Hugh is a lecturer in sport and exercise science. His research interests are focused on evidence-based methods to improve performance and reduce injury in sport and industry. Hugh has worked in both an applied and research setting, firstly as part of a sports science team which was responsible for servicing various European soccer clubs, Olympic athletes and the German Football Federation. Prior to joining UTS, Hugh was with the Oakland Raiders (National Football League, USA) as a strength and conditioning assistant and performance analyst. Prior to entering the NFL, Hugh has also served as the sport science coordinator with the University of Oregon Football Program. Hugh is an accredited exercise scientist and sports scientist (ESSA), strength and conditioning coach (ASCA) and he was named the Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA) Sport Scientist of the Year for 2017.
Hugh completed his international PhD at the FIFA Medical Center of Excellence within Saarland University, Germany under the supervision of Professor Tim Meyer (National Football Team Doctor of the World Champions, Germany) in collaboration with UTS Health’s own Associate Professor Rob Duffield and Professor Aaron Coutts in 2017.
PhD - International dual Doctor of Philosophy (Sports Medicine), Saarland University, Germany (based) in conjunction with the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. Thesis entitled: Sleep-related issues facing professional football players. Primary Supervisors: Prof. Tim Meyer (Saarland University; German Football National Team Doctor) and Associate Prof. Rob Duffield (University of Technology Sydney, Australia).
MSc - Research – Exercise Physiology, University of Wollongong, Australia. Thesis entitled: Establishing bona fide physiological employment standards for contemporary firefighters. Supervisor: Associate Prof. Nigel Taylor
BSc - Exercise Science, University of Wollongong, Australia.
- Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA)
- Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA)
- Accredited coach with various national sporting bodies
Can supervise: YES
Hugh is interested in the following research areas:
- Improving understanding of how athletes’ fatigue and recover (with a specific focus on how much and how well do athletes sleep)
- The relationship between training/match load and injury
- The effect of travel and sleep on performance and recovery
- Various aspects of physiological performance in tactical athletes (i.e. firefighting, military)
- Evidence-based practice in sport and effective translation of sport science research
- 92564 Sport and Exercise Medicine
- 92562 Exercise Rehabilitation
Fullagar, HHK, Delaney, J, Duffield, R & Murray, A 2019, 'Factors influencing home advantage in American collegiate football', Science and Medicine in Football, pp. 1-6.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Sampson, JA, Murray, A, Williams, S, Sullivan, A & Fullagar, HHK 2019, 'Subjective Wellness, Acute: Chronic Workloads, and Injury Risk in College Football.', Journal of strength and conditioning research.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Sampson, JA, Murray, A, Williams, S, Sullivan, A, and Fullagar, HHK. Subjective wellness, acute:chronic workloads and injury risk in college football. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2018-Acute:chronic workload ratios (ACWRs) are associated with injury risk across team sports. In this study, one season of workload and wellness data from 42 collegiate football players were retrospectively analyzed. Daily 7:21 day exponentially weighted moving average (EWMA) ACWRs were calculated, and z-score fluctuations ("normal," "better," and "worse") in sleep, soreness, energy, and overall wellness were assessed relative to the previous day ACWRs and considered as an interactive effect on the risk of noncontact injury within 0-3 days. Fifty-five noncontact injuries were observed, and injury risks were very likely higher when ACWRs were 2 SDs above (relative risk [RR]: 3.05, 90% confidence interval [CI]: 1.14-8.16) and below (RR: 2.49, 90% CI: 1.11-5.58) the mean. A high ACWR was trivially associated (p < 0.05) with "worse" wellness (r = -0.06, CI: -0.10 to -0.02), muscle soreness (r = -0.07, CI: -0.11 to -0.03), and energy (r = -0.05, CI: -0.09 to -0.01). Feelings of "better" overall wellness and muscle soreness with collectively high EWMA ACWRs displayed likely higher injury risks compared with "normal" (RR: 1.52, 90% CI: 0.91 to 2.54; RR: 1.64, 90% CI: 1.10-2.47) and likely or very likely (RR: 2.36, 90% CI: 0.83 to 674; RR: 2.78, 90% CI: 1.21-6.38) compared with "worse" wellness and soreness, respectively. High EWMA ACWRs increased injury risk and negatively impacted wellness. However, athletes reporting "better" wellness, driven by "better" muscle soreness presented with the highest injury risk when high EWMA ACWRs were observed. This suggests that practitioners are responsive to, and/or athletes are able to self-modulate workload activities.
© 2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG. As part of both training and active service, military members can be exposed to prolonged periods of sleep loss. Given the extent of physical and cognitive performances viewed as critical to successful military performance, such sleep disruption may present risk to health and performance. The primary aim of this narrative review was to investigate evidence on the effect of inadequate sleep on measures of aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, muscular strength and muscular endurance in military personnel. Sleep loss appears to have the greatest negative impact on aerobic capacity, muscular endurance and military-specific performance in military populations. The findings showed varied results for handgrip strength and anaerobic capacity, with sleep loss inducing a decrease in mean power of the upper body. In comparison to other measures of performance, lower-body muscular strength appeared to be resilient to sleep restriction. However, due to the limited evidence and inter-individual variability in results there is no clear consensus on the specific volume of sleep loss that induces significant or meaningful performance decrements. The difficulties of conducting well-designed and -controlled interventions in military populations are appreciated. However, due to the low quality of reporting and lack of control for confounders (i.e. physical activity, load carriage, prior sleep debt, motivation and energy intake) in the majority of studies, it is difficult to establish the relationship between sleep loss and physical performance in military populations.
Murray, A, Fullagar, H, Turner, AP & Sproule, J 2018, 'Recovery practices in Division 1 collegiate athletes in North America.', Physical therapy in sport : official journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine, vol. 32, pp. 67-73.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Establish current practice and attitudes towards recovery in a group of Division-1 Collegiate athletes from North America.A 16-item questionnaire was administered via custom software in an electronic format.152 student athletes from a Division-1 Collegiate school across 3 sports (Basketball, American Football, Soccer).The approaches and attitudes to recovery in both training and competition.Sleep, cold water immersion (CWI) and nutrition were perceived to be the most effective modalities (88, 84 and 80% of the sample believed them to have a benefit respectively). Over half the sample did not believe in using compression for recovery. With regard to actual usage, CWI was the most used recovery modality and matched by athletes believing in, and using, the approach (65%). Only 24% of student athletes believed in, and used, sleep as a recovery modality despite it being rated and perceived as the most effective.Collectively, there is a discrepancy between perception and use of recovery modalities in Collegiate athletes.
Sampson, JA, Murray, A, Williams, S, Halseth, T, Hanisch, J, Golden, G & Fullagar, HHK 2018, 'Injury risk-workload associations in NCAA American college football', JOURNAL OF SCIENCE AND MEDICINE IN SPORT, vol. 21, no. 12, pp. 1215-1220.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Murray, A, Fullagar, HHK, Delaney, JA & Sampson, J 2018, 'Bradford Factor and seasonal injury risk in Division I-A collegiate American footballers', Science and Medicine in Football, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 173-176.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Purpose: To investigate if participation in a higher percentage of preseason sessions affects the injury profile within Division I-A American Collegiate and whether the Bradford Factor (BF) is viable for practitioner use.
Methods: A retrospective research design was used. Training load and injury data were collected and analysed for two collegiate American football seasons for 70 players.
Results: A total of 184 injuries were sustained across two seasons with 106 resulting in time loss (15.6 ± 5.4 time loss injuries per 1000 h). On average, athletes completed 93 ± 17% of preseason sessions. For injury likelihood in the following week, an increase in accumulated minutes in 7d increased the injury risk by 35%. For non-contact time-loss injuries, preseason completion showed a reduction in injury likelihood of 2% for additional 3 sessions completed. A high BF in preseason (>7) increases the risk compared to a low BF through the in-season period.
Conclusion: Preseason completion was not associated with a substantial reduction in injury risk in-season. A clear difference in BF between groups was evident and may provide a practical 'flagging' variable. The BF may provide a simple but practically meaningful measure to monitor adaptation.
McCunn, R, Gibson, NV, Fullagar, HHK & Harper, LD 2018, 'Professional youth football academy injury data: collection procedures, perceived value, and use', Science and Medicine in Football, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 141-148.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Govus, AD, Coutts, A, Duffield, R, Murray, A & Fullagar, H 2018, 'Relationship Between Pretraining Subjective Wellness Measures, Player Load, and Rating-of-Perceived-Exertion Training Load in American College Football.', International journal of sports physiology and performance, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 95-101.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The relationship between pretraining subjective wellness and external and internal training load in American college football is unclear.To examine the relationship of pretraining subjective wellness (sleep quality, muscle soreness, energy, wellness Z score) with player load and session rating of perceived exertion (s-RPE-TL) in American college football players.Subjective wellness (measured using 5-point, Likert-scale questionnaires), external load (derived from GPS and accelerometry), and s-RPE-TL were collected during 3 typical training sessions per week for the second half of an American college football season (8 wk). The relationship of pretraining subjective wellness with player load and s-RPE training load was analyzed using linear mixed models with a random intercept for athlete and a random slope for training session. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) denote the effect magnitude.A 1-unit increase in wellness Z score and energy was associated with trivial 2.3% (90% confidence interval [CI] 0.5, 4.2; SMD 0.12) and 2.6% (90% CI 0.1, 5.2; SMD 0.13) increases in player load, respectively. A 1-unit increase in muscle soreness (players felt less sore) corresponded to a trivial 4.4% (90% CI -8.4, -0.3; SMD -0.05) decrease in s-RPE training load.Measuring pretraining subjective wellness may provide information about players' capacity to perform in a training session and could be a key determinant of their response to the imposed training demands American college football. Hence, monitoring subjective wellness may aid in the individualization of training prescription in American college football players.
McCunn, R, Fullagar, HHK, Williams, S, Halseth, TJ, Sampson, JA & Murray, A 2017, 'The Influence of Playing Experience and Position on Injury Risk in NCAA Division I College Football Players', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORTS PHYSIOLOGY AND PERFORMANCE, vol. 12, no. 10, pp. 1297-1304.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Fullagar, HHK, McCunn, R & Murray, A 2017, 'Updated Review of the Applied Physiology of American College Football: Physical Demands, Strength and Conditioning, Nutrition, and Injury Characteristics of America's Favorite Game.', International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, vol. 12, no. 10, pp. 1396-1403.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
While there are various avenues for performance improvement in college American football (AF), there is no comprehensive evaluation of the collective array of resources around performance, physical conditioning, and injury and training/game characteristics to guide future research and inform practitioners. Accordingly, the aim of the present review was to provide a current examination of these areas in college AF. Recent studies show that there is a wide range of body compositions and strength characteristics between players, which appear to be influenced by playing position, level of play, training history/programming, and time of season. Collectively, game demands may require a combination of upper- and lower-body strength and power production, rapid acceleration (positive and negative), change of direction, high running speed, high-intensity and repetitive collisions, and muscle-strength endurance. These may be affected by the timing of and between-plays and/or coaching style. AF players appear to possess limited nutrition and hydration practices, which may be disadvantageous to performance. AF injuries appear due to a multitude of factors-strength, movement quality, and previous injury-while there is also potential for extrinsic factors such as playing surface type, travel, time of season, playing position, and training load. Future proof-of-concept studies are required to determine the quantification of game demands with regard to game style, type of opposition, and key performance indicators. Moreover, more research is required to understand the efficacy of recovery and nutrition interventions. Finally, the assessment of the relationship between external/internal-load constructs and injury risk is warranted.
Fullagar, HHK, Govus, A, Hanisch, J & Murray, A 2017, 'The Time Course of Perceptual Recovery Markers After Match Play in Division I-A College American Football', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORTS PHYSIOLOGY AND PERFORMANCE, vol. 12, no. 9, pp. 1264-1266.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Sampson, JA, Fullagar, HHK & Murray, A 2017, 'Evidence is needed to determine if there is a better way to determine the acute:chronic workload.', British Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 51, no. 7, pp. 621-622.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A series of letters have argued for alternatives to acute:chronic workloads or the methods by which the ratio is calculated when predicting injury risks. Based on the hypothetical data presented by Menaspa,1 Williams et al,2 argue that an exponentially weighted moving average (EMWA) to emphasise the importance of workloads towards the end of the calculation cycle may be more appropriate. A case is presented in one example (athlete 3) where EWMA calculates a greater injury risk than rolling averages when substantially lower daily loads followed by sharp load increases towards the end of a cycle are observed (athlete 3). Yet, by the same account, using the EWMA calculation in this example may undermine a fundamental concept of training whereby daily variation and purposeful reductions in load are applied to prevent monotony and strain, manage fatigue, avoid overtraining and taper athletes prior to competition.3–5 Such practice can benefit an athlete through reduced levels of accumulative fatigue to allow for recovery, positive physiological adaptation, improved performance and increased fitness,6 responses which may actually protect against injury.7 The argument presented herein against EWMA to determine acute:chronic workloads is based on assumption; however, as pointed out by Drew et al,8 there is currently no evidence to suggest one method is any better than another.
Julian, R, Meyer, T, Fullagar, HHK, Skorski, S, Pfeiffer, M, Kellmann, M, Ferrauti, A & Hecksteden, A 2017, 'INDIVIDUAL PATTERNS IN BLOOD-BORNE INDICATORS OF FATIGUE-TRAIT OR CHANCE', JOURNAL OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING RESEARCH, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 608-619.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Julian, R, Hecksteden, A, Fullagar, HHK & Meyer, T 2017, 'The effects of menstrual cycle phase on physical performance in female soccer players', PLOS ONE, vol. 12, no. 3.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Fullagar, HHK & Bartlett, JD 2016, 'Time to wake up: individualising the approach to sleep promotion interventions', BRITISH JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE, vol. 50, no. 3, pp. 143-144.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Fullagar, HHK, Duffield, R, Skorski, S, White, D, Bloomfield, J, Koelling, S & Meyer, T 2016, 'Sleep, Travel, and Recovery Responses of National Footballers During and After Long-Haul International Air Travel', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORTS PHYSIOLOGY AND PERFORMANCE, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 86-95.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Fullagar, HH, Skorski, S, Duffield, R, Julian, R, Bartlett, J & Meyer, T 2016, 'Impaired sleep and recovery after night matches in elite football players.', Journal of Sports Sciences, vol. 34, no. 14, pp. 1333-1339.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Despite the perceived importance of sleep for elite footballers, descriptions of the duration and quality of sleep, especially following match play, are limited. Moreover, recovery responses following sleep loss remain unclear. Accordingly, the present study examined the subjective sleep and recovery responses of elite footballers across training days (TD) and both day and night matches (DM and NM). Sixteen top division European players from three clubs completed a subjective online questionnaire twice a day for 21 days during the season. Subjective recall of sleep variables (duration, onset latency, time of wake/sleep, wake episode duration), a range of perceptual variables related to recovery, mood, performance and internal training loads and non-exercise stressors were collected. Players reported significantly reduced sleep durations for NM compared to DM (-157 min) and TD (-181 min). In addition, sleep restfulness (SR; arbitrary scale 1 = very restful, 5 = not at all restful) and perceived recovery (PR; acute recovery and stress scale 0 = not recovered at all, 6 = fully recovered) were significantly poorer following NM than both TD (SR: +2.0, PR: -2.6), and DM (SR: +1.5; PR: -1.5). These results suggest that reduced sleep quantity and quality and reduced PR are mainly evident following NM in elite players.
Fullagar, H, Skorski, S, Duffield, R & Meyer, T 2016, 'The effect of an acute sleep hygiene strategy following a late-night soccer match on recovery of players', CHRONOBIOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 490-505.View/Download from: Publisher's site
McCunn, R, aus der Fünten, K, Fullagar, HHK, McKeown, I & Meyer, T 2016, 'Reliability and Association with Injury of Movement Screens: A Critical Review', Sports Medicine, vol. 46, no. 6, pp. 763-781.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Subjective assessment of athletes' movement quality is widely used by physiotherapists and other applied practitioners within many sports. One of the beliefs driving this practice is that individuals who display 'poor' movement patterns are more likely to suffer an injury than those who do not. The aim of this review was to summarize the reliability of the movement screens currently documented within the scientific literature and explore the evidence surrounding their association with injury risk. Ten assessments with accompanying reliability data were identified through the literature search. Only two of these ten had any evidence directly related to injury risk. A number of methodological issues were present throughout the identified studies, including small sample sizes, lack of descriptive rater or participant information, ambiguous injury definitions, lack of exposure time reporting and risk of bias. These factors, combined with the paucity of research on this topic, make drawing conclusions as to the reliability and predictive ability of movement screens difficult. None of the movement screens that appear within the scientific literature currently have enough evidence to justify the tag of 'injury prediction tool'.
Taylor, NAS, Fullagar, HHK, Mott, BJ, Sampson, JA & Groeller, H 2015, 'Employment Standards for Australian Urban Firefighters Part 1: The Essential, Physically Demanding Tasks', JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE, vol. 57, no. 10, pp. 1063-1071.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Taylor, NAS, Fullagar, HHK, Sampson, JA, Notley, SR, Burley, SD, Lee, DS & Groeller, H 2015, 'Employment Standards for Australian Urban Firefighters Part 2: The Physiological Demands and the Criterion Tasks', JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE, vol. 57, no. 10, pp. 1072-1082.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Groeller, H, Fullagar, HHK, Sampson, JA, Mott, BJ & Taylor, NAS 2015, 'Employment Standards for Australian Urban Firefighters Part 3: The Transition From Criterion Task to Test', JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE, vol. 57, no. 10, pp. 1083-1091.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Fullagar, HHK, Sampson, JA, Mott, BJ, Burdon, CA, Taylor, NAS & Groeller, H 2015, 'Employment Standards for Australian Urban Firefighters Part 4: Physical Aptitude Tests and Standards', JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE, vol. 57, no. 10, pp. 1092-1097.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sampson, JA, Fullagar, HHK & Gabbett, T 2015, 'Knowledge of bout duration influences pacing strategies during small-sided games', JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 85-98.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Fullagar, HHK, Duffield, R, Skorski, S, Coutts, AJ, Julian, R & Meyer, T 2015, 'Sleep and Recovery in Team Sport: Current Sleep-Related Issues Facing Professional Team-Sport Athletes', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SPORTS PHYSIOLOGY AND PERFORMANCE, vol. 10, no. 8, pp. 950-957.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Fullagar, HHK, Skorski, S, Duffield, R, Hammes, D, Coutts, AJ & Meyer, T 2015, 'Sleep and Athletic Performance: The Effects of Sleep Loss on Exercise Performance, and Physiological and Cognitive Responses to Exercise', SPORTS MEDICINE, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 161-186.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Notley, SR, Fullagar, HHK, Lee, DS, Matsuda-Nakamura, M, Peoples, GE & Taylor, NAS 2014, 'Revisiting ventilatory and cardiovascular predictions of whole-body metabolic rate.', Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 214-223.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The influence of variations in exercise mode, thermal state, and load carriage on cardiac and ventilatory predictors of metabolic rate were investigated.Fifteen males were studied at rest and during whole-, upper-, and lower-body exercise (unloaded and loaded) under thermoneutral and hot conditions.Ventilatory predictions were superior in thermoneutral (residual mean square error range: 0.04 to 0.17 L·min(-1) vs 0.21 to 0.36 L·min(-1)) and hot conditions (0.03 to 0.07 L·min(-1) vs 0.21 to 0.24 L·min(-1)). Predictions derived from whole- or lower-body exercise, and unloaded or loaded exercise could be interchanged without significant error. Nevertheless, a mode-specific prediction was required for upper-body work, and mild hyperthermia significantly reduced the precision of cardiac predictions.Ventilatory predictions were more precise, but errors from heart-rate predictions could be minimized by using thermal-state and exercise mode-specific predictions.
Meyer, T, Wegmann, M, Poppendieck, W & Fullagar, HHK 2014, 'Regenerative interventions in professional football', Sport-Orthopadie - Sport-Traumatologie, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 112-118.View/Download from: Publisher's site
To alleviate acute fatigue after strenuous football training sessions or matches several potentially recovery-enhancing methods and tools are available: cooling/water immersion, sleep, nutrition, active recovery, massage, and other modalities. Although limited scientific evidence is available, there are indications for cooling by cold water immersion and appropriate nutrition to be effective, whereas theoretical reasons suggest the application of active recovery and sleep interventions (take care for sufficient quantity and quality of sleep, employing measures of sleep hygiene) could enhance the recovery process. Even in the absence of solid experimental evidence, the placebo effect of many methods might be worth using as long as relevant side effects can be ruled out. © 2014.
Fullagar, HHK, Sampson, JA, Delaney, J, McKay, B & Murray, A, 'The relationship between objective measures of sleep and training load across different phases of the season in American collegiate football players', Science and Medicine in Football, pp. 1-7.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site