The neuromuscular, endocrine and mood responses to a single versus double training session day in soccer players

Objectives: This study profiled the 24h neuromuscular, endocrine and mood responses to a single versus a double training day in soccer players. Design: Repeated measures. Methods: Twelve semi-professional soccer players performed small-sided-games (SSG’s; 4 vs 4+goalkeepers; 6×7-min, 2-min inter-set recovery) with neuromuscular (peak-power output, PPO; jump height, JH), endocrine (salivary testosterone, cortisol), and mood measures collected before (pre) and after (0h, +24h). The following week, the same SSG protocol was performed with an additional lower body strength training session (back-squat, Romanian deadlift, barbell hip thrust; 4×4 repetitions, 4-min inter-set recovery; 85% 1 rep-max) added at 2h after the SSG’s. Results: Between-trial comparisons revealed possible to likely small impairments in PPO (2.5±2.2Wkg-1; 90% Confidence Limits: ±2.2Wkg-1), JH (-1.3; ±2.0cm) and mood (4.6; ±6.1AU) in response to the double versus single sessions at +24h. Likely to very likely small favourable responses occurred following the single session for testosterone (-15.2; ±6.1pgml-1), cortisol (0.072; ±0.034ugdl-1) and testosterone/cortisol ratio (-96.6; ±36.7AU) at +24h compared to the double session trial. Conclusions: These data highlight that performance of two training sessions within a day resulted in possible to very likely small impairments of neuromuscular performance, mood score and endocrine markers at +24h relative to a single training session day. A strategy of alternating high intensity explosive training days containing multiple sessions with days emphasising submaximal technical/tactical activities may be beneficial for those responsible for the design and delivery of soccer training programs.

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