By Erika Matich | University Communications
AURORA, Colo. – Student-athletes at University of Colorado Boulder are honing their athletic performance with help from the experts at CU’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (AHWC). Athletes from CU’s football team and men’s and women’s basketball teams are participating in leading-edge testing and monitoring allowing them to get the most of their training and perform to their best ability while avoiding injury.
“We will monitor approximately 140 athletes, creating performance programs that work for each individual,” said Iñigo San Millán, PhD, director of the sports performance program at AHWC. “We can look at the cells in a blood sample and assess whether an athlete is fatigued or overtraining. The sample also tells us if there is muscle damage that may make an athlete more prone to injury.”
Exercise experts from AHWC are in Boulder twice a week to monitor progress as the athletes work with dietitians to make sure they are fueling and hydrating their bodies in ways that promote performance success.
“We as an athletic department and football team feel this is a great opportunity to better the health of our student-athletes,” CU head football coach Mike MacIntyre said. “No one person is the same. Our coaches will have a better understanding of recovery times and the ability to train these young people correctly to better enhance their performances. The other side of this is preventive; it should help limit muscle injuries and allow the proper time to recover.”
San Millán, a professor in family medicine at CU’s School of Medicine, says athletes also need to give themselves time to recover. “We need to start considering the recovery period part of the workout. That represents a shift in thinking but if an athlete doesn’t have the proper food and time to give their bodies a chance to recover, these grueling workouts can do more harm than good. “
San Millán is one of the world’s foremost exercise physiologists. He applies the latest scientific methodologies to help athletes, weekend warriors and people who want to improve their health and get more out of their exercise time. San Millán also has worked with professional teams and elite athletes in hockey, soccer, baseball, running, cycling, and rowing. His successes include six Pro Tour Cycling Teams and a Tour de France winner.
“Our ability to offer the latest science in optimizing human performance has been verified by elite athletes around the world,” said Jim Ellis, director of operations at AHWC. “Our experts, like Inigo, combine physiology, nutrition, psychology and coaching to ensure athletes at every level have a program that helps them excel in their desired sport. “