Effects of Plyometric Versus Optimum Power Load Training on Components of Physical Fitness in Young Male Soccer Players

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: The current study aimed to compare the effects of plyometric (PT) versus optimum power load (OPL) training on physical performance of young high-level soccer players. Methods: Athletes were randomly divided into PT (horizontal and vertical drills) and OPL (squat + hip thrust exercises at the load of maximum power output) interventions, applied over 7 weeks during the in-season period. Squat and countermovement jumps, maximal sprint (10 and 30 m), and change of direction (COD; agility t test) were the pretraining and posttraining measured performance variables. Magnitude-based inference was used for within- and between-group comparisons. Results: OPL training induced moderate improvements in vertical squat jump (effect size [ES]: 0.97; 90% confidence interval [CI], 0.32–1.61) and countermovement jump (ES: 1.02; 90% CI, 0.46–1.57), 30-m sprint speed (ES: 1.02; 90% CI, 0.09–1.95), and COD performance (ES: 0.93; 90% CI, 0.50–1.36). After PT training method, vertical squat jump (ES: 1.08; 90% CI, 0.66–1.51) and countermovement jump (ES: 0.62; 90% CI, 0.18–1.06) were moderately increased, while small enhancements were noticed for 30-m sprint speed (ES: 0.21; 90% CI, −0.02 to 0.45) and COD performance (ES: 0.53; 90% CI, 0.24–0.81). The 10-m sprint speed possibly increased after PT intervention (small ES: 0.25; 90% CI, −0.05 to 0.54), but no substantial change (small ES: 0.36; 90% CI, −0.40 to 1.13) was noticed in OPL. For between-group analyses, the COD ability and 30-m sprint performances were possibly (small ES: 0.30; 90% CI, −0.20 to 0.81; Δ = +1.88%) and likely (moderate ES: 0.81; 90% CI, −0.16 to 1.78; Δ = +2.38%) more improved in the OPL than in the PT intervention, respectively. Conclusions: The 2 different training programs improved physical performance outcomes during the in-season period. However, the combination of vertically and horizontally based training exercises (squat + hip thrust) at optimum power zone led to superior gains in COD and 30-m linear sprint performances.

Ribeiro, Lemos, and Moreira are with the Dept of Performance Optimization, GOD, Sporting Clube de Braga SAD, Braga, Portugal. Ribeiro is also with the Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, CIDESD, Vila Real, Portugal; and the University Inst of Maia, ISMAI, Maia, Portugal. L. Teixeira is with the Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal. A.S. Teixeira is with the Physical Effort Laboratory, Sports Center, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Silva is with the Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Faculty of Sports, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; and Shanghai SIPG Football Club, Shanghai, China. Nakamura is with the Associate Graduate Program in Physical Education UPE/UFPB, João Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil; the College of Healthcare Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia; and the Dept of Medicine and Aging Sciences, “G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.

Ribeiro (jamribeiro@icloud.com) is corresponding author.
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