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Original Investigations

Improving Acceleration and Repeated Sprint Ability in Well-Trained Adolescent Handball Players: Speed Versus Sprint Interval Training

2010, 5, 152 – 164

Purpose: The aim of the current study was to compare the effects of speed/agility (S/A) training with sprint interval training (SIT) on acceleration and repeated sprint ability (RSA) in well-trained male handball players. Methods: In addition to their normal training program, players performed either S/A (n = 7) or SIT (n = 7) training for 4 wk. Speed/agility sessions consisted of 3 to 4 series of 4 to 6 exercises (eg, agility drills, standing start and very short sprints, all of IFT). Results: S/A training produced a very likely greater improvement in 10-m sprint (+4.6%, 90% CL 1.2 to 7.8), best (+2.7%, 90% CL 0.1 to 5.2) and mean (+2.2%, 90% CL –0.2 to 4.5) RSA times than SIT (all effect sizes [ES] greater than 0.79). In contrast, SIT resulted in an almost certain greater improvement in VIFTcompared with S/A (+5.2%, 90% CL 3.5 to 6.9, with ES = –0.83). Conclusion: In well-trained handball players, 4 wk of SIT is likely to have a moderate impact on intermittent endurance capacity only, whereas S/A training is likely to improve acceleration and repeated sprint performance.

Authors: Martin Buchheit, Alberto Mendez-Villanueva, Marc Quod, Thomas Quesnel, Said Ahmaidi

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