The purpose of this study was to investigate the physiologic and performance changes with the addition of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to a traditional judo programme.
Nine elite judokas (6 males and 3 females; age: 20±4 yrs; body mass: 69±2 kg; height: 172±7 cm; judo practice time: 13±6 yrs; weekly training volume: 13±5 hours, mean±SD) were recruited to perform a 12-week specific aerobic training program, which consisted of 2 session/week of 30-min continuous run at 60% at Vmax and one session/week of high-intensity interval training 15x1-min at 90% of Vmax with1 min of active recovery at 60% of Vmax. Before and after the intervention all athletes performed a graded maximal exercise test to measure maximal oxygen consumption ( max), ventilatory threshold (VT), maximal velocity (Vmax), heart rate (HR) and ￼ off kinetics. and HR recovery kinetics were evaluated on a breath-by-breath basis using a single component exponential function. Anaerobic capacity during specific movements was assessed with the Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT).
The maximal speed reached during the maximal aerobic power test significantly increased (p=0.04), but VO2max did not change. τ of HR and of ￼ recovery significantly decreased by 17.3% (p=0.04) and 22.0% (p<0.01), respectively. VT increased (6.6%; p=0.03) and the SJFT Index improved (p<0.001) 12% after training.
The aerobic fitness of elite judokas may be improved by adding aerobic routines to the normal training enhancing the recovery capacity.