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James Fisher PhD

Senior Lecturer

Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences


James completed his BSc (Hons) Sport Science from University of Chester, his MSc Exercise Physiology from Manchester Metropolitan University and his PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education from Solent University. He went on to complete his PhD, titled “The Scientific Application of Resistance Training”, through Nottingham Trent University.

James draws on personal experiences as a fitness professional; strength and conditioning coach to amateur, professional, national and international athletes; GB wheelchair basketball coach at the London 2012 Games; and published researcher and reviewer to deliver the theoretical and practical knowledge required for future progression of health, fitness and sporting success.

Taught courses

Further information

Industry experience

James has previously been a freelance personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach; having worked with such notables as the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), GB goalball players, GB wheelchair basketball players, and international track and field athletes, as well as the University’s rugby, netball and American football teams.

As an exercise scientist he has been involved in testing with Premier League team, Southampton FC and Championship team, Bournemouth AFC.

James was assistant coach to GB Women’s Wheelchair basketball team through the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 cycle.

Teaching experience

Unit leader:

  • Year one: Functional Anatomy and Kinesiology.
  • Year one: Fitness for Sport.
  • Year two: Advanced Training Principles.
  • Year 3: Sport Science Support.
  • MSc: Marginal Gains in Peak Performance.

Research interests

James’ key areas of interest are strength training and sports conditioning, exercise technique and lower back pain along with psychological considerations within sports, health and fitness.

Recent publications

Giessing, J., Eichmann, B., Steele, J., Fisher, J. (2016) A comparison of low volume ‘high-intensity training’ and high volume resistance training methods on muscular performance, body composition, and subjective assessment. Biology of Sport. 33(3): 241-249.

Fisher, J., Asanovich, M., Cornwell, R., Steele, J. (2016) Neck training for athletic injury prevention and orthopaedic healthcare. Journal of Trainology. 5: 13-17.

Fisher, J., Blossom, D., Steele, J. (2016) A comparison of volume equated knee extensions to failure or not to failure upon rating of perceived exertion and strength adaptations. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. 41:168-174.

Fisher, J., Carlson, L., Steele, J. (2015) The effects of breakdown set resistance training on strength and body composition in young males and females. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 30(5): 1425-1432.

Edinborough, L., Fisher, J., Steele, J. (2015) A comparison of the effect of kettlebell swings and isolated lumbar extension training upon acute torque production of the lumbar extensors. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 30(5): 1189-1195.

Fisher, J., Carlson, L., Steele, J., Smith, D. (2015) Reply to Discussion of the ‘The effects of pre-exhaustion, exercise order, and rest intervals in a full-body resistance training intervention’ – Pre-exhaustion exercise and neuromuscular adaptations: an inefficient method?' Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism 40: 852-853.

Fisher, J., D’Amario, D., Stopforth, M., Small, C. (2015) 'The Effect of Coloured lenses on Muscular Performance'. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 55: 549-556.

Steele, J., Fitzpatrick, A., Bruce-Low, S., Fisher, J. (2015) 'The effects of set volume during isolated lumbar extension resistance training in recreationally trained males'. Peer J 3:e878.

Fisher, J., Steele, J. (2014) 'Questioning the resistance/aerobic dichotomy: A commentary on physiological adaptations determined by effort rather than exercise modality'. Journal of Human Kinetics 44; 129-137.

Fisher, J., Langford, C. (2014) 'The effects of load and effort matched concentric and eccentric knee extension training in recreational females'. Human Movement 15(3): 147-151.

Fisher, J., Wallin, M. (2014) 'Unilateral versus Bilateral Lower-body Resistance and Plyometric Training for Agility'. Journal of Athletic Enhancement 3:6.

Giessing, J., Fisher, J., Steele, J., Rothe, F., Raubold, K., Eichmann, B. (2014) 'The effects of low volume resistance training with and without advanced techniques in trained participants'. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness (IN PRESS).

Fisher, J., Steele, J., McKinnon, P., McKinnon, S. (2014) 'Strength gains as a result of brief, infrequent resistance exercise in older adults; a retrospective single-arm trial'. Journal of Sports Medicine.

Fisher, J., Carlson, L., Steele, J., Smith, D. (2014) 'The effects of pre-exhaustion, exercise order and rest intervals in a full body resistance training intervention'. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism 39;1-6.

Fisher, J., Van Dongen, M., Sutherland, R. (2014) 'Effects of 6-weeks isometric deadlift training with and without vibration'. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, (IN PRESS).

Fisher, J., Steele, J., Brzycki, M., DeSimone, B. (2014) 'Primum Non Nocere: A commentary on avoidable injuries and safe resistance training techniques'. Journal of Trainology, 3;31-34.

Steele, J., Fisher, J. (2014) 'Scientific Rigour; A heavy or light load to carry'. Sports Medicine, 44(1); 141-142.

Fisher, J., Steele, J., Smith, D. (2013) 'Evidence-Based Resistance Training Recommendations for Muscular Hypertrophy'. Medicina Sportiva, 17(4); 217-235.

Fisher, J., Platts, C., Stopforth, M. (2013) 'Attitudes of Clients towards male and female personal trainers'. International Journal of Exercise Science, 6(4); 256-268.

Fisher, J. (2013) 'A Critical Analysis on the Practical Application of Resistance Training Studies'. Journal of Trainology, 2(2); 10-12.

Fisher, J. (2012) 'Beware the Meta-Analysis; is multiple-set training really better than single-set training for muscular hypertrophy?' Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 15(6); 23-30.

Fisher, J., Smith, D. (2012) 'Attempting to better define intensity for muscular performance; is it all wasted effort?' European Journal of Applied Physiology, 112(12); 4183-4185.

Fisher, J., Bruce-Low, S., and Smith, D. (2013) 'A Randomized Trial to Consider the Effect of Romanian Deadlift Exercise on the development of Lumbar Extension Strength'. Physical Therapy in Sport, 14(3); 139-145.

Steele, J., Fisher, J., McGuff, D., Bruce-Low, S., and Smith, D. (2012) 'High Intensity Resistance Training Effects on Cardiovascular Fitness: A Review of Acute Physiological Responses and Chronic Physiological Adaptations'. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online 15(3); 53-80.

Bruce-Low, S., Smith, D., Bissell, G., Burnet, S., Fisher, J., and Webster, L. (2012). 'One lumbar extension training session per week is sufficient for strength gains and reductions in pain in patients with chronic low back pain ergonomics'. Ergonomics; 55(4); 500-507.

Fisher, J., and Steele, J. (2012) 'Is Truth in Authority or Authority in truth? Limitations to the Publication of Scientific Research'. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online 15(1); 57-64.

Fisher, J., Steele, J., Bruce-Low, S., and Smith, D. (2011) 'Evidence-Based Resistance Training Recommendations'. Medicina Sportiva 15(3); 147-162.

Conference presentations

Resistance Exercise Conference: Maximising Strength and Hypertrophy; The current state of the science and implications for training, Minnesota, USA, 2016.

Muscle Contraction; Anatomy and Physiology, Minnesota, USA, 2016.

International- Symposium Scientific Advanced Resistance Training Techniques: Advances in Strength Training Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2015.

Strength, Wellness and Fitness Advanced Resistance Training Techniques: Conference Natal, Brazil, 2015.

BASES Conference: Muscle Activation and Force production for a novel resistance training approach in trained males, suitable for Space Flight and Micro-Gravity environments. St. George’s Park, UK, 2015.

A comparison of two ecologically valid resistance training methods upon strength, body composition, and subjective assessments of training. St. George’s Park, UK, 2015.

Kieser Training Medical Congress: Advanced Resistance Training Techniques. Dresden, Germany, 2015.

Resistance Exercise Conference: Scientific Advances in Resistance Training; the development of health, hypertrophy and athletic performance. Minnesota, USA, 2015.

Fitness Leader’s Summit: Critical Evaluation and Evidence Based Practice; The Solution to Improving Business. Orlando, USA, 2014.

High Intensity Training Resurgence: Evidence Based Resistance Training for Muscular Hypertrophy. Minnesota, USA, 2014.

High Intensity Training Resurgence: Evidence Based Resistance Training. Minnesota, USA, 2013.

BASES Conference: Effect of Romanian Deadlift Exercise on the development of Lumbar Extension Strength. University of Essex, UK, 2011.


James is recognised as an IFBB weight training prescription specialist, a head and neck training specialist and a UK anti-doping tutor.