The aim of this study was to examine in team sports athletes the relationship between repeated sprint ability (RSA) indices and both aerobic and anaerobic fitness components. Sixteen team-sport players were included (age, 23.4 ± 2.3 years; weight, 71.2 ± 8.3 kg; height, 178 ± 7 cm; body mass index, 22.4 ± 2 kg · m-2; estimated VO2max, 54.16 ± 3.5 mL · kg-1 · min-1). Subjects were licensed in various team sports: soccer (n = 8), basketball (n = 5), and handball (n = 3). They performed 4 tests: the 20 m multi-stage shuttle run test (MSRT), the 30-s Wingate test (WingT), the Maximal Anaerobic Shuttle Running Test (MASRT), and the RSA test (10 repetitions of 30 m shuttle sprints (15 + 15 m with 180° change of direction) with 30 s passive recovery in between). Pearson's product moment of correlation among the different physical tests was performed. No significant correlations were found between any RSA test indices and WingT. However, negative correlations were found between MASRT and RSA total sprint time (TT) and fatigue index (FI) (r = -0.53, p < 0.05 and r = -0.65, p < 0.01, respectively). No significant relationship between VO2max and RSA peak sprint time (PT) and total sprint time (TT) was found. Nevertheless, VO2max was significantly correlated with the RSA FI (r = -0.57, p < 0.05). In conclusion, aerobic fitness is an important factor influencing the ability to resist fatigue during RSA exercise. Our results highlighted the usefulness of MASRT, in contrast to WingT, as a specific anaerobic testing procedure to identify the anaerobic energy system contribution during RSA.
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