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Managing Training Load for Performance Enhancement

The ability to effectively periodise and manage training load is crucial and impactful on an athlete’s success throughout a season.

Progressive training plans should include periods of higher and lower loading to avoid improvement plateaus, injuries, illnesses or burnout (and yes, that applies to you GYM GOERS as well). This is known as periodisation.

It is also important to understand when players are fatigued, undertrained, stressed or fresh.

Typically, athletes are advised to avoid strenuous mid-week training to ‘freshen up’ for the next game and/or avoid injury. However, recent evidence suggests that too little training can be a significant risk factor for injury. Therefore, the ability to identify between and manage the balance of fitness, fatigue and freshness is crucial to performance enhancement and injury prevention.

To successfully manage load, it needs to be quantified. Technology should assist with this, however it is just as important to use your ability to ‘sense’ or ‘feel’ when players are fatigued.

The practitioner must consider the internal load (impact the training has on the athlete and can be measured with an RPE scale) as well as the external load (the actual load the athlete is placed under, for e.g. training duration).

Reference: Brukner, P., Clarsen, B., Cook, J., Cools, A., Crossley, K., Hutchinson, M., McCrory, P., Bahr, R., Khan, K. and Brukner, P. (2017). Brukner & Khan's clinical sports medicine. 5th ed. Sydney: McGraw-Hill Education, pp.150-151.

If you would like to know more about managing your training load for performance enhancement then feel free to contact one of our caring and friendly physiotherapist at our Chatswood or North Sydney Clinic. You'll be glad you did.

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