Concurrent Validity Of A Rugby-Specific Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (Level 1) For Assessing Match-Related Running Performance

Dobbin N, Highton J, Moss SL, Hunwicks R, Twist C

Objective: This study investigated the concurrent validity of a rugby-specific high-intensity intermittent running test against the internal, external, and perceptual responses to simulated match play.

Participants: Thirty-six rugby league players (age 18.5 ± 1.8 years; stature 181.4 ± 7.6 cm; body mass 83.5 ± 9.8 kg) completed the prone Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (Yo-Yo IR1), of which 16 also completed the Yo-Yo IR1, and 23-minute bouts of a simulated match play (rugby league match simulation protocol for interchange players [RLMSP-i]).

Results: Most likely reductions in relative total, low-speed, and high-speed distance, mean speed, and time above 20 W·kg⁻¹ (high metabolic power [HMP]) were observed between bouts of the RLMSP-i. Likewise, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and percentage of peak heart rate (%HRpeak) were very likely and likely higher during the second bout. Pearson’s correlations revealed a large relationship for the change in relative distance (r = 0.57–0.61) between bouts with both Yo-Yo IR1 tests. The prone Yo-Yo IR1 was more strongly related to the RLMSP-i for change in repeated sprint speed (r = 0.78 cf. 0.56), mean speed (r = 0.64 cf. 0.36), HMP (r = 0.48 cf. 0.25), fatigue index (r = 0.71 cf. 0.63), %HRpeak (r = -0.56 cf. -0.35), RPE bout 1 (r = -0.44 cf. -0.14), and RPE bout 2 (r = -0.68 cf. -0.41) than the Yo-Yo IR1, but not for blood lactate concentration (r = -0.20 to -0.28 cf. -0.35 to -0.49). The relationships between prone Yo-Yo IR1 distance and measures of load during the RLMSP-i suggest that it possesses concurrent validity and is more strongly associated with measures of training or match load than the Yo-Yo IR1 using rugby league players.

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