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Aerobic Conditioning in Football: Is Zone 2 Training Outdated?

6 May 2024



Aerobic Conditioning in Football: Is Zone 2 Training Outdated?

Buchheit M, Vescio F & Laursen PB. Aerobic Conditioning in Football: Is Zone 2 Training Outdated? Sport Perf & Science Reports, May 6, 224, v1.

Full text here

In modern football, training efficiency and effectiveness are more crucial than ever. Recent discussions, particularly from my October 2023 feature on the Football Fitness Federation podcast and ongoing dialogues with industry peers (e.g., Episode 99 of the Training Science Podcast with Raymond Verheijen), have led me to (re)question the relevance of traditional Zone 2 training. Is it still suitable in the context of football?

🏋️‍♂️ In this new opinion piece, we explore why High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) might be a better fit:

Integration with Football: Essential physical adaptations should be made on the pitch unless absolutely necessary (e.g., maximal strength development).

Player Phenotype Compatibility: Zone 2 often fails modern footballers, especially those with fast-twitch fibers, leading to overtraining and increased injury risks.

Efficient Molecular Signaling: HIIT triggers key aerobic development pathways just as effectively as Zone 2 but in less time.

Sport-Specific Efficiency: HIIT allows for the integration of football-specific actions, unlike the generic activities of Zone 2.

Recovery: While Zone 2 aids parasympathetic activity for recovery, players have access to diverse, more effective recovery methods.

One Comment
  1. Malcom

    Excelente articulo, encuentro mas claridad en los conceptos para aplicar en el campo de juego en los entrenamiento y en la preparacion fisica de los futbolistas.

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