Friday, November 14, 2008

Great Tennis Fitness Programs Make Room For Everything

Happy Friday Everyone!  

Today I wanted to plant some seeds for a topic which  I plan to devote a great deal of time to over the next month or is the area of Periodization Training applied to tennis training.  

Often, I get asked..."so how many repetitions should I be doing?"  Because there is rarely a one size fits all answer to this question,  I often respond with the question..."What phase of training are you in?"  More often than not, the person has no idea how to respond to my question.  

I don't ask this of them because I don't know the answer, rather to be able to accurately answer their question, I need to know whether they are training for stamina, strength, or speed/power.   

Each area of training has different repetition ranges as well as different weights to be utilized. In fact, each phase of training has numerous variables to consider...frequency, intensity, volume, rest, tempo and duration- just to name a few (I will go over these in another blog).

To make sense of all the above variables, a powerful system for training was designed called Periodization Training.  In short, periodization training is the systematic progression of an athlete through different phases of physical training intensities.  In a well designed periodization program, each phase becomes the building blocks or foundation necessary for the physical demands of the ensuing phase. 

To help illustrate this principle, let's look at an area that we all have experience in...let's use mathematics as an example.  To get to the point where one is able to do multiplication and division, they must first master addition, then subtraction.  In training terms, to get to the point where we train for speed and power, we must first prepare the muscles and joints for these higher intensity phases, by moving through stamina and strength first.

 In short the moral of this blog is that there is a time a place for everything in a thoughtfully designed tennis fitness training program.

To be continued...


Monday, November 10, 2008

12 Minute Results-Driven Tennis Fitness Workout

Just last night I was reminded of a syndrome which plagues folks relating to their tennis training and tennis fitness. It keeps them from working is the false belief of "There'sJustNoTime-itis".

For many, the crazy demands of today's life leaves small windows of only 15-20 minutes for health related activities. Often, these same individuals mistakenly believe that a good workout means one where they spend 45-60 minutes in the gym (sometimes even more). Because these two numbers don't add up, the result is to DO NOTHING. Missed exercise is a slippery slope toward irreversible consequences...especially as it relates to your on-court tennis performance...without finding time for you off-court fitness, you might soon find yourself nursing a pulled hamstring, or sore low back, or torn rotator cuff.

Throw out the idea that you need an entire afternoon or a free evening to have a great workout. It simply doesn't take as much time as you think. Here's one example: (taken from one of my newsletters)...and there will be MORE TO COME! By the way, this can be home exercise, you don't even need to go to a gym for this one.

12 Minute Results-Driven Tennis Fitness Workout
**Do the following in a circuit with a 30-60 sec rest at end. Complete 2x, time permitting

1. Dumbbell Squat Press: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. First lower down into a squat position. Make sure that your knees do not go past 90 degrees. Exhale as you press the dumbbells overhead while you straighten your legs and return to the starting position.
Complete 8-12 repetitions.

2. Sprint, Jump Rope, or do Jumping Jacks for 30 seconds.

3. Dumbbell Lunge and Curl: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand down at your sides. Exhale as you lunge forward with your right leg and curl the dumbbells up toward your chest. Make sure that your knee does not go past 90 degrees. Inhale as you return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Complete 8-12 repetitions.

4. Sprint, Jump Rope, or do Jumping Jacks for 30 seconds.

5. Dumbbell Bent Over Rows: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees and lean forward from your waist, keeping your back flat. Exhale as you drive your elbows back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Inhale as you return to the starting position. Complete 8-12 repetitions.

6. Sprint, Jump Rope, or do Jumping Jacks for 30 seconds.

7. V-Ups: Sit on the edge of a chair or bench and lean back. Exhale as you drive your knees in toward your chest, squeezing your abdominal muscles. Inhale as you lower your knees back down with control. Complete 15-20 repetitions.

8. Sprint, Jump Rope, or do Jumping Jacks for 30 seconds.

Think outside of the box. Could you do a 10 minute workout in the morning and a 15 minute workout before bed?

Let's be honest, you make time for the things that you feel are important. If I told you that for every minute you spent exercising I would give you a thousand dollars, would you find a minute to exercise? Sure you would! You'd probably find quite a few minutes to exercise.

Short bursts of intense exercise will give you the results you want, all you have to do is make the time for it.

Somewhere deep down inside you know that it's now or never.

Will you allow your hectic schedule to slowly push you down the path of injured tennis player, obesity and health risk? Or will you find creative ways to fit exercise into your day as you steadily regain your shape and health?

Make this the day that you finally make the change.