Dr David Hulse is a Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health (ISEH) and Team Physician for the UCI WorldTour professional cycling team, EF-Education – EasyPost.
As a lifelong cyclist, David enjoys challenging weekend rides. He is also a veteran of many editions of L’Etape du Tour and the sportive events of the Monuments of pro cycling.
David has been a PerformancePro client for 6 years and trains on average once a week (for blocks of training) with Strength and Conditioning Coach, Rob Rees.
As you know, we enjoy finding out what makes our clients tick. We are grateful to David for taking time out of his busy professional and sporting life to share some of his story with us.
David was brought up in north of Scotland and graduated from Glasgow University in 1996. He initially trained in orthopaedic surgery but left that to pursue a career in the exciting new speciality of Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM). Following his Masters in SEM, he relocated to London in 2007 and was one of the first eight doctors to complete formal training in SEM.
‘One theme of my career is that I have taken an increasingly broad view of health, exercise, injury and how so many different and related aspects (nutrition, sleep, strength & conditioning, mental energy) influence our ability to perform in work, sport, and influence our overall health. Most doctors become increasingly specialised in a narrow field as they develop – I have done the opposite!’
‘I left orthopaedic surgery, with its focus on bone and joint injuries, because I had many questions about the role of our biomechanics, our conditioning, our nutrition in preventing or treating joint problems like arthritis or indeed following injuries.’
For David, his USP as a sports doctor is being able to put all these aspects together in the context of the health or injury problem his patient is experiencing.
In 2005, David moved into the world of professional cycling, initially as a Race Doctor for Tour of Britain, then as a Team Doctor at the highest level of the sport including his current role with UCI WorldTour professional cycling team, EF-Education – EasyPost
‘Cycling has developed rapidly in recent years and the top teams are investing heavily in performance nutrition and sports science. These are interesting and exciting times. It’s great that the importance of strength & conditioning in both achieving performance goals and also improving injury resilience is being recognised.’
David also worked for a number of years at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, the UK military’s high-level injury rehabilitation centre at Headley Court. Here, he led a multidisciplinary team, managing personnel with training injuries and conditions causing exercise-related leg pain.
Throughout his career, David has pursued his preference for multidisciplinary collaboration. He enjoys connecting with others as passionate as he is about health and performance. Another great example of this is his work with the expert team at Cyclefit, also helping with research and input into Phil Cavell’s book The Midlife Cyclist
In 2022, David joined the team at Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health where his clinic offers specialist assessment and diagnosis of cycling injuries, and management of a broad range of sports injuries and health issues related to endurance sport. He also delivers a broad model of health optimisation and performance coaching as a keystone of his practice.
‘I joined ISEH to become part of multidisciplinary team under one roof and to collaborate with some of London’s most renowned specialists. With ISEH we are able to develop specialist services in world-class facilities.’
David’s love of cycling was ignited as a child. The quiet roads and amazing scenery of the Scottish Highlands beckoned and he made the most. Perhaps his lifelong desire to seek broader horizons was down to this!
As we now know David enjoys challenging weekend rides. He is also a veteran of many editions of L’Etape du Tour and the sportive events of the Monuments of pro cycling. As a doctor, his understanding of health and performance informs his approach to cycling,
‘I’m not a competitive athlete, but focussing on my conditioning improves my riding and enjoyment, helping maintain my ability on the bike. Strength and conditioning (S&C) improves my posture and trunk stability on the bike and and my ability to generate force through the pedals.
‘S&C is very important for middle-aged and older athletes. We all naturally lose muscle mass as we age. We are also having to undo the damage caused by our often sedentary jobs. S&C is a component of longevity. And, physical fitness protects against chronic disease as we age.’
David first connected with PerfoprmancePro via Cyclifit in 2016. He has trained weekly with Strength and Conditioning Coach, Rob Rees ever since, focussing not only on force generation through the pedals, but also strength, endurance of his trunk and core.
‘Rob has been very responsive to my changing needs in terms of conditioning, ie. following crashes and a period of illness. So, there have been periods of ‘performance’ conditioning but also periods where the emphasis has been more rehabilitative.
‘At the moment, I am in a rehabilitative phase, building my trunk ad postural conditioning to support increased time on the bike. This will evolve as we move into 2023, with increasing strength work to support climbing and endurance.‘
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