Zebis, M. K., Bangsbo, J. Suetta, C., Crameri, R., Kjaer, M., & Aagaard, P. (2002). Effects of heavy resistance training on muscle profile, strength and soccer performance in female elite soccer players. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34(5), Supplement abstract 1126.

Female elite soccer players (N = 16) were tested at the end of the autumn season, after 12 weeks of either isolated heavy resistance training (~2 times per week) or detraining, and at the end of the following spring season.

The resistance trained group increased maximal eccentric quadriceps muscle strength and rate of force development by the end of the resistance training period. The detraining group decreased in rate of force development by the end of detraining. The resistance training group also displayed an increase in percentage of Type IIA fibers with a corresponding decrease in Type IIX fibers. Fiber area of both types of fibers increased. The fiber area of the detraining group decreased at the end of detraining. At the end of the spring season, jump, sprint, and kicking performance improved significantly in the resistance trained group but not in the detrained group.

Implication. Soccer performance only improved when resistance training was followed by extensive soccer training. A period of detraining reduced athletes' capacities to improve by the end of the following season.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.