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Between-Day reliability and sensitivity of common fatigue measures in rugby players

Roe, G and Darrall-Jones, J and Till, KA and Phibbs, P and Read, D and Weakley, J and Jones, B (2016) Between-Day reliability and sensitivity of common fatigue measures in rugby players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 11 (5). pp. 581-586. ISSN 1555-0263

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Abstract

This study established the between-day reliability and sensitivity of a countermovement jump (CMJ), plyometric push-up, wellbeing questionnaire and whole blood creatine kinase concentration [CK] in elite male youth rugby union players. The study also established the between-day reliability of 1, 2 or 3 CMJ and plyometric push-up attempts. Twenty-five players completed tests on 2 occasions separated by 5 days (of rest). Between-day typical error (TE), coefficient of variation (CV) and smallest worthwhile change (SWC) were calculated for the wellbeing questionnaire, [CK] and CMJ and plyometric push-up metrics (peak/mean power, peak/mean force, height, flight-time and flight-time to contraction-time ratio) for 1 maximal effort or taking the highest score from 2 or 3 maximal efforts. The results from this study would suggest that CMJ mean power (2 or 3 attempts), peak force or mean force, and plyometric push-up mean force (from 2 or 3 attempts) should be used for assessing lower- and upper-body neuromuscular function respectively, due to both their acceptable reliability (CV<5%) and good sensitivity (CV<SWC). The wellbeing questionnaire and [CK] demonstrated between-day CV’s > 5% (7.1% and 26.1% respectively) and poor sensitivity (CV>SCW). The findings from this study can be used when interpreting fatigue markers to make an objective decision about a player’s readiness to train or compete.

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