There was only one sport that made Abdallah’s heart beat fast enough to get him off the couch; Cycling turned the enthusiastic sports spectator into a relentless participant. Mountain biking, road racing, BMXing, and track cycling – Abdallah’s two-wheeled fascination kept him on the roads and out of trouble.
Though sports were deeply rooted in his heart of hearts, Abdallah did not neglect nurturing his mind. He went on to achieve high marks in his academic career. He left his hometown in Kuwait to study at Jordan’s Yarmouk University. There, he secured bachelor and master degrees in physical education. Not quite satisfied yet, his thirst for knowledge took him to the University of Jordan to earn a PhD in the same field.
For several years Abdallah worked double duty. He started his career as a physical education teacher while running his own business - advising athletes. Much to the young consultant’s frustration, his athletes (both professionals and students) did not achieve their sports performance goals. This was certainly not due to a lack of diligence or zeal. If anything, they all religiously followed his program. On paper, it was so simple. Measuring. Analyzing. Fine tuning. Repeat.
“Find the problem and you will find the solution.” Wise words for such a young man. Nevertheless, words Abdallah lives by. “Even though my idea was far from refined, I knew I was on the right track,” Abdallah said. “Like an athlete, it is practice and dedication that will make me stand out as an innovator. Stars of Science provides the support and facilities to make that happen. The competition is a nice bonus. Who doesn’t like a challenge, right?”
Abdallah’s best ideas come from his twin passions: love of research and his pursuit of improving athletic performance. In a small performance lab at his house, Abdallah spent restless nights measuring metrics of athletes’ performance, such as heart rate. He was looking for new ways to gain insight on the effectiveness of his training regimens.
Measuring so-called lactate is essential for evaluating the performance of athletes. When the body breaks down glucose for energy, it produces lactate as a by-product. This fuels muscles, provides a burst of power and delays fatigue. If you’ve ever run so hard you’ve felt like your legs were burning, then you’ve reached your lactate threshold. Lactate is produced by the body during strenuous exercise. The longer it takes to reach the threshold, the more fit an athlete is.
Up to now, this is measured using all types of lab equipment – picture Mo Farah strapped with countless wires and sensors.
Abdallah’s innovation is unique because it requires no wiring. The Sports Performance Patch System is comprised of a smart watch, belt, and a smart tablet. It accurately measures athletes’ vital signs. The patch then communicates their effort levels to the trainers. Abdallah’s patch detects breathing and heart rates, humidity, and body temperature. All this information is recorded. It then deduces the lactate state in the athlete’s body to facilitate effective advice and dynamic analysis.
Abdullah’s project guarantees effective, dynamic, and accurate analysis for those who want to achieve peak performance in sports. The project can be used by trainers and professional athletes to measure performance and reach optimal goals. Time consuming visits to a lab and intrusive physical tests will soon be consigned to the past.