Physical training is about to become much more sophisticated and maximally efficient.
Elite athletes make extensive use of science to help them gain every performance advantage from the way they train. The advances that are being made in electronics and in sensing technologies used in medical devices is about to bring athletic training to a whole new level.
Reported by the American Chemical Society, an electronic biosensor has been developed that can sense the level of lactate (a form of lactic acid) in sweat. Build up of lactic acid is a byproduct of anaerobic metabolism, and is what causes muscle fatigue. Performance athletes train to make their anaerobic metabolism more efficient. By tracking lactic acid levels, they can tell if their training methods are paying off.
Until now, measuring lactic acid has required drawing blood and analyzing it at various stages of exercise. Expensive and impractical. With this new technology, athletes will be able to track their lactic acid levels in real time and continuously. This is going to have a tremendous impact on training regimens and in athletic performance.
Also being developed are sensing systems that can determine the level of recruitment of various muscle groups. Such a system has the promise of providing the feedback required to improve technique immensely. Imagine knowing exactly which muscles you were using in your golf swing. With realtime feedback, you’d be able to see – at the muscular level – where your technique was falling short. You’d be able to train yourself to adjust toward an ideal swing. Thanks to the work being done in medical device development, you are about to eliminate that hook and take ten strokes off your game!