#gpexePeople – An interview with Prof. Paolo Barbero

Apr 1, 2020 | PEOPLE

Hellas Verona, promoted to Serie A at the end of last year and performing very well so far this season, is a gpexe customer from summer 2019. Prof. Paolo Barbero, fitness coach and a veteran gpexe user, explains why the gpexe system has been chosen by his new club.
Paolo-Barbero-Hellas-Fitness-Coach
Paolo Barbero – Hellas Verona Fitness Coach

How important is it for you to have a tracking system with an easy setup and ready for use in a few minutes?

It’s very important for us to be able to know, at the end of each session of training, every match or event, the external load data. Particularly, having straightaway the chance to internally discuss them, with the staff, the head coach and other colleagues; being able to correlate them to the video. In some occasion, it is also very useful to have the live data so that we can modulate the external load during the session.

What parameters available in the gpexe system are more relevant for you?

As a staff, we have chosen to work with 6-8 parameters. We know very well that there are a lot of parameters available and we can currently choose any type of element to evaluate the performance. We have chosen quantitative parameters and qualitative using both energy ratings and values what values ​​like distance, speed etc… We need this data mainly because starting from match data we can modulate the weekly load of training. Plus, we can integrate it, if some athlete in some weeks does not reach these values. Having this feedback is particularly important to manage those players which are not involved in the match on Sundays. We can always give them adequate motivation for training.

Could you give an example?

Let’s take an example with a quantitative energy parameter very useful for measuring the high-intensity events’ load: the power event (MPE).

  • last 5 matches average = 155 MPE
  • weekly goal for athletes who played = 310 MPE (twice the value of the match)
  • weekly goal for athletes who have not played = 465 MPE (three times the value of the match)

For this parameter, we set the goal of 2 times the match for the athletes who have played and 3 times for those who have not played.

Reaching the set goal is not always easy because many variables come into play. However, over time and with the experience we have learned to “know the weight” of each exercise and therefore we never go too far from what is planned for each session; the fact of monitoring the data day by day and having the report in 5 minutes from the end of the workout, allows us to immediately reflect together with the coach on the work just completed and possibly adjust the shot on what we will do the next day.

Here’s how the MPE load was distributed in the training week for those who didn’t play:

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“there’s a community that works, with top-level professionals behind it”

Paolo Barbero
Hellas Verona Fitness Coach


How do you imagine your profession in the future?

I don’t know this. Certainly, in 2011 when I approached Professor di Prampero’s conference in Ostia where he presented this element for the first time I thought that it was really changing things in a very, very radical way. We switch from a pure evaluation of a relationship between distances and time, i.e. speed to an evaluation that mainly takes energy into account. What will happen in the future? I have a dream: today we know very well the value of the external load. I would like to know the value of the internal load as well, i.e. what the adaptations are and what the biochemical, physiological and hormonal responses are for each athlete.

Why did you choose gpexe?

Because I found it a very smart tool from the very beginning; because there’s a community that works, with top-level professionals behind it. Because there is a physiologist like Professor di Prampero who is unquestionably the best in the field so far. Also, there are people like Cristian and Andrea coming straight from the pitch, knowing that we daily spend most of our time there. They perfectly understand what the problems are and what our requests are. Plus, it’s a tool which is easily readable by the athletes and the staff.

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