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EFFECT OF 4 WEEKS HIGH-INTENSITY INTERMITTENT TAEKWONDO TRAINING ON BODY COMPOSITION AND PHYSICAL FITNESS IN ZULU DESCENT, SOUTH AFRICAN TAEKWONDO ATHLETES
  1. ML Mathunjwa1,
  2. SC Mugandani1,
  3. AP Kappo2,
  4. S Ivanov3,
  5. T Djarova-Daniels2
  1. 1Department of Biokinetics University of Zululand, and Sports Science, South Africa
  2. 2Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Zululand, South Africa
  3. 3Bulgarian Union of Physical Culture and Sport; Bulgarian Taekwondo and Judo federation, Bulgaria

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of 4 weeks high intensity intermittent Taekwondo (TKD) training program on body composition, physical fitness and performance of South African TKD athletes of Zulu ancestry. Thirty four (n=34) active TKD athletes aged 20–26 years volunteered for this study. The athletes were divided into control and experimental groups. The control participants (10 males and 7 females) were holders of green and lower belts with provincial exposure. The experimental group (10 males and 7 females) had blue or senior belts who qualified to represent the provincial club and to compete in International championships. Both groups were subjected to a 4 week of TKD and strength training. The experimental group performing high intensity intermittent (85–95%VO2max) training and control group performing interval TKD training of lower intensity (70–75% VO2max). All subject were pre and post-tested on body composition [body mass, BMI, body fat percentage (%BF), sum of 6 skinfolds (SS)], flexibility (sit & reach), leg power (standing broad jump), muscle strength and endurance (sit-ups and push-ups), and agility (T-test) and VO2max (20 m bleep test). Resting heart rate (RHR), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were measured. Data was analyzed using paired t-test for independent samples and Z-score individual radar plots statistics. After 4 weeks of training, athletes in the experimental group showed a reduction in body weight (p<0.05), BMI (p<0.001), SBP (p<0.05), RHR (p<0.05), SS (p<0.05), and fat % (p<0.001) and improvement (p<0.001) in flexibility, muscle strength, power, agility and VO2max. In male controls, fat % was decreased (p<0.05), flexibility and VO2max were increased (p<0.05). In female controls, only flexibility was improved (p<0.05). The findings of this study support the effectiveness of 4 weeks high intensity intermittent training in Taekwondo athletes of Zulu ancestry improves body composition, cardiorespiratory response and physical performance that could contribute to health and enhanced combat skills.

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