L'outil idéal pour assurer le pilotage séquentiel et sonore des exercices et dégager ainsi l’entraîneur des fastidieux coups de sifflets, afin qu'il puisse se consacrer exclusivement à l'animation de sa séance sans perdre de vue ses athlètes en action.
physical work: Why and how to individualise
individualiser le travail physique

Physical work

The notion of the individualization of work, once considered an abstract concept, is now firmly anchored in contemporary sporting practice. In the past, group training sessions where everyone followed the same set pace were commonplace. However, this uniform approach is now a thing of the past, replaced by a more personalized and precise approach.

Thanks to technological advances, both amateurs and professionals now have sophisticated assessment tools at their disposal, enabling them to measure and understand individual physiological parameters more precisely. Devices such as the MYcoach Tracker and the sportbeeper for VMA, enable crucial data such as maximum heart rate, specific training zones and corresponding heart rate values to be quantified. At a more advanced level, some devices can even assess lactatemia at different effort intensities.

This is where the notion of individualization comes into its own. Rather than following a generic training program, athletes can now tailor their sessions to their own physiological capacities and specific objectives. This tailor-made approach not only optimizes performance, but also reduces the risk of injury due to over-training or under-training.

In short, thanks to these technological advances and the individualization of work, physical work is no longer an abstract concept, but a tangible and effective reality, offering athletes the chance to reach their full potential safely and optimally.

1 Physiological impacts differ from one subject to another

Let’s take the case of two players with maximum heart rates (HR MAX) of 210 and 175 respectively. If the aim of the session is to work within a target zone of 170-175 beats per minute, for aerobic work at 70% to 75% of MHR, the physiological impact will be totally different. The former will be perfectly within the zone, while the latter will be at 95-100% of max heart rate, i.e. at intensities that develop PMA with lactate production!

2 Taking into account workstation requirements

Today, this individualization seems unavoidable, given the heterogeneity of physical profiles. What’s more, if we take positional requirements into account, we can see that the demands made on players are very different, for example, between axial defenders and defensive midfielders. The former need to work more on relaxation, explosiveness and speed, while the latter need to work more on PMA.

There is therefore a need to adjust specific workloads for good physical work. So, in the period of physical work, should power training be carried out by level group according to VMA? Then, throughout the season, intermittent work should take account of this measured value, and offer individualized running distances from one group to another.

This is where the sportbeeper really comes into its own, helping you to organize your sessions.

3 A question of dosage and experience

You can go even further in individualizing your workout by taking into account the “VMA support time”, also known as the “limit time”. This is defined as the player’s ability to maintain a running speed equal to his or her VMA for as long as possible (a test which can be carried out using the sportbeeper ). Among athletes, the average is around 6 minutes, with standard deviations ranging from 4 to 12 minutes. Performance is determined by lactic capacity and running economy.

temps limite à VMA (TMI)

It is the lactic capacity and running economy that will determine performance.

4.Maintenance of strong quality, and development of poor quality

Finally, a last element to take into account in the individualisation of physical work is the athletic profile of your players.If one of your midshipmen has a MAS of 19 km/h, should he work primarily on his MAP for his position? This does not seem to be an obligation. A good balance must be achieved in order to regularly maintain this strong quality, of course, but also to work on his explosiveness if he seems deficient in this area. Conversely, a midfielder with a MAS of only 16km/h will need to focus on improving his MAS and MAP in order to be able to adequately meet the needs of his position. It’s all about the right mix …. and experience!

individualiser le travail physique


Case study: support time


Let’s take two subjects with the same MAS of 18 km/h. The first (A) will have a support time of 6 min and the second (B) of 10 min.

The question that needs to be asked is whether an intermittent session of 3 x 8 min blocks of 15-15 at 110% of MVA will be experienced in the same way by both players. 

The answer is no!

Véronique Billat’s work has shown that the intermittent load can be individualised by taking account of this support time.

Your players have the ability to repeat 5 sequences run at MAS with a work duration equal to 1/2 the support time (e.g. if the support time at MAS =6min, the 1/2 support time =3 min). 

5 sequences associated with active recoveries run at 60% of the MAS and whose working time is also equal to 1/2 of the support time.

In our example, player A will therefore perform 5 sequences of 3 min at 18km/h with active recovery of 3 min at 10.8km/h, while player B will perform 5 sequences of 5 min with the same recovery time.

This work allows the heart and muscles to be worked at VO2max for a longer period of time than in continuous exercise. Thus, by transposing this model to short intermittent work, the total workload will be equal to 2.5 times the time limit. Player A will be able to perform 15 min of work broken down into 2 blocks of 7’30 min, while player B will perform 25 min of work broken down into 3 blocks of 8’20 min for example (3*8’20= 25min)



Bibliography: the 30 most frequently asked questions about physical preparation (Jean Christophe HOURCADE, Publication date 01/09/2013, Publisher RC média )RC média )

 physical work