Physiological Responses and Perceived Exertion During International Taekwondo Competition

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose:

To investigate the physiological responses and perceived exertion during international Taekwondo competition.

Methods:

Eight male Taekwondo black belts (mean ± SD, age 22 ± 4 y, body mass 69.4 ± 13.4 kg, height 1.82 ± 0.10 m, competition experience 9 ± 5 y) took part in an international-level Taekwondo competition. Each combat included three 2-min rounds with 30 s of recovery between each round. Heart rate (HR) was recorded at 5-s intervals during each combat. Capillary blood lactate samples were taken from the fingertip 1 min before competition, directly after each round and 1 min after competition. Competitors’ rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was recorded for each round using Borg’s 6-to-20 scale.

Results:

HR (round 1: 175 ± 15 to round 3: 187 ± 8 beats·min−1; P < .05), percentage of HR maximum (round 1: 89 ± 8 to round 3: 96 ± 5% HRmax; P < .05), blood lactate (round 1: 7.5 ± 1.6 to round 3: 11.9 ± 2.1 mmol·L-1; P < .05) and RPE (round 1: 11 ± 2 to round 3: 14 ± 2; P < .05; mean ± SD) increased significantly across rounds.

Conclusions:

International-level Taekwondo competition elicited near-maximal cardiovascular responses, high blood lactate concentrations, and increases in competitors' RPE across combat. Training should therefore include exercise bouts that sufficiently stimulate both aerobic and anaerobic metabolism.

Bridge and Jones are with the Sport and Exercise Research Group, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, U.K. Drust is with the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, U.K.

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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