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Training load represents step count, throws, distance run and/or time spent practising sport. This can be used to calculate a change in training load over time (eg, acute:chronic workload ratio or week-to-week changes), which has been used as a time-varying exposure to sports injury recently.
Structure-specific cumulative load
Can be viewed as the sum of step-specific or throw-specific loads that a certain musculoskeletal structure is exposed to during a training session. Estimation of the structure-specific cumulative load per training session involves stepwise or throw-wise quantification of the load distribution and the load magnitude.
Structure-specific load capacity
Can be defined as a certain structure’s ability to withstand structure-specific cumulative load.
How should I schedule my training? How much is too much? Coaches and sports medicine clinicians commonly face such questions when considering training and injury risk. These are highly relevant inquiries, as training load is a necessary cause of sports injury.1 2 To provide answers, our analytical approaches should align with causal frameworks. Changes in training load (eg, acute:chronic workload ratio) has been used as an interesting exposure to injury lately3–5 and promoted as proximal in the causal chain to sports injury.2 6 However, the aetiology behind sports injury development is multifactorial.1 Therefore, more variables (eg, body mass, alignment, diet, strength) than training load are necessary to robustly identify ‘how much is too much’.7 Accordingly, the purpose of this editorial is to describe the differences among the concepts ‘training-load’, ‘structure-specific load’ and ‘load capacity’, including the varied exposures that define them.
Athletes at different risks
Sports injury prevention scientists should carefully consider how best to phrase their research questions in aetiological …
Contributors RON drafted the editorial, while the remaining coauthors revised it for important intellectual content.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No data available.