chapter  22
Pre-Season Anaerobic Performance of Elite Japanese Soccer Players
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It is widely documented that soccer is an high intensity intermittent activity that requires a combination of aerobic capacity with anaerobic factors. Running is consequently the predominant activity, yet explosive type efforts such as sprints, jumps, duels and kicking are important factors for successful soccer performance. These efforts depend on maximal strength and anaerobic power of the neuromuscular system, more particulary of the lower limbs. The evaluation of muscle strength of the lower extremities in soccer has been performed using isokinetic peak torque (Öberg et al., 1986 and Zakas et al., 1995) or free weights (Wisloff et al., 1998). Sprint performance (Brewer and Davis, 1991, Dunbar and Power, 1995 and Odetoyinbo and Ramsbottom, 1995), vertical jumps (Gauffin et al., 1989; Bosco, 1990 and Wisloff et al., 1998) have also been used to test the anaerobic power of soccer players. The purpose of such monitoring was to construct individual fitness profiles to indicate strengths and weaknesses for subsequent training prescription. Testing is also conducted to evaluate training adaptations and the efficacy of training programmes utilised. This study aimed to establish normative data for elite Japanese soccer players with an emphasis on their anaerobic factors and secondly to make a comparison with other corresponding level data.