The Adams State University Human Performance and Physical Education (HPPE) department travelled to Denver, amidst a snowy forecast in early March for the regional exercise science annual conference. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (RMACSM) conference was held at Metro State University of Denver March 1st and 2nd. The conference was attended by universities across Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico to showcase recent research with a handful of keynote speakers discussing all things exercise science and human performance related.
There were great speaker presentations on both days including Dr. Dave Hydock, an ASU alumni, who talked about the future of cancer drug treatment research related to the benefits of exercise which is ongoing at the University of Northern Colorado. For now, this research is being conducted on rats with the hopes to move to human subjects. The keynote speaker was Dr. Len Kravitz from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Kravitz talked about a hot topic in the fitness industry, high intensity interval training, aka HIIT, and the different methods that have been studied which are being utilized by world-class athletes everywhere to improve fitness. Another speaker in attendance was Max Schmarzo who works for a Denver training facility called Strong by Science. His talk had a science base, but he moved into how he works every day to make what is learned in the classroom very applicable to athletes. As a certified strength and conditioning coach working with some of the amazing professional and college athletes across Colorado, Max expressed in his talk how proud he was to utilize science and the newest research in order to get the best training possible for those athletes.
Led by professors of HPPE, Dr. Tracey Robinson and Maria Martinez, a group of 25 ASU students from HPPE attended the conference together. Ten of the 25 students were in the HPPE graduate program, and five were first-year undergraduate students. This was the largest group from the department to attend the RMACSM conference in years and the students represented ASU well.
Four graduate students were able to present their research while at the conference. The presented research from the universities in attendance showcased the variety of work in this field ranging from police officer strength training programs to the effect of a chemotherapy drug during exercise on rats. Each presenter created a poster that was judged by either members of the RMACSM board or professors from the different universities.
HPPE graduate students presented three posters: David Sheppard presented his thesis research titled “Variations on Wingate load to optimize peak power output in NCAA II collegiate athletes”. Danielle Smith was also able to present her thesis research, “Effect of an 8-week supervised, physical activity program on cancer survivor’s health, fitness, and QOL”. Alexis Colwell and Shelby McBain presented research from an ongoing study in the HPPE department, “Effect of a physical activity intervention on fitness and quality of life in cancer survivors”. All the ASU posters generated questions from the conference attendees and were well received.