How to Construct, Conduct and Analyze an Exercise Training Study?

TitelHow to Construct, Conduct and Analyze an Exercise Training Study?
MedientypJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AutorenHecksteden A., Faude O., Meyer T., Donath L
JournalFront Physiol
Date Published07/2018

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) can be regarded as gold standard in investigating dose-response and causal relationships in exercise science. Recommendations for exercise training routines and efficacy analyses of certain training regimen require valid data derived from robust RCTs. Moreover, meta-analyses rely on RCTs and both RCTs and meta-analyses are considered the highest level of scientific evidence. Beyond general study design a variety of methodological aspects and notable pitfalls has to be considered. Therefore, exercise training studies should be carefully constructed focusing on the consistency of the whole design “package” from an explicit hypothesis or research question over study design and methodology to data analysis and interpretation. The present scoping review covers all main aspects of planning, conducting, and analyzing exercise based RCTs. We aim to focus on relevant aspects regarding study design, statistical power, training planning and documentation as well as traditional and recent statistical approaches. We intend to provide a comprehensive hands-on paper for conceptualizing future exercise training studies and hope to stimulate and encourage researchers to conduct sound and valid RCTs in the field of exercise training.