When you improve your math exercises

Interval training (PPE) is the best way to increase cardio-respiratory capacity and overall athletic performance. An athlete preparing for the Olympics is as happy as an amateur athlete or a patient who wants to improve his physical condition or health.

There are many tools to help kinesiologists, coaches, and athletes develop PPE sessions. But none appear to have been designed to adequately match the different components of PPE – the nature of the activity, the number, duration and intensity of effort, the parts of recovery as well as the number of groups that divide these fractions.

That’s what has always bothered Jay Thibault, an exercise physiologist and associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Science of Physical Activity (EKSAP) at the University of Montreal.

This scientist recently retired from his position as Scientific Director of the National Institute of Sports (INS) in Quebec, and is completely dedicated to developing a web application for personal protective equipment, his main specialty.

“It’s the culmination of 35 years of work, it’s the challenge of a lifetime,” he says excitedly.

A group of diverse talents

First of all, you should know that PPE applications work thanks to mathematical models and algorithms that specifically seek to balance the degree of difficulty of each session in order to ensure progress. But even the most popular models can deliver sessions that are physically useless.

“Familiar mannequins can lead to sessions where the person has to perform the first part of the effort with a greater intensity than that of his record, which is obviously insane,” explains Jay Thibault, referring to a recent computer simulation study he conducted.

The physiologist strives to develop a more efficient and user-friendly model that always allows the degree of difficulty to be controlled according to the needs of the athlete.

To get there, he called on the expertise of Jonathan Tremblay, PhD, physiology and professor at EKSAP, and Jeremy Briand, a master’s student in exercise physiology at UdeM, data scientist at INS and Canadian triathlon champion.

Together, they designed a graphic model in the form of a rotating cube in which all parameters of the PPE session are combined. The final algorithm will allow users to correctly control the degree of difficulty of the sessions; None of it will be too easy or too difficult.

An app for everyone

If Guy Thibault and his team’s app sounds complicated, it’s not just for insiders. It will be available to everyone once it is released, scheduled for early 2023.

“Essentially, we are thinking of an app for elite athletes and their coaches, but it will be easy to use, the professor specifies. It will not be necessary to have a scientific background or an understanding of the mathematical mechanisms behind it to appreciate its functionality.

Because that’s what Guy Thibault’s real motive is: a deep desire to help people without prejudice about their level and to spread his passion for the science of physical activity and sports.

“In the end, what makes me the happiest in life is when someone tells me that, thanks to my advice or my methods, he has improved, he concludes. It almost brings tears to my eyes.”

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