Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Sports Medicine - Open








School of Medical and Health Sciences


Coyne, J. O., Coutts, A. J., Newton, R. U., & Haff, G. G. (2022). The Current State of Subjective Training Load Monitoring: Follow-Up and Future Directions. Sports Medicine-Open, 8(1), 1-11.


This article addresses several key issues that have been raised related to subjective training load (TL) monitoring. These key issues include how TL is calculated if subjective TL can be used to model sports performance and where subjective TL monitoring fits into an overall decision-making framework for practitioners. Regarding how TL is calculated, there is conjecture over the most appropriate (1) acute and chronic period lengths, (2) smoothing methods for TL data and (3) change in TL measures (e.g., training stress balance (TSB), differential load, acute-to-chronic workload ratio). Variable selection procedures with measures of model-fit, like the Akaike Information Criterion, are suggested as a potential answer to these calculation issues with examples provided using datasets from two different groups of elite athletes prior to and during competition at the 2016 Olympic Games. Regarding using subjective TL to model sports performance, further examples using linear mixed models and the previously mentioned datasets are provided to illustrate possible practical interpretations of model results for coaches (e.g., ensuring TSB increases during a taper for improved performance). An overall decision-making framework for determining training interventions is also provided with context given to where subjective TL measures may fit within this framework and the determination if subjective measures are needed with TL monitoring for different sporting situations. Lastly, relevant practical recommendations (e.g., using validated scales and training coaches and athletes in their use) are provided to ensure subjective TL monitoring is used as effectively as possible along with recommendations for future research.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.