A Novel High Intensity Interval Training Intervention Increases Aerobic And Anaerobic Capacity In Soccer Players

Easton, Chris, Scott, Robert A and Cathcart, Andrew J (2010) A Novel High Intensity Interval Training Intervention Increases Aerobic And Anaerobic Capacity In Soccer Players. In: 57th Annual Meeting & 1st World Congress on Exercise is Medicine; 1-5 June 2010, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A..


Previous studies have established that interval training consisting of 4 bouts of exercise at 90-95% maximum heart rate (HRmax) followed by a 3 min recovery period, results in an increase in aerobic capacity but does not improve 10m sprint time in soccer players (McMillan et al. Br J Sports Med 39: 273–277, 2005). However, running during competitive matches tends to be more intermittent and at a higher intensity (Withers et al. J Hum Mov Stud 8: 159–176, 1982) suggesting that this training intervention may not be optimal. PURPOSE: To examine the effects of a novel high intensity interval training (HIIT) intervention on the aerobic and anaerobic capacity of soccer players compared to prevalent training methods. METHODS: The aerobic and anaerobic capacities of 26 collegiate level male soccer players were assessed pre- and post-training by a 20m multi-stage fitness test and a 5m multiple shuttle test (Boddington et al. J Sports Sci 19: 223-228, 2001). Participants were matched for aerobic capacity and assigned to one of three training groups, and trained twice per week for 4 weeks. One group participated in a novel HIIT intervention consisting of a series of 30 s shuttle runs at speeds above the velocity at aerobic capacity, interspersed with 30 s periods of rest. The second group completed interval training (IT) consisting of 4 bouts of 4 min running at 90-95% HRmax followed by a 3 min rest period. The final group completed continuous training (CT) involving a continuous 28 min run at 70-80% HRmax. RESULTS: Aerobic capacity increased significantly in all groups (HIIT: 6.7 ± 4.1%; p < 0.001, IT: 6.5 ± 2.2%; p < 0.01, CT: 3.9 ± 2.6%; p < 0.01). The distance covered during the anaerobic performance test increased significantly in the HIIT and IT groups (HIIT: 31 ± 21 m; p < 0.01, IT: 14 ± 20 m; p < 0.05) and increased by a small but non-significant distance in the CT group (12 ± 13 m; p = 0.06). CONCLUSION: IT and HIIT interventions result in a significant increase in both aerobic and anaerobic capacity and therefore appear to be effective methods of fitness training for soccer players.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page