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J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Jan;23(1):163-9. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31818b9651.

Relationship among repeated sprint tests, aerobic fitness, and anaerobic fitness in elite adolescent soccer players.

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Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Wingate Institute, Netanya, Israel.


The purpose of the study was to examine the relationships among aerobic fitness, anaerobic capacity, and performance indices of 2 different repeated sprint test (RST) protocols in a group of 33 elite adolescent soccer players (age range 16-18 years). All participants performed 4 tests: an aerobic power test (20-m shuttle run), the Wingate Anaerobic Test (WAnT), and 2 different RST protocols (12 x 20 and 6 x 40 m). Significant correlations (p < 0.05) were found between the fastest sprint (r = 0.618), total sprint time (r = 0.709), and performance decrement (PD; r = 0.411) of the 2 RST protocols. A significant negative correlation was found between the PD in the 12 x 20-m RST and calculated peak VO2(r = -0.60, p < 0.05). There was no significant correlation between PD of the 6 x 40-m RST and calculated peak VO2(r = -0.32, p = 0.09). The mean power in the WAnT was significantly correlated with the fastest sprint and the total sprint time of the 6 x 40-m protocol (r = -0.42 and -0.45, respectively) and with the total sprint time of the 12 x 20-m protocol (r = -0.47). There were no correlations between other indices of the WAnT and the 2 RSTs. Despite identical total work, different RST protocols represent different physiological implications. The aerobic system plays a significant role in the maintenance of intensity level during a soccer game, which is characterized by short bursts of activities. Anaerobic performance of repeated brief efforts imposes different physiological stress than a single prolonged activity and, thus, may reflect different physiological capabilities. Therefore, anaerobic testing procedures should consist of specific protocols that mimic the athlete's specific sports activity pattern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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