Monitoring Training Load, Recovery-Stress State, Immune-Endocrine Responses, and Physical Performance in Elite Female Basketball Players During a Periodized Training Program

Nunes, J.A., Moreira, A., Crewther, B.T., Nosaka, K., Viveiros, L., Aoki, M.S.

This study aimed to investigate the effect of a periodized training program on various physiological and performance measures in elite female basketball players. Nineteen players were monitored over a 12-week period before an international championship, which included two overloading phases followed by tapering periods.

Internal training load (ITL) was assessed using the session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) method, and the recovery-stress state was evaluated using the RESTQ-76 Sport questionnaire. Measures of salivary IgA, testosterone, and cortisol concentrations, as well as physical performance parameters such as strength, jumping power, running endurance, and agility, were assessed before and after the training program.

The results showed that ITL increased across all weeks from week 2 to week 11, indicating a progressive training load. After the first tapering period (week 7), there was a further increase in ITL during the second overloading phase. However, after the second tapering period, there was a decrease in ITL. A disturbance in the athletes’ stress-recovery state was observed during the second overloading period before returning to baseline levels by the end of the second tapering period.

Despite fluctuations in ITL, salivary measures of IgA, testosterone, and cortisol did not change significantly. However, the training program led to significant improvements in physical performance parameters.

In conclusion, the periodized training program resulted in changes in ITL, which appeared to influence the athletes’ recovery-stress state. The program was effective in preparing the players for competition, as indicated by improvements in recovery-stress state and physical performance after tapering.

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