Holsworth Research Initiative

Our research focusses on exercise, physical activity and rehabilitation.

In the latest blog mini-series from the HRI, we will be checking in with current research students to discuss their research topics, progress and career goals. We hope you enjoy learning about the important work being done by our students and their supervisors in this new monthly series.

Philip Lyristakis

Manipulating the resistance training prescription to optimally develop muscle strength


Dr. Stephen Cousins, Dr. Daniel Wundersitz, Dr. Emma Zadow and Associate Professor Brett Gordon

Prior to committing to the PhD program at La Trobe University, Philip completed Undergraduate and Masters degrees in Sport and Exercise Science while also working in the health and fitness industry. In addition to this, Philip also worked with both state and national level athletes as a strength and conditioning coach. Commencing in January 2020, Philip and his supervisory team which includes Holsworth Research Initiative Stream Leads Associate Brett Gordon and Dr Daniel Wundersitz developed a framework for a PhD that capitalises on Philips background in strength and conditioning.

A dose-response function to muscle strength

There is a significant body of research that has investigated how different weight training programs and their training variables influence muscle strength. However, the available literature is yet to demonstrate the relationship between a training variable (i.e. sets, and repetitions) and muscle strength adaptations. One of the aims of Philips PhD is to identify a dose-response function to muscle strength, which is essentially the amount of work performed in a training program and improvements in strength as a result of that work. Philip has so far published one manuscript from his PhD titled The influence of considering individual resistance training variables as a whole on muscle strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol.

Looking towards the pre-submission presentation

Philip is on the home stretch of his PhD journey having completed his confirmation of candidature in 2021 and his mid-candidature presentation in 2022. The final milestone before submission is a pre-submission presentation which Philip is hoping to complete in December of this year. To achieve that milestone, Philip reports that he needs to analyse data for the systematic review and meta-analysis and write manuscripts for the remaining studies within his thesis. Philip hopes to have two manuscripts accepted for publication by December of this year with the final manuscript accepted or submitted for publication and awaiting feedback.

Reflecting on his studies so far

Reflecting on his studies, Philip reports significant improvements in his time-management, project management, organisation, and communication skills over the last three years. These are all qualities that will serve Philip well in his ambition to work domestically at a Sport Institute or internationally as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. We look forward to Philips pre-submission presentation and reporting his research outcomes from published papers in the near future.

Join us next month as we hear from Michael Matyevich, a HDR student supervised by HRI Director Professor Michael Kingsley.

From the Bendigo Braves to winter discipline Olympic athletes, if you missed out last blog mini-series speaking with past research students you can find it here.