Howard, N. F., & Stavrianeas, S. (2012). Effects of season-long high-intensity interval training on conditioning of high school soccer players. Presentation 2258 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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High-intensity interval-training has been proposed as a viable alternative to more traditional endurance conditioning for the improvement of aerobic conditioning. This study hypothesized that high-intensity interval-training would compare favorably to traditional soccer conditioning over the course of a high school soccer season. Ss (Junior varsity level) were formed into control (N = 17) and experimental (N = 17) groups for the 10-week investigation. High-intensity interval-training consisted of 4-6 30-second “all-out” sprint efforts with 4.5 minute recovery, three times a week. The control group performed endurance training for the same duration. The groups did not differ in any other aspect of their training. Ss completed the yo-yo intermittent recovery test level 1 (IR1), a 40-yard dash, vertical jump, agility test, and a sit-and-reach test, in two different testing sessions (pre- and post- season).

Both control (N = 10 at post) and experimental groups (N = 6 at post) showed significant increases in yo-yo intermittent recovery test level 1 performance pre- and post-training, with no significant difference between groups. Both experimental (N = 5) and control (N = 9) groups showed a significant difference in the 40-yard dash between pre- and post-training. There was no difference between the groups between pre- and post-training. There was no difference in vertical jump, agility test, or sit-and-reach test between groups pre- and post-training. There was, however, a significant decrease in the sit-and reach test in the control group.

Implication. High-intensity interval-training is an adequate training stimulus offering similar endurance improvements to more traditional soccer training.

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