Context

Rhythmic gymnastics requires a high level of complexity and perfection of technical gestures, associated with well-developed physical and artistic capacities. The training-load and recovery profiles of rhythmic gymnasts across a season are unknown.

Objective

To analyze the training load and recovery of professional rhythmic gymnasts during 1 season.

Design

Cohort study.

Setting

Brazilian National Training Center of Rhythmic Gymnastics and competition facilities.

Patients or Other Participants

Eight gymnasts from the Brazilian national senior rhythmic gymnastics group.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) and total quality recovery (TQR) scores were collected daily for 43 weeks. We obtained the session-RPE after each session and TQR score before the first session of the day. Performances during 5 competitions were also recorded. The season was divided into 8 periods. Total weekly internal training load (wITL), training intensity, frequency, duration, recovery, and acute-to-chronic workload ratio were calculated for analysis.

Results

The season mean wITL was 10 381 ± 4894 arbitrary units, mean session-RPE score was 5.0 ± 1.6, and mean TQR score was 12.8 ± 1.3. The gymnasts trained an average of 8.7 ± 2.9 sessions per week, with a mean duration of 219 ± 36 minutes. Each competitive period showed increased wITL compared with the previous period. Training-load variables (wITL and session-RPE) and recovery were inversely correlated. Gymnasts were poorly recovered (TQR < 13) during 50.9% of the season (n = 167 times), especially during competitive weeks. Spikes in load (acute-to-chronic workload ratio ≥ 1.5) occurred across 18.1% of the season (n = 55 times).

Conclusions

The training-load variables and recovery changed throughout a professional rhythmic gymnastics group season, mainly during competitive periods. The correct distribution of training load is critical to ensure that gymnasts are entering competitions in a recovered state.

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Author notes

Portions of the Methods section were adapted with permission from Debien PB, Mancini M, Coimbra DR, de Freitas DGS, Miranda R, Bara Filho MG. Monitoring training load, recovery, and performance of Brazilian professional volleyball players during a season. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13(9):1182–1189. Copyright 2020 Human Kinetics, Inc.