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Collision activity during training increases total energy expenditure measured via doubly labelled water

Costello, NB and Deighton, K and Preston, T and Matu, J and Rowe, J and Sawczuk, T and Halkier, M and Read, D and Weaving, D and Jones, B (2018) Collision activity during training increases total energy expenditure measured via doubly labelled water. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 118. pp. 1169-1177. ISSN 1439-6319

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Abstract

Purpose: Collision sports are characterised by frequent high intensity collisions that induce substantial muscle damage, potentially increasing the energetic cost of recovery. Therefore, this study investigated the energetic cost of collision-based activity for the first time across any sport. Methods: Using a randomised crossover design, six professional young male rugby league players completed two different five-day pre-season training microcycles. Players completed either a collision (COLL; 20 competitive one-on-one collisions) or non-collision (nCOLL; matched for kinematic demands, excluding collisions) training session on the first day of each microcycle, exactly seven days apart. All remaining training sessions were matched and did not involve any collision-based activity. Total energy expenditure was measured using doubly labelled water, the literature gold standard. Results: Collisions resulted in a very likely higher (4.96 ± 0.97 MJ; ES = 0.30 ±0.07; p=0.0021) total energy expenditure across the five-day COLL training microcycle (95.07 ± 16.66 MJ) compared with the nCOLL training microcycle (90.34 ± 16.97 MJ). The COLL training session also resulted in a very likely higher (200 ± 102 AU; ES = 1.43 ±0.74; p=0.007) session rating of perceived exertion and a very likely greater (-14.6 ± 3.3%; ES = -1.60 ±0.51; p=0.002) decrease in wellbeing 24h later. Conclusions: A single collision training session considerably increased total energy expenditure. This may explain the large energy expenditures of collision sport athletes, which appear to exceed kinematic training and match demands. These findings suggest fuelling professional collision-sport athletes appropriately for the "muscle damage caused” alongside the kinematic “work required”.

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