Interpretation of peak oxygen consumption in 10–12-year-old soccer players: effect of biological maturation and body size

Urmo Viickberg, Priit Purge, Toivo Jürimäe, Meeli Saar, Evelin Lätt, Jarek Mäestu, Jaak Jürimäe


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of biological maturation and body size on aerobic capacity using appropriate scaling procedures in 10–12-year-old soccer players divided into late, average and early maturing boys. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) was expressed as absolute values, ratio standards, theoretical exponents and experimentally observed exponents. VO2peak was not directly proportional to body mass as the experimentally observed exponent for body mass calculated through linear regression analysis yielded to b=0.64 (R2=0.62; p2peak expressed in l/min was different (p2peak values were adjusted for body mass (ml/min/kg), or when the effect of body mass was adjusted for using theoretical exponent scales (ml/kg0.67/min, ml/kg0.75/min) and experimentally observed exponent (ml/kg0.64/min), the VO2peak responses displayed relativeley constant values (p>0.05) throughout different maturation groups. Linear regression analyses indicated that after adjusting for the effects of body mass using the theoretical exponent scales (ml/min/kg0.67), biological maturation and body size had no effect on VO2peak values in young soccer players. In conclusion, the theoretical exponent scale for body mass (ml/kg0.67/min) control adequately for biological maturation and body size differences in VO2peak in 10–12-year-old soccer players. Therefore, more mature soccer players with better body size values should not be preferentially selected for young soccer teams.


soccer; boys; aerobic capacity; maturity status; allometric scaling

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ISSN 1406-9822 (print)
ISSN 2228-3501 (online)
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