AIM: Soccer performance is determined by a number of physiological adaptations that can be altered by high intensity training. However, the effectiveness of using an uphill sprint based protocol has not been demonstrated for soccer players. We sought to determine the effectiveness of an in-season uphill sprint training (UST) programme on soccer related physiological outcomes. METHODS: 14 male soccer players (age: 22 ± 8 years, height: 1.81 ± 8 m, body mass: 76 ± 12 kg) underwent testing (5-10-5 agility drill, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1, leg and back dynamometry & 3km time trial) at baseline and after 6 weeks of UST or normal activity. Participants were allocated to a control (n=7) or UST (n=7) group. The UST group took part in twice weekly training consisting of 10 x 10 sec sprints with 60s recovery on a 7% gradient for 6 weeks. The control group maintained normal activity patterns. RESULTS: 3km time trial, strength, agility and Yo-Yo performance were all significantly improved pre to post following 6 weeks of UST (Agility 3%, d=1.3; Strength 10%, d=-3.2; VO2 max 3%, d=-1.4; 3-km TT 4%, d=1.3). In the control group 3km time trial, strength, agility and Yo-Yo performance remained unchanged after 6 weeks (Agility 0.1%, d=-0.2; Strength 2%, d=0.0; VO2 max -0.1%, d=0.0; 3-km TT 1.3%, d=0.3). CONCLUSION: Therefore in-season short duration UST is an effective way to improve soccer fitness in a time efficient manner.
- High intensity training
- Endurance performance