Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Effect of Combined versus Repeated Sprint Training on Physical Parameters in Sub-Elite Football Players in South Africa

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Effect of Combined versus Repeated Sprint Training on Physical Parameters in Sub-Elite Football Players in South Africa

Article excerpt

Introduction

The use of repeated sprint training (RST) in football is well documented (Iaia et al., 2009; Ferrari Bravo et al., 2008). It involves repeated intervals of high intensity sprinting with brief recovery periods. Benefits of RST in elite and sub-elite football players include an improved VO2 max, maximum aerobic speed and improved distance on the football specific yo-yo intermittent recovery test (YYIRT) (Ferrari Bravo et al., 2008). Contradictory evidence exists regarding the improvement in speed and jumping ability (Hill-Haas et al., 2009; Ferrari Bravo et al., 2008; Dupont et al., 2004). A recent meta-analysis indicated that RST is beneficial to improve repeat sprint ability, high intensity intermittent running and sprinting performance (Taylor et al., 2015). RST is also related to physical performance in elite football matches (Rampinini et al., 2007). This study determined the construct validity of RST and found significant correlations and predictions with official match related physical performance measures in top level professional football players.

Other training modalities have similarly demonstrated significant improvements as RST while improvements in speed and agility was also less clear (Babu et al., 2014; Faude et al., 2013; Bucheit et al., 2010; Ferrari-Bravo et al., 2008; Impellizzeri et al., 2006; Helgerud et al., 2001). These training modalities usually include either continuous aerobic training (CAT), aerobic interval training (AIT) or explosive leg power training. Aerobic interval training also involves intervals (as RST) but they are longer in duration (usually four minutes repeated four times with three minutes of rest between intervals) (Impellizzeri et al., 2006; Helgerud et al., 2001). This training strategy is well recognized to improve endurance performance in elite and sub-elite football players and is closely related to mean match intensities (Hoff, 2005; Stolen et al., 2005). Explosive leg strength training is commonly used to improve neuromuscular qualities (maximal speed, acceleration and power) in football and involves a series of exercises such as counter movement jumps, calf and squat plyo metric jumps and short sprints (Bucheit et al., 2010). Continuous aerobic training involves an aerobic activity of 30 or more minutes of continuous running at close to 65 to 80% of VO2 peak (Faude et al., 2013; Ciolac et al., 2011; Burgomaster et al., 2008). A high aerobic capacity is needed to aid recovery between high-intensity activity spurts in football (Reilly, 1997). The importance of CAT training (especially in the pre-season) despite the significant benefits of interval training is well described in Seiler et al. (2009). The inclusion of these training modalities (RST, AIT, CAT, explosive leg power) as a combination (COM) may all contribute to physical conditioning as time motion analysis indicated football to be an aerobic and anaerobic activity where many repeated running and sprinting bouts, stopping, turning, resting, accelerating, and jumping movements occur throughout a match (Stolen et al., 2005). Moreover, Ferrari Bravo et al. (2008) requested future studies to determine the effect of combining different training strategies (shown to be effective in isolation) on physical parameters of football conditioning. Bucheit (2012) and Bishop et al. (2011) reiterated the use of a combined training approach. Recently, it has been purported that a combined repeat sprint and squat training intervention significantly improved speed and repeat sprint ability in recreationally active young adults and rugby players (Marques et al., 2015; Suarez-Arrones et al., 2014). On the other hand, a combined squat and RST regimen resulted in no improvement of RSA or high intensity intermittent running in football players (Campos-Vazquez et al., 2015). However, RST was only trained once a week and performed during the final phase of the season when players were already competitively fit.

It is possible that RST may provide the same or even superior benefits compared to combined (COM) training as RST is related to physical performance and success in football (Impellizzeri et al. …

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