Int J Sports Med 2009; 30(4): 251-258
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1105943
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Game-based Training in Young Elite Handball Players

M. Buchheit 1 , 3 , P. B. Laursen 2 , J. Kuhnle 3 , D. Ruch 4 , C. Renaud 4 , S. Ahmaidi 1
  • 1Faculté des sciences du sport, Laboratoire de Recherche EA-3300: Adaptations Physiologiques à l'Exercice et Réadaptation à l'Effort, Amiens, France
  • 2School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia
  • 3Sport Development and Analysis, Myorobie Association, Montvalezan, France
  • 4Picardie Handball League, Elite Player Training Center, Pont Sainte Maxence, France
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision October 1, 2008

Publication Date:
06 February 2009 (online)


This study compared the effect of high-intensity interval training (HIT) versus specific game-based handball training (HBT) on handball performance parameters. Thirty-two highly-trained adolescents (15.5±0.9 y) were assigned to either HIT (n=17) or HBT (n=15) groups, that performed either HIT or HBT twice per week for 10 weeks. The HIT consisted of 12–24×15 s runs at 95% of the speed reached at the end of the 30–15 Intermittent Fitness Test (VIFT) interspersed with 15 s passive recovery, while the HBT consisted of small-sided handball games performed over a similar time period. Before and after training, performance was assessed with a counter movement jump (CMJ), 10 m sprint time (10 m), best (RSAbest) and mean (RSAmean) times on a repeated sprint ability (RSA) test, the VIFT and the intermittent endurance index (iEI). After training, RSAbest (−3.5±2.7%), RSAmean (−3.9±2.2%) and VIFT (+6.3±5.2%) were improved (P<0.05), but there was no difference between groups. In conclusion, both HIT and HBT were found to be effective training modes for adolescent handball players. However, HBT should be considered as the preferred training method due to its higher game-based specificity.



Dr. M. Buchheit

Faculté des sciences du sport

Laboratoire de Recherche

EA-3300: Adaptations

Physiologiques à l'Exercice et

Réadaptation à l'Effort

Allée P Grousset

80025 Amiens


Phone: +333/22/82 89 36

Fax: +330/90/24 34 44