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Researcher from Tohoku University, Japan became the Head of Sports Science at F4R

The Fit4Race team has grown by a great specialist who has travelled the world so that in addition to outstanding results, we can scientifically support the fundamentals of our approaches even more. Our team’s new professional leader, an assistant professor at Tohoku University in Japan, Dr János Négyesi, answered a few questions. Fit4Race places more and more emphasis on active contribution to professional studies and on the fact that collaboration with world-renowned researchers, firms and athletes working in a similar field determines the background of our science-based measurements.

In your career so far, which of your projects are you the proudest of and why?

I started each of my projects with huge curiosity and I am very satisfied with all of them. After all, if I have to highlight one, I would mention one of our articles from last year. Based on the results of previous studies (including our own), we have written a so-called systematic review of how wearing compression stockings can help recovery after exercise. We based our opinions on the results of a meta-analysis, which showed the exact opposite of what we claimed in the last two decades. We have published this article in the world's second-best sports science journal, Sports Medicine, which we are very pleased with.

What inspired you to choose this profession?

When I was 14 years old, I saw an interview with Professor Tamás Freund, who is a neurobiologist and is concerned with neuroscience. I found out that they usually become brain researchers after medical school. I was not admitted to medical school. Sports have always been close to my heart and one of my former high school teachers mentioned that the University of Physical Education has human kinesiology training, where I could learn the functioning of the locomotor system, biomechanics and training methodology from, among others, Professor József Tihanyi, Professor Zsolt Radák and Levente Rácz, who always supported me in evolving my interest in a scientific career. I also had the opportunity to study at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands under the supervision of Professor Tibor Hortobágyi, where I had a chance to participate in research related to movement learning and movement control, which belongs to the field of applied neuroscience. So we can say that after a pretty large detour, I managed to reach my ambition. Besides, the practical applicability of scientific knowledge has always been important to me, and since I was also an athlete, there was no question that I would like to work with elite athletes in addition to my scientific work.

What was your motivation to return home after many successful years abroad?

I have spent the last 6 years in Japan, and I have had many positive experiences. I met my Hungarian wife abroad, I obtained my PhD in medicine in Japan, and I also worked as a senior lecturer for 3 years.

However, we were sure that if we started our own family, we would like to be close to our relatives. On the other hand, I have to admit that I missed the professional work that I did at the Fájdalom Ambulancia before my years in Japan, where I met the Fit4Race institution and its ideology of holistic skill development.

What role will you play in the life of Fit4Race from now on?

Since the 1st of February, I am the professional manager of Fit4Race. I am trying to coordinate and hang together the excellent work of the staff of Fit4Race in a slightly more positive direction. Furthermore, we consider it significant that, in addition to the efficiency of our practical work, which can be measured in the performance and effectiveness of the athletes who work with us, we also make a name for ourselves in sports science. In motorsport, we can find an insignificant number of scientific publications, despite the fact that the objective examination and research of the correctness of physical and cognitive ability development tools and procedures is a highly important issue regarding the sports performance of motorsport and accident-free racing. I will take a crucial role in coordinating the research, analyzing the data, interpreting the results and writing the scientific articles, and most importantly: we want to use these scientific results to develop our assets and approaches so our athletes can reach their peak performance and give their best out of themselves.

What do you think of the Fit4Race system? What makes it special?

I have come across a few institutions in my life where the measurable and subjective qualities of an athlete are so comprehensively examined and managed with the purpose of giving them the best possible performance either in sport or in their personal life. We assess the various physiological, biomechanical, nutritional and cognitive abilities of the athlete, along which we develop a sport-specific and personalized plan. This is followed by the action plan, during which, with the help of our performance coaches, we implement everything that we planned based on the results of the tests. After a while, there is another survey, the most important purpose of which is monitoring. This constant cycle along the execution of tests and the implementation of the action plan ensures that the 'Best of You' ideology can be realized for the athlete.

What do you think is the biggest difference between Hungarian and Japanese culture?

The Japanese are a very different nation compared to the Hungarians. In Japan, people are trained from a young age to follow what their superiors or elders say without question. In contrast, I see that to achieve our own inner motivation, which is why we are able to ride roughshod over the will of the people or hurt others, is more of a characteristic of Central and Eastern European countries.

Furthermore, in Japan, traditions and directions often override logical thinking. We Hungarians, on the other hand, tend to break any rule according to our own logic if it hurts our sense of self or our aspirations. Let everyone decide for themselves which one is better. In my opinion, neither extreme should be followed.

Can we expect more research in the future?

Certainly! With the Fit4Race team, we participate in several domestic and international research projects, all of which help to recognize what happens to our locomotor system and/or central nervous system while learning a new movement or controlling a movement. I am particularly interested in how the information that surrounds us, which we are able to process with our senses, affects our learning and regulation of movement. Furthermore, I am very concerned about the differences between left-wing and right-wing dominant persons under given conditions. We can use these results to strive for an even more effective performance maximization or to perfect a rehabilitation strategy.

As far as we know, you also played sports seriously, can you please tell us about it?

I have been obsessed with combat sports since I was young. At first, I was interested in martial arts (karate and other BUDO sports) and their approach, then I became much more into sports that can also be called combat sports in their style. My main sport was Thai boxing, which I loved very much and, to be honest, I miss it. However, after I started working more seriously in academic work, I no longer had the opportunity to go to training sessions regularly - the injuries I sustained during sports also contributed to this. Furthermore, during my years at the University of Physical Education, I wrestled for 2 years and, of course, I had to pass exams in most sports, so I had to try a little bit of everything. Nowadays, I only have the opportunity to train in the gym, run, and occasionally swim, but maybe this can change in the future, and I will be back between the ropes - even if only for the duration of the training sessions.

What performance habits (Best of You cycle) do you use regularly in your life?

I am intent on eating properly, exercising regularly, and also taking a sauna after training. In our free time, my wife and I go on a lot of trips, and we spend a lot of time with our families and friends. In addition, I consider it important to assess the changes in my abilities at optimal intervals and to plan the training work and diet of the next cycle considering those results. However, to be honest, all of this slipped a bit during the period of moving home, so correcting this will also be a priority for me in the next period.

We welcome Jani to our team, with his positivity, professional knowledge, attitude and, last but not least, his contact system, Fit4Race will leave its mark in the field of scientific research, we will develop together to bring out the best in our team, athletes and customers in all areas!


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