Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Simple System For Tennis Fitness Programs

So now that I've established a background for the need to spend time on building stamina, strength and speed in a well designed tennis fitness program, my goal today is to share with you when you do each, how long to spend in each phase, and whether it is always necessary to always go through all three phases.  

When it comes to tennis strength training, typically the primary intention is to optimize your physical being for tennis performance.  So achieve optimal performance levels on the court, as a tennis player, do you need stamina for long matches? You better believe it.  As a tennis player, do you need strength to perform at your best?  You bet your bottom dollar.  As a tennis player, do you need speed and power to crank those rocket-like serves and rip those killer forehands?  You most certainly do.

But to know when to do them, and how long to do them, you need to know when you hope to be peaking during your year...usually if you have trained properly, you are shooting to peak for a period of about 8-16 weeks- if you are a recreational player, maybe it is the club championships or possibly your USTA league season. If you are a college player, typically you are working to peak for your Spring season and the NCAA tournament. If you are a tournament player (whether junior or professional), typically you would plan out your training schedule at the beginning of the specific chunks of time during the year to peak with the biggest, most important tournaments involved.

Remember, when one applies this periodized approach to their training, it is next to impossible to peak at every tournament you don't expect to.

So here's the SIMPLE SYSTEM:
Once you've picked your key points thoughout the year where you want to peak, here it is working from beginning to end:

A. Stamina:  3-8 weeks
B. Strength: 4-8 weeks
C. Speed: 4 weeks
D. Restoration: 1 week
E. In-Season PEAK PERFORMANCE Training (8-16 weeks)

**The sport-specific strength gains achieved by going through phases A-D should last 8-16 weeks (a season).

So now you ask, "Do I always have to go through all three phases?"
The short answer is NO, but there is more to it...


Monday, November 17, 2008

Periodization Training Applied To Tennis Strength Training to pick up where we left off, I wanted to provide you with some of the basic parameters of each area of tennis training I mentioned: Stamina, Strength, and Power/Speed. Today I will very simply explain what each is and the sets, reps, pace, rest period, weight, volume used in each. So here we go...

Phase 1: Stamina/General Strength
The exercises in this stage of program design do not mimic any specific sport movements...Main purpose is to create anatomical adaptations necessary to build basic strength and endurance necessary to increase the volume (amount) of work

Sets: 2-3
Reps: 12-20
Pace: moderate
Rest: <30>Weight: light
Volume: high

Phase 2: Hypertrophy/Absolute Strength
This is where you are working to build up the cross-sectional area of muscle fiber to increase its potential for power. Designed to build on base strength in resistance and movement drills and increase functional capabilities.

Sets: 3-4
Reps: 8-12 and 3-5
Pace: moderate to slow
Rest: 30-90 seconds
Weight: moderate to heavy
Volume: high

Phase 3: Explosive Power/Speed
This is where your training becomes as sport-specific as possible. In this stage of training you are peaking for performance. It is designed to enhance explosive capabilities of athlete; generate force rapidly in all areas of training.

Sets: 2-3
Reps: 4-6 and for time
Pace: explosive/fast
Rest: 2-3 minutes
Weight: heavy to light
Volume: moderate

So I here you saying to yourself, "This is all great, but when do I do each, how long do I spend in each and is it always necessary to go through all 3 phases when I set up a tennis fitness program?"

I applaud you for your question and will respond to this in our next session.

To Be Continued...