The internal and external responses to a forward-specific rugby league simulation protocol performed with and without physical contact
AffiliationDept Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Chester
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AbstractIt is important to understand to what extent physical contact changes the internal and external load during rugby simulations that aim to replicate the demands of match play. Accordingly, this study examined the role of physical contact on the physiological and perceptual demands during and immediately after a simulated rugby league match. Nineteen male rugby players completed a ‘contact’ (CON) and a ‘non-contact’ (NCON) version of the rugby league match simulation protocol (RLMSP-i) in a randomized crossover design with one week between trials. Relative distance covered (ES = 1.27; ±0.29), low intensity activity (ES = 1.13; ±0.31), high-intensity running (ES = 0.49; ±0.34), heart rate (ES = 0.52; ±0.35), blood lactate concentration (ES = 0.78; ±0.34), RPE (ES = 0.72; ±0.38) and session RPE (ES = 1.45; ±0.51) were all higher in the CON compared to the NCON trial. However, peak speeds were lower in the CON trial (ES = -0.99; ±0.40) despite unclearreductions in knee extensor (ES = 0.19; ±0.40) and knee flexor (ES = 0.07; ±0.43) torque. Muscle soreness was also greater after CON compared to the NCON trial (ES = 0.97; ±0.55). The addition of physical contact to the movement demands of a simulated rugby league match increases many of the external and internal demands, but also results in players slowing their peak running speed during sprints. These findings highlight the importance of including contacts in simulation protocols and training practices designed to replicate the demands of real match play.
CitationMullen, T., Highton, J., & Twist, C. (2015). The internal and external responses to a forward-specific rugby league simulation protocol performed with and without physical contact. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 10(6), 746–753. http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2014-0609
PublisherHuman Kinetics Publishers
DescriptionAs accepted for publication in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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