This study examined the effect of a 4-week intensified training (IT) period, followed by a 2-week tapering period (TP), on salivary immunoglobulin A (SIgA), salivary cortisol, and the severity of upper respiratory tract infection symptoms in 23 rhythmic gymnasts [12.1 (2.6) y; 143.9 (13.7) cm; 37.2 (9.4) kg]. Saliva sampling was conducted at pre- and post-IT, and post-TP (analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). The Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey (WURSS-21) questionnaire was completed daily to analyze the severity of upper respiratory tract infection symptoms. The session rating of the perceived exertion was used to determine the internal training load and the acute:chronic workload ratio. A higher SIgA concentration [SIgAabs (μg/mL); F = 7.6; P = .001] for post-IT [234 (104)] versus pre-IT [173 (91)], and post-TP [182 (70)], and a higher SIgA secretion rate [SIgArate (μg/min); F = 3.4; P = .04] for post-IT [69 (28)] versus pre-IT [55 (27)], and post-TP [58 (22)] were observed. No significant change was observed for cortisol (F = 0.81; P = .45) or for the severity of upper respiratory tract infection symptoms (χ2 = 2.81; P = .24). Internal training load was higher during IT (vs TP; effect size = 2.37). The acute:chronic workload for the IT weeks varied from 1.2 (0.3) to 1.4 (0.3). These results suggest that a 4-week IT may temporarily augment the oral mucosal immunity, and an acute:chronic workload of 1.2–1.4 seems to be a safe approach to periodized training loads in youth rhythmic gymnasts.
Kizzy Antualpa, Marcelo Saldanha Aoki and Alexandre Moreira
Ademir F.S. Arruda, Christopher Carling, Vinicius Zanetti, Marcelo S. Aoki, Aaron J. Coutts and Alexandre Moreira
To analyze the effects of a very congested match schedule on the total distance (TD) covered, high-intensity-running (HIR) distance, and frequency of accelerations and body-load impacts (BLIs) performed in a team of under-15 soccer players (N = 10; 15.1 ± 0.2 y, 171.8 ± 4.7 cm, 61 ± 6.0 kg) during an international youth competition.
Using global positioning systems, player performances were repeatedly monitored in 5 matches performed over 3 successive days.
Significant differences were observed between matches (P < .05) for the frequency of accelerations per minute, BLIs, and BLIs per minute. No differences were observed for the TD covered, TD run per minute, number of high-intensity runs, distance covered in HIR, per-minute peak running speed attained, or frequency of accelerations. The frequency of accelerations per minute decreased across the competition while BLIs were higher during the final than in all other matches.
These results suggest that BLIs and acceleration might be used as an alternative means to represent the external load during congested match schedules rather than measures related to running speed or distance covered.
Alexandre Moreira, Tom Kempton, Marcelo Saldanha Aoki, Anita C. Sirotic and Aaron J. Coutts
To examine the impact of varying between-matches microcycles on training characteristics (ie, intensity, duration, and load) in professional rugby league players and to report on match load related to these between-matches microcycles.
Training-load data were collected during a 26-wk competition period of an entire season. Training load was measured using the session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) method for every training session and match from 44 professional rugby league players from the same National Rugby League team. Using the category-ratio 10 RPE scale, the training intensity was divided into 3 zones (low <4 AU, moderate ≥4-≤7 AU, and high >7 AU). Three different-length between-matches recovery microcycles were used for analysis: 5−6 d, 7−8 d, and 9−10 d.
A total of 3848 individual sessions were recorded. During the shorter-length between-matches microcycles (5−6 d), significantly lower training load was observed. No significant differences for subsequent match load or intensity were identified between the various match recovery periods. Overall, 16% of the training sessions were completed at the low-intensity zone, 61% at the moderate-intensity zone, and 23% at the high-intensity zone.
The findings demonstrate that rugby league players undertake higher training load as the length of between-matches microcycles is increased. The majority of in-season training of professional rugby league players was at moderate intensity, and a polarized approach to training that has been reported in elite endurance athletes does not occur in professional rugby league.
Alexandre Moreira, Johann C. Bilsborough, Courtney J. Sullivan, Michael Cianciosi, Marcelo Saldanha Aoki and Aaron J. Coutts
To examine the training periodization of an elite Australian Football team during different phases of the season.
Training-load data were collected during 22 wk of preseason and 23 wk of in-season training. Training load was measured using the session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) for all training sessions and matches from 44 professional Australian Football players from the same team. Training intensity was divided into 3 zones based on session-RPE (low, <4; moderate, >4 AU and <7 AU; and high, >7 AU). Training load and intensity were analyzed according to the type of training session completed.
Higher training load and session duration were undertaken for all types of training sessions during the preseason than in-season (P < .05), with the exception of “other” training (ie, re/prehabilitation training, cross-training, and recovery activities). Training load and intensity were higher during the preseason, with the exception of games, where greater load and intensity were observed during the in-season. The overall distribution of training intensity was similar between phases with the majority of training performed at moderate or high intensity.
The current findings may allow coaches and scientists to better understand the characteristics of Australian Football periodization, which in turn may aid in developing optimal training programs. The results also indicate that a polarized training-intensity distribution that has been reported in elite endurance athletes does not occur in professional Australian Football.
Henrikas Paulauskas, Rasa Kreivyte, Aaron T. Scanlan, Alexandre Moreira, Laimonas Siupsinskas and Daniele Conte
Purpose: To assess the weekly fluctuations in workload and differences in workload according to playing time in elite female basketball players. Methods: A total of 29 female basketball players (mean [SD] age 21  y, stature 181  cm, body mass 71  kg, playing experience 12  y) belonging to the 7 women’s basketball teams competing in the first-division Lithuanian Women’s Basketball League were recruited. Individualized training loads (TLs) and game loads (GLs) were assessed using the session rating of perceived exertion after each training session and game during the entire in-season phase (24 wk). Percentage changes in total weekly TL (weekly TL + GL), weekly TL, weekly GL, chronic workload, acute:chronic workload ratio, training monotony, and training strain were calculated. Mixed linear models were used to assess differences for each dependent variable, with playing time (low vs high) used as fixed factor and subject, week, and team as random factors. Results: The highest changes in total weekly TL, weekly TL, and acute:chronic workload ratio were evident in week 13 (47%, 120%, and 49%, respectively). Chronic workload showed weekly changes ≤10%, whereas monotony and training strain registered highest fluctuations in weeks 17 (34%) and 15 (59%), respectively. A statistically significant difference in GL was evident between players completing low and high playing times (P = .026, moderate), whereas no significant differences (P > .05) were found for all other dependent variables. Conclusions: Coaches of elite women’s basketball teams should monitor weekly changes in workload during the in-season phase to identify weeks that may predispose players to unwanted spikes and adjust player workload according to playing time.
Alexandre Moreira, Arnaldo Mortatti, Marcelo Aoki, Ademir Arruda, Camila Freitas and Christopher Carling
This study investigated the contribution of salivary testosterone (sT) concentration, years from peak height velocity (YPHV) and height by body mass interaction on jumping performance (Countermovement jump; CMJ) and aerobic fitness (Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test, level 1) in young elite soccer players. Forty-five participants (age: 12.5 ± 0.5y; body mass: 48.6 ± 10.2kg, height: 155.7 ± 10.0cm) belonging to a top level Brazilian soccer club were evaluated at four time points across a single semester. None of the assessed players had reached PHV. The data from the four evaluations were averaged and multiple linear regression analysis conducted. For CMJ, the model explained 42.88% of the variance (R 2 = 42.88; p < .000); sT concentration was the primary contributor (R 2 = 32.84) and the YPHV contributed 9.95% of the variance. The model explained 28.50% (p < .000) of the variance in Yo-Yo. The sT was the primary and single significant contributor (R 2 = 21.32). A significant difference was noted between high and low testosterone groups divided a posteriori to CMJ performance (t = 3.35; p = .001). These results suggest an important role for hormonal status in interpreting physical performance in preadolescent soccer players.
Vinícius F. Milanez, Rafael E. Pedro, Alexandre Moreira, Daniel A. Boullosa, Fuad Salle-Neto and Fábio Y. Nakamura
The aim of this study was to verify the influence of aerobic fitness (VO2max) on internal training loads, as measured by the session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) method.
Nine male professional outfeld futsal players were monitored for 4 wk of the in-season period with regards to the weekly accumulated session-RPE, while participating in the same training sessions. Single-session-RPE was obtained from the product of a 10-point RPE scale and the duration of exercise. Maximal oxygen consumption was determined during an incremental treadmill test.
The average training load throughout the 4 wk period varied between 2,876 and 5,035 arbitrary units. Technical-tactical sessions were the predominant source of loading. There was a significant correlation between VO2max (59.6 ± 2.5 mL·kg–1 ·min–1) and overall training load accumulated over the total period (r = –0.75).
The VO2max plays a key role in determining the magnitude of an individual’s perceived exertion during futsal training sessions.
Camila G. Freitas, Marcelo S. Aoki, Clovis A. Franciscon, Ademir F.S. Arruda, Christopher Carling and Alexandre Moreira
This study investigated the effect of a 2-week overloading training phase followed by a 2-week tapering phase on internal training load (ITL), salivary cortisol, stress tolerance, and upper respiratory tract infections symptoms (URTI) in 11 male young soccer players (16.0 ± 0.5 yrs). Ratings of perceived exertion (session-RPE) were taken after each training session (N = 194) to determine ITL. Saliva sampling was conducted at the end of each week and cortisol concentration assessed by ELISA. DALDA and WURSS-21 questionnaires were administered every week to evaluate stress tolerance and severity of URTI respectively. The number of athletes reporting URTI symptoms was recorded. The overloading phase promoted greater ITL and a higher resting cortisol concentration than the tapering phase (P < .05). While no significant changes in stress tolerance or URTI severity were observed, the number of athletes reporting URTI symptoms was higher during the overloading phase. A significant correlation was observed between symptoms of stress and severity of URTI (rs=-.71; P = .01). The results indicate that an integrated approach using psychological measures (session-RPE and DALDA), self-reports of URTI symptoms, and endocrine responses (cortisol) to training are pertinent for monitoring young soccer players.