforts from the day before. You could then test to see whether the potentiation is blunted from doing anaerobic lactic work 1 or 2 days before.

IMHO whatever you do it would be good if the sample used is trained, average - above average talent athletes. It appears to me too often studies are done using untrained people.

Thanks for the feedback guys! i’m taking all into consideration, very interesting ideas Martn…
Also I’m at a sports campus, most 3rd years doing sprint dissertations this year have enough participants just from their training group. All sports students at UWIC have to have competed county level or above, so I’ll be able to get talented participants.

I have just participated in a study testing the reliability of a new reactive agility test using flashing lights as stimulus. It was a staff led experiment and anybody who is interested in the results, I will keep you posted.

I will also try and get an idea of the results found in this years sprint/jump/strength dissertations and keep you all informed.

OK, my research proposal draws near! I’m still leaning towards my original idea; Investigating the possible potentiation effect of assisted sprinting. I’m having difficulty finding relevant research at the moment, and I may have to base my rational on former research regarding complex training and the ‘supercompensation’ seen after heavy weights, using the most effective rest intervals between sprints. http://www.jssm.org/vol1/n2/2/2_2.htm
Any supercompensation after overspeed would be an effect of neural activation just like with complex training. Mero and Komi (1987) found no significant changes in EMG levels during contact or resultant forces during the propulsion phase of contact in assisted sprinting as compared to free sprinting. However, they did note significantly greater pre-contact EMG and resultant forces during braking (Mero & Komi, 1987). This seems to indicate a possible change in nervous activity prior to contact to compensate for greater contact forces during braking, but the compensation seems to disappear during the propulsive phase of ground contact. This nervous activity is what may have a potentiation effect on following sprint speeds.

Research into complex training is also mixed, this 2003 study found no significant increases in vertical jump performance after heavy weights at various rest intervals: http://apt.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1519%2F1533-4287(2003)017[0345%3AKAOCTR]2.0.CO%3B2 These mixed results could warrant a ‘copy-cat’ study… although I would rather do something more original and preferably more sprint specific.

Testing sprint performance after heavy squats would be interesting - using rest intervals highlighted in complex training research, after all it is a plyometric activity! Certainly squats would be easier to monitor than overspeed sprints, and something all of the athletes will be familiar with (and coaches happy about).

My heart is with originality of the overspeed idea:rolleyes:… However my logic is swaying towards heavy squats and sprint performance:confused: .

If any of you guys know of any research that could be of use to me I would be very appreciative if you could let me know:)

Thanks in advance guys!

I have just participated in a study testing the reliability of a new reactive agility test using flashing lights as stimulus. It was a staff led experiment and anybody who is interested in the results, I will keep you posted.

Agility test results showed a very strong correlation with straight 10m sprint speed… So sports teams may as well test that rather than fancy agility tests. Although this was just revealed in casual discussion with the researcher.

UKCheetah, are you planning on testing the potentiation effect by peformance improvement alone or are you also testing H-reflex excitability?

edit: Also, if you are going to use weights as your means of potentiation you might want to play around with the % of weight and maybe consider having a buffer(ie. leaving one or two reps in the tank so to speak) as well as looking for optimal rest time, although that might be very individual. Just ideas.

Performance improvement alone… i.e. flying 30m (top speed) or 30m sprint (acceleration)…all electronic timing.

Sounds good. Will definately be interesting to see the results.

I would like to see how they explained a strong correlation between those two qualities :confused:

Could you shed some more light on this research? Is there a paper available or could you give a general synopsis on what tests, how measured, how correlation measured, what correlation was?

You know, the good stuff.


Cheetah. Look in the dissertation section in the library for Neil Cameron’s dissertation. I was a subject in his study and I can’t remember the title exactly, but I’m sure it was to do with power output following different types of preparation. May have some references for you.

Cheers mate! I will defo have a look as I need more references. I’m disappointed with the amount i’m finding on assisted sprinting using various online databases… although I know a couple of books that have some decent references in that I’ll scan over the next few days… Any assisted sprinting references to share anyone?

Can’t give you very much currently as I havn’t got a copy of the results and the discussion hasn’t been written.

Around 30 19-24yo sports students did 10m sprints and a reactive agility test. The test consisted of another 10m sprint through a timing gate with gates left and right of this at 45 degrees, roughly 5m away. Subjects ran towards the 10 gate, when passing through it a light flashed randomly on either the left or right gate, the subject then reacted and sprinted through the appropriate gate.

The 10m sprint times had a very strong correlation with the reactive agility test times…

Time differences due to the reaction didn’t seem to display much individual difference. The test was devised as a more sport specific agility test, but it seems reactive ability either doesn’t differ much between athletes or it’s role isn’t that crucial (as it is so quick)… I would argue a more complicated choice reaction is present in team sports, but would be difficult to test.

~That’s the best I can do at the mo.

Please keep the feedback coming on my dissertation idea’s, thanks :smiley:

The potentiation effect of squats on acceleration has been researched before:

“Research by Matthews looked at the effect of pre-squatting on 20m sprint performance(6). During the control condition, participants performed two 20m sprints separated by 10 minutes’ rest. During the experimental condition, the second sprint was preceded by five squat repetitions with a load equal to each participant’s five repetition maximum (5RM). While the researchers found no improvement between the first and second sprints in the control condition, there was a mean improvement of 0.098 seconds when the second sprint was preceded by the squats.”

Although I can’t find any research relating to max velocity, if acceleration doesn’t see an increase it doesn’t bode well for max vel :confused:

I found another interesting point - “The team found no positive potentiation for any CMJ performance variable or EMG activity, regardless of muscle or phase of jump; nor were there any significant effects of the squats on DJ performance. However, EMG activity in the biceps femoris (hamstrings) during the propulsive phase of the DJ was found to be significantly higher after squatting (although this did not improve jump performance)…the fact that higher EMG activity was discovered in the hamstring muscles during depth jumping indicates that more fast-twitch fibres were being recruited, which in time could have provided more propulsive power.”
Maybe this increased bicep femoris activation may have an effect on max vel??

I appreciate you guys taking the time to read these long posts… please keep the feedback coming, as I hope a good investigation will reveal useful findings for all of us :slight_smile:

Did that study not find a mean improvement by a tenth of a second over 20m??? Was that a significant difference? If so, surely that implies an improved acceleration after squatting 5RM??