Performance and Metabolic Demand of a New Repeated-Sprint Ability Test in Basketball Players: Does the Number of Changes of Direction Matter?

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Zagatto, AM, Ardigò, LP, Barbieri, FA, Milioni, F, Dello Iacono, A, Camargo, BHF, and Padulo, J. Performance and metabolic demand of a new repeated-sprint ability test in basketball players: does the number of changes of direction matter? J Strength Cond Res 31(9): 2438–2446, 2017—This study compared 2 repeated-sprint ability (RSA) tests in basketball players. Both tests included 10 × 30-m sprints, with the difference that the previously validated test (RSA2COD) featured 2 changes of direction (COD) per sprint, whereas the experimental test (RSA5COD) featured 5 CODs per sprint. Test performances and metabolic demands were specifically assessed in 20 basketball players. First, RSA5COD test-retest reliability was investigated. Then, RSA2COD, RSA5COD sprint times, peak speeds, oxygen uptake (V[Combining Dot Above]O2) and posttest blood lactate concentration [La−] were measured. The RSA5COD results showed to be reliable. RSA2COD performance resulted better than the RSA5COD version (p < 0.01), with shorter sprint times and higher peak speeds. Over sprints, the tests did not differ from each other in terms of V[Combining Dot Above]O2 (p > 0.05). Over whole bout, the RSA2COD was more demanding than the RSA5COD, considering overall metabolic power requirement (i.e., VO2-driven + [La−]-driven components). Given that RSA5COD (a) mimics real game-play as sprint distance and action change frequency/direction and (b) has the same metabolic expenditure per task completion as metabolic cost, RSA5COD is a valuable option for players and coaches for training basketball-specific agility and assessing bioenergetic demands.

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