The Dose-Response Relationship Between Training Load and Aerobic Fitness in Academy Rugby Union Players

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $107.00

1 year subscription

USD  $142.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $203.00

2 year subscription

USD  $265.00

Purpose: To identify the dose-response relationship between measures of training load (TL) and changes in aerobic fitness in academy rugby union players. Method: Training data from 10 academy rugby union players were collected during a 6-wk in-season period. Participants completed a lactate-threshold test that was used to assess VO2max, velocity at VO2max, velocity at 2 mmol/L (lactate threshold), and velocity at 4 mmol/L (onset of lactate accumulation; vOBLA) as measures of aerobic fitness. Internal-TL measures calculated were Banister training impulse (bTRIMP), Edwards TRIMP, Lucia TRIMP, individualized TRIMP (iTRIMP), and session RPE (sRPE). External-TL measures calculated were total distance, PlayerLoad™, high-speed distance >15 km/h, very-high-speed distance >18 km/h, and individualized high-speed distance based on each player’s vOBLA. Results: A second-order-regression (quadratic) analysis found that bTRIMP (R2 = .78, P = .005) explained 78% of the variance and iTRIMP (R2 = .55, P = .063) explained 55% of the variance in changes in VO2max. All other HR-based internal-TL measures and sRPE explained less than 40% of variance with fitness changes. External TL explained less than 42% of variance with fitness changes. Conclusions: In rugby players, bTRIMP and iTRIMP display a curvilinear dose-response relationship with changes in maximal aerobic fitness.

Taylor, Sanders, Myers, and Akubat are with the Sport, Exercise and Health Research Centre, Newman University, Birmingham, United Kingdom. Abt is with the Dept of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom. Taylor is with the Div of Health Sciences, Warwick University, Coventry, United Kingdom.

Taylor (TAYL421@newman.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Deutsch MU, Kearney GA, Rehrer NJ. Time–motion analysis of professional rugby union players during match-play. J Sports Sci. 2007;25(4):461–472. PubMed doi:10.1080/02640410600631298

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Roberts SP, Trewartha G, Higgitt RJ, El-Abd J, Stokes KA. The physical demands of elite English rugby union. J Sports Sci. 2008;26(8):825–833. PubMed doi:10.1080/02640410801942122

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Black GM, Gabbett TJ. Match intensity and pacing strategies in rugby league: an examination of whole-game and interchanged players, and winning and losing teams. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(6):1507–1516. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182a4a225

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Deutsch MU, Maw GJ, Jenkins D, Reaburn P. Heart rate, blood lactate and kinematic data of elite colts (under-19) rugby union players during competition. J Sports Sci. 1998;16(6):561–570. PubMed doi:10.1080/026404198366524

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Hartwig TB, Naughton G, Searl J. Load, stress, and recovery in adolescent rugby union players during a competitive season. J Sports Sci. 2009;27(10):1087–1094. PubMed doi:10.1080/02640410903096611

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Meeusen R, Duclos M, Foster C, et al. Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the overtraining syndrome: joint consensus statement of the European College of Sport Science and the American College of Sports Medicine. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013;45(1):186–205. PubMed doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e318279a10a

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Akubat I, Van Winckel J. Training Load Monitoring in Soccer Fitness in Soccer: The Science and Practical Application. Klein-Gelmen, Belgium: Moveo Ergo Sum; 2014:167–184.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Impellizzeri FM, Rampinini E, Marcora SM. Physiological assessment of aerobic training in soccer. J Sports Sci. 2005;23(6):583–592. PubMed doi:10.1080/02640410400021278

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Manzi V, Iellamo F, Impellizzeri F, D’Ottavio S, Castagna C. Relation between individualized training impulses and performance in distance runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(11):2090–2096. PubMed doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181a6a959

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Akubat I, Patel E, Barrett S, Abt G. Methods of monitoring the training and match load and their relationship to changes in fitness in professional youth soccer players. J Sports Sci. 2012;30(14):1473–1480. PubMed doi:10.1080/02640414.2012.712711

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Weaving D, Marshall P, Earle K, Nevill A, Abt G. Combining internal- and external-training-load measures in professional rugby league. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014;9(6):905–912. PubMed doi:10.1123/ijspp.2013-0444

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Foster C, Daines E, Hector L, Snyder AC, Welsh R. Athletic performance in relation to training load. Wis Med J. 1996;95(6):370–374. PubMed

  • 13.

    Austin D, Gabbett T, Jenkins D. The physical demands of Super 14 rugby union. J Sci Med Sport. 2011;14(3):259–263. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2011.01.003

  • 14.

    Impellizzeri FM, Rampinini E, Coutts AJ, Sassi A, Marcora SM. Use of RPE-based training load in soccer. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36(6):1042–1047. PubMed doi:10.1249/01.MSS.0000128199.23901.2F

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Scott TJ, Black CR, Quinn J, Coutts AJ. Validity and reliability of the session-RPE method for quantifying training in Australian football: a comparison of the CR10 and CR100 scales. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(1):270–276. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182541d2e

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Manzi V, Castagna C, Padua E, et al. Dose-response relationship of autonomic nervous system responses to individualized training impulse in marathon runners. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2009;296(6):1733–1740. PubMed doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00054.2009

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Sanders D, Abt G, Hesselink MK, Myers T, Akubat I. Methods of monitoring training load and their relationships to changes in fitness and performance in competitive road cyclists. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2017;12(5):668–675. PubMed doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0454

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    Manzi V, Bovenzi A, Franco Impellizzeri M, Carminati I, Castagna C. Individual training-load and aerobic-fitness variables in premiership soccer players during the precompetitive season. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(3):631–636. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825dbd81

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    McLaren SJ, Weston M, Smith A, Cramb R, Portas MD. Variability of physical performance and player match loads in professional rugby union. J Sci Med Sport. 2016;19(6):493–497. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2015.05.010

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Boyd LJ, Ball K, Aughey RJ. The reliability of MinimaxX accelerometers for measuring physical activity in Australian football. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2011;6(3):311–321. PubMed doi:10.1123/ijspp.6.3.311

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21.

    Pyne DB, Boston T, Martin DT, Logan A. Evaluation of the Lactate Pro blood lactate analyser. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2000;82(1–2):112–116. doi:10.1007/s004210050659

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22.

    Banister EW. Modeling elite athletic performance. In: Macdouggal JD, Wenger HA, Green HJ, eds. Physiological Testing of Elite Athletes. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 1991:403–422.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Edwards S. The Heart Rate Monitor Book. New York, NY: Polar Electro Oy; 1993.

  • 24.

    Lucia A, Hoyos J, Santalla A, Earnest C, Chicharro JL. Tour de France versus Vuelta a Espana: which is harder? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35(5):872–878. PubMed doi:10.1249/01.MSS.0000064999.82036.B4

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    Varley MC, Fairweather IH, Aughey RJ. Validity and reliability of GPS for measuring instantaneous velocity during acceleration, deceleration, and constant motion. J Sports Sci. 2012;30(2):121–127.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26.

    McLellan CP, Lovell DI, Gass GC. Performance analysis of elite rugby league match play using global positioning systems. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(6):1703–1710. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181ddf678

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    Hopkins WG, Marshall SW, Batterham AM, Hanin J. Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise science. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41(1):3–13. PubMed doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31818cb278

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Malone S, Collins K. Relationship between individualized training impulse and aerobic fitness measures in hurling players across a training period. J Strength Cond Res. 2016;30(11):3140–3145. PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001386

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    Duthie G, Pyne D, Hooper S. Applied physiology and game analysis of rugby union. Sports Med. 2003;33(13):973–991. PubMed doi:10.2165/00007256-200333130-00003

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30.

    Malone S, Roe M, Doran DA, Gabbett TJ, Collins K. High chronic training loads and exposure to bouts of maximal velocity running reduce injury risk in elite Gaelic football. J Sci Med Sport. 2017;20(3):250–254. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2016.08.005

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 105 105 25
Full Text Views 13 13 0
PDF Downloads 8 8 0