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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2012 Jun;52(3):245-54.

Sport-specific fitness testing differentiates professional from amateur soccer players where VO2max and VO2 kinetics do not.

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  • 1Sheffield Hallam University, Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield, UK. Andrew.edwards@jcu.edu.au



The purpose of this study was to identify if sport-specific and cardiopulmonary exercise testing differentiated professional from amateur soccer players.


Thirty six men comprising 18 professional (mean±s: age 23.2±2.4 years) and 18 amateur (mean±SD: age 21.1±1.6 years) soccer players participated and performed four tests on separate occasions: 1) a graded exercise test to determine VO2max; 2) four exercise transients from walking to 80%Δ for the determination of VO2 kinetics; 3) the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 2 (Yo-Yo IR2) and 4) a repeated sprint test (RST).


The players did not differ in VO2max (professional 56.5±2.9 mL.kg-1.min-1; amateur 55.7±3.5 mL.kg-1.min-1: P=0.484) or VO2 kinetic fundamental measures (τ1 onset, professional 24.5±3.2 s; amateur 24.0±1.8 s: τ1 cessation, professional 28.7±2.8 s; amateur 29.3±3.5 s: P=0.923). However, the amateurs were outperformed in the Yo-Yo IR2 (Professional 966±153 m; Amateur 840±156 m) (P=0.034) and RST (best time, professional 6.46±0.27 s; amateur 6.84±0.24 s, P=0.012).


Performance indices derived from field-based sport-specific performance tests identified significant differences between professional and amateur players (P<0.05). However, neither tests of VO2 kinetics nor VO2max differentiated between groups, suggesting laboratory tests of cardiorespiratory parameters are probably less consequential to soccer than sport-specific field-based observations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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