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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 March;60(3):329-37

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10109-9

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The relationship between training load and fitness indices over a pre-season in professional soccer players

Leonidas PAPADAKIS 1, Charis TYMVIOS 2, Konstantinos PATRAS 3

1 Omonoia Nicosia FC, Nicosia, Cyprus; 2 BHS Diagnostics, Nicosia, Cyprus; 3 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Center, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece



BACKGROUND: An association between training load and changes in aerobic fitness has been established but the effect of training load on changes in strength/power remains controversial.
METHODS: Internal (Banister’s TRIMP) and external (total distance, high-speed running and sprint distance) training load was collected from sixteen professional soccer players during and aerobic fitness and strength/power variables were measured before and after a 9-week pre-season.
RESULTS: Banister’s TRIMP had a moderate correlation with changes in maximal oxygen uptake (r=0.46, 90% CI: 0.04; 0.74). Total distance had a large and a moderate correlation with changes in velocity at 2M (r=0.60, 90% CI: 0.23; 0.82) and changes in velocity at 4M (r=0.42, 90% CI: -0.01; 0.72). High-speed running had moderate correlations with changes in maximal oxygen uptake (r=0.45, 90% CI: 0.03; 0.74), velocity at 2M (r=0.45, 90% CI: 0.03; 0.74) and velocity at 4M (r=0.39, 90% CI: -0.00; 0.70). Sprint distance had a large and a moderate correlation with changes in maximal oxygen uptake (r=0.58, 90% CI: 0.20; 0.81) and velocity at 4M (r=0.46, 90% CI: 0.00; 0.74 respectively). High versus low total distance was associated with lower changes in squat jump and countermovement jump (ES=-0.90, 90% CI: -1.57; -0.24 and ES=-1.06, 90% CI: -1.89; -0.24) respectively. High versus low high-speed running was associated with higher changes in maximal oxygen uptake (ES=0.36, 90% CI: 0.02; 0.70) but lower changes in squat jump (ES=-0.58, 90% CI: -1.32; 0.15).
CONCLUSIONS: External rather internal training load had more pronounced correlations with changes in aerobic fitness. Higher compared with lower volumes of total distance and high-speed running were associated with lower gains in strength/power indices. Establishing a “dose-response” association between external/internal training load and endurance as well as strength adaptations, may maximize endurance gains with the least possible interference on strength/power gains, thus better informing soccer training practice.


KEY WORDS: Soccer; Athletes; Athletic performance; Physical fitness

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