Four Weeks of Intensified Training Enhances On-Ice Intermittent Exercise Performance and Increases Maximal Oxygen Consumption of Youth National-Team Ice Hockey Players

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Abstract

Purpose: We investigated whether 4 weeks of intensified training consisting of speed endurance training (SET) enhanced highintensity exercise performance in youth national-Team ice hockey players. Methods: Utilizing a randomized crossover design, we subjected 17 players to 4 weeks of SET, comprising 6 to 10 × 20 seconds at maximal effort (95% maximum ice skating speed) with 120-second recovery performed 3 times weekly, or maintenance of regular training (control period). Before and after each period, players completed ice-hockey-specific tests on ice, including a Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Level 1 test, a 30-m sprint test, and an agility test. On a separate day, players were assessed for body composition with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and performed countermovement jump, maximal voluntary isometric knee extensor contraction, a 15-second maximal sprint test, and a submaximal and incremental test on a bike ergometer in which pulmonary oxygen consumption was determined. Results: Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Level 1 test performance increased (P .001) by 14% (95% CI, 201-496 m) during the SET period. Maximal pulmonary oxygen consumption (P .05) and time to exhaustion (P .05) were 4.8% and 6.5% higher, respectively, after the SET period than before. Fat-free mass increased (P .01) during the SET period by 1.7 kg (95% CI, 1.0-2.5), whereas fat mass remained unchanged. These effects were superior to the control period. Conclusions: These findings underpin the effectiveness of SET for improving on-ice high-intensity performance and highlight that elite ice hockey players can benefit from implementing SET.

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Jeppesen, J. S., Vigh-Larsen, J. F., Oxfeldt, M. S., Laustsen, N. M., Mohr, M., Bangsbo, J., & Hostrup, M. (2022). Four Weeks of Intensified Training Enhances On-Ice Intermittent Exercise Performance and Increases Maximal Oxygen Consumption of Youth National-Team Ice Hockey Players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 17(10), 1507–1515. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2021-0560

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