Repeated-sprint sequences during youth soccer matches


Poster BUCHHEIT – RSS youth soccer (Science&Football congress)

Int J Sports Med. 2010 Oct;31(10):709-16. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1261897. Epub 2010 Jul 8.

Repeated-sprint sequences during youth soccer matches.


Physiology Unit, Sport Science Department ASPIRE, Academy for Sports Excellence, Doha, Qatar.


This study examined the occurrence and nature of repeated-sprint sequences (RSS) in highly-trained young soccer players, as a function of age, playing position and playing time. Time-motion analyses using a global positioning system (GPS) were performed on 99 highly-trained young soccer (U13, U14, U15, U16, U17 and U18) players during 42 international games. Sprint activities were defined as at least a 1-s run at intensities higher than 61% of the individual peak running velocity; RSS, as a minimum of 2 consecutive sprints interspersed with a maximum of 60  s. During the first half of games the younger teams had a greater number of RSS than the older teams (P<0.001): U13>U14>U16>U15>U18>U17. The younger players also performed more (e. g., U14 vs. U17: 2.8±0.3 vs. 2.6±0.3, P<0.05) and longer (e. g., U14 vs. U17: 2.8±0.5 vs. 2.6±0.5 s, P<0.05) sprints per sequence than the older players. RSS occurrence was also affected by playing position and decreased throughout the game in most age-groups (P<0.001). Both the occurrence and the nature of RSS are affected by age, position and playing time. Present results also question the importance of repeated-sprint ability as a crucial physical component of soccer performance in developing players.

Muscle deoxygenation during repeated sprint running


Poster BUCHHEIT – RSA mO2 – IJSM 2009


Int J Sports Med. 2009 Jun;30(6):418-25. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1105933. Epub 2009 May 12.

Muscle deoxygenation during repeated sprint running: Effect of active vs. passive recovery.


Faculté des sciences du sport, Laboratoire de Recherche: Adaptations Physiologiques à L’Exercice et Réadaptation à I’Effort, Amiens, France.


The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of active (AR) versus passive recovery (PR) on muscle deoxygenation during short repeated maximal running. Ten male team sport athletes (26.9+/-3.7y) performed 6 repeated maximal 4-s sprints interspersed with 21 s of either AR (2 m.s (-1)) or PR (standing) on a non-motorized treadmill. Mean running speed (AvSp (mean)), percentage speed decrement (Sp%Dec), oxygen uptake (V O (2)), deoxyhemoglobin (HHb) and blood lactate ([La] (b)) were computed for each recovery condition. Compared to PR, AvSp (mean) was lower (3.79+/-0.28 vs. 4.09+/-0.32m.s (-1); P<0.001) and Sp%Dec higher (7.2+/-3.7 vs. 3.2+/-0.1.3%; P<0.001) for AR. Mean V O (2) (3.64+/-0.44 vs. 2.91+/-0.47L.min (-1), P<0.001), HHb (94.4+/-16.8 vs. 83.4+/-4.8% of HHb during the first sprint, P=0.02) and [La] (b) (13.5+/-2.5 vs. 12.7+/-2.2 mmol.l (-1), P=0.03) were significantly higher during AR compared to PR. In conclusion, during run-based repeated sprinting, AR was associated with reduced repeated sprint ability and higher muscle deoxygenation.

Int J Sports Med. 2012 Mar;33(3):230-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1291364. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

Repeated-sprint performance in team sport players: associations with measures of aerobic fitness, metabolic control and locomotor function.


Physiology Unit, Sport Science Department, Aspire, Academy for Sports Excellence, Doha, Qatar.


To examine the respective associations between indices of aerobic fitness, metabolic control and locomotor function and repeated sprint-performance, 61 team sport players performed: a repeated-sprint sequence (RSS), an incremental test to exhaustion to determine maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) and peak incremental test speed (Inc. test speed), and 2-4 submaximal runs to determine the time constant of the primary phase of V˙O2 kinetics at exercise onset (V˙O2τon) and cessation (V˙O2τoff). The best (RSbest) sprint times and mean sprint times (RSmean) and the percent sprint decrement (%Dec) were calculated. RSmean was almost perfectly correlated with RSbest (r=0.92;90%CL(0.88;0.95)), largely correlated with Inc. test speed (r=-0.71;90%CL(- 0.79; - 0.59)) and moderately correlated with V˙O2max (r= - 0.58;90%CL(- 0.70; - 0.43)); the correlations with V˙O2τon or V˙O2τoff were unclear. For%Dec, the correlations with Inc. test speed, V˙O2max and V˙O2τon were moderate (r=- 0.41;90%CL(- 0.56; - 0.23)), small (r=- 0.26;90%CL(- 0.43; - 0.06)) and small (r=0.28;90%CL(0.09;0.46)), respectively. Stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that the only significant predictors of RSmean were RSbest and Inc. test speed (r 2=0.88). Inc. test speed and RSbest were also the only significant predictors of %Dec (r 2=0.26). Present results obtained in a large sample of team sport players highlight that locomotor factors (i. e., RSbest and Inc. test speed) show much larger associations with repeated-sprint performance than V˙O2max and V˙O2 kinetics.

Game-based training in young elite handball players

M. Buchheit - specific HB training

pdf: M. Buchheit – specific HB training (ECSS 2008)


pdf: Poster BUCHHEIT – Spe HBT – Coaching & Sport Science journal 2008

Game-based training in young elite handball players.


Faculté des sciences du sport, Laboratoire de Recherche EA-3300: Adaptations Physiologiques à l’Exercice et Réadaptation à l’Effort, Amiens, France.


This study compared the effect of high-intensity interval training (HIT) versus specific game-based handball training (HBT) on handball performance parameters. Thirty-two highly-trained adolescents (15.5+/-0.9 y) were assigned to either HIT (n=17) or HBT (n=15) groups, that performed either HIT or HBT twice per week for 10 weeks. The HIT consisted of 12-24 x 15 s runs at 95% of the speed reached at the end of the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (V(IFT)) interspersed with 15 s passive recovery, while the HBT consisted of small-sided handball games performed over a similar time period. Before and after training, performance was assessed with a counter movement jump (CMJ), 10 m sprint time (10 m), best (RSAbest) and mean (RSAmean) times on a repeated sprint ability (RSA) test, the V(IFT) and the intermittent endurance index (iEI). After training, RSAbest (-3.5+/-2.7%), RSAmean (-3.9+/-2.2%) and V(IFT) (+6.3+/-5.2%) were improved (P<0.05), but there was no difference between groups. In conclusion, both HIT and HBT were found to be effective training modes for adolescent handball players. However, HBT should be considered as the preferred training method due to its higher game-based specificity.