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Development of anthropometric characteristics in professional Rugby League players: Is there too much emphasis on the pre-season period?

Morehen, JC, Clarke, J, Batsford, J, Highton, J, Erskine, RM, Morton, JP and Close, GL (2019) Development of anthropometric characteristics in professional Rugby League players: Is there too much emphasis on the pre-season period? European Journal of Sport Science, 20 (8). pp. 1013-1022. ISSN 1746-1391

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Abstract

Rugby League is a team sport requiring players to experience large impact collisions, thus requiring high amounts of muscle mass. Many players (academy and senior) strive to increase muscle mass during the pre-season, however, quantification of changes during this period have not been thoroughly investigated. We therefore assessed changes in body-composition using Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) in eleven academy players over three successive pre-seasons and ninety-three senior players from four different European Super League clubs prior to, and at the end of, a pre-season training period. There was no meaningful change in lean mass of the academy players during any of the pre-season periods (year 1 = 72.3 ± 7.1–73.2 ± 7.2kg; ES 0.05, year 2 = 74.4 ± 6.9–75.5 ± 6.9kg; ES 0.07, year 3 = 75.9 ± 6.7–76.8 ± 6.6kg; ES 0.06) with small changes only occurring over the three-year study period (72.3–75.9kg; ES = 0.22). Senior players showed trivial changes in all characteristics during the pre-season period (total mass = 95.1–95.0kg; ES −0.01, lean mass = 74.6–75.1kg; ES 0.07, fat mass = 13.6–12.9kg; ES −0.17, body fat percentage = 14.8–14.1%; ES −0.19). These data suggest that academy players need time to develop towards profiles congruent with senior players. Moreover, once players reach senior level, body-composition changes are trivial during the pre-season and therefore teams may need to individualise training for players striving to gain muscle mass by reducing other training loads.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0913 Mechanical Engineering, 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2021 10:54
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2021 11:00
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/17461391.2019.1695953
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14821

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