New research in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, examined short sprints intervals on athletic performance and hormonal levels. Researchers studied the effects of 4 weeks of sprint interval training on aerobic and anaerobic performance in preseason Iranian wrestlers.
Fifteen wrestlers were assessed for the study. All athletes followed a preseason training program that included drills, technique training, wrestling, and weight training. In addition to the preseason training program, the experimental group also performed a running based sprint interval protocol. Athletes ran 6 sprints at 100% effort, with a 10 second rest between each sprint. The athletes performed the sprint protocol for 2 sessions per week, for the duration of the study. Researchers tested the athletes before and after the intervention, examining VO2 max, blood tests, peak oxygen pulse, exhaustion tests, and tests to determine peak and mean power output.
Results indicated that the experimental group did display significant improvements in VO2 max, peak oxygen pulse, and improved in both aerobic and anaerobic performance. These athletes also displayed significant increases in their peak power output scores and mean power output scores after the sprinting protocol. Blood tests indicated that after the sprint training, testosterone levels significantly increased, while the measures of cortisol significantly decreased.
This new research enables coaches to find more viable training strategies and options for their athletes that can be implemented in a short period of training time. This research is also relevant because it reports that athletes who are involved in an intense training protocol, could add a short period of additional sprint training with out a noticeable change in stress hormone levels. Researchers suggest a protocol of only 4 weeks of sprint interval training in a preseason period, and only a period of 2 weeks of a sprint interval training during the season for the best results and competition peaking.