Staff Profiles

Professor Mark Willems

Professor of Exercise Physiology

m.willems@chi.ac.uk | +44 (0) 1243 816468

Mark started to work at the University of Chichester in 2003. He was a member of the National Dutch Youth Handball Team and the National Dutch Military Team and won National Championships with handball at the junior and senior level in the Netherlands. Mark enjoys running at a speed at which you can enjoy the countryside.

Professional

Education

1990 - MSc in Exercise Physiology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1990 - MSc in Functional Anatomy, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1994 - PhD in Human Movement Sciences – Architectural Heterogeneity and Function of Bi-articular Muscle. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Teaching

Mark is responsible for the following modules

SPL300 - Research Project

Aims: The Research Project module provides an opportunity to apply appropriate knowledge, concepts, techniques and research methods of Sport and Exercise Sciences to an in-depth study of a particular question or problem related to sport, exercise or sports therapy. This module aims to foster a greater understanding of the processes to undertake a small scale research project, and marks the culmination of the student’s learning experience. The study will enable the student to produce a written research report.

MSCPH02- Muscle Physiology in Sport and Exercise

Aims: An understanding of the role of skeletal muscles to exercise is essential when examining performance and training in sport and the potential impact of exercise in disease prevention and amelioration. This module aims to develop a critical knowledge of muscle functioning, the nature of metabolic limitations in skeletal muscles during exercise, the role and function of skeletal muscles in specific sports, and the relationships between metabolic limitation, nutritional interventions, and training adaptations. The application of this knowledge to athletic training in divergent sporting activities, and general conditioning in sedentary and special populations will be discussed within both theoretical and practical contexts.

Publications

In press

Gavin JP, Myers SD, Willems MET. Cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses after exercise-induced muscle damage: the influence of lowered glycogen. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness.

Naderi A, Sadeghi M, Sarshin A, Imanipour V, Nazeri SA, Farkhaie F, Willems MET. Muscle carnosine concentration with the co-ingestion of carbohydrate with β-alanine in male rats. Journal of Dietary Supplements.

Naderi A, de Oliveira EP, Ziegenfuss TN, Willems MET. Timing, optimal dose and intake duration of dietary supplements with evidence-based uses in sports nutrition. Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry.

Ozmen T, Gunes GY, Dogan H, Ucar I, Willems M. The effect of kinesio taping versus stretching techniques on muscle soreness, and flexibility during recovery from Nordic hamstring exercise. Journal of body work and movement therapies.

2016

Naderi A, Earnest CP, Lowery RP, Wilson JM, Willems MET. Co-ingestion of nutritional ergogenic aids and high intensity exercise performance. Sports Medicine 46(10), 1407-1418, 2016.  doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0525-x.

Willems MET, Cousins L, Williams D, Blacker SD. Beneficial Effects of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract on Maximal Sprint Speed during the Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test. Sports 4(3), 42, 2016. doi:10.3390/sports4030042.

Gavin JP, Myers SD, Mark E.T Willems. Effect of eccentric exercise with reduced muscle glycogen on plasma interleukin-6 and neuromuscular responses of m. quadriceps femoris. Journal of Applied Physiology (1985), 121(1):173-84, 2016. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00383.2015.

Kulaksız TN, Koşar SN, Bulut S, Güzel Y, Willems MET, Hazir T, Turnagöl HH. Mouth Rinsing with Maltodextrin Solutions Fails to Improve Time Trial Endurance Cycling Performance in Recreational Athletes. Nutrients 8(5), E269, 2016. doi: 10.3390/nu8050269.

Naderi A, Far AH, Willems MET, Sadeghi M. Effect of Four Weeks of β-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and blood serum lactate during exercise in male rats. Journal of Dietary Supplements 13(5), 487-494, 2016. doi: 10.3109/19390211.2015.1113223.

Sozbir K, Willems MET, Tiryaki-Sonmez G, Ragauska P. Acute effects of contract-relax PNF and static stretching on flexibility, jump performance and EMG activities: A case study. Biology of Exercise 12(1), 33-55, 2016. doi: 10.4127/jbe.2016.0099.

Ozmen T, Aydogmus M, Dogan H, Acar D, Zoroglu T & Willems M. The effect of kinesio taping® on muscle pain, sprint performance and flexibility in recovery from squat exercise in young adult women. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation 25(1), 7-12, 2016. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/jsr.2014-0243.

2015

Gavin JP, Myers SD, Willems MET. The accumulative effect of concentric-biased and eccentric-biased exercise on cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses to subsequent low-intensity exercise: a preliminary study. Journal of Human Kinetics 49, 131-40, 2015 doi: 10.1515/hukin-2015-0115.

Cook MD, Myers SD, Blacker SD, Willems MET. New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Improves Cycling Performance and Fat Oxidation in Cyclists. European Journal of Applied Physiology 115(11), 2357-2365, 2015.

Perkins IC, Vine SA, Blacker SD, Willems MET. New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Improves High-intensity Intermittent Running. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 25, 487-493, 2015.

McGuire S, Willems MET. Physiological responses during multiplay exergaming in young adult males are game-dependent. Journal of Human Kinetics 46, 263-271, 2015.

Cook MD, Myers SD, Kelly JSM, Willems MET. Effect of Eccentric and Concentric Exercise on Breathing Efficiency. Sports 3, 12-20, 2015.

Willems MET, Myers SD, Gault ML & Cook MD. Beneficial physiological effects with blackcurrant intake in endurance athletes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism 25(4), 367-374, 2015.

Gavin JP, Myers SD & Willems MET. The effect of glycogen reduction on cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses during downhill running. European Journal of Applied Physiology 115(5), 1125-1133, 2015.

Gavin JP, Myers SD & Willems MET. Neuromuscular responses to mild-muscle damaging eccentric exercise in a low glycogen state. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 25, 53-60, 2015.

Gallagher CA, Lewis MP, Willems MET & Myers SD. The application of maximal heart rate predictive equations in hypoxia 115(2), 277-284, 2015.

2014

Gallagher CA, Willems MET, Lewis, MP & Myers SD. Effect of acute normobaric hypoxia on the ventilatory threshold. European Journal of Applied Physiology 114(8):1555-62, 2014. 

Cook MD, Myers SD, Kelly JS, Willems MET. Acute post-exercise effects of concentric and eccentric exercise on glucose clearance. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 25(1), 14-19, 2015.

Gault ML, Willems, MET. Walking and aerobic capacity in old adults after concentric and eccentric endurance exercise at self-selected intensities. Health 6(8), 654-663, 2014.

Ozmen T, Yuktasir B, Yildirim NU, Yalcin B & Willems MET. Effect of Explosive Strength Training on Speed and Agility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball Athletes. Brazilian Journal of Sports Medicine 20(2), 97-100, 2014.

Gavin JP, Willems MET & Myers SD. Reproducibility of speed of lactate markers during 4 and 8 min stage incremental running: a pilot study. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 17(6), 635-639, 2014.

2013

Gault ML & Willems MET. Aging, functional capacity and eccentric exercise training. Aging and Disease, 4(6), 351-363, 2013.

Gault ML & Willems MET. Isometric strength and steadiness adaptations of the knee extensor muscles to level and downhill treadmill walking in older adults. Biogerontology 14(2), 197-208, 2013.

Gavin JP, Myers SD & Willems MET. Physiological responses at various lactate markers for running at 4 and 8 minute treadmill increments.  Sport Scientific and Practical Aspects -  International Scientific Journal of Kinesiology 10(1), 5-14, 2013.

Blacker SD, Fallowfield JL, Bilzon JLJ, Willems MET. Neuromuscular impairment following backpack load carriage. Journal of Human Kinetics 37, 91-98, 2013.

Blacker SD, Fallowfield JL, Bilzon JLJ, & Willems MET. Intra- and interday reliability of voluntary and electrically stimulated isometric contractions of the quadriceps femoris. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 23(4), 886-891, 2013.

Gault ML, Clements RE & Willems MET. Cardiovascular responses during downhill treadmill walking at self-selected intensity in older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity 21, 335-347, 2013.

Willems MET & Ponte J. Divergent fatigue resistance of dominant and non-dominant quadriceps muscle during voluntary isometric contractions. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 16(3), 240-244, 2013.

2012

Willems MET, Sallis CW & Haskell JA. Multi-ingredient supplementation enhances adaptations of resistance training-specific tasks in young males. Journal of Human Kinetics 33, 91-103, 2012.

Gault ML, Clements RE & Willems MET. Functional mobility of older adults after concentric and eccentric endurance exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology 112(11), 3699-3707, 2012.

Fallowfield JL, Blacker SD, Willems MET, Davy T & Layden J. Neuromuscular and cardiovascular responses of Royal Marine recruits to load carriage in the field. Applied Ergonomics 43(6), 1131-1137, 2012.

2011

Madigan DJ & Willems MET. Effect of caffeine on fatigue during submaximal isometric contractions at different knee angles. Medicina Sportiva 15(4), 194-200, 2011.

Gault ML, Clements RE & Willems MET. Muscle damage from downhill treadmill walking does not change walking economy in healthy older adults. Journal of Human Kinetics 27, 55-65, 2011.

Blacker SD, Williams NC, Fallowfield JL & Willems MET. The effect of a carbohydrate beverage on the physiological responses during prolonged load carriage. European Journal of Applied Physiology 111(8): 1901-1908, 2011.

2010

Webb EC & Willems MET. Effects of wearing graduated compression garment during eccentric exercise. Medicina Sportiva 14 (4): 193-198, 2010.

Blacker SD , Fallowfield JL, Bilzon JLJ & Willems MET. Neuromuscular function following prolonged load carriage on level and downhill gradients. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine 81, 745-754, 2010.

Blacker SD, Fallowfield JL, Bilzon JLJ & Willems MET. Within-day and between-days reproducibility of isokinetic parameters of knee, trunk and shoulder movements. Isokinetics and Exercise Science 18(1), 45-55, 2010.

Vatansever-Ozen S, Tiryaki- Sonmez G, Yuktasir B, Yalcin HB, Bugdayci G & Willems M. Effects of exercise on leptin and acylated ghrelin hormones in trained males. Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline 13(2), 20-30, 2010.

Willems MET, Miller GR, Stauber FD & Stauber WT.. Effects of repeated lengthening contractions on skeletal muscle adaptations in female rats. Journal of Physiological Sciences 60, 143-150, 2010.

Blacker SD , Williams NC, Fallowfield JL, Bilzon JLJ & Willems MET. Carbohydrate vs protein supplementation for recovery of neuromuscular function following prolonged load carriage. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:2.

2009

Willems MET & Bond TS. Metabolic equivalent of brisk walking and playing new generation active computer games in young-adults. Medicina Sportiva 13(2): 95-98, 2009.

Willems MET & Bond TS. Physiological and metabolic responses to playing Nintendo Wii Sports and brisk treadmill walking. Journal of Human Kinetics 22, 43-49, 2009.

Gault ML, Clements RE & Willems MET. Effect of wearing the Cosmed K4b2 metabolic system on 1 mile walking performance in older adults. Journal of Human Kinetics 21, 41-48, 2009.

Blacker SD, Fallowfield JL, Bilzon JLJ & Willems MET. Physiological responses to load carriage during level and downhill treadmill walking. Medicina Sportiva 13 (2): 116-124, 2009.

Willems MET, Hale T & Wilkinson CS. Effect of massage on delayed onset muscle soreness and performance following downhill walking. Medicina Sportiva 13(2), 61-66, 2009.

Willems MET & Northcott SR. Gender differences for voluntary isometric contractions of knee extensor muscles after downhill running using surface EMG. Medicina Sportiva 13(1): 35-42, 2009.

Willems MET & Stauber WT. The effect of number of lengthening contractions on rat isometric force production at different frequencies of nerve stimulation. Acta Physiologica 196(3): 351-356, 2009.

2005

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Streptomycin and EDTA decrease the number of desmin-negative fibers following stretch injury. Muscle & Nerve 32, 310-315, 2005.

2003

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Attenuation of stretch-induced histopathologic changes of skeletal muscles by quinacrine. Muscle & Nerve 27, 65-71, 2003.

2002

Stauber WT & Willems MET. Prevention of histopathologic changes from 30 repeated stretches of active rat skeletal muscles by long inter-stretch rest times. European Journal of Applied Physiology 88, 94-99, 2002.

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Fatigue and recovery at long and short muscle lengths after eccentric training. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 34, 1738-1743, 2002.

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Effect of contraction history on torque deficits by stretches of active rat skeletal muscle. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology 27, 323-335, 2002.

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Force deficits by stretches of activated muscles with constant or increasing velocity. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 34, 667-672, 2002.

2001

Willems MET, Miller GR & Stauber WT. Force deficits after stretches of activated rat muscle-tendon complex with reduced collagen cross-links. European Journal of Applied Physiology 85, 405-411, 2001.

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Force deficits after repeated stretches of activated skeletal muscles in female and male rats. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica 172, 63-67, 2001.

2000

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Force during stretches of rat skeletal muscles after hypertonia at short and long lengths. Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry 108, 391-397, 2000.

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Changes in force by repeated stretches of skeletal muscle in young and old female Sprague Dawley rats. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research 12, 478-481, 2000.

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Effect of resistance training on muscle fatigue and recovery in intact rats. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 32, 1887-1893, 2000.

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Performance of plantar flexor muscles with eccentric and isometric contractions in intact rats. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 32, 1293-1299, 2000.

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Force output during and following active stretches of rat plantar flexor muscles: effect of velocity of ankle rotation. Journal of Biomechanics 33, 1035-1038, 2000.

1999

Willems MET, Huijing PA & Fridén J. Swelling of sarcoplasmic reticulum after isometric contractions in rat semimembranosus lateralis muscle. Acta Physiologica Scandinavica 165, 347-356, 1999.

Willems MET & Stauber WT. Isometric and concentric performance of electrically stimulated ankle plantar flexor muscles in intact rat. Experimental Physiology 84, 379-384, 1999.

1997

Willems MET & Purslow PP. Mechanical and structural characteristics of single muscle fibres and fibre groups from raw and cooked pork longissimus muscle. Meat Science 46, 285-301, 1997.

1996

Willems MET & Purslow PP. Effect of postrigor sarcomere length on mechanical and structural characteristics of raw and heat-denaturated single porcine muscle fibres. Journal of Texture Studies 27, 217-233, 1996.

1995

Willems MET & Huijing PA. Hip joint position and architecture of rat semimembranosus muscle: implications for length force characteristics. Acta Anatomica 152, 56-65, 1995.

1994

Willems MET & Huijing PA. Heterogeneity of mean sarcomere length in different fibres: effects on length range of active force production in rat muscle. European Journal of Applied Physiology 68, 489-496, 1994.

Willems MET & Huijing PA. Mechanical and geometrical properties of the rat semimembranosus lateralis muscle during isometric contractions. Journal of Biomechanics 27, 1109-1118, 1994.

1992

Willems MET & Huijing PA. Effect of growth on architecture of rat semimembranosus lateralis muscle. The Anatomical Record 233, 25-31, 1992.

1991

Willems MET, Brozinick Jr JT, Torgan CE, Cortez MY & Ivy JL. Muscle glucose uptake of obese Zucker rats trained at two different intensities. Journal of Applied Physiology 70, 36-42, 1991.

1990

Torgan CE, Brozinick Jr JT, Willems MET & Ivy JL. Substrate utilization during acute exercise in obese Zucker rats. Journal of Applied Physiology 69, 1987-1991, 1990.

Abstracts (since 2014)

C Murphy, MD Cook, MET Willems. Effect of New Zealand blackcurrant extract on performance during repeated 4 km cycling time trials. International Sport and Exercise Nutrition Conference. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 2016.

MD Cook, MA Sahin, MET Willems. Matcha green tea drinks enhance fat oxidation during brisk walking in females. International Sport and Exercise Nutrition Conference. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 2016.

Matthew D Cook, Victoria C Edwards, Stephen D Myers, Mandy L Gault, Mark ET Willems. Metabolic and Physiological Responses by New Zealand Blackcurrant during Cycling: A Dose-Response Study. ACSM’s 63rd Annual meeting, Boston, 2016.

Mark ET Willems, Stephen D Myers, Mandy L Gault, Victoria C Edwards, Matthew D Cook. Effects of New Zealand Blackcurrant on Cardiovascular Function at Rest in Cyclists: a Dose-Response Study. ACSM’s 63rd Annual meeting, Boston, 2016.

MD Cook, VC Edwards, SD Myers, ML Gault, MET Willems. Substrate oxidation by New Zealand blackcurrant during cycling: A dose-response study. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 26, S14, 2016.

M Willems, L Cousins, D Williams, S Blacker. Beneficial effect of New Zealand blackcurrant on maximal sprint speeds during the Loughborough intermittent shuttle test. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 26, S7, 2016.

Gault M, Willems M. Eccentric Endurance Exercise to Enhance Functional Mobility in Older Adults. The 3-dimensional effect of physical activity in old age – physical, mental & emotional. Kaunas, Lithuania 2015.

Cook M, Myers S, Blacker S, Willems M. Effect of New Zealand blackcurrant extract on cycling performance across quartile distances and the final km of a 16.1 km time-trial. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 25, S8, 2015.

Perkins I, Vine S, Blacker S, Willems M. New Zealand blackcurrant extract improves high-intensity intermittent running performance. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 25, S7, 2015.

Willems MET, Myers SD & Gavin JP. Effect of muscle-damaging eccentric exercise with reduced muscle glycogen on plasma interleukin-6 and neuromuscular function. 19th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science. Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2-5 July, 2014.

Willems MET, Myers SD, Blacker SD & MD Cook. CurraNZ blackcurrant improves cycling performance and recovery in trained endurance athletes. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(Suppl 1):P14, 2014.

Willems MET, Myers SD, MD Cook & Gault ML. Effect of New Zealand Sujon blackcurrant on resting cardiovascular function in triathletes. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(Suppl 1):P3, 2014.

Willems MET, Myers SD, MD Cook & Gault ML. Effect of New Zealand Sujon blackcurrant on cardiovascular responses during cycling in triathletes. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(Suppl 1):P11, 2014.

Willems MET, Myers SD, Gault ML & MD Cook. New Zealand Sujon blackcurrant lowers lactate accumulation during cycling in triathletes. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11(Suppl 1):P2, 2014.

Journal Scientific Board

2007 - present Medicina Sportiva

Journal Advisory Editorial Board

2009 - present European Journal of Applied Physiology

Journal Editorial Board

2011 - present European Journal of Sport Science
2012 - present Journal of Sports Medicine

Research

Mark has research interests in the following areas: Muscle Physiology, Muscle Fatigue, Muscle Injury, Ageing and Exercise, Eccentric Exercise, Occupational Physiology, Supplementation and Exercise, Exercise in Clinical Populations.

Director of Studies

2006-2009 PhD: Sam Blacker - Physiological Effects of Prolonged Load Carriage by Backpack
2007-2010 PhD: Mandy Gault - Effects of Regular Downhill Walking on Cardiovascular Health and Physical Performance in Older People
2010-2013 PhD: James Gavin - The Effect of Glycogen Reduction on Neuromuscular Responses and Recovery from Eccentric Exercise
2013-present PhD: Matthew Cook - New Zealand Blackcurrant and Exercise
2015-present MPhil/PhD:  Ian Perkins - New Zealand Blackcurrant and Individual Responses to Exercise

Membership

European College of Sport Science (Fellow)