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Table 6 Changes in haematological variables related to training periodisation

From: Factors Confounding the Athlete Biological Passport: A Systematic Narrative Review

Authors Subjects Interventions [Hb] Ret% OFFs Hct PV
Training content        
Banfi and Del Fabbro [43] Various sports (n = 63) The behaviour of reticulocyte and immature reticulocyte fraction (IRF) were analysed in top-level athletes practising rugby (RUG), ski (SKI), soccer (SOC) and cycling (CYC) throughout a competitive season. Data were collected three to four times: before the start of the training period (T1), at the beginning (T2), in the middle (T3) and at the end of the competitive season (T4) Lower (RUG) Lower (RUG) (CYC) (SOC) Higher (SKI)
Abellan, Ventura, Pichini et al. [44] Various sports (n = 246) Haematological parameters were measured in 96 elite athletes of various sports. Elite athletes participated in different sports (swimming, synchronised swimming, taekwondo, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, triathlon and weightlifting) = (NS) = (NS) = (NS) = (NS) = (NS)
Malcovati et al. [45] Football players (n = 923) This study tested the effect of age, ethnicity, exercise modalities and training phases on haematologic parameters and then estimated components of variation. Differences between low- (T1), int- (T2) and high-season (T2) were analysed ↓ (T2) ↓ (T2) ↓ (T2)
Banfi et al. [46] Rugby players (n = 19) Blood samples were collected at four consecutive training camps during a whole competitive season—first, at the start of the training period (T1), then after the training meeting (T2), after the first part of the championships (T3) and finally, at the end of the championships (T4) ↓ − 3% (T3) ↓ − 21% (T4) ↓ − 5% (T3)
Banfi et al. [47] Skiers (n = 18) Haematological variations of elite skiers were monitored over four seasons. The study sample included 18 alpine skiers of the Italian National Alpine Ski Team (10 men and eight women). Skiers began training in July (T1) and competed from November till April (T2) ↓ (T2) ↑ (T1)
Taper period        
Mujika et al. [48] Runners (n = 8) After 15 weeks of training, athletes completed a low-volume taper, consisting of either a 75% progressive reduction in pre-taper, low-intensity continuous training or high-intensity interval training. Blood samples were obtained before (T1) and after (T2) the taper period ↓ − 3% (T2) ↑ + 44% (T2) = (NS)
Mujika et al. [49] Runners (n = 10) After 18 weeks of training, nine male runners were assigned to a high-frequency taper (HFT) or a moderate frequency taper (MFT), consisting of training daily or resting every third day of the taper. Blood samples were obtained before (T1) and after (T2) the taper period = (NS) = (NS) = (NS)
  1. Numbers represent the relative changes during the most significant measurement: haemoglobin concentration ([Hb]), reticulocytes percentage (Ret%), OFF-Score (OFFS), haematocrit (Hct) and plasma volume (PV). Values in italics correspond to absolute variations