Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Abel

Abstract

For decades strength and conditioning professionals have been seeking optimal training volumes and intensities to yield maximum performance outcomes without the onset of injury. Unfortunately, current studies apply experimental training techniques without considering the individuals’ response to the imposed training load. Due to the vast genetic variability and extraneous environmental factors that affect one’s ability to recover, results from such studies are controversial and inconclusive. Athlete monitoring systems offer an objective assessment that is purported to evaluate an individual’s physiological readiness to adapt to an overload stimulus and thus allow for daily manipulations in training loads (i.e., fluid periodization). However, little is known about the efficacy of this technology to enhance training outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of fluid periodization on performance outcomes in American football players. Sixty-one Division 1 collegiate American football players (Age: 19.7 ± 0.9 yr; Height: 1.88 ± 0.3 m; Mass: 107.3 ± 11.1 kg) participated in this study and were stratified into experimental (n=33) and control (n=28) groups. Performance outcomes were measured prior to and following the summer training program. Physiological readiness parameters (heart rate variability and direct current brain wave potential outcomes) were measured daily in the experimental group only with Omegawave technology prior to training sessions and adjustments in training volumes or intensity were made based upon physiological readiness outcomes. The control group trained according to the daily prescribed workout. The findings from this study indicate that the experimental group significantly improved in vertical jump, vertical power, aerobic efficiency and broad jump (P < 0.01) compared to the control group. Additionally, significant improvements and effect sizes between groups were noted for fat-free mass (relative improvement: 54%, effect size: 0.30), vertical jump (relative improvement: 157%, effect size: 1.02), vertical power (relative improvement: 94%, effect size: 0.86), broad jump (relative improvement: effect size: 592%, 0.81), triple broad jump (relative improvement: 338%, effect size: 0.63), aerobic efficiency (relative improvement: 154%, effect size: 1.02), and medicine ball overhead throw (relative improvement: 50%, effect size: 0.26). In addition, the experimental group achieved these improvements with less core (-9.5%) and accessory (-13.2%) training volume (P < 0.01). In conclusion, fluid periodization produced greater improvements in performance outcomes at a reduced training load compared to a similar unmodified periodization scheme. These findings highlight the importance of modifying training parameters based upon the daily physiological state of the athlete.

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