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Workload Management in Combat Sports: A Podcast with Osteopath & UFC Alumni Rosi Sexton

If I’m not fighting you, I’m actually pretty interested in making sure that you as a combat sports athlete are empowered to reduce your risk of injury and spend more time on the mats to improve your skills.

Monitoring and managing training and competition loads are the cornerstone of effective injury prevention and performance enhancement programs. This is a topic I spoke about in some depth on the Combat Sports Clinic Podcast a couple of years ago. I'm re-sharing as a blog as there's some useful content that still applies for combat sports athletes. Thanks again to Rosi for inviting me on to the show.

Here are a few of the key principles discussed on the @combatsportsclinic podcast 🎙:

🔑It is often not how much work you do that leads to injury, but how quickly you increase your training and completion loads that can lead to injury and poor performance 📈

🔑 The acute: chronic ratio (ACWR) is a comparison of short-term (fatigue) to longer-term (fitness) workloads, and an evidence-based tool to manage the safe progression of load

🔑 Start monitoring your workload and prioritise simple measures that have the greatest cost-benefit for injury prevention and performance enhancement (i.e. sRPE x duration)

🔑 High chronic loads develop physical qualities, which in turn protect against injuries and improve performance. Robust combat athletes will be able to tolerate loads better, so keep up moderate training loads outside of camps to avoid spiking loads in camp.

🔑 Keep chronic loads moderate-high, but aim to limit weekly changes in training load to less than 10% and maintain the ACWR 'sweet spot' between 0.8:1.3 for the majority of the year.

🔑 Individuals react differently to workloads. Keep track of your general wellness and listen to your body. Schedule adequate recovery, especially after intense training sessions, competition and travel, with a focus on nutrition, sleep, active rest and relaxation strategies.

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