Performance in sports – With specific emphasis on the effect of intensified training

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Abstract

Performance in most sports is determined by the athlete's technical, tactical, physiological and psychological/social characteristics. In the present article, the physical aspect will be evaluated with a focus on what limits performance, and how training can be conducted to improve performance. Specifically how intensified training, i.e., increasing the amount of aerobic high-intensity and speed endurance training, affects physiological adaptations and performance of trained subjects. Periods of speed endurance training do improve performance in events lasting 30 s–4 min, and when combined with aerobic high-intensity sessions, also performance during longer events. Athletes in team sports involving intense exercise actions and endurance aspects, such as soccer and basketball, can also benefit from intensified training. Speed endurance training does reduce energy expenditure and increase expression of muscle Na+, K+ pump α subunits, which may preserve muscle cell excitability and delay fatigue development during intense exercise. When various types of training are conducted in the same period (concurrent training), as done in a number of sports, one type of training may blunt the effect of other types of training. It is not, however, clear how various training modalities are affecting each other, and this issue should be addressed in future studies.

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