Taking the lead on discovering how exercise combats diseased states
The Exercise & Sport Performance Laboratory (ESPL), located on the lower floor of the Rickel Building in room 035, is a 1,350-square-foot facility devoted to improving sport performance. Improvements in exercise responses translate to better on-field performance. As such, a major focus of the research conducted within the ESPL has been on improvements in exercise performance through the manipulation of training variables, i.e., sets, repetitions, intensity, and volume, to alter muscle mechanics, i.e., velocity of shortening. To carry out this research focus, the ESPL houses equipment that is used to train and test strength and power, including a double-sided Power Lift® power rack with utility benches, resistance bands, landmine attachments, technique trays, dip bars, and other attachments; a Power Lift® Glute-Ham Raise; a Biodex® System 3 Pro™ Isokinetic Dynamometer; a Sports Import Vertec jump system; a Monark Ergomedic 894E Peak Bike with Wingate capabilities; a Kinetic Performance GymAware linear position transducer; a Tendo Sports PSA310 Power and Speed Analyzer; and an array of barbells, plates, and bumper plates to suit the needs of any athlete. The newest addition to our lab space is a 10-foot Sorinex rack with 4 built-in linear position transducers and force plate that transmits information to a custom-built encoder for use with our software to measure the kinetics and kinematics of exercise. The lab space allows us to observe both the acute and chronic adaptations to resistance training. The ESPL is capable of collecting performance and physiological data, including biological specimens, i.e., blood and tissue. The ESPL works in collaboration with other laboratories within the Department of Kinesiology, including the Exercise Physiology Lab (EPL), Metabolic Laboratory, and the Motor Behavior Laboratory, as well as the Ben Hogan Sports Medicine Center, which is part of the Texas Health System. These collaborations allow further study into the underlying mechanisms of adaptation. The ESPL can easily house a training study while use of the additional laboratory space makes the collection and storage of specimens easy and safe.