Int J Sports Med 2011; 32(9): 677-682
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1275742
Training & Testing

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Strength and Endurance in Elite Football Players

J. Helgerud1 , 2 , 3 , G. Rodas4 , O. J. Kemi5 , J. Hoff1 , 6
  • 1Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Trondheim, Norway
  • 2Hokksund Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Norway
  • 3Telemark University College, Department of Sports and Outdoor Life Studies, Bø, Norway
  • 4Medical Services F.C. Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • 5Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 6St. Olav University Hospital, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Trondheim, Norway
Weitere Informationen


accepted after revision March 18, 2011

11. Mai 2011 (online)


We aimed to improve the physical capacity of a top-level elite football team during its pre-season by implementing a maximal strength and high-intensity endurance training program. 21 first league elite football players (20–31 yrs, height 171–194 cm, mass 58.8–88.1 kg) having recently participated in the UEFA Champions’ League, took part in the study. Aerobic interval-training at 90–95% of maximal heart rate and half-squats strength training with maximum loads in 4 repetitions×4 sets were performed concurrently twice a week for 8 weeks. The players were not familiar with maximal strength training as part of their regular program. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) increased 8.6% (1.7–16.6) (p<0.001), from 60.5 (51.7–67.1) to 65.7 (58.0–74.5) mL · kg−1 · min−1 whereas half-squat one repetition maximum increased 51.7% (13.3–135.3) (p<0.001), from 116 (85–150) to 176 (160–210) kg. The 10-m sprint time also improved by 0.06 s (0.02–0.16) (p<0.001); while counter movement jump improved 3.0 cm (0.1–6.2) (p<0.001), following the training program. The concurrent strength and endurance training program together with regular football training resulted in considerable improvement of the players’ physical capacity and so may be successfully introduced to elite football players.


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Prof. Jan HelgerudPhD 

Norwegian University of

Science and Technology

Department of Circulation and

Medical Imaging

N-7489 Trondheim



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