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Repeated Sprint Training (RSA) and Interval Training Improves Performance During the Season.

Testing done on elite soccer players has shown that additional RSA (Repeated Sprint Activity) and Interval training has been shown to further improve performance in Intermittent Exercise (i.e Soccer).

Bangsbo et al, performed a test with a group of 16 players who performed a once a week, 30 minute additional fitness session (for 12 weeks) during the season. The sessions consisted of 2-4 min intervals performed as small-sided games, separated by 1-2 mins of rest.

Following this additional training period the players displayed the following:

  • 15% Performance increase in the standard Yo-Yo test (Level 2).
  • 5% Performance in VO2-max.
  • 21% Reduction in fatigue time in a repeated sprint test.
  • 0% Increase/Decrease in 30m sprint time.

Bravo DF et al, performed a test of 42 elite youth players under two different in season additional training programs. The additional sessions were twice a week:

  • Intense Aerobic Training : (4 x 4 min running at 90-95% HRmax, 3 min rest).
  • Repeated Sprint Training: (3 x 6 maximal shuttle sprints of 40 m)

Both the training groups improved performance assessed using a Yo-Yo IR Test and Maximum Oxygen Update. No improvements were shown in single sprint times or jumping capacity:

  • Intense Aerobic Training : Improvement of 13%, Max Oxygen Uptake Improvement 4%
  • Repeated Sprint Training: Improvement of 28%, Max Oxygen Uptake Improvement 6%

Conclusions & Recommendations:
Both aerobic and repeated speed training can be used during the season to improve performance. High-Intensity Aerobic training sessions should be carried out frequently (2 or more times a week) during a season. These types of training sessions should be integrated with technical and tactical sessions. Additional in season training could be considered by positions (i.e. midfield profiles) which have high intensity aerobic profiles during games.

 

Additional Reading:

Bravo DF, Impellizzeri FM, Rampinini E, Castagna C, Bishop D, Wisloff U.
Sprint vs. Interval Training in Football.
Int J Sports Med. 2008; 29:668-674.


Jensen J, Randers M, Krustrup P and Bangsbo J. Intermittent Exercise Performance Evaluations in Soccer Players using Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 2. J Sports Sci Med. 2007; 6(10):167 (abstract). See also: Dupont G, Akakpo K, Berthoin S. The effect of in-season, high-intensity interval training in soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2004 Aug;18(3):584-9.

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