This study aimed to describe a gradient repeated sprint ability (RSA) test in comparison with a standard level one by investigating performance, metabolic demand and muscular jumping performance as a proxy for running mechanics. Eighteen athletes performed two level RSA tests (40mx6) - for reliability evaluation - and one +/- 5% gradient RSA test, second leg downhill (RSAgrad). Rating of perceived exertion (RPE), blood lactate concentration (BLa) concentration, vertical jump heights were assessed as well. Level test measures resulted highly reliable (Intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) 0.96). RSAgrad worsened only first sprints' performance (-2%) but not overall test performance (similar to 45s). RSAgrad resulted to be less deteriorating in terms of fatigue index (FI) (-36%), BLa (-23%), RPE (-11%), jumping performance (RSAgrad post-/pre-squat jump, countermovement jump heights (CMJh): -3%, -6%, respectively). RSAgrad could be used to diversify common training protocol without stressing excessively athletes' current metabolic-anaerobic capacity. Such physical conditioning procedures could improve acceleration/braking capability.
Migliaccio, G M
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