Reliability and Validity of Integrated External and Internal Load Ratios as Measures of Fitness in Academy Rugby Union Players.

Richard Taylor, Ibrahim Akuabt, Tony Myers, Dajo Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the relationships between integrated ratios of external and internal load measures and aerobic fitness in 3 different training exercise protocols. Twelve academy rugby union players (aged; 17.6 ± 0.44 years, height; 179.4 ± 6.3 cm, body mass 83.3 ± 9.7 kg) performed a lactate threshold/V̇o2max test (LT/V̇o2max) followed by 3 exercise protocols; 760 m continuous shuttle running (20 m shuttle run at 9 km·h−1), sprint interval training (SIT: 6 × 6 seconds sprint with 54 seconds recovery), and a small-sided game (SSG: 6 vs. 6, 10 minutes on a 39 × 51 m pitch) on 2 occasions. A LT/V̇o2max test was used to determine velocity at lactate threshold (vLT) and at the onset of blood lactate accumulation (vOBLA), maximal oxygen uptake (V̇o2max) and the heart rate-blood lactate profile for the calculation of internal load (individualized training impulse or iTRIMP). The total distance (TD), PlayerLoad, metabolic power (MP), high-speed distance >15 km·h−1 (HSD), very high-speed distance >18 km·h−1 (VHSD) and individualized high-speed distance based on each player's vOBLA (iHSD) for the 3 exercise protocols were measured using Micro Electro Mechanical Systems/Global Positioning System technology. Bayesian analysis was used to assess the ratios validity and reliability. Ratios demonstrated large-to-very large associations with vOBLA (Rho = 0.64–0.76), vLT (Rho = 0.63–0.71). Reliability of the ratios ranged from 7.06 to 36.28% (coefficient of variation [CV]%). The results suggest that integrated load ratios from the SIT and SSG protocols provide a measure which is reliable with large-to-very large associations to submaximal aerobic fitness in rugby union.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1730
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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