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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2012 Jun;52(3):229-36.

High intensity training for faster water polo.

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Catalunya National Institute of Physical Education Institute, Barcelona, Spain.



The aim of this study, based on the interaction between two aerobic and anaerobic metabolisms with a parallel production of both aerobic and anaerobic ATP, was to develop a high intensity training programme and increase the aerobic contribution. We examined the applicability of a 16-week training programme with an ergospirometer treadmill and field tests on eight water polo players.


Tests/retests of repeated exercises to 90V (90% of maximum personal speed over 100 m freestyle) and Speed Endurance Training (SET) after eight weeks were developed. A one-way blocked ANOVA with random blocks was used and each player represented a particular block with two before-after treatments with the aim of reducing error by subtracting both the variance due to the difference between the treatments and that due to the difference between the blocks.


A reduction (15.2%) in blood lactate was observed in response to the same absolute workload (before-after). Furthermore the anaerobic contribution to VO2max (ESCAna, Estimated Anaerobic Contribution) after eight weeks of training at 90maxV and the anaerobic contribution to VO2max (ESCAna) after speed endurance training (SET) were very significant (P<0.004) with a reduction in the anaerobic contribution of 16%. The results of the field tests show that there was a very significant reduction (P<0.001) in lactate between 90maxV and maximal aerobic power velocity (MAPv) of 24%.


With 90maxV and SET, space was gained towards those velocities, which had previously required a considerable anaerobic contribution. In this way match speed was increased.

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