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Adam Beard, John Ashby, Ryan Chambers, Franck Brocherie and Grégoire P. Millet

This may have good carryover to rugby union, which has a high number of repeated-sprint requirements. 2 Although RSA training is well accepted to improve this quality, 5 utilizing RSA in hypoxic conditions (the so-called “repeated-sprint training in hypoxia,” [RSH]) has shown superior results when

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Pedro L. Valenzuela, Guillermo Sánchez-Martínez, Elaia Torrontegi, Javier Vázquez-Carrión, Manuela González, Zigor Montalvo and Grégoire P. Millet

Repeated-sprint ability is a major determinant of performance in intermittent sports (eg, team and racket sports). 1 Repeated-sprint training (RS) has shown to be effective for performance enhancement in these sports, increasing maximal oxygen uptake and peak and mean speed during a repeated

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Jonathan M. Taylor, Tom W. Macpherson, Shaun J. McLaren, Iain Spears and Matthew Weston

Purpose:

To compare the effects of 2 repeated-sprint training programs on fitness in soccer.

Methods:

Fifteen semiprofessional soccer players (age: 24 ± 4 y; body mass: 77 ± 8 kg) completed 6 repeated-sprint training sessions over a 2-week period. Players were assigned to a straight-line (STR) (n = 8; 3–4 sets of 7 × 30 m) or change of direction (CoD) (n = 7; 3–4 sets of 7 × 20-m) repeated-sprint training group. Performance measures included 5-, 10-, and 20-m sprints, countermovement jump, Illinois agility, and Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1 (YYIRTL1) performance. Internal (heart rate) and external (global positioning system-derived measures) training loads were monitored throughout. Data were analyzed using magnitude-based inferences.

Results:

Internal and external loads were higher in the STR group than in the CoD group with large differences in maximum velocity (28.7%; ±90% confidence limits, 3.3%), moderate differences in mean heart rates (7.0%; ±1.4%) and PlayerLoad (17.6%; ±8.6%), and small differences in peak heart rates (3.0%; ±1.6%). Large improvements in 5-m (STR: 9.6%; ±7.0% and CoD: 9.4%; ±3.3%), 10-m (STR: 6.6%; ±4.6% and CoD: 6.7%; ±2.2%), and 20-m (STR: 3.6; ±4.0% and CoD: 4.0; ±1.7%) sprints were observed. Large and moderate improvements in YYIRTL1 performance were observed in the STR (24.0%; ±9.3%) and CoD (31.0%; ±7.5%), respectively. Between-groups differences in outcome measures were unclear.

Conclusions:

Two weeks of repeated-sprint training stimulates improvements in acceleration, speed, and high-intensity running performance in soccer players. Despite STR inducing higher internal and external training loads, training adaptations were unclear between training modes, indicating a need for further research.

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Laurent Trincat, Xavier Woorons and Grégoire P. Millet

Purpose:

Repeated-sprint training in hypoxia (RSH) has been shown as an efficient method for improving repeated-sprint ability (RSA) in team-sport players but has not been investigated in swimming. We assessed whether RSH with arterial desaturation induced by voluntary hypoventilation at low lung volume (VHL) could improve RSA to a greater extent than the same training performed under normal breathing (NB) conditions.

Methods:

Sixteen competitive swimmers completed 6 sessions of repeated sprints (2 sets of 16 × 15 m with 30 s send-off) either with VHL (RSH-VHL, n = 8) or with NB (RSN, n = 8). Before and after training, performance was evaluated through an RSA test (25-m all-out sprints with 35 s send-off) until exhaustion.

Results:

From before to after training, the number of sprints was significantly increased in RSH-VHL (7.1 ± 2.1 vs 9.6 ± 2.5; P < .01) but not in RSN (8.0 ± 3.1 vs 8.7 ± 3.7; P = .38). Maximal blood lactate concentration ([La]max) was higher after than before in RSH-VHL (11.5 ± 3.9 vs 7.9 ± 3.7 mmol/L; P = .04) but was unchanged in RSN (10.2 ± 2.0 vs 9.0 ± 3.5 mmol/L; P = .34). There was a strong correlation between the increases in the number of sprints and in [La]max in RSH-VHL only (R = .93, P < .01).

Conclusions:

RSH-VHL improved RSA in swimming, probably through enhanced anaerobic glycolysis. This innovative method allows inducing benefits normally associated with hypoxia during swim training in normoxia.

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Franck Brocherie, Grégoire P. Millet and Olivier Girard

Purpose:

To compare psychophysiological responses to 6 repeated-sprint sessions in normobaric hypoxia (RSH) and normoxia (RSN) in team-sport athletes during a 2-wk “live high–train low” training camp.

Methods:

While residing under normobaric hypoxia (≥14 h/d, FiO2 14.5–14.2%), 23 lowland elite field hockey players performed, in addition to their usual training, 6 sessions (4 × 5 × 5-s maximal sprints, 25-s passive recovery, 5 min rest) under either RSH (FiO2 ~14.5%) or RSN (FiO2 21%). Sprint 1 and 5 times, physiological strain (heart rate [HR], arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation [SpO2]), and perceptual responses (overall peripheral discomfort, difficulty breathing, and lower-limb discomfort) were monitored.

Results:

During the 1st session, HR increased across sets (P < .001) independently of the conditions, while SpO2 was globally lower (P < .001) for RSH (averaged value: 91.9% ± 1.2%) vs RSN (96.9% ± 0.6%). Thereafter, SpO2 and HR remained similar across sessions for each condition. While 1st-sprint time remained similar, last-sprint time and fatigue index significantly decreased across sets (P < .01) and sessions (P < .05) but not between conditions. Ratings of overall perceived discomfort, difficulty breathing, and lower-limb discomfort were higher (P < .05) in RSH vs RSN at the 1st session. During subsequent sessions, values for overall perceived discomfort (time [P < .001] and condition [P < .05] effects), difficulty breathing (time effect; P < .001), and lower-limb discomfort (condition [P < .001] and interaction [P < .05] effects) decreased to a larger extent in RSH vs RSN.

Conclusion:

Despite higher hypoxia-induced physiological and perceptual strain during the 1st session, perceptual responses improved thereafter in RSH so as not to differ from RSN. This indicates an effective acclimation and tolerance to this innovative training.

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David Montero and Carsten Lundby

Context:

Few recent studies indicate that short-term repeated-sprint (RS) training in hypoxia (RSH) improves RS performance compared with identical training under normoxic conditions (RSN) in endurance-trained subjects.

Purpose:

To determine the effects of RSH against RSN on RS performance under normoxic and moderate hypoxic conditions, using a randomized, doubleblind, crossover experimental design.

Methods:

Fifteen endurance-trained male subjects (age 25 ± 4 y) performed 4 wk of RS training (3 sessions/wk) in normobaric hypoxia (RSH, FiO2 = 13.8%) and normoxia (RSN, FiO2 = 20.9%) in a crossover manner. Before and after completion of training, RS tests were performed on a cycle ergometer with no prior exercise (RSNE), after an incremental exercise test (RSIE), and after a time-trial test (RSTT) in normoxia and hypoxia.

Results:

Peak power outputs at the incremental exercise test and time-trial performance were unaltered by RSH in normoxia and hypoxia. RS performance was generally enhanced by RSH, as well as RSN, but there were no additional effects of RSH over RSN on peak and mean sprint power output and the number of repeated sprints performed in the RSNE, RSIE, and RSTT trials under normoxic and hypoxic conditions.

Conclusions:

The present double-blind crossover study indicates that RSH does not improve RS performance compared with RSN in normoxic and hypoxic conditions in endurance-trained subjects. Therefore, caution should be exercised when proposing RSH as an advantageous method to improve exercise performance.

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Jonathan M. Taylor, Tom W. Macpherson, Iain R. Spears and Matthew Weston

The ability to repeatedly perform sprints has traditionally been viewed as a key performance measure in team sports, and the relationship between repeated-sprint ability (RSA) and performance has been explored extensively. However, when reviewing the repeated-sprint profile of team-sports match play it appears that the occurrence of repeated-sprint bouts is sparse, indicating that RSA is not as important to performance as commonly believed. Repeated sprints are, however, a potent and time-efficient training strategy, effective in developing acceleration, speed, explosive leg power, aerobic power, and high-intensity-running performance—all of which are crucial to team-sport performance. As such, we propose that repeated-sprint exercise in team sports should be viewed as an independent variable (eg, a means of developing fitness) as opposed to a dependent variable (eg, a means of assessing fitness/performance).

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Patrick P.J.M. Schoenmakers, Florentina J. Hettinga and Kate E. Reed

intensities of work intervals, HIIT can be divided into multiple training forms, for which many terms exist. In this invited commentary, we will use and discuss the terms repeated sprint training (RST), sprint interval training (SIT), and aerobic interval training (AIT) as the 3 main subcategories of HIIT

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James J. Hoffmann Jr, Jacob P. Reed, Keith Leiting, Chieh-Ying Chiang and Michael H. Stone

Due to the broad spectrum of physical characteristics necessary for success in field sports, numerous training modalities have been used develop physical preparedness. Sports like rugby, basketball, lacrosse, and others require athletes to be not only strong and powerful but also aerobically fit and able to recover from high-intensity intermittent exercise. This provides coaches and sport scientists with a complex range of variables to consider when developing training programs. This can often lead to confusion and the misuse of training modalities, particularly in the development of aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. This review outlines the benefits and general adaptations to 3 commonly used and effective conditioning methods: high-intensity interval training, repeated-sprint training, and small-sided games. The goals and outcomes of these training methods are discussed, and practical implementations strategies for coaches and sport scientists are provided.

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Massimo Venturelli, David Bishop and Lorenzo Pettene

Young soccer players are usually trained with adult-training methods, even though the physiological adaptations are likely to be very different compared with adults. In contrast, some have suggested training preadolescents only with coordination training. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether coordination or repeated-sprint training better improved speed over 20 m, with and without the ball. Sixteen soccer players (mean age 11 ± 0.5 y) were randomly assigned to a sprint-training group (STG = 7) or a coordination-training group (CTG = 9). The STG trained twice a week for 12 wk and performed 20 repetitions of 20- and 10-m sprints; the CTG performed coordination training (eg, speed ladder running) for the same training duration. Maximal jump height, anthropometric measures, and 20-m sprint time, with and without ball, were evaluated before and after the training period. Statistical significance was determined using two-way ANOVA with repeated measure and Pearson test for correlation. Both groups improved speed without the ball: STG = 3.75 ± 0.10 s to 3.66 ± 0.09 s (P < .05); CTG = 3.64 ± 0.13 s to 3.56 ± 0.13 s (P < .05), with no difference between groups. Sprint time with the ball pre- and posttraining was 4.06 ± 0.11 s and 4.05 ± 0.19 s (P > .05) for STG and 4.04 ± 0.12 s and 3.82 ± 0.15 s (P < .05) for CTG, with a significant difference between groups posttraining (P < .05). There were significant correlations between sprint time without ball, CMJ, and SJ. These data suggest that coordination training increases the speed with the ball more than typical repeated-sprint training. It can be hypothesized that running speed with ball improved more in CTG because this particular action requires improvements in coordination.