Purpose: To determine whether elite female rugby sevens players are exposed to core temperatures (Tc) during training in the heat that replicate the temperate match demands previously reported and to investigate whether additional clothing worn during a hot training session meaningfully increases the heat load experienced. Methods: A randomized parallel-group study design was employed, with all players completing the same approximately 70-minute training session (27.5°C–34.8°C wet bulb globe temperature) and wearing a standardized training ensemble (synthetic rugby shorts and training tee [control (CON); n = 8]) or additional clothing (standardized training ensemble plus compression garments and full tracksuit [additional clothing (AC); n = 6]). Groupwise differences in Tc, sweat rate, GPS-measured external locomotive output, rating of perceived exertion, and perceptual thermal load were compared. Results: Mean (P = .006, ) and peak (P < .001, ) Tc were higher in AC compared with CON during the training session. There were no differences in external load (F4,9 = 0.155, P = .956, Wilks Λ = 0.935, ) or sweat rate (P = .054, Cohen d = 1.09). A higher rating of perceived exertion (P = .016, Cohen d = 1.49) was observed in AC compared with CON. No exertional-heat-illness symptomology was reported in either group. Conclusions: Player Tc is similar between training performed in hot environments and match play in temperate conditions when involved for >6 minutes. Additional clothing is a viable and effective method to increase heat strain in female rugby sevens players without compromising training specificity or external locomotive capacity.
Henderson, Novak, Fransen, Coutts, and Taylor are with the Faculty of Health, School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, and the Human Performance Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Sydney, NSW, Australia. Henderson and Novak are also with Rugby Australia (RA), Sydney, NSW, Australia. Chrismas is with the Sport Science Program, College of Arts and Science, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar. Stevens is with the School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia. Taylor is with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom, and the Athlete Health and Performance Research Center, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar.
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