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Br J Sports Med. 2004 Apr;38(2):186-90.

Effects of exercise on the physical condition of college rugby players during summer training camp.

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Department of Health and Physical Education, National Defense Medical College, Namiki 3-2, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-8513, Japan.



To determine the effects of exercise training on physical condition in 25 college rugby players during a summer training camp, and to compare these variables by the different players' positions.


Changes in body composition parameters and blood biochemistry were examined before and after a summer training camp.


Body weight and percentage body fat did not change significantly during the camp. There were significant decreases in levels of serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, phosphate, uric acid, and immunoglobulin G and M. In contrast, there were significant increases in levels of serum potassium, markers of renal, hepatic, and muscular damage (BUN, GOT, GPT, LDH, CK), and complement C4. Comparison of the changes in biochemical parameters between rugby players playing in different positions showed a significant increase in serum albumin level in the forwards, and significant decreases in serum triglyceride and sodium levels in the backs. The magnitude of change in serum LDH during the camp was significantly greater (p<0.05) for the forwards than for the backs.


These data suggest that, in rugby players attending a 20 day camp, exercise training resulted in muscular damage, loss of electrolytes due to sweating, and changes in immune function. Backs exhibited a higher rate of fat metabolism and loss of electrolytes than forwards, possibly because they did more running during the camp. In contrast, forwards experienced more physical contact, performed more physically strenuous exercise, and exhibited higher levels of muscular damage and tissue protein degradation.

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