Strength & Conditioning:
A convenient, valid and useful method
to assess your athletes training session
By quantifying and managing the training intensity and load of athletes, you can reduce the risk of injuries and improve the performance of your entire team.
Strength and Conditioning has gained more attention in team sports. The use of rating systems and values such as RPE, sRPE, and ACWR in particular, have been considered as more important methods to quantify and measure the external load. By combining these indices with regular practice and training, coaches and trainers can implement optimal planning and monitoring for athletes and the team. It is also useful for injury prevention and athletic training to reach their peak performance.
RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion):
It is a scale used to measure the intensity of what athletes feel subjectively. In general, RPE scale ranges from 0 to 10, with 0 being no exertion and 10 being maximum effort.
The session RPE is a method to monitor training load and considered to provide a quantitative evaluation of the overall effort of the training session. sRPE load is the RPE multiplied by the duration (in minutes) it took to complete the training load.
ACWR (Acute Chronic Workload Ratio):
ACWR is a ratio between acute training loads (training volumes during the previous week) and chronic loads (training loads for the last 4 weeks). It is important to understand and monitor the training load so that coaches/trainers can gauge their athletes’ previous and current fitness levels. It is also used to control the load so as to prevent the risk of injury.
What are RPE,
sRPE, and ACWR?
Benefits for Coaches, Trainers & Players
More Concrete results: Training assessment, which has been discussed based on sensory perception, becomes more concrete with the addition of these indicators. Once you have decided to aim for a certain level of intensity in the RPE, you can compare it to the RPE that you actually get from the athletes. By doing so, it becomes easier to discuss whether or not the planned training is working properly.
Easier training load monitoring: By using these indicators, you can manage the control of the training load, so that you can prevent injuries and increase the fitness level of athletes.
Customization: By properly quantifying and understanding individual differences, you can adjust and customize the amount of training to apply the appropriate load to each athlete.
For the players
Awareness and Reflection: By looking at the quantified records, the players will have an opportunity to reflect on their condition and training. It also brings them awareness of maintaining their body with protective effort against injuries.
It’s convenient: Using those rating systems requires no equipment. With sports software that allows you to track the conditioning of your athletes, you can gather all data by simply asking them to enter their daily practice time and subjective records on their mobile devices. It's just simple and easy.
It’s ideal for Planning: The condition of athletes varies according to a number of factors such as physical, psychological, emotional state, environment, nutrition and so on. Monitoring and evaluating quantified records will make your planning more relevant. By adjusting the training load and intensity to suit the individual athlete and the team, you’ll get the best performance out of them at the target point, such as a game.
It prevents Injury: Rapid ups and downs in ACWR indicates the increase of the risk of injury. Monitoring ACWR values can help prevent injury and contribute to maintaining or improving performance of your athletes/team.
Benefits in general
Although RPE also has the drawback of being "subjective," quantifying internal load is still a critical component of the training process. Using a combination of external and internal load measurements is ideal to provide the full picture of the training process and response. Therefore, it’s still considered as a good and easy method to start and implement.
We also had the pleasure to interview Mr. Tomohiro Usui, current S&C coach of Toyo Ice Hockey Club and Bring Up Athletic Society. More about the incorporation of RPE, sRPE, and ACWR in real team training, please refer to our Note blog.
- Perceived Exertion (Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale), Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Quantifying Training and Competition Load, NSCA
- Session Rating of Perceived Exertion Is a Superior Method to Monitor Internal Training Loads of Functional Fitness Training Sessions Performed at Different Intensities When Compared to Training Impulse, Frontiers in Physiology
- Session-RPE Method for Training Load Monitoring: Validity, Ecological Usefulness, and Influencing Factors, Frontiers in Physiology
- Ryan White, Acute:Chronic Workload Ratio, Science for Sport