Reliability and validity of a soccer-specific test of prolonged repeated-sprint ability

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2007 Jun;2(2):137-49. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2.2.137.


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to assess the reliability and validity of a newly developed laboratory protocol to measure prolonged repeated-sprint ability (RSA) during soccer-specific exercise.

Methods: To assess reliability, 12 youth soccer players age 15.2 +/- 0.3 y performed 2 trials of a soccer-specific intermittent-exercise test (SSIET) separated by 3 months. The test was performed on a nonmotorized treadmill. A separate sample of 12 youth soccer players (15.2 +/- 0.3 y) completed the SSIET while simultaneously HR, VO2, and blood lactate (BLa) were monitored. The SSIET was designed to replicate the demands of competing in one half of a soccer match while sprint performance was monitored. The test included a 5-s sprint every 2 min.

Results: The mean coefficient of variation was 2.5% for the total distance covered during the SSIET and 3.8% for the total distance sprinted; measures of power output were less reliable (=5.9%). Participants covered 4851 +/- 251 m during the SSIET, working at an average intensity of 87.5% +/- 3.2% HRpeak and 70.2% +/- 3.1% VO2peak, with ~7mmol/L BLa accumulation. A significant reduction (P < .05) in sprint performance was observed over the course of the SSIET.

Conclusion: The SSIET provided a reliable method of assessing prolonged RSA in the laboratory. The distance covered and the physiological responses during the SSIET successfully recreated the demands of competing in a soccer match.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adolescent
  • Exercise Test*
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Lactic Acid