By Eliot Parascandolo

Determining the cardiovascular changes that appear with exercise is an important measure when guiding future persons especially those who fall into the athlete category. This information is also important to help athletes get to optimum endurance shape before participating in sport events. An area of extreme importance especially when considering the large revenue which accompanies professional sports. The ability to repeat sprints is an important aspect to the game of soccer (as well as many other sports). A well-trained young athlete has the ability to perform anywhere from 4 to 14 repeated sprints. In this study 45 national level youth soccer players with an average age of 16.8 participated with the goal of determining VO2 max, anerobic threshold (VT), incremental test speed, soccer specific endurance test and repeat sprint ability. These players were split into 2 categories classified into high or low aerobic fitness levels based on VO2 max levels. The groups categorized as high fitness level has a VO2 max above 60. Then repeat sprint ability was measured by finding the best, the mean, and the total sprint time. It was found that higher VO2 max implicates a faster phosphocreatine recovery between maximal efforts demonstrating the importance of this biomarker. Heart rate, and heart rate recovery was also measured it was shown that this is a key marker of repeat sprint ability. Furthermore, “high aerobic fitness presented greater (p ≤ 0.05) performance in LabTest, multi stage running test (MSRT) and soccer specific test (TST), at maximal effort, at anerobic threshold (VT), as well as faster HRR.”. The investigators also found that repeat sprint ability was actually similar between the high fitness and low fitness groups. However, high fitness and low fitness groups showed negative correlation vlab test. Also “LAF showed negative correlation between TST end speed (vTST) and RSAmean (r = −0.5, p = 0.005)”.  In “LAF, repeat sprint ability was strongly correlated with locomotor factors (e.g., vTST; VT) in both laboratory and field tests. Athletes with high total HRR (>12.5%) in TST presented better (p ≤ 0.05) Sdec in the RSA test.” 

Sports is a major form of entertainment producing huge revenues worldwide in multiple different sport categories. Training usually starts from an exceedingly young age and large sums of money get spent training athletes in hopes that one day they will be the top of their sport. Thus, determining methods to improve athlete’s ability and have clinical definitions of athlete improvement can not only mean better health for the athlete but more competitive sports and higher revenue. Growing up sports was always a big part of my life. While we had great coaches, we did not always have specific measurements to determine whether we were actually getting better at our sport. Sometimes it is difficult to see improvement in game settings. Thus, having numerical data for determining improvement is important. These can determine whether training, nutrition or rest changes need to take place in order to continue sport improvement. 

Rodríguez-Fernández, Alejandro, et al. “Relationship Between Repeated Sprint Ability, Aerobic Capacity, Intermittent Endurance, and Heart Rate Recovery in Youth Soccer Players.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 33.12 (2019): 3406-3413.


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