Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2024) 23, 475 - 486   DOI:

Research article
Optimizing Short Sprint Interval Training for Young Soccer Players: Unveiling Optimal Rest Distributions to Maximize Physiological Adaptations
Xiaojian Li1, , Kun Xue2
Author Information
1 School of Physical Education, Shandong Women's University, Jinan, Shandong, China
2 Department of Social Sciences, Shandong Medical College, Jinan, Shandong, China

Xiaojian Li
✉Physical Education Department, Shandong Women's University, Jinan, Shandong, 25300, China
Publish Date
Received: 11-03-2024
Accepted: 23-05-2024
Published (online): 01-06-2024

Present study aimed to compare the effects of SSIT intervention with varying rest distributions on hormonal, physiological, and performance adaptations in soccer players. Thirty-six players were randomly divided into three SSIT groups, each performing 4 sets of 6-10 repetitions of 6-second all-out running with rest intervals at ratios of 1:3, 1:6, and 1:9. Prior to and following the 7-week training period, aerobic fitness indices and anaerobic power were evaluated using a graded exercise test with a gas collection system and a lower-body Wingate test, respectively. Also, sport-specific bio-motor abilities were determined by measuring vertical jump, 20-m sprint, and T-test change of direction speed, Yo-Yo IR1 and maximal kicking distance. Hormonal status was also monitored by evaluating testosterone and cortisol levels. Following the 7-week training period, all SSIT interventions resulted in significant enhancements (p < 0.05) in soccer-related performance, physiological parameters, and hormonal adaptations, exhibiting effect sizes that ranged from small to large. Comparative analysis indicated that the 1:9 SSIT results in greater adaptive responses (p < 0.05) in the vertical jump, peak power, testosterone, and cortisol compared to the 1:3 SSIT group. By contrast, the 1:3 SSIT group induced more adaptive responses (p < 0.05) in the mean power output, maximum oxygen consumption (V̇O2max), and Yo-Yo IR1 compared to the 1:9 SSIT group. Hence, for enhancing physical performance, especially vertical jump height, anaerobic peak power, and hormonal adaptations, the 1:9 SSIT ratio is preferable. Conversely, shorter rest intervals (specifically, the 1:3 SSIT ratio) are better suited for eliciting heightened adaptive responses in mean power output, V̇O2max, and Yo-Yo IR1 over the 7-week training period among young male soccer players.

Key words: Sprint interval training, power, metabolic conditioning, aerobic capacity

           Key Points
  • By incorporating a 7-week SSIT into the usual soccer training routine, male soccer athletes experience enhanced physical and sport-related performance, as well as physiological and hormonal adaptations.
  • The 1:9 SSIT approach results in greater adaptive changes in VJ, peak power output, and hormonal adaptations.
  • The 1:3 SSIT method demonstrates a notable advantage over other methods when optimizing adaptations in aerobic capacity.
  • No significant differences were observed among the different exercise-to-rest ratios of S.
  • SIT groups in MKDT, 20-m linear sprint, and T-CODS.
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