The relationships between external and internal training loads in mixed martial arts

KIRK, Chris, LANGAN-EVANS, Carl, CLARK, David R. and MORTON, James P. (2023). The relationships between external and internal training loads in mixed martial arts. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance.

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Purpose: As a multi-disciplined combat sport, relationships between external and internal training loads and intensities of mixed martial arts (MMA) have not been described. The aim of this study was to determine the external loads and intensities of MMA training categories and their relationship to internal loads and intensities. Methods: 20 MMA athletes (age=23.3±5.3, mass=72.1±7.2kg, stature=171.5±8.4cm) were observed for 2 consecutive weeks. Internal load and intensity (sRPE) were calculated using Foster’s RPE for the session overall (sRPE-TL) and segmented RPE (segRPE-TL) for each training category: warm-up; striking drills; wrestling drills; Brazilian jiujitsu (BJJ) drills; striking sparring; wrestling sparring; BJJ sparring; MMA sparring. External load and intensity were measured via Catapult Optimeye S5 for the full duration of each session using Playerload (PLdACC) and PLdACC per minute (PLdACC∙min-1). Differences in loads between categories and days was assessed via Bayesian ANOVA (BF10≥3). Predictive relationships between internal and external variables were calculated using Bayesian regression. Results: Session overall sRPE-TL=448.6±191.1AU; PLdACC=310.6±112AU. Category segRPE-TL range=33.8±22.6AU (warm-up) – 122.8±54.6AU (BJJ drills). Category PLdACC range=44±36.3AU (warm-up) – 125±58.8AU (MMA sparring). Neither sRPE-TL nor PLdACC changed between days. PLdACC was different between categories. Evidence for regressions was strong-decisive except for BJJ drills (BF10=7, mod). R2 range=.50-.77, except for warm up (R2=.17), BJJ drills (R2=.27), BJJ sparring (R2=.49) and session overall (R2=.13). Conclusions: Whilst MMA training categories may be differentiated in terms of external load, overall session external load does not change within or between weeks. Resultant regression equations may be used to appropriately plan MMA technical/tactical training loads.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences; 1116 Medical Physiology; 1701 Psychology; Sport Sciences; 3202 Clinical sciences; 3208 Medical physiology; 4207 Sports science and exercise
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2023 10:59
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2024 15:45

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