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The Importance of Training Impulse (TRIMP) in Contact Sports

When it comes to training for contact sports, athletes cannot simply go through the motions day in and day out. There must be a purpose to their training, and that purpose is two-fold: to ensure that the athlete is physically prepared to withstand the rigours of competition, and to enable the athlete to perform at their highest level when it matters most. This is where training impulse comes into play.

Training impulse (TRIMP) is a measure of the amount of work an athlete does over a period of time, and it is an important tool for coaches and athletes to use in order to gauge the intensity and volume of training. It is a way to quantify training load and stress placed on an athlete/player and is represented by a single number. In general, the higher the TRIMP, the greater the physiological response and adaptations that will occur. In other words, TRIMP is a predictor of how hard an athlete is working in training and how this work will pay off come competition time.


Why TRIMP Matters in Contact Sports In contact sports such as football, hockey, and lacrosse, players are constantly putting their bodies through a great deal of wear and tear. The physical nature of these sports means that players are constantly banging up against each other, which can lead to injuries both major and minor. As such, it is important for coaches to monitor their players' TRIMP to ensure that they are not doing too much or too little in terms of volume and intensity. Monitoring TRIMP can be difficult though as wrist or chest worn wearables are often banned in these sports, as they have the possibility of injuring the athlete or others.

If a coach finds that a player's TRIMP is too low, it could be an indication that the player is not working hard enough in training and may be at risk for underperforming come game time. On the other hand, if a coach finds that a player's TRIMP is too high, it could be an indication that the player is overtraining and may be at risk for sustaining an injury. Thus, by monitoring TRIMP levels, coaches and athletes can find that happy medium whereby adequate preparation for competition is achieved without putting anyone in harm's way.


In conclusion, training impulse is a measure of work done over a period of time, and it is an important predictor of performance in contact sports. By monitoring their players' TRIMPs, coaches and athletes can ensure that they are neither under-training nor overtraining. We’ve thought about this a great deal at ORB Innovations, hence why ORB Smartguard tracks TRIMP and allows the careful management of training load, meaning players can remain healthy and be prepared for competitions effectively.

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