An Investigation of Surface EMG Shorts-Derived Training Load during Treadmill Running

Kurtis Ashcroft, Tony Robinson, Joan Condell, Victoria Penrpaze, Stephen Bird

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The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to determine the sensitivity of the sEMG shorts-derived training load (sEMG-TL) during different running speeds; and (2) to investigate the relationship between the oxygen consumption, heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), accelerometry-based PlayerLoadTM (PL), and sEMG-TL during a running maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) test. The study investigated ten healthy participants. On day one, participants performed a three-speed treadmill test at 8, 10, and 12 km·h−1 for 2 min at each speed. On day two, participants performed a VO2max test. Analysis of variance found significant differences in sEMG-TL at all three speeds (p < 0.05). A significantly weak positive relationship between sEMG-TL and %VO2max (r = 0.31, p < 0.05) was established, while significantly strong relationships for 8 out of 10 participants at the individual level (r = 0.72–0.97, p < 0.05) were found. Meanwhile, the accelerometry PL was not significantly related to %VO2max (p > 0.05) and only demonstrated significant correlations in 3 out of 10 participants at the individual level. Therefore, the sEMG shorts-derived training load was sensitive in detecting a work rate difference of at least 2 km·h−1. sEMG-TL may be an acceptable metric for the measurement of internal loads and could potentially be used as a surrogate for oxygen consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number15
Early online date7 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 7 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 by the authors.


  • surface electromyography
  • textile sEMG
  • oxygen consumption
  • internal load
  • external load
  • training load
  • compression shorts


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