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Load Monitoring Variables in Training and Competition Situations: A Systematic Review Applied to Wheelchair Sports

Mário A.M. Simim, Marco Túlio de Mello, Bruno V.C. Silva, Dayane F. Rodrigues, João Paulo P. Rosa, Bruno Pena Couto, and Andressa da Silva

 = wheelchair tennis; WR = wheelchair rugby; HAND = handcycling; COMP = competition situation; TRA = training situation; HR = heart rate; TRIMP = training impulse; RPE = rating of perceived exertion; EL = external load; IL = internal load. Discussion The objective was to study the main load-monitoring methods

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Does Delivery Length Impact Measures of Whole-Body Biomechanical Load During Pace Bowling?

Samuel J. Callaghan, Robert G. Lockie, Walter Yu, Warren A. Andrews, Robert F. Chipchase, and Sophia Nimphius

means of assessing pace bowling loads, regardless of competition level, is counting the total number of delivers bowled. 1 – 3 This method of load monitoring also forms the basis of current guidelines for junior pace bowlers (<19 y) within Australia. 4 This external measure of load implies that the

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The Research Doesn’t Always Apply: Practical Solutions to Evidence-Based Training-Load Monitoring in Elite Team Sports

Darren J. Burgess

Research describing load-monitoring techniques for team sport is plentiful. Much of this research is conducted retrospectively and typically involves recreational or semielite teams. Load-monitoring research conducted on professional team sports is largely observational. Challenges exist for the practitioner in implementing peer-reviewed research into the applied setting. These challenges include match scheduling, player adherence, manager/coach buy-in, sport traditions, and staff availability. External-load monitoring often attracts questions surrounding technology reliability and validity, while internal-load monitoring makes some assumptions about player adherence, as well as having some uncertainty around the impact these measures have on player performance This commentary outlines examples of load-monitoring research, discusses the issues associated with the application of this research in an elite team-sport setting, and suggests practical adjustments to the existing research where necessary.

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Player-Tracking Technology: Half-Full or Half-Empty Glass?

Martin Buchheit and Ben Michael Simpson

With the ongoing development of microtechnology, player tracking has become one of the most important components of load monitoring in team sports. The 3 main objectives of player tracking are better understanding of practice (provide an objective, a posteriori evaluation of external load and locomotor demands of any given session or match), optimization of training-load patterns at the team level, and decision making on individual players’ training programs to improve performance and prevent injuries (eg, top-up training vs unloading sequences, return to play progression). This paper discusses the basics of a simple tracking approach and the need to integrate multiple systems. The limitations of some of the most used variables in the field (including metabolic-power measures) are debated, and innovative and potentially new powerful variables are presented. The foundations of a successful player-monitoring system are probably laid on the pitch first, in the way practitioners collect their own tracking data, given the limitations of each variable, and how they report and use all this information, rather than in the technology and the variables per se. Overall, the decision to use any tracking technology or new variable should always be considered with a cost/benefit approach (ie, cost, ease of use, portability, manpower/ability to affect the training program).

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Analyzing the Seasonal Changes and Relationships in Training Load and Wellness in Elite Volleyball Players

Filipe M. Clemente, Ana F. Silva, Cain C.T. Clark, Daniele Conte, João Ribeiro, Bruno Mendes, and Ricardo Lima

October November December January February March April May Weeks, n 4 5 4 4 4 5 4 3 Sessions, n 31 31 20 29 21 31 27 13 Matches, n 2 5 5 5 6 6 6 2 Training Load Monitoring The 10-point Foster scale 14 was used to monitor the perceived effort of the players after each training session. The ratings were

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Quantifying Physical Demands in the National Basketball Association—Challenges Around Developing Best-Practice Models for Athlete Care and Performance

Blake D. McLean, Donald Strack, Jennifer Russell, and Aaron J. Coutts

-based training-load monitoring in elite team sports . Int J Sports Physiol Perform . 2017 ; 12 ( Suppl 2 ): S2136 – S2141 . PubMed ID: 27967277 doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0608 10.1123/ijspp.2016-0608 27967277 24. National Basketball Association . Collective Bargaining Agreement – January 19, 2017 . 2017 ; https

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Self-Paced Cycling at the Highest Sustainable Intensity With Blood Flow Restriction Reduces External but Not Internal Training Loads

Nathan D.W. Smith, Jeremiah J. Peiffer, Olivier Girard, and Brendan R. Scott

through finger prick), HR-based metrics (or perceived exertion) may be more suitable metrics to consider for training load monitoring. The data indicates not all HR-based training loads provide the same information when monitoring aerobic BFR exercise. Banister and Edwards TRIMPs were not different

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Internal-Training-Load Monitoring, Notational and Time-Motion Analyses, Psychometric Status, and Neuromuscular Responses in Elite Rugby Union

Corrado Lupo, Alexandru Nicolae Ungureanu, Gennaro Boccia, Andrea Licciardi, Alberto Rainoldi, and Paolo Riccardo Brustio

Purpose: The present study aimed to verify if practicing tackles during rugby union training sessions would affect the players’ internal training load and acute strength loss. Method: A total of 9 male Italian Serie A rugby union players (age: 21 [2] y) were monitored by means of an integrated approach across 17 sessions, 6 with tackles (WT) and 11 with no tackles (NT). Edwards training load was quantified using heart-rate monitoring. Global positioning system devices were used to quantify the total distance and time at >20 W. Work-to-rest ratio was quantified by means of a video analysis. Before (PRE) and after (POST) the session, the players’ well-being and rating of perceived exertion were measured, respectively. The countermovement jump and plyometric push-up jump tests were performed on a force plate to record the players’ PRE–POST concentric peak force. Linear mixed models were applied to quantify the differences between WT and NT in terms of training load and PRE–POST force deltas, even controlling for other training factors. Results: The Edwards training load (estimated mean [EM]; standard error [SE]; WT: EM = 214, SE = 11.8; NT: EM = 194, SE = 11.1; P = .01) and session rating of perceived exertion (WT: EM = 379, SE = 21.9; NT: EM = 277, SE = 16.4; P < .001) were higher in WT than in NT. Conversely, no difference between the sessions emerged in the countermovement jump and plyometric push-up concentric peak force deltas. Conclusions: Although elite rugby union players’ external and internal training load can be influenced by practicing tackles, upper- and lower-limb strength seem to not be affected.

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The Effect of Training at 2100-m Altitude on Running Speed and Session Rating of Perceived Exertion at Different Intensities in Elite Middle-Distance Runners

Avish P. Sharma, Philo U. Saunders, Laura A. Garvican-Lewis, Brad Clark, Jamie Stanley, Eileen Y. Robertson, and Kevin G. Thompson


To determine the effect of training at 2100-m natural altitude on running speed (RS) during training sessions over a range of intensities relevant to middle-distance running performance.


In an observational study, 19 elite middle-distance runners (mean ± SD age 25 ± 5 y, VO2max, 71 ± 5 mL · kg–1 · min–1) completed either 4–6 wk of sea-level training (CON, n = 7) or a 4- to 5-wk natural altitude-training camp living at 2100 m and training at 1400–2700 m (ALT, n = 12) after a period of sea-level training. Each training session was recorded on a GPS watch, and athletes also provided a score for session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE). Training sessions were grouped according to duration and intensity. RS (km/h) and sRPE from matched training sessions completed at sea level and 2100 m were compared within ALT, with sessions completed at sea level in CON describing normal variation.


In ALT, RS was reduced at altitude compared with sea level, with the greatest decrements observed during threshold- and VO2max-intensity sessions (5.8% and 3.6%, respectively). Velocity of low-intensity and race-pace sessions completed at a lower altitude (1400 m) and/or with additional recovery was maintained in ALT, though at a significantly greater sRPE (P = .04 and .05, respectively). There was no change in velocity or sRPE at any intensity in CON.


RS in elite middle-distance athletes is adversely affected at 2100-m natural altitude, with levels of impairment dependent on the intensity of training. Maintenance of RS at certain intensities while training at altitude can result in a higher perceived exertion.

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Player Load in Elite Netball: Match, Training, and Positional Comparisons

Christopher M. Young, Paul B. Gastin, Nick Sanders, Luke Mackey, and Dan B. Dwyer


The activity profile of competition and training in elite netball has not been comprehensively reported in the literature.


To measure and analyze player load in elite netballers during matches and training sessions. The primary research question was, How does player load vary between playing positions in a match and between matches and training sessions?


Various measures of player load were recorded in 12 elite professional netballers with a mean ± SD age of 26 ± 4.9 y and height of 183.2 ± 8.7 cm. Player load was assessed using a published method that uses accelerometry. Load was represented as total load in arbitrary units (au), playing intensity (au/min), and relative time spent in each of 4 playing intensity zones (low, low to moderate, moderate, and high). Data from 15 games and up to 17 training sessions were analyzed for each player.


Player load in matches for the goal-based positions (goal shooter, goal keeper, and goal defense) tended to be lower than the attacking and wing-based positions (goal attack, wing attack, wing defense, and center). The difference was largely due to the amount of time spent in low-intensity activity. Playing intensity of matches was greater than in training sessions; however, the total time spent in moderate- to high-intensity activities was not practically different.


Accelerometry is a valuable method of measuring player load in netball, and the present results provide new information about the activity profile of different playing positions.