Feature | Salford Red Devils break medical ground with ABELSport overtraining test

Salford Red Devils break medical ground becoming the first British Rugby League club to use Knight Scientific’s unique ABELsport test which is the biggest breakthrough for years in prevention of overtraining and detecting infections.  

The test has been used by Premier League football teams, Olympians, triathletes, Iron Man competitors and even explorers and now the Salford Red Devils are the latest elite sporting organisation to use the test which has been described as a ‘godsend’ by Plymouth Argyle’s performance manager John Harbin.

Harbin said: “It all started as I was chatting with Assistant Coach Willie Poching about the blood tests we currently do in football and Knights Scientific are a company I work closely with.

“Willie asked if I’d like to come down to Salford and do the blood tests which give players feedback within 24 hours of the blood being taken.

“The results show you things such as fatigue levels, impending infections and then there’s recommendations to players as a follow-up with things such as nutrition, taking vitamins and their hydration levels.

“The ABEL-Sports test can show when a player is heading towards overtraining before it happens so a player can be told to slow down or go for treatment.

“It might be that some players need resting and it’s really good for injured players as it monitors their wellbeing and can even give you timescales on recovery.

“We’ll be giving the Salford Red Devils players some recommendations as well as advising the coaching staff and medical teams on the way their training and treating players.”

The test uses a single drop of blood from a finger-prick to determine whether a person is in danger of overtraining or suffering from infection, up to 48 hours before any symptoms show.

The revolutionary ABELmeter portable luminometer means that the test can be done at pitch side, track side, pool side, in the locker room or even on the team bus.

Harbin added: “Of course, sceptics ask what does it do? But it’s scientifically proven that we can detect potential overtraining and infections with this method and, at the end of the day, it certainly doesn’t do any harm.

“If a club or athlete do this regularly they’ll see a marked improvement in their training and recovery because they can adapt their training schedules to how their body is feeling ahead of time.”

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