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Statistical Considerations for Exercise Protocols Aimed at Measuring Trainability

Voisin, Sarah1; Jacques, Macsue1; Lucia, Alejandro2,3; Bishop, David J.1,4; Eynon, Nir1,5

Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews: January 2019 - Volume 47 - Issue 1 - p 37–45
doi: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000176

The individual response to exercise training is of great interest with methods that have been proposed to measure this response reviewed in this paper. However, individual training response estimates may be biased by various sources of variability present in exercise studies, and in particular by within-subject variability. We propose the use of protocols that can separate trainability from within-subject variability.

Repeated exercise interventions (for short interventions) or repeated testing during the intervention (for long interventions) should be used to partition trainability from within-subject variability.

1Institute for Health and Sport (iHeS), Victoria University, Victoria, Australia;

2European University of Madrid (Faculty of Sports Sciences) and Research Institute ‘i+12’;

3Biomedical Research Centre, Network of Frailty and Healthy Aging, Madrid, Spain;

4School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup; and

5Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia

Address for correspondence: Nir Eynon, Institute for Health and Sport (iHeS), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia 8001 (E-mail:

Accepted for publication: October 10, 2018.

Editor: Stephen E. Alway, Ph.D., FACSM.

© 2019 American College of Sports Medicine