Biology of Sport
eISSN: 2083-1862
ISSN: 0860-021X
Biology of Sport
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3/2022
vol. 39
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Relationship between aerobic fitness and metabolic power metrics in elite male soccer players

Vincenzo Manzi
1
,
Giuseppe Annino
2
,
Cristian Savoia
3
,
Giuseppe Caminiti
4
,
Elvira Padua
5
,
Matteo Masucci
6
,
Rosario D’Onofrio
7
,
Ferdinando Iellamo
5, 8

1.
Dipartimento di Scienze Umanistiche, Università Telematica Pegaso, Naples 80132, Italy
2.
Dipartimento di Medicina dei Sistemi, Università Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy
3.
Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, The Tom Reilly Building, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
4.
Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico San Raffaele Pisana, Roma, Italy
5.
Department of Human Science and Promotion of Quality of Life, San Raffaele Open University of Rome, 00166 Rome, Italy
6.
University of Waterloo, Faculty of Kinesiology, Iowa, USA
7.
Scientific Society of Sport Rehabilitation and Posturology, Lazio, Italy
8.
Scuola di Specializzazione in Medicina dello Sport e dell’Esercizio Fisico, Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Medicina Traslazionale, Università Tor Vergata, Roma
Biol Sport. 2022;39(3):599–606.
Online publish date: 2021/07/28
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The aim was to assess the relationship between aerobic fitness and metabolic power metrics in elite male soccer players, and the possible differences that playing positions might impose during match play over new metabolic power metrics. Sixty-two elite professional male soccer players (13 central backs, 13 side backs, 22 midfielders, and 14 forwards) took part in the study. Players were monitored during eleven months of full training (including pre-season and in-season) and over all official matches (Serie A matches, Italy Cup matches). Aerobic fitness tests were conducted one week after the start of the preseason, and 8, 24 and 36 weeks after the beginning of the Championship. Players’ aerobic fitness and metabolic power metrics were considered as the mean of all seasonal testing and of pooling data of 38 championship matches and 3 or 6 Italy Cup matches for all the calculations respectively. The velocity at 4 mmol·L-1 (VL4) was significantly related to metabolic power metrics match variables with correlation ranging from trivial to very large (r = 0.32 to r = 0.89). Receiver-operating-characteristic (ROC) analysis showed that speed at VL4 was sensitive in detecting high metabolic power distance (HMPD) changes in all but central back players as revealed by area under the curve (central back .78, 95%CI .47 to .95; full back .93, 95%CI .64 to 0.99; midfielder .88, 95%CI .67 to 0.98; forward .90, 95%CI .62 to 0.99). This study’s findings provide further evidence for the ecological validity of aerobic fitness in elite male soccer players. Players having a HMPD cut-off equal to or higher than > 1450 m for central backs, > 1990 m for full backs, > 2170 m for midfielders and > 1670 m for forwards may be considered as possessing superior aerobic fitness status. In light of this study’s findings, the VL4 test may be considered a valid test to evaluate meaningful information for direct generic aerobic training in soccer players.
keywords:

Anaerobic threshold, Video match analysis, Kinematic parameters, Metabolic power, Training methodology

 
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