Aim: Endurance capacity in soccer players is important. A soccer specific test for direct measurement of maximal oxygen uptake does, however, not exist. The aim of this study was to evaluate maximal oxygen uptake in a soccer specific field test, compared to treadmill running.
Methods: Ten male soccer players (age 21.9+/-3.0 years, body mass 73.3+/-9.5 kg, height 179.9+/-4.7 cm) participated in the study, and 5 endurance trained men (age 24.9+/-1.8 years, body mass 81.5+/-3.7 kg, height 185.6+/-3.1 cm) took part in a comparison of the portable and the stationary metabolic test systems. The soccer players accomplished a treadmill test and a soccer specific field test containing dribbling, repetitive jumping, accelerations, decelerations, turning and backwards running.
Results: Maximal oxygen uptake was similar in field (5.0+/-0.5 L x min(-1)) and laboratory (5.1+/-0.7 L x min(-1)) tests, as were maximal heart rate, maximal breathing frequency, respiratory exchange ratio and oxygen pulse. Maximal ventilation was 5.4% higher at maximal oxygen uptake during treadmill running.
Conclusion: These findings show that testing of maximal oxygen uptake during soccer specific testing gives similar results as during treadmill running, and therefore serves as a valid test of maximal oxygen uptake in soccer players.