Asset 2Asset 5Asset 6Asset 3Asset 2 1Asset 4

Kinesiology Labs

Exercise & Sport Performance Laboratory

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.

Director: Dr. Jonathan Oliver

Dr. Jonathan Oliver finished his graduate studies at Texas A&M in 2011 and after a one-year post-doc, joined the TCU Kinesiology Department in January of 2013.  His interest is in applied physiology with an emphasis on the effects of resistance training on sport and military performance.  He has conducted studies involving creatine supplementation, the effect of varying intra-set rest intervals on hypertrophic responses, and hormonal changes in response to different resistance exercise protocols.  Current work includes the effect of DHA supplementation on concussion resistance, variations in resistance exercise protocols, and the effect other nutritional supplements on resistance exercise performance and the prevention of muscle damage.

Recent Publications:

  1. †Oliver, J. M.; *Jenke, S. C.; Kreutzer, A.; *Mata, J. D.; Jones, M. T., Acute effect of cluster and traditional set configurations on myokines associated with hypertrophy. International Journal of Sports Medicine, In press.
  2. *Anzalone, A. J.; Blueitt, D.; Case, T.; McGuffin, T.; Pollard, K. M.; Garrison, J. C.; Jones, M. T.; Pavur, R.; *Turner, S. M.; †Oliver, J. M., Postive vestibular/ocular motor screening (VOMS) increases recovery time following sports-related concussion. American Journal of Sports Medicine, In press.
  3. Jagim, A. R.; Rader, O.; Jones, M. T.; Oliver, J. M., The physical demands of multi-modal training competitions and their relationship to measures of performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, In press.
  4. Hull, M. V.; Jagim, A.; Oliver, J. M.; Greenwood, M.; Busteed, D. R.; Jones, M. T., Gender differences and access to a sports dietitian influence dietary habits of collegiate athletes. Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition 2016, 13 (38), DOI: 10.1186/s12970-016-0149-4
  5. Jäger, R.; Purpura, M.; *Stone, J. D.; *Turner, S. M.; *Anzalone, A. J.; Eimerbrink, M.; Pane, M.; Amoruso, A.; Rowlands, D. S.; †Oliver, J. M., Probiotic streptococcus thermophilus FP4 and bifidobacterium breve BR03 supplementation attenuates performance and range-of-motion decrements following muscle damaging exercise. Nutrients 2016, 8 (642). 10.3390/nu8100642
  6. †Oliver, J. M.; Jones, M. T.; Kirk, K. M.; Gable, D. A.; *Repshas, J. T.; *Johnson, T. A.; Andreasson, U.; Norgren, N.; Blennow, K.; Zetterberg, H., Serum neurofilament light in American football athletes over the course of a season. Journal of Neurotrauma 2016, 33, 1784-1789.
  7. †Oliver, J. M.; *Van Eck, L. E.; Almada, A. L.; Rowlands, D. S.; Shah, M.; Mitchell, J. B.; Jones, M. T.; Jagim, A. R., Ingestion of high molecular weight carbohydrate enhances subsequent repeated maximal power: A randomized controlled trial. Plos One 2016, DOI:
  8. †Oliver, J. M.; Stoner, L.; Rowlands, D. S.; Caldwell, A. R.; Sanders, E.; Kreutzer, A.; Mitchell, J. B.; Purpura, M.; Jäger, R., Novel form of curcumin improves endothelial function in young, healthy individuals: A double-blind placebo controlled study. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism 2016,
  9. Jones, M. T.; Jagim, A. R.; Haff, G. G.; Carr, P. J.; Martin, J.; †Oliver, J. M., Greater strength drives difference in power between sexes in the conventional deadlift exercise. Sports 2016, 4 (43).
  10. †Oliver, J. M.; Jones, M. T.; Kirk, K. M.; Gable, D. A.; *Repshas, J. T.; *Johnson, T. A.; Andreasson, U.; Norgren, N.; Blennow, K.; Zetterberg, H., Effect of docosahexaenoic acid on a biomarker of head trauma in American football. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2016, 48 (6), 974-982.
  11. *Mata, J. D.; Oliver, J. M.; Jagim, A. R.; Jones, M. T., Sex differences in strength and power support the use of a mixed-model approach to resistance training programming. Strength and Conditioning Journal 2016, 38 (2), 2-7.
  12. Lockard, B.; Earnest, C. P.; Oliver, J. M.; Goodenough, C. G.; Rasmussen, C.; Greenwood, M.; Kreider, R., Retrospective analysis of protein and carbohydrate focused diets combined with exercise on metabolic syndrome prevalence in overweight and obese women. Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 2016, 14 (4), 228-237.
  13. Crouse, S. F.; White, S.; Erwin, J. P.; Meade, T. H.; Martin, S. E.; Oliver, J. M.; Joubert, D. P.; Lambert, B. S.; Bramhall, J. P.; Gill, K., Echocadiographic and blood pressure characteristics of first year collegiate American style football players. American Journal of Cardiology 2016, 117, 131-134.
  14. †Oliver, J. M.; *Kreutzer, A.; *Jenke, S. C.; Phillips, M. D.; Mitchell, J. B.; Jones, M. T., Velocity drives greater power observed during back squat using cluster sets. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2016, 30 (1), 235-243.
  15. Abt, J. P.; Oliver, J. M.; Sell, T. C.; Lovalekar, M. T.; Beals, K.; Wood, D. E.; Lephart, S. M., Block-periodized training improves physiological and tactically-relevant performance in Naval Special Warfare Operators. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2016, 30 (1), 39-52.

* denotes mentorship/direct supervision of student researcher.

† denotes principal investigator/corresponding author.

The Physical Activity & Developmental Disability Lab is equipped with a variety of measurement tools for the objective measurement of physical activity and motor development. The lab is also equipped with a DEXA machine allowing for the measurement and assessment of body fat and bone mineral density. The DEXA unit is shared by student and faculty researchers throughout the department.

Generally, the research goal of the laboratory is to better understand health and physical function in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A second goal is designing and implementing programs to decrease functional and health disparities in these groups.

Located in Room 256
TCU Rickel Academic Wing
Director: Phil Esposito


Current Project Titles

  • Anthropometric measures as an indicator of cardiovascular health in individuals with intellectual disabilities
  • Test-retest reliability of the Purdue Pegboard in adults with intellectual disabilities
  • Nintendo Wii® balance training for preschool children with Down syndrome
  • The effect of adapted physical education on motor skill development in preschool children with Down syndrome
  • Effect of an 8-week physical activity intervention for adults with intellectual & developmental disabilities

Physical activity and body composition in youth with cerebral palsy

The Sport Psychology Lab is a multipurpose facility centered on the three pillars of the TCU program: research, teaching, and consulting. The three separate rooms in the lab allow for group discussions, team sessions, and individual consultations.

Located in Room 257
TCU Rickel Academic Wing
Contact: Gloria Solomon

In the realm of research, four major endeavors are conducted in and through the lab: model testing, body image research, expectancy effects, and optimism in coaching.


Model Testing

A model for the enhancement of fitness, motivation, and self-esteem through physical activity has been created and tested in all of the elementary, middle, and high school physical education settings in the Fort Worth Independent School District. The curriculum has since been used in many other school districts around the state. Graduate students have the opportunity work in the K-12 setting using the curricular content which has emerged from the model and to assess psychological and fitness variables with any of the developmental and ethnicity levels of the students.


Body Image Research

Another crucial area of research within the fields of sport, exercise, and health is the perception of body image. Research in this lab has been successful in developing a theoretical model for muscle dysmorphia, development of the Muscle Dysmorphia Inventory, and testing of different psychological variables related to the MD model. Eating disorders have been examined for prevention and treatment avenues. Ethnicity has been the main focus for all ages of individuals plagued with these body image issues.


Expectancy Effects

The exploration of expectancy effects in competitive sport is an ongoing area of research. A cross-cultural investigation of how coaches develop athletes in Germany and the United States is taking place. More than 600 coaches completed the Solomon Expectancy Sources Scale and the results demonstrate distinct differences in coach training.


Optimism in Coaching

A new line of research exploring the influence of optimism and pessimism on coaching behaviors and success is underway. Using the framework of positive psychology, we seek to determine if optimistic coaches are more successful. Also of interest are athlete’s perceptions of coach optimism.

In terms of teaching and consulting, there are a multitude of activities performed in the lab. Video production equipment allows students to learn how to produce DVDs for various purposes (educational, performance enhancement, and confidence-building) for clients. The lab contains various state-of-the-art technology and equipment including iMacs, digital still and video cameras, and biofeedback software that allows students to learn how to use equipment. Three rooms are available for small group sessions, team and individual consulting needs, and teaching seminars.

The Metabolic Laboratory includes a metabolic kitchen and dining area, computer facilities, several nutrition software programs including Nutrition Data System for Research and Food Processor to analyze nutrient intake and ProNutra software to design metabolic diets of specific nutrient composition, and food models for use in the classroom and in research studies.

The research goals of this laboratory include evaluating the impact of diets of varying macronutrient composition in combination with exercise on cardiovascular risk factors; designing and evaluating interventions that lead to improved weight loss and maintenance; and analyzing the impact of altering the energy density and appearance of a meal and the eating environment on energy intake. The laboratory is also used for conducting class laboratory exercises at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Located in Room 172K
TCU Rickel Academic Wing
Contact: Meena Shah

The Exercise Physiology Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology is located in room 259 of the Rickel Academic Wing. The lab is currently shared by three exercise physiology faculty: Dr. Joel Mitchell, Dr. Jonathan Oliver and Dr. Melody Phillips. It contains a variety of basic equipment for the assessment of human physiological function (treadmills, cycle ergometers, metabolic carts, heat chambers, and strength testing devices), as well as a blood chemistry lab equipped to perform basic blood and tissue assays.  We are also in the process of developing a fully-equipped resistance exercise laboratory.

Blood and tissue analysis capabilities include spectrophotometers, fluorometer, osmometer, electrolyte analyzers, centrifuges, an ultra-low freezer, a cell harvester, a laminar flow biological hood, a differential cell counter/hematology analyzer, a microplate reader, an ultrasound device for FMD, cell incubators, a multiplex analysis unit, a DEXA, and numerous small pieces of support instrumentation. In addition, faculty in the lab collaborate with members of the Biology, Psychology, and Nursing Departments to expand our research capabilities through the use of the Core Biology Lab. The latter includes a flow cytometer, an ABI 7500 platform for real time RT-PCR, and other instruments for cellular and molecular-level analysis. With this equipment, we have the ability to conduct a variety of research projects dealing with the investigation of the effects of heat exposure on the stress responses during exercise and ways to mitigate these responses, the effects of exercise as a means of reducing the risk of diseases associated with inactivity, and the relationship between exercise and a variety of immunological responses.

The laboratory is used to conduct class laboratory exercises at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, senior research projects for the undergraduate movement science majors, master’s thesis projects, and faculty research projects. Students at all levels are encouraged to participate in ongoing research in the Exercise Physiology Laboratory, either to satisfy requirements or simply to broaden their research experience.

Located in Room 259
TCU Rickel Academic Wing

Joel B. Mitchell
Jonathan Oliver
Melody Phillips

The Motor Behavior Laboratory is equipped with a Peak Motus 3D Motion Analysis System with integrated EMG capability. The lab is housed in a 35-foot by 35-foot space that allows for data collection during the performance of most any motor activity.

Generally, the research goal of the laboratory is to understand the processes involved in the control and coordination of skilled movement. Our current projects involve the investigation of motor pattern change as a result of development and practice. Our approach is based on a dynamical systems perspective.

Located in Room 037
TCU Rickel Academic Wing
Director: Adam King