Int J Sports Med 2019; 40(09): 597-600
DOI: 10.1055/a-0955-5589
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

To Couple or not to Couple? For Acute:Chronic Workload Ratios and Injury Risk, Does it Really Matter?

Tim J. Gabbett
1  Gabbett Performance Solutions, Brisbane, Australia
2  University of Southern Queensland, Institute for Resilient Regions, Ipswich, Australia
Billy Hulin
3  School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
4  Football Department, St. George Illawarra Dragons Rugby League Football Club, Wollongong, Australia
Peter Blanch
5  Football Department, Brisbane Lions Football Club, Brisbane, Australia
6  School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
Paul Chapman
7  Performance Department, Queensland Cricket, Brisbane, Australia
David Bailey
8  Team Performance, Cricket Australia, Melbourne, Australia
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted 30 May 2019

Publication Date:
10 July 2019 (online)


We examined the association between coupled and uncoupled acute:chronic workload ratios (ACWR) and injury risk in a cohort of 28 elite cricket fast bowlers (mean±SD age, 26±5 yr). Workloads were estimated using the session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE). Coupled ACWRs were calculated using a 1-week acute workload and 4-week chronic workload (acute workload was included in the chronic workload calculation), whereas uncoupled ACWRs used the most recent 1-week acute workload and the prior 3-week chronic workload (acute workload was not included in the chronic workload calculation). A nearly perfect relationship (R2=0.99) was found between coupled and uncoupled ACWRs. Using a percentile rank method, no significant differences in injury risk were found between the coupled and uncoupled ACWR. Higher ACWRs were associated with increased injury likelihood for both coupled and uncoupled methods, however there were no significant differences in injury risk between coupled and uncoupled ACWRs. Our data demonstrates that both coupled and uncoupled ACWRs produce the same injury likelihoods. Furthermore, our results are consistent with previous studies: higher ACWRs are associated with greater risk, irrespective of whether acute and chronic workloads are coupled or uncoupled.