Metabolic Profiles of the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test and the Corresponding Continuous Version in Team-Sport Athletes—Elucidating the Role of Inter-Effort Recovery

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To elucidate the role of inter-effort recovery in shuttle running by comparing the metabolic profiles of the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15IFT) and the corresponding continuous version (30-15IFT-CONT). Methods: Sixteen state-level handball players (age = 23 [3] y, height = 185 [7] cm, weight = 85 [14] kg) completed the 30-15IFT and 30-15IFT-CONT, and speed at the last completed stage (in kilometers per hour) and time to exhaustion (in seconds) were assessed. Furthermore, oxygen uptake (in milliliters per kilogram per minute) and blood lactate were obtained preexercise, during exercise, and until 15 minutes postexercise. Metabolic energy (in kilojoules), metabolic power (in Watts per kilogram), and relative (in percentage) energy contribution of the aerobic (WAER, WAERint), anaerobic lactic (WBLC, WBLCint), and anaerobic alactic (WPCr, WPCrint) systems were calculated by PCr-La-O2 method for 30-15IFT-CONT and 30-15IFT. Results: No difference in peak oxygen uptake was found between 30-15IFT and 30-15IFT-CONT (60.6 [6.6] vs 60.5 [5.1] mL·kg−1·min−1, P = .165, d = 0.20), whereas speed at the last completed stage was higher in 30-15IFT (18.3 [1.4] vs 16.1 [1.0] km·h−1, P < .001, d = 1.17). Metabolic energy was also higher in 30-15IFT (1224.2 [269.6] vs 772.8 [63.1] kJ, P < .001, d = 5.60), and metabolic profiles differed substantially for aerobic (30-15IFT = 67.2 [5.2] vs 30-15IFT-CONT = 85.2% [2.5%], P < .001, d = −4.01), anaerobic lactic (30-15IFT = 4.4 [1.4] vs 30-15IFT-CONT = 6.2% [1.8%], P < .001, d = −1.04), and anaerobic alactic (30-15IFT = 28.4 [4.7] vs 30-15IFT-CONT = 8.6% [2.1%], P < .001, d = 5.43) components. Conclusions: Both 30-15IFT and 30-15IFT-CONT are mainly fueled by aerobic energy, but their metabolic profiles differ substantially in both aerobic and anaerobic alactic energy contribution. Due to the presence of inter-effort recovery, intermittent shuttle runs rely to a higher extent on anaerobic alactic energy and a fast, aerobic replenishment of PCr during the short breaks between shuttles.

Kaufmann, Pfister, and Hoos are with the Center for Sports and Physical Education, Faculty of Human Sciences, Julius-Maximilians-University Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany. Beneke is with the Dept of Medicine, Training & Health, Inst of Sports Science, Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg, Germany. Latzel is with the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Deggendorf Inst of Technology, Deggendorf, Germany.

Kaufmann (sebastian.kaufmann@uni-wuerzburg.de) is corresponding author.
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