Strength and Conditioning

The Strength and Conditioning Research Group aims to determine how best to assess and develop endurance, strength and power to improve performance in many different groups, ranging from youth to elite athletes.

We connect our postgraduate students with industry professionals looking to improve their performance or potential through the integration of theory into practice. Our staff and students work alongside those responsible for the design, development and delivery of strength and conditioning for sport performances at a local, regional, national and international level.

Our activities and students

Strength and conditioning has a large cohort of students involved in a wide variety of applied research. A substantial number of our students are involved in the four research themes below.

Research themes

  1. Human movement
  2. Speed and COD
  3. Wearable resistance training
  4. Strength and power profiling

Doctoral Candidates

  • Dogus Bakici
    Topic: The acute and chronic effects of various volume flywheel exercise on athletic performance
    Supervisors: Matt Brughelli, Matt Cross, Ivan Jukic
  • Shelley Diewald
    Topic: Integrating technology to understand performance and inform training of freestyle board sports
    Supervisors: Matt Cross, Jono Neville Cameron Ross, John Cronin
  • James Forster
    Topic: Advancing the diagnostic value of the pro-agility shuttle and the acute and chronic effects of training with wearable resistance on pro-agility shuttle performance
    Supervisors: Aaron Uthoff, Michael Rumpf, John Cronin
  • Christian Houmann
    Topic: The impact of specificity and individualised exercise selection on strength development in the powerlifts
    Supervisors:  Mike McGuigan, Eric Helms, Alyssa-Joy Spence
  • Trey Job
    Topic: The effects of wearable resistance on the throwing velocity, shoulder strength and biomechanics of baseball players
    Supervisors: Matt Cross, Ryan Crotin, John Cronin
  • Andrew King
    Title: Acute carbohydrate strategies for resistance training performance
    Supervisors: Eric Helms, Caryn Zinn
  • Kedric Kwan
    Topic: Evaluating rapid weight cutting strategies for the powerlifter
    Supervisors: Eric Helms, Adam Storey, Brandon Roberts
  • Hamish Kyne
    Topic: The effects of wearable resistance on jump diagnostics and performance
    Supervisors: John Cronin, Jono Neville
  • Sohee Lee
    Topic: The effect of circuit training versus traditional strength training on physiological and psychological responses in women
    Supervisors: Eric Helms, Jamie Hibbert, Matthew Schubert, John Cronin
  • José Antonio Martínez-Rodríguez
    Topic: The effect of improving base running efficiency on baseball players
    Supervisors: John Cronin, Ryan Crotin
  • Riccardo Michelini
    Topic: Concussion and neck strength in professional rugby union athletes: An exploration into the utility of novel neck strength testing and training methods
    Supervisors: Aaron Uthoff, Nicholas Gill, Patria Hume
  • Courtney Mitchell
    Topic: Exploring the influence of physical demands, technical demands, and menstrual cycle on elite academy female footballers
    Supervisors: Aaron Uthoff, Matt Cross, Alice Sweeting
  • Mark Pryer
    Topic: Characterizing pick-up acceleration capability
    Supervisors: Matt Cross, John Cronin
  • Sam Purchase
    Topic: Force-velocity profiling: Development and implementation of further movement pattern protocols with consideration towards practitioners
    Supervisors: Adam Storey,Michael McGuigan
  • Chloe Ryan
    Topic: Acute and longitudinal effects of wearable resistance on change of direction performance
    Supervisor: Aaron Uthoff, Chloe McKenzie, John Cronin
  • Anthony Sharp
    Topic: Multiple hop testing – the information available and diagnostic value to athlete profiling
    Supervisors: John Cronin, Jono Neville
  • Colby Sousa
    Topic: Implementation of a low-volume power-type day to improve resistance training performance and recovery
    Supervisors: Eric Helms, Adam Storey, Michael Zourdos
  • Tanuj Wadhi
    Topic: Predicting athlete recovery and readiness-to-perform using machine learning with wearable sensors
    Supervisors: Daniel Plews, Jonathan Neville, John Cronin
  • John Wilson
    Topic: The effect of amplitude and frequency of oscillation-based training on ballistic performance
    Supervisors: Matt Cross, Michael Schofield, John Cronin
  • Zhi Yuan
    Topic: The use of rate of power development  to monitor power production ability.
    Supervisors:  Mike McGuigan, Matt Brughelli

Masters Candidates

  • Jason Clarke
    Topic: Understanding the influence of mode and frequency of online powerlifting coaching on lifter satisfaction, change in powerlifting total, and length of the lifter-coach relationship
    Supervisors: Alyssa-Joy Spence, Eric Helms
  • Kenny Tan
    Topic: The influence of the dynamic strength index on deceleration and change of direction ability in semi-professional and professional rugby union players.
    Supervisors: Adam Storey

The group also has a number of international and national partners that are involved in these research areas, some of which are providing PhD scholarships. For specific details of the research activity please visit the Strength and Conditioning staff and postgraduate student profiles.

TruStrength Tech

TruStrength Tech has been developed in-house and in conjunction with Texas-headquartered Athlete Training and Health. The device gathers real-time movement analysis and a more robust sense of the forces applied than traditional force-measuring devices.

  • Bailey's research looked at using the TruStrength Tech Max to quantify elastic-based resistance training for shoulder rehabilitation.
    Find out more on YouTube
  • Jess' research investigated using the TruStrength Tech Max to assess and monitor strength and force output during knee osteoarthritis rehabilitation.
    Find out more on YouTube


LILA specialises in wearable resistance that can be applied around the whole body. Using micro-loads, resistance can be applied to the arms, trunk, and legs, to overload sports-specific movements.

  • Chloe's research looked into using LILA wearable resistance with netball players and change of direction parameters.
    Find out more on YouTube
  • James' research investigated LILA wearable resistance for sprint performance and change of direction in athletes.
    Find out more on YouTube


Myovolt provides wearable vibration therapy, designed to promote localised blood flow and stimulate neuromuscular function. Their unique technology can be applied to exercise recovery for muscular fatigue, right through to rehab treatment for overuse injuries.

  • Hannah's research investigated the acute effects of localised vibration therapy on lower body neruomuscular performance.
    Find out more on YouTube


Enode offers a small strength training device with large results. Enode Pro can easily sit on a barbell or slot into any of their attachments, and will provide data on velocity, 3D bar path, and more to maximise performance without overtraining.

  • Ivan's research investigated and validated Enode's metrics for barbell-based velocity training and impacts of fatigue.
    Find out more on YouTube

Renaissance Periodization

Renaissance Periodization provides scientifically-sound and evidence-based diet and training consultation, offered through their RP Diet App, diet and training templates, coaching, and various successful e-books.

  • Kai's research was funded by Renaissance Periodization, looking into the nutritional strategies employed by strength physique athletes the week before competition and which best improve performance.
    Find out more on YouTube


Exerfly is a New Zealand-based company providing flywheel training solutions for sport-specific movements and an alternative to traditional resistance training. Their unique technology offers a safe way to eccentrically overload movement to maximise performance.

  • Matt's research investigated and validated Exerfly's metrics with gold standard linear position transducers and force plates for a squat movement.

PhD students

  • Ivan Jukic
    Topic: Velocity-based training: Optimising resistance training monitoring and prescription for enhanced muscular strength and power development
    Supervisors:  Eric Helms, Michael McGuigan, James Tufano
  • Kimberly SantaBarbara
    Topic: Effects of the menstrual cycle in resistance trained athletes
    Supervisors: Eric Helms, Nigel Harris

Masters students

  • John Black
    Topic: Brawn and Brains: An exploration into the links between personality and exercise selection
    Supervisor: Aaron Uthoff
  • Emily Cavell
    Topic: The influence of menstrual cycle phase on the kinetic outputs and subjective experience of cluster sets during high-volume bench press.
    Supervisors: Adam Storey, Casey Watkins
  • James Farr
    Topic: The 11+ Part 2: Can it be improved to further enhance physical performance in recreational female football players?
    Supervisors: Michael McGuigan, Chris Whatman
  • Kai Homer
    Topic: The effect of carbohydrate loading on subjective bodybuilding scoring, muscle size and mood states
    Supervisors: Eric Helms, Matthew Cross
  • Morgan Hutchings
    Topic: The Impact of COVID-19 Isolation on Strength and Power Profiles in Professional Rugby Union Players
    Supervisor: Adam Storey, Casey Watkins
  • Jack Kovacs
    An exploration into the association between maximal isometric calf strength and sprinting and jumping performance in male rugby union athletes.
    Supervisor: Aaron Uthoff
  • Courtney Mitchell
    Topic: Using Inertial Foot Pods to Develop a Gait Protocol to Assist with Concussion Diagnosis and Monitoring
    Supervisor: John Cronin
  • Sean Richardson
    Topic: Monitoring strategies used by police tactical groups: A narrative review of the literature
    Supervisor: Michael McGuigan
  • Hannah Tiedt
    Topic: The use of wearable and local vibration training for rehabilitation purposes and performance outcomes using Myovolt technology in isometric and eccentric exercises
    Supervisors: Aaron Uthoff, Dianne Jones, John Cronin

Research bytes

Watch our short videos of exciting current research by SPRINZ staff and postgraduate students.

Find out more