Effect of the recovery duration of a repeated sprint exercise on the power output, jumping performance and lactate concentration in pre-pubescent soccer players

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Study aim: The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of two different recovery durations (2 min versus 5 min) on the physiological responses (power output, stretch-shortening cycle and lactate concentration) to a 5×6 s repeated cycling sprint exercise protocol in pre-pubescent soccer players.

Materials and methods: Twelve male soccer players (age 12.23 ± 0.55 yrs, body mass 43.6 ± 5.5 kg and height 156.1 ± 5.8 cm) performed 5 × 6 s sprints on a cycle ergometer (Ergomedic 874E, Monark, Sweden) against 0.075 times their body mass resistance on two occasions within a week. In one session there was a 2 min recovery and in the other there was a 5 min recovery in a counterbalanced order. A squat jump (SJ) and a countermovement jump (CMJ) were tested before and after each trial, and the eccentric utilisation ratio (EUR) was calculated as CMJ/SJ.

Results: No significant trial × recovery interaction was observed in the participants’ peak power (p = 0.891, η2 = 0.118), mean power (p = 0.910, η2 = 0.106), SJ (p = 0.144, η2 = 0.630), CMJ (p = 0.616, η2 = 0.347) and EUR (p = 0.712, η2 = 0.295). However, a main effect of the trial on the CMJ of a large magnitude (p = 0.006, η2 = 0.862) was found, in which a higher score was recorded in the third trial than in the first trial (23.3 versus 21.8 cm). No differences were found in the lactate concentrations examined 5 min after the end of the protocol between the two recovery conditions (6.7 ± 1.8 vs. 6.0 ± 1.6 mmol · L–1, in the 2 and 5 min recovery, respectively, Cohen’s d = 0.4).

Conclusions: The duration of the passive recovery time (2 min vs. 5 min) in trials of repeated sprints did not induce important changes either to the indices of the jumping performance or to the power output in pre-pubescent participants.

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