Blood pressure, heart rate and perceived enjoyment after small-sided soccer games and repeated sprint in untrained healthy adolescents

Biol Sport. 2017 Sep;34(3):219-225. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2017.65997. Epub 2017 Feb 19.


The purpose of this study was to examine systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and perceived enjoyment responses to a repeated-sprint training session (RST) compared to a small-sided soccer game session (SSG) in untrained adolescents. Twelve healthy post-pubertal adolescent males (age 15.8±0.6 years, body mass 59.1±3.7 kg, height 1.7±0.1m) performed RST and SSG sessions in a randomized and counterbalanced order. Blood pressure and HR were measured at rest and at 10, 20 and 30 minutes after interventions, and RPE and enjoyment were assessed. RST and SSG elicited similar exercise HR (74.0% vs. 73.7% of HR peak during RST and SSG respectively, P>0.05). There was no significant change in SBP or DBP after the 2 interventions (all P>0.05, ES<0.5) with a trend to a decrease in SBP after SSG at 30 min after intervention (moderate effect, ES=0.6). Pearson's correlation analysis revealed a significant and large correlation between baseline BP values and magnitude of decline after both RST and SSG. Heart rate during recovery was higher compared with baseline at all times after both sessions (all P<0.05), with HR values significantly lower after SSG versus RST at 30 min after interventions (82.3±3.2 versus 92.4±3.2 beats/min, respectively, P=0.04). RPE was significantly lower (P=0.02, ES=1.1) after SSG than after RST, without significant differences in enjoyment. In conclusion, repeated sprint and small-sided games elicited similar exercise intensity without a significant difference in perceived enjoyment. Post-exercise hypotension after the two forms of training may depend on resting BP of subjects.

Keywords: Football; Health; Physical activity; Post-exercise hypotension.