A multi-dimensional approach to training load and performance monitoring
Your weekly research review
- Background & Objective
- What They Did
- What They Found
- Practical Takeaways
- Reviewer’s Comments
- About the Reviewer
Background & Objective
Collecting and tracking meaningful information regarding an individual’s response to training is important when making actionable decisions when considering load prescription.
In this study, the associations between accumulated external load variables and changes in body composition, isokinetic strength, and aerobic capacity over a 10-week pre-season and in-season period were analysed
What They Did
Before and after a 10-week early competition season period, the body composition (via bioelectrical impedance), VO2max (via an incremental treadmill test), and isokinetic strength of quadriceps (QUADS) and hamstrings (HAMS) (via Biodex isokinetic dynamometer) of twenty-three professional soccer players was collected.
Each player wore geolocation (GPS) trackers which were used to collect data on training duration, total distance covered, sprinting distance above 20 km.h-1 , and acceleration load accumulated from the accelerometer within the GPS device across 47 training sessions and 12 matches.
This training load data was compared with the data concerning body composition and fitness variables.
What They Found
The primary findings of this study include:
Appropriately dosing and monitoring training loads can have an advantageous impact on performance in the latter part of a competitive season. The results highlight the importance of quality over quantity, suggesting higher intensity actions as opposed to longer duration sessions being the necessary stimulus to beneficial adaptation.
Regarding the dose of load and response of the individual, it is important to ensure that exposure to intensive training (sprinting above 20km.h-1 and sum of acceleration) and management of load over time allows for an increase in mechanical capacity. Identifying variables that can be utilised for measuring and monitoring for readiness during the season is beneficial to improving the confidence in preparation and loads experienced by athletes.
“This study focused on measuring external loads experienced during practice and competition. Although, this is one of many variables that impact player readiness and preparedness, an internal measure would be valuable to provide deeper insight to the dose -response relationship. In addition to this, there was limited auxiliary training that occurred off the pitch.
However, it appears that loads were appropriately progressed through the preseason training in preparation for competition. The loads experienced in pre-season were generally greater than what was experienced in-season. Lack of injury and improved performance supports the management of load and recovery. The surprising body composition results where that FM increased and LM decreased, yet performance improved. This possibly showcases the limited accuracy of bioelectrical impedance as a measurement device. Regardless, body composition is not a measure of performance and even though the prediction can be associated with performance improvements, measuring multiple variables can provide a clearer picture regarding the response to training and readiness to perform.”
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The full study can be read here.