J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2016 Nov 16;
BACKGROUND: This study examined the effects of a 7-week in-season aerobic and high-intensity interval-training program on performance tests linked to successful handball play (e.g., repeated sprint and jumping ability).
METHODS: Thirty participants (age 17.0 ± 1.2 years, body mass 81.1 ± 3.4 kg, height 1.82± 0.07 m) performed a Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1), a squat (SJ) and a countermovement jump test (CMJ), as well as a repeated sprint ability test (RSA). From this, maximal aerobic speed (MAS, reached at the end of the Yo-Yo IR1), jumping ability, best time in a single sprint trial (RSAbest), total time (RSATT) and the performance decrement (RSAdec) during all sprints were calculated. Later, subjects were randomly assigned to a control group (CG; n=15) performing their normal training schedule (5 weekly sessions of ~90 min of handball training) or an experimental group (EG; n=15). The EG performed two 30 min sessions per week of high-intensity aerobic exercises at 100-130% of MAS in addition to their normal training schedule.
RESULTS: Demonstrated a significant improvement in MAS (d=4.1), RSAbest (d=1.9), RSATT (d=1.5) and RSAdec (d=2.3) after the training period. Also, significant interaction effects (time x group) were found for all parameters as the EG significantly improved performances in all tests after training. The greatest interaction effects were observed in MAS (2=0.811) and CMJ (2=0.759). No relevant changes in test performances were found in the CG (mean d=-0.02).
CONCLUSION: These results indicate that individually speed controlled aerobic and interval training is effective for improving specific handball performance.