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Article Title

EFFECTS OF THREE-WEEK EXTERNAL-LOADING INTERVENTION ON SPRINT PERFORMANCE IN RUGBY ATHLETES

Abstract

Kayle Long1, Cortni Thomas1, Hannah Freeland1, Garrett Tedford1, Katherine Shelton1, Anaelle Charles1, Eric M. Scudamore1, Veronika Pribyslavska1 1Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas

PURPOSE: This study evaluated the effects of a 3-week external-loading during daily living (ELDL) intervention on sprint performance in collegiate rugby athletes. METHODS: Collegiate male, club rugby athletes (N= 11) were divided into treatment ELDL (n= 7) and control (CON; n= 4) groups. The ELDL group wore weighted vests for 8 h/day, ≥4 days/week, for 3 weeks separate from training. The participants’ vest loads were 10%, 12%, and 15% of body mass for the first, second, and third week, respectively. The protocol included two familiarization trials, a baseline trial, a 3-week intervention, and post-intervention trial. The testing consisted of two different sprint-based tasks executed from a 2-point stance and a 5-m flying start: 1) three 20-m sprints with recorded split time at 10 m and a 60-s rest between each sprint, and 2) 12 continuous 20-m sprints with 20-30 s of rest between each sprint. Timing gates were placed at 0-m, 10-m and 20-m marks to record the sprint times. A difference in sprint times for baseline to post-intervention were calculated. A one-tail t-test was used to compare sprint times between groups. RESULTS: Descriptive statistics for the sprint variables are listed in Table 1. There were no significant differences (p > .05) between baseline and post ELDL for 20-m sprint times (p = .37), 10-m split times (p = .18), or total repeated sprint times (p = .21). For repeated sprints there was notable effect size (d = .64). CONCLUSION: The 3-week ELDL training program did not statistically improve sprint or repeated sprint performance. However, the treatment may have a practical effect on a repeated sprint performance. There could be a beneficial decrease in total sprint time for anaerobic athletes. A larger sample size may provide more clarification about the utility of ELDL.

Long Table 1.docx (171 kB)
Table 1

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