Repeated-sprint performance in team sport players: associations with measures of aerobic fitness, metabolic control and locomotor function

Int J Sports Med. 2012 Mar;33(3):230-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1291364. Epub 2012 Jan 30.


To examine the respective associations between indices of aerobic fitness, metabolic control and locomotor function and repeated sprint-performance, 61 team sport players performed: a repeated-sprint sequence (RSS), an incremental test to exhaustion to determine maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) and peak incremental test speed (Inc. test speed), and 2-4 submaximal runs to determine the time constant of the primary phase of V˙O2 kinetics at exercise onset (V˙O2τon) and cessation (V˙O2τoff). The best (RSbest) sprint times and mean sprint times (RSmean) and the percent sprint decrement (%Dec) were calculated. RSmean was almost perfectly correlated with RSbest (r=0.92;90%CL(0.88;0.95)), largely correlated with Inc. test speed (r=-0.71;90%CL(- 0.79; - 0.59)) and moderately correlated with V˙O2max (r= - 0.58;90%CL(- 0.70; - 0.43)); the correlations with V˙O2τon or V˙O2τoff were unclear. For%Dec, the correlations with Inc. test speed, V˙O2max and V˙O2τon were moderate (r=- 0.41;90%CL(- 0.56; - 0.23)), small (r=- 0.26;90%CL(- 0.43; - 0.06)) and small (r=0.28;90%CL(0.09;0.46)), respectively. Stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that the only significant predictors of RSmean were RSbest and Inc. test speed (r 2=0.88). Inc. test speed and RSbest were also the only significant predictors of %Dec (r 2=0.26). Present results obtained in a large sample of team sport players highlight that locomotor factors (i. e., RSbest and Inc. test speed) show much larger associations with repeated-sprint performance than V˙O2max and V˙O2 kinetics.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anaerobic Threshold / physiology*
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Running / physiology*