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Personal profile

Personal profile

I am a Lecturer in Exercise Physiology. My research interests focus on health and performance adaptations to high intensity training or omega 3 intake. This research on high intensity training focusses on determining the minimum frequency of exercise required to promote meaningful adaptations in the body for health and performance. My research on omega 3 intake focusses on its use to promote recovery from exercise and its importance in the regulation of tendon and ligament function. I also have a keen interest in physiological adaptations for combat sports.

I am chief scientific adviser to Edinburgh Biotec Ltd and work with Dundee FC, Dundee United FC, Dundee Stars and Wakeboarding to provide scientific support around training and nutrition. I also work within combat sports on an individual basis to provide training and nutrition support.

Before joining Abertay in 2010, I was a Lecturer in Exercise Metabolism at Heriot Watt University. I carried out my doctoral research at Dundee University. This work focused on the response of the extracellular matrix proteins within skeletal muscle, tendon, ligament and bone to both exercise and nutritional stimuli.


I am module tutor for the following modules:

3rd year - Physiological adaptations for performance

4th year - Advanced exercise physiology

Research interests

My major area of research is in the development of novel paradigms to promote cardio-metabolic health and improve sports performance.  This focuses on 3 different paradigms - high intensity training, whole body vibration and omega 3 supplementation.

High Intensity Training

High intensity training involves supramaximal bouts of exercise that last for no more than 30 seconds. This makes it an exceptionally time efficient training paradigm with sessions lasting no more than 15 minutes (of which only 1-3 minutes is exercise). My research in this area focuses on both the health and performance improvements that can be gained by using this type of training and working towards discovering what the minimum amount of exercise that is needed to promote health improvements. Most people fail to meet government advice on physical activity levels and as such we are seeing a rapid increase in lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. My research also explores the underlying mechanisms by which high intensity training elicites these health and performance effects.  

Whole Body Vibration

Whole body vibration training is a novel resistance like training paradigm which efficiently recruits muscle fibres whilst the person is standing on the vibration plate. As such the physical demands placed on the body are greatly reduced with type of training. My research in this area focuses on whether whole body vibration can deliver similar health benefits as more traditional exercise paradigms. With the lower perception of effort this type of training can have a major effect on how people age and offers a training paradigm that could be used with frail adults.

Omega 3 for performance and health

Westernised diets are extremely low in omega 3 fatty acids and high in omega 6 fatty acids which has health consequences due to the pro-inflammatory effects of omega 6 fatty acids. Supplementation with omega 3 results in increased incorporation of these fats into cellular membranes that results in improved cellular function. Unaccustomed exercise produces muscle damage due to inflammation during the recovery process. My research focuses on the role of high EPA on improvements in health and exercise recovery.


Scientific Advisor to Edinburgh Biomedical Ltd

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where John Babraj is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Exercise Medicine & Life Sciences
Muscle Proteins Medicine & Life Sciences
Muscles Medicine & Life Sciences
Skeletal Muscle Medicine & Life Sciences
Collagen Medicine & Life Sciences
Health Medicine & Life Sciences
Proteins Medicine & Life Sciences
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Output 2002 2020

1 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Blood Glucose
Control Groups
Insurance Benefits
Glucose Tolerance Test
19 Downloads (Pure)

Active recovery induces greater endurance adaptations when performing sprint interval training

Babraj, J. A. & Yamagishi, T., 30 Apr 2019, In : Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 33, 4, p. 922-930 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Young Adult
Heart Rate
High-Intensity Interval Training
Lactic Acid
Hematologic Tests
High-Intensity Interval Training
Control Groups
2 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)

Extremely short duration sprint interval training improves vascular health in older adults

Adamson, S., Kavaliauskas, M., Yamagishi, T., Phillips, S. M., Lorimer, R. & Babraj, J. A., 30 Apr 2019, In : Sport Sciences for Health. 15, 1, p. 123-131 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Blood Vessels
Blood Pressure
Control Groups
job interview


Extremely short duration high intensity training as a cardiovascular training method for front line police officers

Author: Scally, J., 2018

Supervisor: Babraj, J. A. (Supervisor) & Calmeiro, L. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMasters by Research

High intensity training: implications for optimal ageing

Author: Adamson, S., Jan 2017

Supervisor: Cobley, J. N. (Supervisor) & Babraj, J. A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Role of active and passive recovery in adaptations to high intensity training

Author: Yamagishi, T., Apr 2016

Supervisor: Babraj, J. A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The effect body composition has on adaptions to high-intensity interval exercise

Author: Steer, T., 2016

Supervisor: Babraj, J. A. (Supervisor) & Calmeiro, L. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMasters by Research


The effect of self-regulation on high intensity exercise

Author: James, O., Mar 2018

Supervisor: Babraj, J. A. (Supervisor) & Calmeiro, L. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis