An assessment of training volume in professional rugby union and its impact on the incidence, severity, and nature of match and training injuries.
This study looked at the way in which training influenced injuries for professional rugby (union) players.
Some interesting findings:
- Higher training volumes did not increase the incidence of match or training injuries. However, higher training volumes did increase the severity of match injuries, particularly during the second half, and consequently resulted in a significant increase in the number of days' absence due to match injuries. So training more didn't necessarily lead to more injuries .....but it meant that when there were injuries they were worse.
- The least number of days lost due to injuries occurred during weeks of intermediate training volumes. So there was a "sweet spot" / goldilocks position of just enough training where there was a reduction in injuries.
- Training volume was not correlated with final league position. What does this mean? The best teams do not train the most! They train smarter and possibly harder
- Fitness testing, defence, and rucking and mauling components were identified as being very high- or high-risk training activities. Ok I can understand that rucking, mauling and defence were high risk.....but so is fitness testing! Interesting. Fitness testing as a high risk activity - that should prompt some thoughts about the nature of fitness testing. As we have said before....Do no harm!