Off-season effects on functional performance, body composition and blood parameters in top-level professional soccer players


Purpose: To examine the effects of a standard off-season period (OSP) on aerobic, sprint and jumping performance, body and blood composition in a top-level soccer team.

Methods: Nineteen soccer players were measured. The OSP included to 2-week of no training (resting phase) and 4 week period of moderate-training load (phase in which each player performed the vacation exercise plan). Player's functional performance (15 and 30 m sprint times (s), vertical jump (m) and incremental field test Vam-Eval (km[middle dot]h-1)), percentage of body fat (%) and blood composition (haematological and biochemical data) were measured in mid-, end-season and after the OSP.

Results: The percentage of body fat was non-altered during the competitive season (10.8+/-3.6, 10.5+/-3.5 %) and increased significantly after the OSP (11.6+/-3.6 %, p<0.05). Similarly, the maximal aerobic speed (VVam-Eval) velocity (km[middle dot]h-1) decreased (p<0.05) from 17.4+/-1 and 17.3+/-1.2 during the competitive season to 16.6+/-0.9 after the OSP. The hematocrit and blood hemoglobin concentration increased (P<.05) during the OSP, showing a blood haemoconcentration adaptation. However, sprint time (s) and jump height (m) showed no significant changes after the OSP.

Conclusion: Soccer players maintained their functional performance during high-intensity activities such as jumping or sprinting after the OSP proposed. By contrast, there was a decrease in aerobic performance (VVam-Eval) accompanied by a blood haemoconcentration and an increase of body fat mass associated with a reduction of fat-free mass of the lower-limbs. Our data suggest that an end-season evaluation is needed to design holiday training programs focused on regaining aerobic capacity and body composition.

Copyright (C) 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association. 

Autor / Fonte:Bernardo Requena, Inmaculada García, Luis Suárez-Arrones, Eduardo Sáez de Villarreal, José Naranjo Orellana, Alfredo Santalla Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2016 July 18