Frequency of in season strength and power training for rugby league

Haydn John Masters, Australian Catholic University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the contribution of different in-season strength and power training frequencies to strength and power performance over the course of a 22 week rugby league competition period. Twenty-eight male (n=28) participants, with both high and low strength pre-training status, were divided into three groups following a 15 week pre-season strength and power training programme. A four week periodised in-season strength and power training programme, with intensities ranging from 75-100%, was cycled for the 22 week competition season. Strength and power training was conducted one day.week(-1) by the first high pre-training status group (HTFL, n=11), and two day.week(-1) by the second high pre-training status group (HTF2, n=9). The low pre-training status group (LTF1, n=8) performed the same strength and power training frequency and programme as HTF1. Training intensity (% 1RM) and volume (sets x repetitions) of in-season strength and power training sessions were standardised for both groups during each training week. Strength, power, and speed data were collected pre-season, and four times during the in-season period. No differences were found between HTF1 and HTF2 in performance variables throughout the 22-week in-season period. Both HTF1 and HTF2 displayed similar significant detraining effects in strength, power, and speed, regardless of in-season training frequency (p<0.05). LTF1 showed no change from pre-season strength and power performance following 22 weeks of the competition period (p<0.05). It was concluded that in-season strength and power training frequency may have a limited role in determining the success of the in-season strength and power training programme in highly trained footballers.;The results of the present study suggest a number of factors other than in-season strength and power training frequency may affect in-season strength and power performance and detraining in high strength pre-training status athletes. The effect the start of a competition period has on dynamic athletic performance needs further investigation.