The Real Science of Sport Podcast

Revealing the truth behind the games we play with Professor Ross Tucker and sports journalist Mike Finch

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  • 13. The Sceptics Guide To Sports Science with Dr Nick Tiller

    Dr Nick Tiller literally wrote the book on it, The Skeptics Guide to Sports Science (available from Amazon HERE). As an exercise scientist at Harbour-UCLA in the US, columnist, writer and author, Tiller challenges many of the claims made by marketers and others, in the name of sport science. With the team Tiller delves into the details of questionable sports science, how to spot the good from the bad and the areas where sports science is most vulnerable.Follow Nick: Web: Instagram: @nb.tiller X: @NBTiller

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  • 12. The Science of Weight Training

    The team is joined by Professor Stuart Phillips from the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University and one of the leading experts on resistance training. Phillips is the Director of the Physical Activity Centre of Excellence (PACE), the McMaster Centre for Nutrition, Exercise and Health Research and Lab Lead for the Exercise Metabolism Research Group. In this episode Phillips explains the amazing benefits of weight training, why even a little can reap big benefits for everyone and what sort of training suits best depending on your age, sport and goals.SHOW NOTES:Join us on Patreon for more content including access to our Science of Sport Discourse platform, and join the conversation!Follow our guest Prof Stuart Phillips on XStuart's recent paper on the coming of age of resistance training as a primary form of exercise for healthA previous article on Stuart's resistance training research from his universityA few of the specific papers on strength training that were discussed on the show:Resistance exercise load does not determine training-mediated hypertrophic gains in young menTraining for strength and hypertrophy: an evidence-based approachLow-load high volume resistance exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis more than high-load low volume resistance exercise in young menEffects of once- versus twice-weekly eccentric resistance training on muscular function and structure in older adults: a randomised controlled trialInstagram handle for Avery Faigenbaum, Professor of Pediatric Exercise Science, who Stuart mentioned as a good source of information
  • 11. DISCOURSE: China's Swimming Doping Controversy / Marathon Season Latest / Should Olympic Medallists Get Prize Money?

    A wrap-up of the best stories on our Discourse channel: Spring marathon season: The top performers / Should Eliud Kipchoge go to the Paris Olympics? / Why track and field athletes are earning prize money in Paris for the first time / Is the UCI doing enough to ensure the safety of pro cyclists? / China's doping controversy sparks division in the anti-doping world. SHOW NOTES: The Guardian story on prize money in athletics at the Paris Olympics The Guardian story on the 23 Chinese swimmers who won Olympic golds after testing positive for banned drugWADA statement on the case of the 23 swimmers Travis Tygart from USADA releases a statement about WADA statement WADA statement following comments by Tygart
  • 10. INTERVIEW: How to Fuel For Maximum Endurance Performance

    Building on from our previous discussions on optimal fuelling for endurance exercise, in this episode we go deep into the details of why carbohydrates are the rocket fuel for our bodies, and how we can take advantage of metabolic agility and different fuel strategies to unlock performance gains. To do this, we are joined by Dr Jamie Whitfield, a postdoctoral researcher in exercise nutrition and an expert in muscle physiology and metabolism. We explore how your body ‘chooses’ whether to burn fats or carbs as fuel and which carbs it prioritizes as we change our intensity and diet. We discuss whether fasting or feasting before exercise is beneficial, and we learn whether ketogenic diets hinder or enhance exercise performance.SHOW NOTES:Jamie’s X account: @jwhitfieJamie’s page at the ACUThe article by Jamie and a former guest, Prof Louise Burke, responding to Prof Tim Noakes on Keto diets and performance. The entire point-counterpoint is available at the link: research study that Jamie referred to that looked at how ingesting carbohydrates at different rates affected total carbohydrate use during exercise:
  • 9. Safety vs Spectacle: Rugby at a Crossroads

    In this special episode we join an exclusive panel discussion - in partnership with World Rugby - to debate the future of the sport as it battles to find a balance between the welfare and safety of players and the enjoyment of the game by both participants and spectators. On the panel is Dr Eanna Falvey, World Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer, and former British & Irish Lions Team Doctor; Kate Zachary, the experienced American women's captain and veteran of two World Cups; Ugo Monye, an English rugby pundit/commentator and former rugby union player who played 14 times for England, 241 times for his only club Harlequins and played twice for the British & Irish Lions on their 2009 tour to South Africa; English Test player Sarah Bern, who was shortlisted for World Rugby’s Women’s Player of the Year award in 2019 and our very own co-host Prof Ross Tucker, who is also a Research Consultant and Independent Scientist with World Rugby.SHOW NOTES:The videos from the entire Welfare Week, not just those preceding this session, will be available on the World Rugby site soon. They're not out just yet, unfortunately, but check back here in the next few days for the specific links.
  • 8. Rugby's Radical Law Change Proposals / The IOC And Their Controversial Trangender Policy

    It's one of the hottest topics on our Discourse channel but can World Rugby's new law proposasl preserve the spectacle of the game while still ensuring player safety? The team dig into some of the changes being trialled and proposals for more changes.Plus ultra runners Camille Herron - who broke six world endurance running records on her way to a new women's six-day record - and Jasmin Paris - who became the first female to finish the legendary Barkley Marathon - have raised the question of how women compare to men in endurance sport. Is the gap closing?Plus why did a group of 26 independent scientists (including Ross) publish a paper to refute the IOC's framework and academic paper on transgender athletes?Support our work on Patreon HERE at and get free access to our Discourse channel HERE SHOW NOTES:Rugby rule changes on our Discourse group. the use of the TMO in rugbyWorld Rugby wants to ­overhaul TMO protocol which has come under widespread criticism for bringing too many lengthy stoppages to the game. Women's Ultrarunning Discourse discussion on the Barkley marathonSean Ingle's article on Jasmin Paris' Barkley successTransgender PaperThe academic paper refuting the IOC's Framework and scientific argumentOur Discourse discussion on the paper and the issuesMore than 100 elite British sportswomen have told the BBC they would be uncomfortable with transgender women competing in female categories in their sport.
  • 8. How Maddie Won The Zwift Academy

    Never-say-die Maddie le Roux may have been forced to give up her dream of becoming a professional cyclist until the Zwift Academy changed her life and her career. Here's how hard work and pure determination helped this bubbly 27-year-old turn a dream into a reality.