International Journal of Exercise Science 10(5): 713-720, 2017. Soccer is characterized by high aerobic demands interspersed with frequent bursts of anaerobic activity. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is considered a viable alternative to traditional endurance conditioning and offers the additional time-saving benefits of anaerobic training. We hypothesized that HIIT will compare favorably to traditional (aerobic-based) soccer conditioning over the course of a high school soccer season. Junior varsity soccer players were split into control (CON, n=16) and experimental (HIIT, n=16) groups for the 10-week study. The HIIT group performed 4-6 “all-out” sprints lasting 30s each, with 4.5 minute recovery, 3 times a week. The CON group performed endurance running for the same duration. The groups did not differ in any other aspect of their training. Participants completed the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1 (IR1), a 40-yard dash, vertical jump, Illinois agility test, and a sit-and-reach test, in two different testing sessions (pre/post season). Both HIIT and CON groups exhibited significant increase in IR1 test performance with time (741.6±307.6m vs. 1067.6±356.8m, p<.001 and 733.2±318.8m vs. 1165.2±252.8m, p<0.001 respectively), with no difference between groups. The CON group demonstrated a significant difference in the 40-yard dash over time (5.48±0.36s vs. 5.21±0.16s, p<0.004). While there was a difference in vertical jump between the pre and post tests for the HIIT group (42.20±7.04cm vs. 47.87±750cm respectively, p<0.019), no such effect was observed in the CON group. In contrast, there were differences in the agility test only for the CON group over time (16.67±0.76s vs. 16.15±0.49s, p<0.001). There were no differences in the flexibility test between groups. Our results indicate that HIIT offers similar endurance improvements to more traditional soccer training.
Howard, Neal and Stavrianeas, Stasinos
"In-Season High-Intensity Interval Training Improves Conditioning In High School Soccer Players,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 10
5, Pages 713 - 720.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol10/iss5/7