Altitude Training and Team Sports


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Yin and yang, or peas in a pod? Individual-sport versus team-sport athletes and altitude training

Robert J Aughey, Martin Buchheit, Laura A Garvican-Lewis, Gregory D Roach, Charli  Sargent, François Billaut, Matthew C Varley, Pitre C Bourdon, Christopher J Gore

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The question of whether altitude training can enhance subsequent sea-level performance has been well investigated over many decades. However, research on this topic has focused on athletes from individual or endurance sports, with scant number of studies on team-sport athletes. Questions that need to be answered include whether this type of training may enhance team-sport athlete performance, when success in team-sport is often more based on technical and tactical ability rather than physical capacity per se.

This review will contrast and compare athletes from two sports representative of endurance (cycling) and team-sports (soccer). Specifically, we draw on the respective competition schedules, physiological capacities, activity profiles and energetics of each sport to compare the similarities between athletes from these sports and discuss the relative merits of altitude training for these athletes. The application of conventional live-high, train-high; live-high, train-low; and intermittent hypoxic training for team-sport athletes in the context of the above will be presented. When the above points are considered, we will conclude that dependent on resources and training objectives, altitude training can be seen as an attractive proposition to enhance the physical performance of team-sport athletes without the need for an obvious increase in training load.

Locomotor Performance in Highly-trained Young Soccer Players – Does Body Size Always Matter?

We all know that body dimensions affect athletic performance, especially in young players differing in maturation. However, how important is this effect is still unclear, and the available methods to account for differences in body dimensions have not been compared. In this study we compared the Aspire Qatari U15 players with the best french U15 players, and examined how their different body size affected their locomotor performance. The first interesting findings was to see how shorter (-7cm) and lighter (-10 kg) the Qatari are !! As you will also understand if you read all results in details, allometric scaling helps to account for these differences, but not always – body dimensions don’t explain everything ! Feedback appreciated, as always.

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