The Effect of Low-Volume Sprint Interval Training (SIT) on the Development and Subsequent Maintenance of Aerobic Fitness in Soccer Players

Tom MacPherson, Matthew Weston

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Abstract

To examine the effect of low-volume sprint interval training (SIT) on the development (part one) and subsequent maintenance (part two) of aerobic fitness in soccer players. Methods: In part one, 23 players from the same semi-professional team participated in a 2-week SIT intervention (SIT, n = 14, age 25 ± 4 y, weight 77 ± 8 kg; control, n = 9, age 27 ± 6 y, weight 72 ± 10 kg). The SIT group performed six training sessions of 4-6 maximal 30-s sprints, in replacement of regular aerobic training. The control group continued with their regular training. Following this 2-week intervention, the SIT group were allocated to either intervention (n = 7, one SIT session per week as replacement of regular aerobic training) or control (n = 7, regular aerobic training with no SIT sessions) for a 5-week period (part two). Pre and post measures were the YoYo intermittent recovery test level 1 (YYIRL1) and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Results: In part one, the 2-week SIT intervention had a small beneficial effect on YYIRL1 (17%; 90% confidence limits ±11%), and VO2max (3.1%; ±5.0%), compared to control. In part two, one SIT session per week for 5 weeks had a small beneficial effect on VO2max (4.2%; ±3.0%), with an unclear effect on YYIRL1 (8%; ±16%). Conclusion: Two weeks of SIT elicits small improvements in soccer players’ high-intensity intermittent running performance and VO2max, therefore representing a worthwhile replacement of regular aerobic training. The effectiveness of SIT for maintaining SIT-induced improvements in high-intensity intermittent running requires further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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