alumni and former cmu cyclist climbs to new heights by becoming a published researcher
getting research published is no easy feat. for one colorado mesa university alumnus, he said in some ways, it feels like the closing of a chapter. after studying and researching during the course of five years, quint berkemeier had his first author research published in the international journal of exercise science, and it all started with a hill.
“while i attended cmu i raced for the cmu cycling team, and we would have weekly workouts riding up the colorado national monument. i was never the fastest climber, and so while struggling to keep up with several of my teammates i realized that a lot of us had very different climbing techniques,” said berkemeier.
berkemeier’s preference was to push a big gear in a standing position, whereas other teammates of his would spin an easier gear while riding in a seated position. at the time he was as an intern at cmu’s monfort family human performance lab and an exercise science major, which meant he had access to state of the art research equipment. this included an oversized treadmill, which was similar to those used by previous cycling studies.
“interestingly, riding on the oversized treadmill was a dynamic experience and very similar to riding out on the road, and so it was evident that we had the perfect set up for a cycling economy study at our lab. together, with my supervisors brent alumbaugh and dr. gerald smith, we started to develop a protocol to address our first research question,” said berkemeier.
he mimicked real-world uphill cycling conditions and looked at vo2, heart rate, muscle activation of the quadriceps, and peak inspiratory and expiratory flow rate. his findings suggested, “that uphill cycling while standing results in decreased cycling economy due to physiological and biomechanical variations compared to riding seated.”
berkemeier says he credits his love for exercise science to the education he received at cmu and gives kudos to the department’s mission, which inspires undergraduates to pursue their passions.
“i am really thankful for the guidance that cmu faculty members have given, and continue to give, throughout the years. i was very fortunate that my professors introduced me to the research process, and fully supported me in forming thoughtful research questions that were specific to my areas of interest within the field,” berkemeier. “looking back, i realize that the culmination of passionate faculty members as well as the unique set up at the monfort family human performance lab were integral in my personal development as a researcher. specifically, the ability to simultaneously assess physiological and biomechanical variables allows for a very well-rounded view of kinesiology, and is not typical of an undergraduate research lab environment.”
berkemeier thanks his co-authors who he said also pushed him to pursue a graduate degree in the field. he is currently a second year phd student at the university of new mexico studying exercise science.