Effect of Block Periodization on Physical Fitness During a Competitive Soccer Season

Mallo, J.

This study investigated the impact of block periodization on physical fitness within a professional soccer team. Twenty-two male players with an average age of 21.9 ± 2.3 years were monitored throughout the 2007-2008 season. The season was divided into five training stages, further segmented into three consecutive blocks (Accumulation, Transmutation, and Realization), each focusing on specific physical capacities. Training volume was assessed by comparing the time dedicated to developing physical capacities relevant to soccer match performance within each block. Training intensity was evaluated by recording heart rate during all training sessions and comparing it within blocks. Physical characteristics and fitness measures were evaluated at every training stage. Results showed that high-intensity aerobic training predominated (P<0.001) during the Accumulation phase compared to Transmutation and Realization blocks. Moreover, time spent on speed endurance training was higher (P<0.01) during Transmutation than in Accumulation and Realization, while time devoted to speed development was greater (P<0.05) in Realization compared to Accumulation and Transmutation. Vertical jumping height and 10-m sprinting time improved (P<0.01) in the final training stage compared to initial values. Players covered 26-30% more distance (P<0.001) in the yo-yo intermittent recovery level-1 test at the end of the competitive period than at the beginning. These findings suggest that block periodization could serve as an alternative training approach for soccer, offering potential benefits for physical fitness development.

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