Short- or long-rest intervals during repeated-sprint training in soccer?

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  • F Marcello Iaia
  • Fiorenza, Matteo
  • Luca Larghi
  • Giampietro Alberti
  • Grégoire P Millet
  • Olivier Girard

The present study compared the effects of two repeated-sprint training (RST) programs, differing in duration of the between-sprint rest intervals, on various soccer-related exercise performances. For 5 weeks during the competitive season, twenty-nine young trained male soccer players either replaced two of their habitual fitness conditioning sessions with RST characterized by short (5-15; n = 9) or long (5-30; n = 10) rest intervals, or served as control (n = 10). The 5-15 and 5-30 protocols consisted of 6 repetitions of 30-m (∼5 s) straight-line sprints interspersed with 15 s or 30 s of passive recovery, respectively. 5-15 improved 200-m sprint time (2.0±1.5%; p<0.05) and had a likely positive impact on 20-m sprint performance, whereas 5-30 lowered the 20-m sprint time (2.7±1.6%; p<0.05) but was only possibly effective for enhancing the 200-m sprint performance. The distance covered during the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 2 increased following 5-15 (11.4±5.0%; p<0.05), which was possibly better than the non-significant 6.5% enhancement observed in 5-30. Improvements in the total time of a repeated-sprint ability test were possibly greater following 5-30 (3.6±0.9%; p<0.05) compared to 5-15 (2.6±1.1%; p<0.05). Both RST interventions led to similar beneficial (p<0.05) reductions in the percentage decrement score (∼30%) of the repeated-sprint ability test as well as in blood lactate concentration during submaximal exercise (17±18%). No changes occurred in the control group. In soccer players, RST over a 5-week in-season period is an efficient means to simultaneously develop different components of fitness relevant to match performance, with different benefits induced by shorter compared to longer rest intervals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0171462
JournalP L o S One
Issue number2
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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