Poster: Concurrent Validation of Internal Training Load Measures in Pre-Professional Ballet Dancers (Valeriya Volkova, Sarah Kenny)
Purpose: To describe and compare objective and subjective measures of internal training load (ITL) using heart rate (HR) response quantification methods and session ratings of perceived exertion (sRPE) respectively, in pre-professional ballet dancers.
Methods: Fifteen female pre-professional ballet dancers at a vocational dance school volunteered to participate in this study. ITL data using HR and sRPE was collected over nine days at the midpoint of the dancers’ training year. HR data was quantified using Banister’s Training Impulse (BTRIMP) and Edwards’ Training Impulse (ETRIMP) and sRPE was calculated from RPE (Borg 0-10 Scale) and the class duration. Descriptive statistics [median (M), interquartile range (IQR)] were determined in arbitrary units (AU). The association between objective and subjective ITL measures in ballet and pointe was assessed using Spearman correlations (rs) and Bland-Altman 95% limits of agreement (LOA).
Results: Descriptive statistics for ITL measures across all dance classes were as follows: BTRIMP: M=67AU (IQR=41-113AU); ETRIMP: M=134AU (IQR=82-244AU); sRPE: M=381AU (IQR=275-829AU). A significant, moderate positive correlation was only found between BTRIMP and ETRIMP in pointe (rρ=0.776, p=0.003). The mean difference and LOA were -117.21AU (-43.18AU to -191.23AU) for ballet Bland-Altman BTRIMP-ETRIMP, and -47.85AU (-9.39AU to -86.32AU) for
pointe Bland-Altman BTRIMP-ETRIMP.
Conclusions: Further research is needed to validate the use of internal training load measures in pre-professional ballet dancers for training monitoring. There is a need for training load monitoring in dance as training load has been identified as a risk factor for injury and there is a high prevalence of injury among pre-professional dancers.
Relevance: Dance is a high risk activity and training load has been identified as a risk factor for injury. To reduce the number of overuse and chronic injuries affecting dancers and to ultimately promote healthy long-term development and prolong dance careers, there is a need to create a valid and feasible tool to measure training load. Through communication and collaboration with other dance science researchers, the dance community, and health professionals, implementation of continuous training load monitoring and training load prescription has promising implications for decreasing the prevalence of injuries in preprofessional, professional, and recreational dancers.