Russell, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions and illuminate our TNC audience.
First off, why are you an EP?
I chose to became an Exercise Physiologist (EP) before I had heard of EP's as a profession. At 5 years old I had Perthes disease, at that time surgery was the only option, and as an adult working as a PT and beginning an exercise science undergrad I knew I wanted to help people with not just exercise but in recovering from injury or disease. I may only have a minor role but it's satisfying to see people's health improve.
Through university you did a bit of research around the effect of exercise on metabolic conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. Could you break down, simply, how exercise can help for people?
Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a multifactorial condition that affects women of reproductive age, these women will typically be overweight or obese, pre-diabetic or type 2 diabetic, reproductive hormone imbalances and be infertile and likely to suffer from mental health issues.
The first line therapy is lifestyle interventions, which is dietary modifications and physical activity. Exercise can reduce the body weight, assist in moving from a type 2 diabetic state to pre-diabetic, improve mental health. The exercise that appears from the research to help the best is high intensity interval training.
Prior to being an EP you were an S&C coach, how has that informed your approach to working with EP clients?
I believe S&C is complimentary to the work an EP does, majority of the exercise programming is for athletes who do have some form of injury. I will use all tools available in my knowledge to provide the best service to clients.
When not researching, studying, working etc what can you be found doing?
I can generally be found watching sport (AFL, Formula 1 and basketball mostly), walking my dog 'Felix' although I am not sure sometimes who is walking who. I try to read fiction books as much as possible but it usually is late at night and I end up reading the same page a few times.
Have you got any heroes in the muscular skeletal/exercise physiology world, or more generally have you got any people that you’d consider to be a hero? Who are they and why?
I am not sure I have heroes, but yes there are people that I have followed for some time.
Mick Hughes (Physio and EP) - I first came across Mick Hughes through the Collingwood netball team, he has great online learning material, great short videos of musculoskeletal assessments or exercises.
Stuart Phillips (Prof - physiology) - Stuart shares excellent content on his twitter, around various research from exercise physiology to muscular strength.
Tony Grizzanti (Ops manager - Madame Tussauds London) - Tony was the operations manager when I worked at MT's, he was instrumental in shaping me into the person I am today, through customer service to staff and visitors, looking at situations from different perspectives and finding solutions to problems. He combined humour, emotional intelligence and determination to push people and the teams to success.
There will be a lot more that I can specify or narrow down, I take little bits from everyone to help shape my knowledge.