academic journalism

Physiological Responses of General vs. Specific Aerobic Endurance Exercises in Soccer


avatar Hassane Zouhal 1 , * , avatar Emmeran LeMoal 1 , avatar Del P. Wong 2 , avatar Omar BenOunis 3 , avatar Carlo Castagna 4 , avatar Corentin Duluc 1 , avatar Adam L. Owen 5 , avatar Barry Drust 6

1 Movement, Sport and health Sciences Laboratory (M2S), Rennes 2 University - ENS Cachan, France

2 Human Performance Laboratory, Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

3 High Institute of Sport and Physical Education, Ksar-Sad, Manouba University, Tunisia

4 School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy

5 Rangers Football Club, Sports Science Department, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

6 Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, School of Human Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK

How to Cite: Zouhal H, LeMoal E, Wong D P, BenOunis O, Castagna C, et al. Physiological Responses of General vs. Specific Aerobic Endurance Exercises in Soccer. Asian J Sports Med.4(3):34285.
doi: 10.5812/asjsm.34285.


Asian Journal of Sports Medicine: 4 (3); 213-220
Published Online: May 5, 2013
Article Type: Research Article
Received: October 19, 2012
Accepted: April 18, 2013



The study aimed to compare the physiological and perceptual responses of two high intensity intermittent aerobic exercises (HIIE), i.e. the 15s/15s exercise and an exercise on the Hoff track (HTE).


In this within-subject repeated measures study, seven high-level soccer players (Age: 24.1 4.5yr; Height: 175 0.04cm; Body mass: 67.9 9.0kg;% Body fat: 14.2 2.4%) performed the two exercises with same total duration (25 minutes) in a randomized order: 1) a 15s/15s protocol at 120% of maximal aerobic speed (MAS), and 2) HTE. Heart rate (HR) and oxygen uptake (VO2) were measured continuously throughout both exercises. The rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was measured 15 min after the end of each exercise. Blood lactate concentration ([La]) was measured at rest before each exercise, between and at the end of each set.


The mean VO2 during HTE was significantly higher than 15s/15s exercise (39.32.3 vs. 36.81.9 mL/min/kg, P<0.05. The total O2 consumed was significantly higher (P<0.05) during HTE (66.87.6 L) than during the 15s/15s (62.38.6 L). Blood lactate [La] after the first set of HTE was significantly higher than the 15s/15s (12.52.0 vs. 10.62.0 mmol/L, P<0.05). However, RPE provided by players suggested that the 15s/15s was more intense than the HTE (131.8 vs. 11.71.4, P<0.05).


Our results demonstrate that VO2 and [La] were higher during HTE than during the 15s/15s when matched with duration. However, HTE was perceived less intense than 15s/15s. Thus, the use of HTE appears as an effective alternative for fitness coaches to develop aerobic endurance in soccer players.

Full Text

Full text is available in PDF

© 2013, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.