Christopher Kirk

Sport and Exercise Sciences

Chris is a PhD student at LJMU researching the training loads and effects of preparing for competition in mixed martial arts (MMA), his Director of Studies being Prof James Morton. Chris has published academic journal articles consistently since 2014, looking into the performance and anthropometrical characteristics of MMA participants at the regional, national and international levels. Alongside his PhD studies he is also actively involved in collaboration with researchers based in Sao Paulo (Brazil), focusing on the effects of training in a range of combat sports.
He has over a decade of teaching and lecturing experience in FE and HE institutions, specialising in physiology, strength & conditioning and research methods. He is currently responsible for lecturing on, leading and writing several modules at Sheffield Hallam University on levels 4-7, having previously worked at the University of Derby.
Chris is also an active strength & conditioning and weight lifting coach working with a range of private clients including amateur and semi-professional athletes. As part of his previous role at Burnley College, Chris lead the Elite Athlete Programme, recruiting and training potentially elite student-athletes in a range of sports, supporting them in their sports performance alongside their studies.

Supervisory Team
Professor James Morton, Dr Carl Langan-Evans, Dr David Clark


2014, University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom, MSc (by Research) Applied Sport and Exercise Science
2007, University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom, PGCE
2003, Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom, BSc (Hons) Sports Development and Coaching

Academic appointments

Lecturer of Sport and Exercise Physiology, Sheffield Hallam University, 2020 - present
Associate Lecturer of Sport & Exercise Sciences, University of Derby, 2018 - 2020
Lecturer of Sport Sciences, Burnley College, 2009 - 2017
Lecturer in Sport, Tameside College, 2007 - 2009

Journal article

White T, Kirk C. 2021. Pre-competition body mass loss characteristics of Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors in the United Kingdom Nutrition and Health, 27 :387-394 DOI Author Url

Kirk C, Langan-Evans C, Clark DR, Morton JP. 2021. Quantification of training load distribution in mixed martial arts athletes: A lack of periodisation and load management. PLoS One, 16 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Kirk C, Clark DR, Langan-Evans C, Morton JP. 2020. The physical demands of mixed martial arts: A narrative review using the ARMSS model to provide a hierarchy of evidence. Journal of Sports Sciences, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Kirk C, Langan-Evans C, Morton JP. 2020. Worth the Weight? Post Weigh-In Rapid Weight Gain is Not Related to Winning or Losing in Professional Mixed Martial Arts. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 30 :357-361 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Vasconcelos BB, Protzen GV, Galliano LM, Kirk C, Del Vecchio FB. 2020. Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training in Combat Sports: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 34 :888-900 DOI

Kirk C, Aktins S, Hurst H. 2020. The pacing of mixed martial arts sparring bouts: A secondary investigation with new analyses of previous data to support accelerometry as a potential method of monitoring pacing, Human Movement, 4 DOI

Vasconcelos B, Protzen G, Galliano L, Kirk C, Del Vecchio F. 2020. Effects of high-intensity interval training in combat sports: A systematic review with meta-analysis Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 3 DOI Author Url

Kirk C. 2018. The Relationship Between Age and Divisional Rank in Professional Mixed Martial Arts Facta Universitatis Series : Physical Education and Sport, DOI

Kirk C. 2018. Does anthropometry influence technical factors in competitive mixed martial arts? Human Movement, 19 :46-59 DOI

Kirk C. 2016. Does Stature or Wingspan Length Have a Positive Effect on Competitor Rankings or Attainment of World Title Bouts in International and Elite Mixed Martial Arts? Sport Science Review, 25 :334-349 DOI

Kirk C. 2016. The Influence of Age and Anthropometric Variables on Winning and Losing in Professional Mixed Martial Arts Facta Universitatis Series : Physical Education and Sport,

Kirk C, Hurst H, Atkins S. 2015. Comparison of the Training Loads of Mixed Martial Arts Techniques in Isolated Training and Open Sparring Journal of Combat Sports and Martial Arts, 6 :15-20 DOI

Kirk C, Hurst HT, Atkins S. 2015. Measuring the Workload of Mixed Martial Arts using Accelerometry, Time Motion Analysis and Lactate INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS IN SPORT, 15 :359-370 DOI Author Url

Kirk C, Hurst H, Atkins S. 2014. Reliability of a Portable Accelerometer for Measuring Workload during Mixed Martial Arts Journal of Athletic Enhancement, 03 DOI


Kirk C. An evaluation of coaching and training practices in mixed martial arts: A mixed methods approach Morton J, Langan-Evans C, Clark D, Cronin C. Public Url