2020, Volume 16
Short duration high-intensity interval taekwondo training substantially improves body composition and physical fitness in previously-trained individuals: a proof-of-concept study
Brandon Shaw1, Sam Mugandani2, Ina Shaw1, Trayana Djarova3, Musa Mathunjwa1
1Human Movement Science, University of Zululand, Mpangeni, South Africa
2Centre for Biokinetics, Recreation and Sport Science, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
3Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology , University of Zululand, Mpangeni, South Africa
Author for correspondence: Ina Shaw; Human Movement Science, University of Zululand, Mpangeni, South Africa; email: ShawI@unizulu.ac.za
Background and Study Aim: Professional taekwondo (TKD) athletes possess below average body fat percentages and the overall winners at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games had a lower body mass index (BMI). Further, physical fitness remains one of the main factors for success in TKD. This indicates the importance of managing body composition and physical fitness for TKD performance. This study’s aim was to generate knowledge about the effect of a four-week high-intensity intermittent TKD and strength training conditioning program on body composition and physical fitness of South African TKD athletes.
Material and Methods: Twenty male participants were randomly assigned to a low-intensity (LI) (n = 10) or high-intensity (HI) (n = 10) group. The study consisted of a four-week, five times weekly TKD training and three times weekly resistance training program. The TKD training program for the HI group consisted of a 10-minute warm-up, a 60-minute workout at 85-95% HRmax for weeks 1-2 and at 90-100% HRmax for weeks 3-4 and a 10-minute cool down. The TKD training program for the LI group consisted of a 10-minute warm-up, a 60-minute workout at 60-70% HRmax for weeks 1-2 and 70-85% HRmax for weeks 3-4. Both groups also participated in a 60-minute resistance training program for three sets of 8-10 repetitions.
Results: Significant (p≤0.05) improvements were found in body mass (p = 0002), BMI (p = 0.004), sum of skinfolds (p = 0.006) and body fat percentage (p = 0.009) of the HI group. The LI intervention significantly decreased body fat percentage (p = 0.001), but not body mass (p = 0.056), BMI (p = 0.077), and sum of skinfolds (p = 0.820). Post-hoc analysis revealed significant differences in BMI (p = 0.022) and sum of skinfolds (p = 0.042). Significant improvements were found in sit-and-reach (p = 0.034), sit-ups (p = 0.025), push-ups (p=0.001), horizontal jumps (p = 0.007), VO2max (p = 0.026) and agility (p = 0.037) in the HI group. No significant improvements were observed in any of the physical fitness parameters assessed in the LI group. Post-hoc analysis demonstrated significant differences in sit-and-reach (p = 0.044), sit-ups (p = 0.001), push-ups (p = 0.006), horizontal jumps (p = 0.037), VO2max (p = 0.004) and agility (p = 0.018).
Conclusions: High-intensity TKD training along with resistance training can be implemented in the training regimes of TKD athletes when preparing for national and international competitions to enhance combat performance.
Key words: resistance training, poomsae, kyorugi, intermittent training, VO2max