Manzi, V, D'Ottavio, S, Impellizzeri, FM, Chaouachi, A, Chamari, K, and Castagna, C. Profile of weekly training load in elite male professional basketball players. J Strength Cond Res 24(5): 1399-1406, 2010-The aim of this study was to examine the training load (TL) profile of professional elite level basketball players during the crucial parts of the competitive season (pre-play-off finals). Subjects were 8 full-time professional basketball players (age 28 ± 3.6 years, height 199 ±7.2 cm, body mass 102 ± 11.5 kg, and body fat 10.4 ± 1.5%) whose heart rate (HR) was recorded during each training session and their individual response to TL monitored using the session-rate of perceived exertion (RPE) method (200 training sessions). The association between the session-RPE method and training HR was used to assess the population validity of the session-RPE method. Significant relationships were observed between individual session-RPE and all individual HR-based TL (r values from 0.69 to 0.85; p < 0.001). Coaches spontaneously provided a tapering phase during the competitive weeks irrespective of the number of games played during it (i.e., 1 or 2 games). The individual weekly players' TL resulted in being not significantly different from each other (p > 0.05). Elite male professional basketball imposes great physiological and psychological stress on players through training sessions and official competitions (1-2 per week). Consequently, the importance of a practical and valid method to assess individual TL is warranted. In this research, we demonstrated that session-RPE may be considered as a viable method to asses TL without the use of more sophisticated tools (i.e., HR monitors). The session-RPE method enabled the detection of periodization patterns in weekly planning in elite professional basketball during the crucial part of the competitive season (1 vs. 2 weekly fixtures model).