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Carlo Castagna, Mario Bizzini, Susana Cristina Araújo Póvoas, and Stefano D’Ottavio


To examine the effect of recall timing on training-session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) in a population of athletes well familiarized with the method and procedures during a 5-d training microcycle.


Fifty-one top-class field referees (FRs) (age 38.4 ± 3.3 y, height 181 ± 5.6 cm, body mass 76.8 ± 6.8 kg, body-mass index 23.4 ± 1.7 kg/m2, body fat 20.4% ± 3.6%, international refereeing experience 5 ± 3.5 y) from 43 national football associations worldwide, preselected by the FIFA refereeing department for officiating during the FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil, volunteered for this study. The FRs were randomly allocated into 3 assessment groups (n = 17 each), defined according to the timing of the sRPE, ie, immediately at the end of or 30 min or 7 h after the training sessions’ end. The CR10 Borg scale was used to rate the training sessions (n = 5). All FRs again rated each training session of the 5-d training microcycle on the next morning (~20 h after) for confirmation (absolute and relative reliability).


No significant timing effect was found between or within groups. Relative reliability ranged from large to very large with trivial within- and between-groups differences.


This study showed no effect of recall timing on postexercise RPE when well-familiarized athletes are submitted to training during a weekly microcycle. Posttraining RPE was reported to be a reliable subjective measure; however, specific timing is advisable to reduce difference in RPE values.

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Carlo Castagna, Stefano D’Ottavio, Stefano Cappelli, and Susana Cristina Araújo Póvoas

Purpose: To examine the internal and external load imposed by long sprint ability–oriented small-sided games (SSG) using different ratios of players to pitch area (densities) in soccer players. Methods: A total of 19 professional soccer players from the same soccer club (age = 17.1 [0.3] y, height = 1.76 [0.69] m, and body mass = 69.7 [9.4] kg) participated in this study. Players performed 4 × 30-s (150 s recovery) all-out 1-vs-1 SSG considering 300, 200, and 100 m2 per player (48 h apart). Players’ external loads were tracked with global positioning technology (20 Hz). Heart rate, blood lactate concentration (BLc), and rating of perceived exertion characterized players’ internal load. Peak BLc was assessed with a 30-s all-out test on a nonmotorized treadmill (NMT). Results: SSG300 produced higher BLc than SSG200 (moderate) and SSG100 (large). The SSG300, SSG200, and SSG100 BLc were 97.8% (34.8%), trivial; 74.7% (24.9%), moderate; and 43.4% (15.7%), large, of the NMT30s peak BLc, respectively. Players covered more distance at high intensity during the SSG300 than in other SSG conditions (huge to very large differences). High-intensity deceleration distance was largely lower in SSG200 than in SSG300. SSG100 elicited very large to huge and large to very large lower external load values than SSG300 and SSG200, respectively. Conclusions: The main finding of this study showed an inverse association between ball-drill density and internal/external loads in long sprint ability–oriented SSG. The SSG300 provided BLc closer to individual maximal, thus satisfying the all-out construct assumed for the development of long sprint ability. Further studies using the SSG300 as a training intervention and/or investigating other different SSG formats using the same density are warranted.

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Susana Cristina Araújo Póvoas, Peter Krustrup, Carlo Castagna, Pedro Miguel Ribeiro da Silva, Manuel J. Coelho-e-Silva, Rita Liliana Mendes Pereira, and Malte Nejst Larsen

Purpose: To examine the reliability of age-adapted submaximal Yo-Yo (Yo-Yosubmax) intermittent tests in untrained schoolchildren aged 9–16 years (n = 139; 72 boys and 67 girls) and within children with high and low percentage of body fat (%BF). Methods: Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 1 children’s (YYIR1C), Yo-Yo intermittent endurance level 1 (YYIE1), and Yo-Yo intermittent endurance level 2 (YYIE2) tests were performed 7 days apart by 9- to 11-, 12- to 13-, and 14- to 16-year-old children, respectively. Reliability was tested for Yo-Yosubmax heart rate (HRsubmax), peak HR, and maximal distance. Results: HRsubmax typical errors of measurement (TEM) in YYIR1C, YYIE1, and YYIE2 were 2.2% (1.7%–2.9%), 2.4% (1.9%–3.3%), 1.9% (1.6%–2.5%) and 2.4% (1.9%–3.3%), 2.4% (1.9%–3.2%), 1.9% (1.5%–2.4%) for girls and boys, respectively. HRsubmax intraclass correlation coefficient values were good to excellent (.62–.87) in all age groups and in schoolchildren of different %BF. TEM for HRsubmax ranged from 2.1% to 2.3% in high and low %BF groups. Maximal distance intraclass correlation coefficients were excellent and TEM values ranged from 11% to 12% in both %BF groups. HRsubmax was moderately to largely associated (r = −.46 to −.64; P < .002) with Yo-Yo maximal distance across the age groups. Conclusion: Yo-Yosubmax tests are a reliable tool providing useful and sustainable aerobic performance testing in physical education, irrespective of individual %BF.