Antoine Couturier and Sylvain Dorel, researchers at the Laboratory of Biomechanics and Physiology at the French National Institute of Sport, have been using the expanded functionality of the Origin Worksheet to produce clean, professional reports for trainers and athletes to review progress in their training regimens. In their work they evaluate athletes in many disciplines, using Origin to create reports that highlight key data on athletes' physical and technical skills. They are used for training customization and adjustment, monitoring performance throughout the season and comparison with other athletes. By importing into an Analysis Template™, a custom-made Origin workbook with embedded, automatically updating analysis and graph objects, they don't have to build a report from the ground up every time. When they import the relevant data from each test into their Template, Origin automatically generates the required calculations along with an easy to read report worksheet.
Antoine and Sylvain use the Lode Excalibur™ ergocycle to perform force-velocity tests which measure the performance of top-level cyclists. The tests show the linear relationship between force and pedaling rate. From the fitted data, they can calculate the maximal theoretical force and pedaling rate. The test also allows them to draw the quadratic relationship between power and pedaling rate, allowing the researchers to determine maximum theoretical power and the corresponding optimal pedaling rate. According to athlete's need, an adequate training can shift (or maintain) any of those parameters.
The researchers import all of the relevant data from the ergocycle into a custom Analysis Template™. The report sheet then automatically fills with the athlete's information, converts the raw data from the ergocycle to Newtons according to ergocycle calibration, detects cycles and half-cycles and computes mean forces, pedaling rates and powers for each of them. All the data corresponding to forces and power vs. pedaling rate are dynamically plotted and fitted into the Analysis Template™. This template allows them to:
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- Fit Force-Velocity and Power-Velocity relationships, dynamically fill X and Y label fields with the relevant information.
- Compute total downstroke (0-180°) and upstroke (180-360°) phases, express these values as a percentage of the total force, plot them against the cyclist's pedaling rate and perform a fit. The graph scale is set up according to the fit results.
- Make similar computations for left and right leg upstroke and downstroke phases. Left leg data are written in blue and right leg data are written in red. If left leg value is higher than asymmetry threshold, left leg data are written in white into a blue cell. If right leg value is higher than asymmetry threshold, right leg data are written in white into a red cell.
- Write the data into the report tables, with the athlete's name and date of test, into a 'group' workbook. All the mean values in that workbook are then computed and written into all the existing reports mean data tables to allow for comparison with other athletes.
Advantages in Using Origin 8
In prior versions of Origin, the researchers processed only cycle and half-cycle forces, power and velocity computing in Origin, and used Microsoft Excel for things such as bad data removal, upstroke-downstroke dissociation, fitting, report template, and manually formatting cells to highlight asymmetries. The whole process was about an hour long.
With Origin's new formatting and recalculation capabilities, everything is entirely and automatically processed into Origin 8, in a very user friendly interface. The most time consuming operation is now the printing of the report.
Keeping all the data collection, analysis and reporting tools inside a single application is another great advantage when it comes to managing multiple athletes. For every new test, an analysis workbook template is appended to the project.
If we want easy comparison, we can mask selected lines in the 'group' workbook, so the report will show comparative data corresponding to a specific group, or to previous tests the same athlete had performed.
Since all the computed parameters are stored into a separate workbook with the athlete's name and date of the test, each time an update is triggered all the mean parameters are computed and updated into all the project's reports mean data tables. This turns Origin into a simple database program that allows Antoine and Sylvain to manage a large quantity of data over a long period of time.
About the Authors
Antoine Couturier (email@example.com) is a research engineer at the
National Institute for Sports (INSEP), Paris, France.
Sylvain Dorel (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a researcher in biomechanics and physiology at the National
Institute for Sports (INSEP), Paris, France.