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Soccer An Aerobic Fitness

An-Aerobic Fitness for football training and exercises. Anaerobic exercise is exercise intense enough to trigger lactic acid accumulation. It is used by football trainers to promote strength, speed and power and the ability to develop tolerance to football matches requiring an-aerobic activities. Search has shown football (soccer) requires players to repeatedly produce maximal or near maximal sprints of short duration with brief recovery, which taxes the anaerobic endurance and create fatigue.

Types of Soccer Fitness Training (Effects on An-Aerobic Fitness)

Anaerobic endurance is generally trained with repeated-sprinting and therefore coaches also refer to it as repeated-sprint ability (RSA). Typically we are trying to create high intensity sprints with appropriate rest periods to mirror Anaerobic conditions of a real game. We can use both active and passive recovery between running bouts.

Studies have shown that the work-to-rest ratio should be 1:6 (work:rest). This resulted in a similar fatigue rate as an actual football match. The ratio has also been quoted at 1:10 and is dependent on the maturation of the players being trained. It has been suggested that repeated spring ability is influenced by maturation, in particular with the age groups of U14 - U18. From the ages of U-11 - U14 there was more of a plateau in the effect of age (maturation) (Buchheit et al., 2010).

Anaerobic Fitness Training Formats

The intensity in repeated-sprint training exercises is maximal with either an active or passive recovery. However, the load on the anaerobic system will depend on the number of sprints and the “duration” (which is determined by the repeated sprint distance) and the recovery time between sprints. Examples of formats used in the scientific research are as follows:

  • 6 x 15-20m
  • 6 x 30m
  • 6 x 40m
  • 10 x 40m
  • 12 x 20 m

The recovery periods for these studies ranged from 23 secs passive recovery to 30 secs of active recovery (players jogging at ~2m/s). Work-to-rest ratio of 1:4 - 1:6 for sprints of 30-80 m in length.

Training frequency per week

The studies were having these exercises performed 1-3 per week. The time of the season will influence the appropriate time to perform these types of training. For example, pre-season is an appropriate time to be performing an-aerobic training 3 times a week. One session a week of this nature in-season would be appropriate for anaerobic maintenance training. There also needs to be consideration in that amateur players will develop their anaerobic endurance quicker that professionals, but may also be more prone to injury. For elite/professional players there should be a consideration for overuse with high intensity training and games with in season.

Training Period (Duration)

The length of the training period varies and may be effected by many other factors in your training environment. Studies have shown 6-13 weeks for training regimes. A 6 week training program of this nature may be a lot for some teams. It is widely acknowledged that 4 weeks is enough to increase a players anaerobic performance. We should be cautious to increase training load gradually and provide adequate periods for recovery after overload sessions. The frequency, load, duration, per week can be adjust depending on the time of the season.

Additional Training Effect of Anaerobic Training

Other performance effects of anaerobic training included improvements in repeated sprint performance (Buchheit et al., 2010, Meckel., 2012(). Increases were also seen in type II muscle fibers (Dawson et al., 1998) and jump performance (Buchheit et al., 2010).