Training load and injury part 2: questionable research practices hijack the truth and mislead well-intentioned clinicians

Review written by Robin Kerr info

Key Points

  1. The training load and injury research base is flawed.
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Part 1 of this controversial, yet valuable clinical commentary paper was reviewed in the last issue (November 2020). In Part 2, the authors detailed their concerns regarding the conceptual foundations and methodologies utilized in the training load and injury research. They went as far to say that questionable research practices undermine the trustworthiness of the research, warning clinicians that “making decisions about planning and modifying training programs for injury reduction in clinical practice, based on the available studies, is premature”.

Questionable research practices undermine the trustworthiness of the research.
Clinicians should follow well established training principles, particularly load progression rather than ‘correct handling’ of training load metrics.


A review and analysis of the training load-injury research methodology in soccer was performed. They summarised the results (odds ratio (OR), relative risk (RR), and injury risk) in studies that calculated the acute:chronic workload ratio (ACWR) from either in-season session

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