Four Weeks of Intensified Training Enhances On-Ice Intermittent Exercise Performance and Increases Maximal Oxygen Consumption of Youth National-Team Ice Hockey Players

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

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Jan Sommer JeppesenThe August Krogh Section for Human Physiology, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (NEXS), University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Jeppe F. Vigh-LarsenSection of Sport Science, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

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Mikkel S. OxfeldtSection of Sport Science, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

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Niklas M. LaustsenThe August Krogh Section for Human Physiology, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (NEXS), University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Magni MohrDepartment of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Sport and Health Sciences Cluster (SHSC), University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
Centre of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of the Faroe Islands, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

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Jens BangsboThe August Krogh Section for Human Physiology, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (NEXS), University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Morten HostrupThe August Krogh Section for Human Physiology, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports (NEXS), University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Purpose: We investigated whether 4 weeks of intensified training consisting of speed endurance training (SET) enhanced high-intensity exercise performance in youth national-team ice hockey players. Methods: Utilizing a randomized crossover design, we subjected 17 players to 4 weeks of SET, comprising 6 to 10 × 20 seconds at maximal effort (>95% maximum ice skating speed) with 120-second recovery performed 3 times weekly, or maintenance of regular training (control period). Before and after each period, players completed ice-hockey-specific tests on ice, including a Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Level 1 test, a 30-m sprint test, and an agility test. On a separate day, players were assessed for body composition with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and performed countermovement jump, maximal voluntary isometric knee extensor contraction, a 15-second maximal sprint test, and a submaximal and incremental test on a bike ergometer in which pulmonary oxygen consumption was determined. Results: Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Level 1 test performance increased (P < .001) by 14% (95% CI, 201–496 m) during the SET period. Maximal pulmonary oxygen consumption (P < .05) and time to exhaustion (P < .05) were 4.8% and 6.5% higher, respectively, after the SET period than before. Fat-free mass increased (P < .01) during the SET period by 1.7 kg (95% CI, 1.0–2.5), whereas fat mass remained unchanged. These effects were superior to the control period. Conclusions: These findings underpin the effectiveness of SET for improving on-ice high-intensity performance and highlight that elite ice hockey players can benefit from implementing SET.

Hostrup (mhostrup@nexs.ku.dk) is corresponding author.

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