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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2012 June;52(3):245-54

EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

    ORIGINAL ARTICLES

Sport-specific fitness testing differentiates professional from amateur soccer players where VO2max and VO2 kinetics do not

Wells C. M. 1, Edwards A. M. 2, Winter E. M. 1, Fysh M. L. 1, Drust B. 3

1 Sheffield Hallam University, Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield, UK;
2 James Cook University, Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, Cairns, Australia;
3 Liverpool John Moores University, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool, UK

AIM: The purpose of this study was to identify if sport-specific and cardiopulmonary exercise testing differentiated professional from amateur soccer players.
METHODS: Thirty six men comprising 18 professional (mean±s: age 23.2±2.4 years) and 18 amateur (mean±SD: age 21.1±1.6 years) soccer players participated and performed four tests on separate occasions: 1) a graded exercise test to determine VO2max; 2) four exercise transients from walking to 80%Δ for the determination of VO2 kinetics; 3) the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 2 (Yo-Yo IR2) and 4) a repeated sprint test (RST).
RESULTS: The players did not differ in VO2max (professional 56.5±2.9 mL.kg-1.min-1; amateur 55.7±3.5 mL.kg-1.min-1: P=0.484) or VO2 kinetic fundamental measures (τ1 onset, professional 24.5±3.2 s; amateur 24.0±1.8 s: τ1 cessation, professional 28.7±2.8 s; amateur 29.3±3.5 s: P=0.923). However, the amateurs were outperformed in the Yo-Yo IR2 (Professional 966±153 m; Amateur 840±156 m) (P=0.034) and RST (best time, professional 6.46±0.27 s; amateur 6.84±0.24 s, P=0.012).
CONCLUSION: Performance indices derived from field-based sport-specific performance tests identified significant differences between professional and amateur players (P<0.05). However, neither tests of VO2 kinetics nor VO2max differentiated between groups, suggesting laboratory tests of cardiorespiratory parameters are probably less consequential to soccer than sport-specific field-based observations.

language: English


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