20.03.2019 change 20.03.2019

An algorithm for optimal training

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Based on current analysis of parameters such as heart rate, blood sugar level or adrenaline level, the system developed at the University of Warsaw will allow to adjust the level of physical activity to the current capabilities of the body. It is designed to automatically modify the load so that the athlete maintains an optimal training intensity level.

The idea behind the solution called Activiti is to ensure maximum possible progress in training without overtraining. Ultimately, the solution will be offered not only to professional athletes, but also to amateurs and anyone who would like to achieve their dream sporting goal in a safe manner, such as a marathon run, the university representatives inform in a press release.

The new algorithm will analyse data on key biological and biochemical indicators of the athlete and, depending on the current situation and needs, make minor or major adjustments in the training plan. To determine the current state of the athlete`s body, the system uses basic biological parameters such as heart rate, blood sugar, body temperature and biochemical parameters, including adrenaline or lactic acid levels. Measurement of all these parameters does not require a visit to the laboratory. "It can be done at home. The ultimate goal of the solution is that each athlete should be in a kind of corridor, brackets - below overtraining, but above undertraining" - reads the release sent to PAP.

There are many physical activity monitoring systems on the market. They show the basic parameters of the activity performed: distance, number of calories burned, heart rate. With such data, you can refer to guides, download free training tips, or see a trainer who will develop a plan that will allow to prepare for a specific goal in the given time. But those systems do not use information about training goals. They do not take the information about the athlete`s physical preparation, current state of health or fitness into account. This means that the training plan is based on averaged values. It is not personalized and does not provide optimal results possible for a given athlete. This means that it is not known whether the implementation of the training program - regardless of whether it has been prepared by a trainer, downloaded or sourced from a book - runs optimally. Athletes always ask whether, for example, they run too fast or too slowly, how long they should take to regenerate, what the next training should look like, etc.

"In my youth I was a pro swimmer. That was many years ago, but little has changed since then in terms of sports training. Training parameters are determined by the trainer based on his knowledge, experience and intuition. Trainers often do not use modern tools that provide objective data allowing to personalize the training in relation to the characteristics and current status of the athlete. The results include overtraining and declining form, and above all, athletes can achieve their maximum potential only by chance" - says the inventor of the Activiti system, Prof. Robert Małecki from the Institute of German Studies at the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Warsaw, an active triathlete.

Prof. Małecki`s project was awarded a grant in the Innovation Incubator+ competition of the University Centre for Technology Transfer of the University of Warsaw.

"Funds from the grant will be used to confirm that the analytical model developed is correct. Collaboration with athletes should show that subtle training plan modifications will affect the athletes` bodies and form The commercialisation plan assumes setting up a spin off company. Once the effectiveness of algorithms is confirmed, they will probably be patented and offered in the form of a license" - says Robert Dwiliński, director of the University Centre for Technology Transfer of the University of Warsaw, quoted in the press release.

Prof. Małecki explains that at this stage the algorithm is being improved by specialists. After the 45-day trial period, all athletes` data will be analysed. For example, if it is confirmed that the use of the algorithm by a group of athletes (compared to a group that did not use the system) reduces the resting heart rate, which correlates with the level of body fatigue, it will prove that the algorithm allows to control the correct regeneration of the body.

"Together with mathematicians, I check the optimal density of load points to determine the extent, to which changes to the training plan are significant. The tests of the optimised algorithm began in January 2019, and we will have results in March. At that point we will determine whether the algorithm works in accordance with the assumptions" - says Prof. Robert Małecki.

PAP - Science in Poland

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