The Effects of Low-Volume, High-Intensity Training on Performance Parameters in Competitive Youth Swimmers

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To assess the effects of a 7-wk low-volume, high-intensity training (HIT) intervention on performance parameters in national-level youth swimmers. Methods: Sixteen swimmers (age 15.8 [1.0] y, age at peak height velocity 12.9 [0.6] y, 100-m freestyle 61.4 [4.1] s) were randomly assigned to an HIT group or a low-intensity, high-volume training (HVT) group that acted as a control. The HIT group reduced their weekly training volume of zone 1 (low-intensity) training by 50% but increased zone 3 (high-intensity) training by 200%. The HVT group performed training as normal. Pretest to posttest measures of physiological performance (velocity at 2.5- and 4-mM blood lactate [velocity2.5mM and velocity4mM] and peak blood lactate), biomechanical performance (stroke rate, stroke length [SL], and stroke index [SI] over a 50- and 400-m freestyle), and swimming performance (50-, 200-, and 400-m freestyle) were assessed. Results: There were no significant 3-way interactions between time, group, and sex for all performance parameters (P > .05). There was a significant 2-way interaction between time and group for velocity4mM (P = .02, ηp2=.40), SL50 (P = .03, ηp2=.37), and SI50 (P = .03, ηp2=.39). Velocity4mM decreased in the HIT group but increased in the HVT group while SL50 and SI50 decreased in the HVT group. Conclusions: A 7-wk HIT intervention was neither beneficial nor detrimental to performance parameters; however, the HIT group completed 6 h (17.0 km) of swimming per week compared with 12 h (33.4 km) per week for the HVT group.

Nugent, Comyns, and Warrington are with the Dept of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. Nevill is with the Inst of Sport and Human Sciences, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.

Nugent (fnugent89@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

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