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Relationships between training load indicators and training outcomes in professional soccer

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Background In professional senior soccer, training load monitoring is used to ensure an optimal workload tomaximize physical fitness and prevent injury or illness.However, to date, different training load indicators are usedwithout a clear link to training outcomes.Objective The aim of this systematic review was to identifythe state of knowledge with respect to the relationshipbetween training load indicators and training outcomes interms of physical fitness, injury, and illness.Methods A systematic search was conducted in fourelectronic databases (CINAHL, PubMed, SPORTDiscus,and Web of Science). Training load was defined as theamount of stress over a minimum of two training sessionsor matches, quantified in either external (e.g., duration,distance covered) or internal load (e.g., heart rate [HR]), toobtain a training outcome over time.Results A total of 6492 records were retrieved, of which3304 were duplicates. After screening the titles, abstractsand full texts, we identified 12 full-text articles thatmatched our inclusion criteria. One of these articles wasidentified through additional sources. All of these articlesused correlations to examine the relationship between loadindicators and training outcomes. For pre-season, trainingtime spent at high intensity (i.e.,[90 % of maximal HR)was linked to positive changes in aerobic fitness. Exposuretime in terms of accumulated training, match or combinedtraining, and match time showed both positive and negativerelationships with changes in fitness over a season. Muscularperceived exertion may indicate negative changes inphysical fitness. Additionally, it appeared that training athigh intensity may involve a higher injury risk. Detailedexternal load indicators, using electronic performance andtracking systems, are relatively unexamined. In addition,most research focused on the relationship between trainingload indicators and changes in physical fitness, but less oninjury and illness.Conclusion HR indicators showed relationships with positivechanges in physical fitness during pre-season. Inaddition, exposure time appeared to be related to positiveand negative changes in physical fitness. Despite theavailability of more detailed training load indicatorsnowadays, the evidence about the usefulness in relation totraining outcomes is rare. Future research should implementcontinuous monitoring of training load, combinedwith the individual characteristics, to further examine theirrelationship with physical fitness, injury, and illness.
Tijdschrift: Sports Medicine
ISSN: 0112-1642
Issue: 3
Volume: 47
Pagina's: 533 - 544
Jaar van publicatie:2017