Generic vs. small-sided game training in futsal: Effects on aerobic capacity, anaerobic power and agility

Physiol Behav. 2019 May 15;204:347-354. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.03.017. Epub 2019 Mar 17.


The aim of this study was to compare a 6-week conditioning training program based on Small Sided and conditioning game (SSG) and based on traditional and generic fitness the aerobic capacity, anaerobic power and agility of young futsal players. It was also aim of this study to compare the variations on the internal load markers (heart rate and perceived exertion) between both training programs. Twenty youth players (age: 18.6 ± 0.5 years old) were randomly assigned to SSG (n = 12) and generic fitness training (GFT) group (n = 8). Each group performed workouts with equal duration and intensities. Participants completed a VO2max treadmill test, the Wingate test and an agility test pre and post training period. Training heart rate and Rate Perceived Exertion (RPE) were used as internal load markers during the training program. There was a significant difference in training load (RPE) between two groups in all types of training but not in the heart rate. Despite significant improvements (p < .05) from pre to post tests in all measured indicators except minimum power, there was no significant changes between groups for agility, anaerobic, and aerobic parameters (p > .05). SSG-based program provided a similar heart rate stimulus on players comparing to GFT program and both programs meaningfully improved the fitness parameters of the young futsal players. Moreover, SSG-based program also resulted in better technical performance, thus representing an effective alternative to generic fitness training for the development of aerobic capacity and anaerobic power in futsal.

Keywords: Aerobic power; Anaerobic power; Periodization; Pre-season.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Conditioning, Human / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Young Adult