Monitoring Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Professional Soccer Players: Is It Worth the Prick?

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
View More View Less
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $112.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $149.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $213.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $284.00

Purpose: To compare between-tests changes in submaximal exercise heart rate (HRex, 3 min, 12 km/h) and the speed associated with 4 mmol/L of blood lactate (V4mmol) in soccer players to get insight into their level of agreement and respective sensitivity to changes in players’ fitness. Methods: A total of 19 elite professional players (23 [3] y) performed 2 to 3 graded incremental treadmill tests (3-min stages interspersed with 1 min of passive recovery, starting speed 8 km/h, increment 2 km/h until exhaustion or 18 km/h if exhaustion was not reached before) over 1.5 seasons. The correlation between the changes in HRex and V4mmol was examined. Individual changes in the 2 variables were compared (>2 × typical error considered “clear”). Results: The changes in HRex and V4mmol were largely correlated (r = .82; 90% confidence interval, .65–.91). In more than 90% of the cases, when a clear individual change in HRex was observed, it was associated with a similar clear change in V4mmol (the same direction, improvement, or impairment of fitness) and conversely. Conclusions: When it comes to testing players submaximally, the present results suggest that practitioners can use HRex or V4mmol interchangeably with confidence. However, in comparison with a field-based standardized warm-up run (3–4 min, all players together), the value of a multistage incremental test with repeated blood lactate samplings is questionable for a monitoring purpose given its time, labor, cost, and poorer player buy-in.

The authors are with the Performance Dept, Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. Buchheit is also with the Sport Science Dept, Myorobie Association, Montvalezan, France. Buchheit and Lacome are also with the Research Dept, Sport Laboratory, Expertise and Performance (EA 7370), French Institute of Sports, Paris, France.

Buchheit (mbuchheit@psg.fr) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Scott TJ, McLaren SJ, Caia J, Kelly VG. The reliability and usefulness of an individualised submaximal shuttle run test in elite rugby league players. Sci Med Football. 2018;2(3):184190. doi:10.1080/24733938.2018.1448937

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Buchheit M. Monitoring training status with HR measures: do all roads lead to Rome? Front Physiol. 2014;27(5):73.

  • 3.

    Buchheit M, Chivot A, Parouty J, et al. Monitoring endurance running performance using cardiac parasympathetic function. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010;108:11531167. PubMed ID: 20033207 doi:10.1007/s00421-009-1317-x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Lamberts RP, Swart J, Noakes TD, Lambert MI. A novel submaximal cycle test to monitor fatigue and predict cycling performance. Br J Sports Med. 2011;45(10):797804. PubMed ID: 19622525 doi:10.1136/bjsm.2009.061325

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Veugelers KR, Naughton GA, Duncan CS, Burgess DJ, Graham SR. Validity and reliability of a submaximal intermittent running test in elite Australian football players. J Strength Cond Res. 2016;30(12):33473353. PubMed ID: 27870695 doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001441

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Buchheit M, Simpson MB, Al Haddad H, Bourdon PC, Mendez-Villanueva A. Monitoring changes in physical performance with heart rate measures in young soccer players. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012;112(2):711723. PubMed ID: 21656232 doi:10.1007/s00421-011-2014-0

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Chamari K, Hachana Y, Ahmed YB, et al. Field and laboratory testing in young elite soccer players. Br J Sports Med. 2004;38(2):191196. PubMed ID: 15039258 doi:10.1136/bjsm.2002.004374

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Hoff J. Training and testing physical capacities for elite soccer players. J Sports Sci. 2005;23(6):573582. PubMed ID: 16195006 doi:10.1080/02640410400021252

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Ziogas GG, Patras KN, Stergiou N, Georgoulis AD. Velocity at lactate threshold and running economy must also be considered along with maximal oxygen uptake when testing elite soccer players during preseason. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(2):414419. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181bac3b9

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Winter EM, Maughan RJ. Requirements for ethics approvals. J Sports Sci. 2009;27(10):985. PubMed ID: 19847681 doi:10.1080/02640410903178344

  • 11.

    Svedahl K, MacIntosh BR. Anaerobic threshold: the concept and methods of measurement. Can J Appl Physiol. 2003;28(2):299323. PubMed ID: 12825337 doi:10.1139/h03-023

  • 12.

    Prettin S, Schnabel A, Pottgiessera T, Roecker K, Ahlgrim C. Reliability of anaerobic lactate threshold concepts in running. Poster presented at: 18th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science; June 26–29, 2013; Barcelona, Spain.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Pallares JG, Moran-Navarro R, Ortega JF, Fernández-Elías VE, Mora-Rodriguez R. Validity and reliability of ventilatory and blood lactate thresholds in well-trained cyclists. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0163389. PubMed ID: 27657502 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163389

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Buchheit M. The numbers will love you back in return—I promise. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2016;11(4):551554. PubMed ID: 27164726 doi:10.1123/ijspp.2016-0214

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Buchheit M. Magnitudes matter more than beetroot juice. Sport Perform Sci Rep. 2018;v1:13.

  • 16.

    Hopkins WG. How to interpret changes in an athletic performance test. Sportscience. 2004;8:17.

  • 17.

    Atkinson G, Batterham AM. The use of ratios and percentage changes in sports medicine: time for a rethink? Int J Sports Med. 2012;33(7):505506. PubMed ID: 22760546 doi:10.1055/s-0032-1316355

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    Buchheit M, Laursen PB. High-intensity interval training, solutions to the programming puzzle: Part I: cardiopulmonary emphasis. Sports Med. 2013;43(5):313338. PubMed ID: 23539308 doi:10.1007/s40279-013-0029-x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 672 672 114
Full Text Views 38 38 2
PDF Downloads 30 30 2