Bond University has put some of Australia's elite athletes to the test in the Nutri-Grain Sports Star Challenge - a two-part television series that pits Ironmen superstars, such as Ky Hurst and Matt Poole, against professional Aussie sporting heroes from a wide variety of sporting codes.
Cricketer Simon Katich, Adelaide Crows captain Patrick Dangerfield, Olympic hurdler Michelle Jenneke, State of Origin and Newcastle Knights player Kurt Gidley, Sydney Swans player Lewis Jetta, and recently retired NRL player Beau Ryan, participated in a range of tests over land and sea to find out how their capabilities stacked up against the gruelling demands of the Ironman competition.
The unique sports experiment was filmed at Bond University Institute of Health and Sport's Human Performance Laboratory on the Gold Coast, and experts at the University used the very best in scientific testing to devise a series of challenging and appropriate physiological tests that were both scientifically specific and entertaining for viewers.
Associate Professor of Exercise and Sports Science, Mike Climstein, said the calibre of facilities at the Bond Institute of Health and Sport made them the ideal location for filming the Nutri-Grain Sports Challenge.
"Without the ability to accurately quantify each of the athletes' levels of fitness, strength, endurance and adaptability, the Nutri-Grain Sports Challenge wouldn't have been able to accurately compare their various strengths and weaknesses," Associate Professor Climstein said.
"Bond University's Institute of Health and Sport was able to provide state-of-the-art facilities and a respected team of experts in the field of athlete assessment, making Bond the perfect venue for the athletes to undergo the rigorous testing.
"Filming took place in Bond's Exercise & Sports Science laboratory, as well as on our nearby beaches for endurance tests such as the Beep Test conducted on the sand- a test of peak maximal aerobic performance - and the Wade Test, which includes a short run and swim through the shore break that imitates the start of an Ironman race."
The first episode of the series paired each athlete with an Ironman or Ironwoman - Ky Hurst, Matt Poole, Kendrick Louis, Ali Day, Tanyn Lyndon or Courtney Hancock - setting the participants in head-to-head competitions in both the Bond University "lab" and on the beach.
The series finale, which airs this Sunday, November 30 at 4pm AEDT* on Channel Nine, features the athletes competing against each other in a 50m swim leg and 100m board paddle, before being joined by their mentors to complete the final 200m ski leg on a double ski.