Aerobic Conditioning for Soccer

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Aerobic Conditioning for Soccer

Evidence suggests that soccer players cover in excess of 10km during the course of a match and possess VO2max values between 55 and 65 ml.kg.min. It has also been demonstrated that a links exist between the distance players are able to cover during the course of a game and their aerobic power levels. Therefore it is imperative that footballers possess highly developed aerobic capacity and power.

In order for soccer players to improve their aerobic energy system it is necessary to develop both aerobic capacity (endurance) and aerobic power.

One of the most effective methods of significantly increasing a soccer players aerobic capacity (endurance) is to perform training intervals of between 2 and 5 minutes. These intervals are best performed at 80 to 90% of VO2max (also known as Maximum Aerobic Speed or MAS).

Short duration HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) can also be used to improve aerobic capacity. By alternating between shorter intense intervals of 10-30 seconds performed at 100-110% of MAS with 10- 30 second intervals at 60-70% MAS continuous Fartlek style intervals can be repeated over 3-6 minutes efforts.

Aerobic Power is best improved by incorporating short duration 10-40 second HIIT interval performed at 120 to 130% of MAS. Unlike aerobic capacity training the increased intensity of efforts require a 1:1 work:rest ratio.

Lee Clark
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