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Title: Relationships Between Aerobic Performance, Hemoglobin Levels, and Training Load During Small-Sided Games: A Study in Professional Soccer Players
Authors: Younesi, Saeid 
Rabbani, Alireza 
Clemente, Filipe Manuel 
Silva, Rui 
Sarmento, Hugo 
Figueiredo, António José 
Keywords: football (soccer); athletic performance; aerobic capacity; drill-based games; SSGs; motor skills
Issue Date: 2021
Project: UIDB/50008/2020 
Serial title, monograph or event: Frontiers in Physiology
Volume: 12
Abstract: The purposes of this study were (1) to analyze between-session variations of external and internal load measures during small-sided games (SSGs) and (2) to test the relationships between the maximum speed reached (VIFT) during the last stage of the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test, hemoglobin levels, and training load measures during SSG intervals among professional soccer players. Sixteen professional soccer players (mean ± SD; age 27.2 ± 3.4 years, height 174.2 ± 3.6 cm, body mass 69.1 ± 6.4 kg, and body fat 10.4 ± 4.1%) participated in this study. Hemoglobin and aerobic performance were first tested, and then a 3-week SSG program was applied using a 3 vs. 3 format. During those 3 weeks, internal and external load of entire sessions were also monitored for all training sessions. Trivial-to-small, standardized differences were observed between sessions for external and internal measures during SSGs. Total distance (TD) and mechanical work (MW) were the only variables that indicated small changes. Large-to-very-large relationships were found between VIFT and external loads: TD (r range: 0.69; 0.87), high-intensity running (HIR; r range: 0.66; 0.75), and MW (r range: 0.56; 0.68). Moderate-to-large negative relationships were found between hemoglobin levels and internal loads: Edwards' TRIMP (r range: -0.36; -0.63), %HRmax (r range: -0.50; -0.61), and red zone (r range: -0.50; -0.61). VIFT had unclear relationships with overall internal loads, while hemoglobin levels presented unclear relationships with overall external loads. In conclusion, no meaningful changes were found between sessions considering the format of play used. Additionally, the detected relationships indicate that VIFT and hemoglobin levels are good indicators of the performance capacity and physiological profile of players during SSGs. Also, the use of SSGs protocols as a monitoring complement of the 30-15IFT is suggested.
ISSN: 1664-042X
DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2021.649870
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCDEF - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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