Do you need to do a general preparation phase after a month of no training?
Your weekly research review
- Background & Objective
- What They Did
- What They Found
- Practical Takeaways
- Reviewer’s Comments
- About the Reviewer
Pereira LA, Freitas TT, Pivetti B, Alcaraz PE, Jeffreys I, Loturco I. Short-Term Detraining Does Not Impair Strength, Speed, and Power Performance in Elite Young Soccer Players. Sports. 2020; 8(11):141.
Background & Objective
While much of the research within the area of sport preparation has focused on the organisation of training, less focus has been placed on what happens after a detraining period. A detraining period is when there is a complete cessation from exercise. In sports such as soccer, athletes typically have 3-4 weeks of pre-season which occurs after a detraining period (i.e. the off-season) that provides limited time to prepare for competition. Determining if a ‘general preparation phase’ is needed at the beginning of pre-season may help coaches and athletes make the most of their limited time.
As such, the aim of this study was to determine the effects of a 26-day detraining period on strength, speed, and jumping abilities.
What They Did
Twenty-four elite U20 soccer players (age = 18.7 ± 0.4 yr) performed a countermovement jump (CMJ), 10m sprint, and a 1RM horizontal leg press after their last tournament, and then again after the 26-day detraining period before the start of the pre-season, in addition to measuring body mass.
During the detraining period, players were instructed to perform only light physical activity (walking and jogging).
What They Found
Speed: Gear change, up to 90-95% intensity (with lower volume), then progress to moderate volume of maximal 20-30m sprints.
Agility: Intensive mirror games with short linear accelerations 5-10m (lower volume), progress to chaos style larger grid games.
Conditioning: Lower volume anaerobic glycolytic work progressed to higher volume/worst-case scenario.
Gym: Gradually increase the intensity of strength/ power work (e.g. 70-85% 1RM).
“It’s difficult to take a lot out of this study as there is lot of unrevealed factors. For example, how do these ‘season-end’ and ‘after detraining’ test numbers compare to the rest of the previous season? Further, it is not mentioned what type of training was performed leading into the detraining period.
Something to consider for practitioners though is an older study of mine which suggested that the training which is performed leading into a taper or detraining period (e.g. max strength emphasis or velocity emphasis) will influence which qualities improve as recovery for that specific training quality improves (see HERE).”
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