The trainability of adolescent soccer players to brief periodized complex training
Gracia Marco, L
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
© 2018 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Purpose: Τo investigate the effect of a complex, short-term strength/power training protocol on performance and body composition of elite early-adolescent soccer players. Methods: Twenty-two players (14-15 years) were randomly assigned to (a) an experimental (EG, n=12, participated in a 5-week training protocol with traditional multi-joint power resistance exercises, Olympic-style lifts, plyometric drills and speed work, four times/week) or (b) a control group (CG, n=10). Strength and power performance [jumping, speed, change of direction, repeated sprint ability, endurance, isokinetic strength of knee flexors and extensors, maximal strength in various lifts, speed-endurance) were evaluated pre- and post-training. Results: Cessation of training for five weeks in the CG induced a marked performance deterioration (~5-20%). Training not only prevented strength performance deterioration but also increased it (~2-30%). Endurance and RSA declined to a smaller extent in EG compared to CG (15% vs. 7.5%). Isometric strength, and body composition remained unaltered in both groups. Conclusions: Results demonstrate that (i) young players exhibit a high level of trainability of their strength/power performance (but not endurance) in response a short-term complex training protocol during early adolescence, (ii) Olympic-style lifts are characterized by increased safety in this age group and appear to be highly effective, (iii) it appears that lifts incorporating a hip thrust result in increased strength of both knee extensors and flexors, (iv) cessation of training for only five weeks results in marked deterioration of strength/power and endurance performance and (v) improvement of strength/power performance may be related to neural-based adaptation since body composition remained unaffected.
This study was supported by departmental funding.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Human Kinetics via the DOI in this record
Vol. 13 (5), pp. 645-655