Buckinghamshire New University helps to get the ‘Chairboys’ in shape

Footballers from Wycombe Wanderers FC have been put through their paces in the Human Performance Laboratory at Buckinghamshire New University.

The session in the Lab at the University was part of the players’ pre-season training programme and the team spent time undergoing strength and conditioning testing.

Gary Peters, Human Performance Lab manager, said, “Working with Dr Mark Stone, Senior Lecturer in Sport Science & Coaching, we put the squad through a series of assessments to serve as baseline data at the beginning of their pre-season training.

“It also served as an opportunity for four Sports Science and Coaching Studies students to gain valuable experience working with a squad of professional athletes.

“Hopefully this will be the start of a strong working partnership throughout the forthcoming season.”

The Human Performance Lab is equipped for assessing the function and performance of a wide range of human physiological, biomechanical and psychological parameters.

It has helped a number of world-class athletes to perform at their best.

“In June, F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo of the Toro Rosso team, along with his fitness coach, visited the Lab to ascertain the cause of a persistent niggle.

“After discussions with his fitness coach, associate lecturer Ashley Richardson and I put Dan through a series of assessments designed to highlight any potential areas of concern.

“Once data was collected it enabled the coach to work with Daniel to strengthen parts of his body as he competes in the F1 circuit,” said Mr Peters.

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Wycombe Wanderers’ Jesse Kewley-Graham in the Human Performance Laboratory

The key aim during the Wycombe Wanderers visit was to gather data which will assist team physiotherapist, Theo Farley, in limiting the amount of injuries the Chairboys pick up during the season.

Farley said: “We’re never going to completely eradicate injuries, but we’re actively trying to reduce them. The lads did some strength testing and isokinetic testing of their hamstrings and quads.

“The facilities at Bucks New University were second to none and we’re very grateful that we were able to utilise the staff’s knowledge as we prepare for a gruelling season.”

The players were split in to three groups, midfielders and goalkeepers, defenders, and strikers, before being put through their paces in the HPL early in July.

Team Manager, Gareth Ainsworth, is always looking for opportunities to vary the team’s training activities. “We can’t afford to go away to exotic places so we try to break things up and the odd day we’ll do something different.

“I’ve been really pleased with the condition the boys have come back in. They have been total professionals over the summer and have done everything I asked of them. Just about every one of them has beaten their last score from last pre-season on the testing we’ve been doing.”

From September 2009 to September 2012, the lab was involved in a series of research projects headed by Dr Ian Gallen (Consultant Diabetologist) from Buckinghamshire Healthcare. Dr Gallen helped five-time Olympic rowing gold medallist Steve Redgrave after his diagnosis with diabetes, to train and manage his insulin leading up to his fifth gold medal.

Mr Peters, working in the Lab with a research registrar, led a number of volunteers through various research trials under various conditions to examine novel ways for the diabetic exerciser to overcome episodes of hypoglycaemia.