Effects of Two Different Training Periodization Models on Physical and Physiological Aspects of Elite Female Team Handball Players

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Manchado, C, Cortell-Tormo, JM, and Tortosa-Martínez, J. Effects of two different training periodization models on physical and physiological aspects of elite female team handball players. J Strength Cond Res 32(1): 280–287, 2018—The aim of this study was to compare training-induced changes in selected physiological and physical team handball performance factors after 2 training periodization models: traditional periodization (TP) vs. block periodization (BP). Eleven female team handball players who played over 2 consecutive seasons for a Spanish first league team were assessed twice per season during a training cycle. On each occasion, participants completed anthropometric, maximal strength, and lower-body power assessments. In addition, incremental tests to determine maximum oxygen uptake (V[Combining Dot Above]O2max), sprint- and sport-specific throwing velocity tests were performed. Block periodization group experienced significantly greater improvements than TP on squat jump (5.97%; p < 0.001), countermovement jump (8.76%; p = 0.011), hand-grip strength (8.22%; p = 0.029), bench press 1 repetition maximum (1RM) (5.14%; p = 0.049), 10-m sprint (−6.19%; p < 0.001), and 20-m sprint (2.95%; p = 0.008). Greater changes in BP group (p ≤ 0.05) were also found for the throwing velocities in sport-specific tests compared with the TP group. No significant difference between the groups were detected for the half-squat 1RM (p = 0.15) and the V[Combining Dot Above]O2max (p = 0.44). These findings suggest that BP may be more effective than TP for improving important physiological and physical team handball performance factors in high level female handball players.

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