Presentation Title

Cardiac-autonomic Responses to in-season Training Among Division-1 College Football Players

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Abstract or Description

Presentation given at American College of Sports Medicine Southeast Conference.


PURPOSE: To determine if recovery of vagally-mediated heart rate variability (HRV) to resting values occurs between consecutive-day, in-season training sessions among college football players. METHODS: Subjects (n = 29) were divided into groups based on position as follows: receivers and defensive backs (SKILL, n = 10); running backs, linebackers and tight-ends (MID-SKILL, n = 11) and linemen (LINEMEN, n = 8). The natural logarithm of the root-mean square of successive differences multiplied by twenty (LnRMSSD) was acquired at rest in the seated position prior to Tuesday and Wednesday training sessions. Data collection procedures were repeated over three weeks during the first month of the competitive season. RESULTS: A position × time interaction was observed for LnRMSSD (p = 0.04). Between-day differences in LnRMSSD were trivial and non-significant for SKILL (Tuesday = 82.8 ± 9.3, Wednesday = 81.9 ± 8.7, p > 0.05). Small and significant reductions in LnRMSSD between days were observed for MID-SKILL (Tuesday = 79.2 ± 9.4, Wednesday = 76.2 ± 9.5, p < 0.05) and LINEMEN (Tuesday = 79.4 ± 10.5, Wednesday = 74.5 ± 11.5, p < 0.05). The individual changes in LnRMSSD from Tuesday to Wednesday were significantly related to external training load (r = 0.46, p = 0.02) and body mass (r = - 0.39, p = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac-parasympathetic activity did not return to resting values for LINEMEN or MID-SKILL prior to the next training session. Larger reductions in LnRMSSD tended to occur in players with greater body mass and lower workloads, though some individual variability was observed.


American College of Sports Medicine Southeast Conference


Chattanooga, TN

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