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The Relationships Between Internal and External Training Load Models During Basketball Training

Scanlan, Aaron T.1,2; Wen, Neal3; Tucker, Patrick S.1,2; Dalbo, Vincent J.1,2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000458
Original Research

Abstract: Scanlan, AT, Wen, N, Tucker, PS, and Dalbo, VJ. The relationships between internal and external training load models during basketball training. J Strength Cond Res 28(9): 2397–2405, 2014—The present investigation described and compared the internal and external training loads during basketball training. Eight semiprofessional male basketball players (mean ± SD, age: 26.3 ± 6.7 years; stature: 188.1 ± 6.2 cm; body mass: 92.0 ± 13.8 kg) were monitored across a 7-week period during the preparatory phase of the annual training plan. A total of 44 total sessions were monitored. Player session ratings of perceived exertion (sRPE), heart rate, and accelerometer data were collected across each training session. Internal training load was determined using the sRPE, training impulse (TRIMP), and summated-heart-rate-zones (SHRZ) training load models. External training load was calculated using an established accelerometer algorithm. Pearson product-moment correlations with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to determine the relationships between internal and external training load models. Significant moderate relationships were observed between external training load and the sRPE (r42 = 0.49, 95% CI = 0.23–0.69, p < 0.001) and TRIMP models (r42 = 0.38, 95% CI = 0.09–0.61, p = 0.011). A significant large correlation was evident between external training load and the SHRZ model (r42 = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.38–0.77, p < 0.001). Although significant relationships were found between internal and external training load models, the magnitude of the correlations and low commonality suggest that internal training load models measure different constructs of the training process than the accelerometer training load model in basketball settings. Basketball coaching and conditioning professionals should not assume a linear dose-response between accelerometer and internal training load models during training and are recommended to combine internal and external approaches when monitoring training load in players.

Author Information

1Human Exercise and Training Laboratory, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia;

2Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia; and

3Australian Basketball Digest Institute, Melbourne, Australia

Address correspondence to Dr. Aaron T. Scanlan,

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.