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Can Monitoring Training Load Deter Performance Drop-off During Off-season Training in Division III American Football Players?

Kildow, Ashley R.; Wright, Glenn; Reh, Ryan M.; Jaime, Salvador; Doberstein, Scott

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 7 - p 1745–1754
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003149
Original Research

Kildow, AR, Wright, G, Reh, RM, Jaime, S, and Doberstein, S. Can monitoring training load deter performance drop-off during off-season training in Division III American football players? J Strength Cond Res 33(7): 1745–1754, 2019—The primary aim of this observational investigation was to monitor performance of Division III American football players during off-season training while the secondary aim was to investigate differences in training adaptations between linemen and nonline players. Twenty-three subjects from the university's football team were recruited from an Exercise Science 100 conditioning class to participate in a 15-week off-season training program. Phase I consisted of concurrent strength and speed/endurance training (3–4 d·wk−1) for 7 weeks. Phase II consisted of strength training and spring football practice (3–4 d·wk−1) for 4 weeks. Countermovement jump, estimated one repetition maximum (1RM) bench press and back squat, 505 change of direction (COD), repeated 30-yard anaerobic sprint test (RAST), and body mass were all measured Pre, Mid, and Post training program. Two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures revealed no significant interaction between linemen and nonline players for all performance variables (p > 0.05). Over the course of the study, RSAT % decrement, 505 COD times, and estimated 1RM performance for bench and squat significantly improved (p ≤ 0.05). No significant changes were detected in CMJ, RSAT best time, or body mass. Results indicate that linemen and non-line players did not respond significantly different to the present training program. The 15-week training program produced improvements in COD skill, speed, anaerobic capacity, and muscular strength. Furthermore, all performance changes were maintained through the end of the study. Data from this study indicate that monitoring training load can give feedback to help augment performance and prevent performance decrements during the off-season.

College of Science and Health, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI

Address correspondence to Ashley Kildow,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.