Predictors of Repeated High-Intensity-Effort Ability in Rugby League Players

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose:

To investigate the relationship between repeated high-intensity-effort (RHIE) ability and selected physical qualities in rugby league players.

Methods:

Sixteen rugby league players underwent measurements of upper-body strength (4-repetition-maximum [4RM] bench press, weighted chin-up, weighted dips), upper-body muscle endurance (body-mass maximum-repetition chin-up, body-mass maximum-repetition dips), lower-body strength (4RM squat), estimated maximal aerobic power (multistage fitness test), and RHIE ability. The RHIE-ability test consisted of 1 × 10-m sprint, 3 × full-contact 1-on-1 tackling efforts, and a 30-m jog recovery. Players performed 4 repetitions of the test, with each repetition completed in 40 second. During the RHIE test, player speed was evaluated with a 10-m sprint effort while the movement of players was recorded using a wearable microtechnology device. 2D Player Load was used to quantify the collision component of the test.

Results:

Speed decrement was lower for the first- (−2.4% ± 1.0%) than the second-grade (−4.7% ± 2.1%) players. Players with greater initial speed had a higher average speed over the 4 sprints (r = .75), while players with greater maximum-repetition dips maintained a higher 2D Player Load (r = .76).

Conclusions:

These findings demonstrate a relationship between well-developed acceleration and upper-body muscle-endurance qualities and RHIE ability in rugby league players. Training programs designed to develop acceleration and upper-body muscle endurance are likely to improve RHIE ability.

The authors are with the School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Tim Gabbett at tim_gabbett@yahoo.com.au.