Paul Macadam

Paul Macadam

Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Master of Sport and Exercise
Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise

Wearable resistance technology is becoming an increasingly important tool to improve human performance, but how can it best be used in athlete development? That’s the interesting topic sport and recreation student Paul Macadam is exploring for his PhD, particularly focusing on the effects of wearable resistance on rotational work during sprint-running.

“My research aligns with the concept of movement specificity; the training action mimics the movement/sporting action. Wearable resistance enables light loads (50-300g) to be attached to different parts of the body providing a resistance method to overload the specific action being performed.

“While there are multiple resistance training methods available, all of which have various pros and cons, wearable resistance allows a more specific training action to be utilised by athletes and practitioners.”

Paul’s PhD research is supervised by Professor John Cronin and Dr Jono Neville from AUT’s School of Sport and Recreation. His research also gave him the chance to collaborate with wearable resistance specialists LILA®, the developers of the most advanced and comprehensive wearable resistance solution currently available for athletes.

World-class staff and facilities
Throughout his studies, Paul has enjoyed learning about research and developing as a researcher.

“AUT is recognised as a global leader in sport science research. The staff at AUT are very passionate about pushing the boundaries of research and are pioneers in their respective fields.

“AUT has a strong international presence and from studying through AUT I’ve been able to connect with researchers from all over the world, leading to several international collaboration projects.”

He also appreciates having access to the world-class facilities at AUT Millennium.

“I’ve enjoyed being able to access the facilities at AUT Millennium for personal and research purposes, and learning about different ongoing research from local and international guest speakers.”

Advice for other students
Expecting to complete his PhD in 2020, Paul has some great advice for other students.

“My advice would be to connect with other students and staff. Try to get involved in other projects as this not only helps out other people, but can teach you new skills and lead to collaboration projects. Maintain control of your projects and try not to rely on other people too much.”

He would highly recommend AUT’s postgraduate sport programmes, says Paul who plans to build on his PhD research and ongoing international collaborations, while helping develop research practices in the Isle of Man in Great Britain.

“AUT provides access to industry-level facilities and industry expert staff in a very accessible way. At AUT, and in New Zealand in general, there is less of a hierarchical structure than in most universities and countries, and therefore students can easily find help and support from fellow students and staff. Ultimately this makes studying much more enjoyable and easier to manage.”