Personalised Sports Medicine


From preventive exercise to elite sports, training programs have to be adapted to the individual in order to ensure efficacy, tolerability and safety. To date, this adaptation is based on subgroup specific guidelines, consideration of factors that reduce exercise tolerance, and relative exercise intensities. This approach, which is based on group means and main effects, resembles clinical practice in other fields of medicine and enables standardised interventions with predictable mean effects. The respective, paradigmatic study design is the randomized controlled trial. However, aiming at optimising predictive accuracy and training efficacy on the individual level, inter-individual differences e.g. in training responsiveness have to be taken into account, as well as interactions between subject characteristics, training modalities and environmental factors. These two features – individualisation and the consideration of multiple, eventually interacting determinants - set personalised exercise training apart from standard care. In statistical terms this translates to the separation of between- and within-subject variability components and identification of major moderators. From the applied perspective, the ways of implementing personalised exercise training will differ considerably depending on the framework conditions (e.g. preventive or elite sports; assessment or intervention).

Implementing these considerations in the design and analysis of scientific trials to advance towards personalized training programs and diagnostic tools has developed as a research focus over the past years. Studies are conducted in preventive as well as in competitive sports. 


Questions & Information

Dr. med. Anne Hecksteden
Tel.: 0681/302 70405