“Metabolic Power takes to the field” is part of a series of webinars held by Cristian Osgnach to go deeper on the workload analysis and the concepts of metabolic power and high-intensity through specific examples on the field.
Workload monitoring is one of the main goals for a football fitness coach, keen to use any tracking system. The interest is to evaluate the overall volume or, referring to the energetic approach, to identify the high-intensity volume.
The parameters used to define the high-intensity by the traditional approach are mainly two:
• the activity carried out above a speed thresholds, here 20 km﹒h⁻¹, often defined as “high speed running” (HSR),
• the activity carried out above an acceleration threshold, here 2.5 m﹒s⁻².
What will be the amount of high speed distance in the three proposed exercises (read the previous article here)? Let’s find out in the following video.
On the other hand, in the right column referring to the high acceleration distance, the opposite occurs. In the first exercise, the acceleration phase ends shortly after the start and we have only 20 meters covered above the acceleration threshold. In the second exercise, due to a change of direction, the high acceleration distance increases to 35 meters. It’s easy to see that in the third exercise, due to two changes of directions, the high acceleration distance increases further to 75 meters.
Assessing the amount of high intensity through the traditional approach means splitting the focus into two distinct parameters (i.e. high speed and high acceleration distances). Moreover, since one is the opposite of the other, it is even more difficult to have summary information of the overall high intensity.
From this perspective, the exercise with the greatest amount of high intensity appears to be the first, despite everyone would have considered it the easiest one. Although more demanding, the second and the third exercise a low high-intensity distance and negligible differences between them.
Can the metabolic approach overcome the limits mentioned above?
The combined evaluation of both total volume and high-intensity volume is more convincing by using the energetic approach. When the interest is focused on the total volume, three different exercises with the same total distance can be better described by means of total energy expenditure or total equivalent distance as three gradually increasing drills. On the other side, when we refer to the high intensity, and specifically to the high-intensity volume, the limits highlighted in the left column are undeniable.
Indeed, the right column confirms everyone’s expectations: the amount of anaerobic energy (green bars) needed to carry out high-intensity phases increases from the first to the third exercise. For the sake of simplicity, it could be worthwhile to convert the energy expenditure (both total and anaerobic) in the corresponding equivalent distance (see part 1).
In conclusion, if the goal is to have a simpler but in-depth evaluation of the workload, referred to both the overall volume and the high-intensity volume, the exercises described above clearly highlight the benefits of the metabolic approach.
In the next article, we will go deeper into acceleration monitoring.
C. Osgnach, “Metabolic Power takes to the field – Part 1“