Variations Of Training Load, Monotony, And Strain And Dose-Response Relationships With Maximal Aerobic Speed, Maximal Oxygen Uptake, And Isokinetic Strength In Professional Soccer Players


Filipe Manuel Clemente, Cain Clark, Daniel Castillo, Hugo Sarmento, Pantelis Theodoros Nikolaidis, Thomas Rosemann, Beat Knechtle (2019).

PLoS ONE 14(12): e0225522.

doi. org/10.1371/journal.pone.0225522

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Quantifying training is a common practice conducted in professional sports teams, the aims of which are to determine the external and internal load imposed on players through training and to determine the acute and long-term implications of training. Training quantification is generally conducted by using questionnaires and diaries (to control wellness status), physiological measures, serving as internal markers (e.g., heart rate responses, oxygen consumption, lactate, rate of perceived exertion [RPE], critical power, etc.), or physical measures, used as external markers (e.g., distances covered at different speeds, accelerations/decelerations, instantaneous sum of accelerations or height, number and height of jumps, etc.)

This study aimed to identify variations in weekly training load, training monotony, and training strain across a 10-week period (during both, pre- and in-season phases); and to analyze the dose-response relationships between training markers and maximal aerobic speed (MAS), maximal oxygen uptake, and isokinetic strength. Twenty-seven professional soccer players (24.9±3.5 years old) were monitored across the 10-week period using global positioning system units. Players were also tested for maximal aerobic speed, maximal oxygen uptake, and isokinetic strength before and after 10 weeks of training. Large positive correlations were found between sum of training load and extension peak torque in the right lower limb and the ratio agonist/antagonist in the right lower limb.

Practical Application

  • Interestingly, the investigation observed how loading measures fluctuated across the period of the study.
  • The load was meaningfully associated with changes in the fitness status of players.
  • Suggested from the study that variations in fitness level cannot be exclusively explained by the accumulated load and loading profile used.

About the author

Dr. Filipe Clemente

Dr. Filipe Clemente studied at Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, School of Sport and Leisure (Portugal) and specialises in performance analysis, match analysis and training load monitoring.

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