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Periodisation of Eccentric Resistance Training during a National Rugby League Pre-Season

The International Journal of Strength and Conditioning is the world's first in S&C and Sport Science to be 'Diamond' Open Access. We have recently published a new article by Ryan Whitley, Patrick Holmberg, David Jenkins, and Vince Kelly titled, "Periodisation of Eccentrically-Integrated Resistance Training during a National Rugby League Pre-Season"


Successful performances in rugby league require the ability to engage in repeated contact efforts with minimal recovery while maintaining a high running intensity. The capacity to express high levels of time-limited force appears to underlie many important physical attributes required to meet the repeated-effort demands of rugby league play. If appropriately periodised and integrated into the training plan, resistance exercise that sufficiently loads the eccentric phase of movement may provide a beneficial stimulus to improve players’ force-generating capacity. Comprehensive reviews relating to the adaptive effects of eccentric training and the methods most commonly prescribed in practical environments are available and may provide context for applying these strategies. However, no literature to date has specifically discussed the planning and programming of eccentric resistance exercise to enhance force production characteristics in elite athletes. Therefore, this narrative review focuses on the periodisation of eccentrically-integrated resistance training during a 17-week National Rugby League pre-season phase. To help guide programming during the pre-season period, the 17-week timeline is divided into several phases (i.e., general preparation, special preparation, active rest, and pre-competition). Within the periodised model, eccentric exercise parameters (i.e., volume, load [% 1RM]) are manipulated to progressively increase the rate of muscle lengthening velocity over the pre-season phase and sequentially elicit changes in muscle-tendon properties and neural function that culminate in improving muscular strength expression.

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