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BurgandyRed
03-20-2004, 04:28 PM
I'm a 4.5 player, very quick on the court, soaking wet 115lb, but still manage to serve in the 100s mph and hit solid groundstrokes and have never lifted weights in my life.

I was wondering if lifting some weights will help my game if so what are some good lifting plans?

Kobble
03-20-2004, 08:34 PM
I was told that pull-ups will help your serve, but I have not noticed any increased racquet speed. I also read a study that suggested the tricep muscles contribute to serve speed more than any other single muscle. Personally, I noticed nothing. Maybe my strength improvements are not great enough to show significant improvement. My best serves come from great technique. Pull-ups have definitely improved my one handed backhand, but I mainly use a two hander. I do feel like I have slightly more control on the forehand side though. I can say with certainty that squats will help your agility around the court. It has helped my court coverage immensely. More speed is always better. I am going to add dips to my routine. If I notice anything after a few weeks I will post. As far as adding an upper body routine to your regimen, go for it. It can only help, even if just a little.

Eric Matuszewski
03-21-2004, 04:08 AM
This is an interesting topic.

Resistance training will give you the POTENTIAL to get more ball speed, but you will still have to actually try to move/swing faster. This may seem obvious to alot of people, but many people don't consider this.


In other words just because your a Hulk doesn't mean your going to move/swing faster, it just means that you have the potential to.

I still believe sound technique to be the most important thing, but what do you do after your technique is perfect?

Ask Mr. Agassi....and Mr. Reyes.

Also don't forget that resistance training can help you recover faster and avoid injuries. The older we get the more critical this benefit becomes.

Best Wishes,
Eric Matuszewski

tnkGod4tns
03-21-2004, 07:57 AM
good point by eric, i do believe that technique comes first, strength training will help you get stronger and avoid injuries, plus you are not lifting like a body builder, lifting more to get stronger and quicker rather than bulking up. Try light weights more rep.

borisboris
03-22-2004, 09:20 AM
8) Actually it shouldn't be called lifting weights - it should be referrred to as toning muscles. I used to bench 345 lbs x 8 and curled 130 lbs every other day and my tennis was a joke - I primarily lifted for slamon skiing. I muscle tone now = curling 45 lbs 2 sets of 10 & also do some flies = 10 lbs 3 sets of 10. Bulk = joke Tone = healthy tennis stroke

JB
03-25-2004, 10:00 AM
345 lbs x 8?!?!?! You must have been huge - that's more than the majority of pro football players bench. Good idea losing some of that bulk.
Flexibility can become a problem when one gets too bulky with muscle. I agree that muscle tone is what you should strive for. You should find a weight that you can lift 12-15 times per set. If you go heavier you will build more mass. Don't forget to stretch!!

raymondkim
03-28-2004, 05:26 AM
for me , pull ups helped my serve, bench press helped my forehand and backhand, squat makes me more explosive in movement, and shoulder press make my racket lighter

joebedford
03-28-2004, 07:11 AM
We discussed this on another message board once, and the point that came up was that tennis wasn't about strength as much as power. so you should weight train with that in mind. This means that you will probably want to move the weight as quickly as you can without sacrificing form, because this is what tennis is about--"explosions" of power.

VTL
04-09-2004, 09:51 AM
One of the things that I really wished more tennis players put more energy in is physical training. Smart, overall improvement in athletic ability can't do nothing but help your game. Extra muscles act as shock absorbers and will allow you to hit without worrying too much about your elbow or your shoulder. Stronger muscles also give you the potential to move and accelerate faster.

netman
04-10-2004, 04:08 PM
Yes it does. Strength training helps your joints, muscles and nerves handle and recover from the stress of sternuous exertion.

Ignore all the BS about becoming a Hulk and limiting your potential. That is just folks who have never really used weights repeating myths they have heard/read. There is a reason the top tennis, basketball, football, baseball, track, etc. athletes hit the weight room regularly. It amplifies your abilities and helps you recover quicker from the stress of intense competition. Why do you think Andre Agassi is the only 32+ year old tennis player who can consistenly go deep into a Masters level tournament?

Hit the weights and focus on strengthening all the major muscle groups. Only when you push muscles past their current capability do you force growth and sterngth increases. Anything else is just wasted effort.

Momo
04-10-2004, 07:28 PM
There seems to be a misconception about how easy it is for one to attain this unwanted level of muscle-bound immobile hulk-ness. If tennis is your priority, there's no way you're going to become a Hulk no matter how hard you try in the gym. Your body only has so much energy it can expend and if you try to do both tennis and weight lifting hardcore you will only succeed in over-working your body, at which point you'll actually start losing strength and mass. Also if you want to become a Hulk, you have to eat like one. Never have I seen a tennis player who eats all their meals like it's their last night on Death Row. Becoming a Hulk takes time and dedication to the gym and the gym alone. In most cases it also takes some "juice" to get to the larger than life image we have of people like body builders and pro wrestlers. If you think about how hard it is to actually attain such a figure when you dedicate most of your life to it, how do you thin ksomeone who plays tennis primarily and works out only as a method of helping out their tenins game will ever turn into a hulk? It'll never happen.

If anyone wants to cite borisboris's post in argument, I beg to differ. Sure putting up the weight he did makes him strong... but not a Hulk. He said he was doing it for slalom skiing. Can you imagine a stiff, clumsy, green-skinned borisboris wearing tattered jeans and slalom skiing, deftly maneuvering himself around each marker? (Unless "slamon skiing" is a new sport I haven't heard about where people use their ski poles and fight to the death :wink: ) Also, if he spent that much effort in the gym to improve his slalom skiing, do you think tennis was close to being as much of a priority to him as skiing was? Maybe that's a bigger reason his tennis wasn't as good as it is now.

I think the only real negative affect that being very strong and athletic (the possibility of becoming a Hulk being negligible) is that in the beginning when you're learning strokes, you'll be able to "cheat" on your form by using your sheer muscle strength to compensate for whatever loss of power or control you got from your faulty mechanics. If you've already got your strokes down, I don't think there's anything detrimental that weight training would bring to your game, unless you like to play tennis like every day, which as previously mentioned, would definitely lead to over-working your body.

As an intrepid goddess once said: "Just do it"

zenmaster
04-12-2004, 06:11 PM
It's not good to use just arm for your serves, but the stronger the arm the less you need to use it for a stronger serve so the stronger you are the faster you will serve. But i've seen weak ppl and old men serve above the 100s, but definitely a stronger arm will increase your speed, probably slightly though

Robert Jones
04-12-2004, 11:02 PM
I use to compete in slalom waterskiing way back when. Running a slalom course is super tiring. I did it for years and I think it must have helped my serve. I had a super hard serve. Never clocked it but much faster than my Uncle who is a pro and club pros. I stopped skiing and my arms went back to normal in a few years. I have never
been able to serve that hard since. So I would say exercise can help the serve.

SeigakuRegular
04-03-2006, 03:45 PM
As far as translating to "hitting harder" there are many misconceptions about lifting weights and raquet head speed. I'm an engineer (and someone who knows about tennis workouts ; I play NCAA Division 1 tennis), so for me it's hard not to think of things from a physics stand point. Since your range of motion is the length you have to create maximum acceleration, and thus racquet head speed, it is important to remember that flexibility and explosiveness is key in generating ball speed (not static strength or how much weight you can slowly lift off a bench press). You must remember, you aren't trying to bench 300lbs, you are swinging a ~12oz tennis racquet to it's maximum speed in your range of motion. Yes, you must posses strength and power to have the mechanical potential to be "explosive" in your movements, but activities like upper body plyometrics and fast-twitch muscle oriented excersices as well as flexibility is key to being a hard hitter. (Although percentage of fast twitch muscle is genetically determined, it doesn't mean a genetically gifted couch potato will be serving 150mph any time soon)

tlm
04-03-2006, 04:34 PM
Lifting is for your health+longevity,but it definitely can help your power.The biggest benefit is it will help keep you from getting injured.I play tennis 6 days a week+ at 50 years old there is no way i could play this often+this hard without weight training.

tennis_nerd22
04-03-2006, 05:10 PM
try doing a serving motion except with weights in your hands instead of a ball and racket. helps you build muscle for extra power. and yes it has helped me

GuyClinch
04-04-2006, 04:38 AM
Well,

Off court training can help. The question is what kind of training really helps you play tennis? I think this is really actually a difficult question.

I think a tennis oriented functional strength workout that would include things like weighted medicine ball exercises, balance exercises, and core exercies would be more helpful then just body building style exercises. The example of use a freeweight or cable machine to mimic the service motion above is a "functional" exercise, BTW.

And of course so called "functional" exercises like the squat, powerclean, dumbell press, and deadlift are considered useful for overall athletic power. These come closer to simulating something you would actually do on the playing field or in this case on the court. The problem here of course is that's its quite difficult to learn proper form on these moves. Truthfully I think most people would need a coach or to at least learn from a guy who has performed those lifts for football.

One problem with weighlifting is so called functional strength. That is if you use say a "curl machine" does this new found bicep "strength" actually translate to the court. Or do you just get better at doing bicep curls on that machine.

Sadly - I think you for the most part just getting better at the machine. That's why working out for sports and not just to look good takes a bit of more understanding, IMHO.

Since your a very good player at 4.5 I would suggest getting a book about how to train for tennis and following one of those routines very carefully. Most of the exercises in most gyms are heavily influenced by body builders guys who were concerned with looking good not performing in any kind of sport.

And I say this as a guy who really lifts to look a bit better and fight injury. I just don't see it as helping my tennis game. Unless your playing 4 - 6 hours a day like the pros do the best way to help your tennis game is to play tennis, IMHO.

Pete

Marius_Hancu
04-04-2006, 05:20 AM
you might want to check:

Another reason why aerobic training is important
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=73873

Here's an article I found on training for tennis
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=34939

The "pollution" of body building
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=31077

and the lively debate here:

Lifting question 6 second reps (Marius?)
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=71796

Marius_Hancu
04-04-2006, 05:29 AM
for the OP:

Of course weights would help you.

check my signature here:

Great fitness sites
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=33800

esp the Conditioning/Racquet-Sports Specific and the Strength section

also check the OUTSIDE magazine series there

tlm
04-04-2006, 06:53 AM
Anybody that doesnt think weight training is beneficial doesnt have a clue.Are you kidding,now powerlifting or extreme bodybuilding that can be dangerous.But a good all around weight training program is one of the best things you can do for your health.If done correctly training will equal out imbalances in your body not make them.I know in todays world of lazy people there are all kinds of excuses to avoid excersize.If you think that weight training will not help you in tennis you have no idea what you are talking about.

GuyClinch
04-04-2006, 09:33 AM
If you think that weight training will not help you in tennis you have no idea what you are talking about.

The question really is how much benefit would you see from it? I think that's a more relevant question really. Many activities would help your tennis game. I think you could make a case for basketball (it has many simiilar movements to tennis), boxing, dancing and yoga.

Obviously the pros use weighlifting so it can benefit your game. But from what I have seen they used specialized programs that are more tennis specific that are designed to improve their athletic performance. I don't think doing say the "glutes" machine in your gym is going to jack *hit for your tennis game and that's a form of weightlifting as well.

pete

tlm
04-05-2006, 07:18 AM
It will definitely benefit your tennis game! You can do tennis specific ex. if you want ,but i would say that most people would get the most out of a good all around weight training program.Forget the machines use free weights+until you build up your over all strength forget the tennis specific excersizes.Most tennis players i see are in decent shape aerobicly but are pretty weak when it comes to muscle tone,they cant figure out why they have all these shoulder+arm pains.A lot of people dont understand that weight training does not just affect the muscle, but also the bones, tendons+ligaments.If you want to play tennis at high level for a long time then start hitting the weight room!

penpal
04-06-2006, 06:40 AM
I've recently taken up a weight-lifting program (more for overall health reasons than to specifically improve my tennis game, though that is a hoped for side benefit), and so far what I've noticed the most is that, as a result of strengthening my legs my footwork has improved.

I'm now moving better to the ball and find myself bending at the knees more consistently than in the past. I've come to realize that, before I was lifting, my legs were basically tiring out during the match, which led to poor form and poor shots.

Extremebb300
04-06-2006, 04:10 PM
. Try light weights more rep.


nope, I would say low reps (4-6) with moderately low volume would be more beneficial..


One thing I do notice, is that I definetly can sprint and get off the line much much faster.. I did more of a powerbuilding approach with my best lifts 460 squat, 525 deadlift and 290 bench..

Final_Match_Point
04-06-2006, 04:48 PM
extreme what are you talking about? If your going for muscle mass(BUlking UP) A low rep but high weight is reccomended. If your going for definition and endurance in your muscles- High reps lower weight.

tennis_nerd22
04-06-2006, 04:53 PM
i think the easier answer to this question is: NADAL

wink wink :D

Mountainman
04-06-2006, 08:54 PM
If you want power, do heavy weights. If you want speed, do resistance training. If you want muscle endurance, do light weights with high repetitions. Fair warning though, over working the muscles will lead to joint, muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries. Single muscle work-out will increase the chance of injuries. Work-out will increase the tightness of muscles. Therefore, decrease the range of motion. Introduce a stretching exercise. Then there's the diet. Break the normal three meals into six meals. That way your body will use the energy from what is consumed. Have a intake ratio of carbs, fibers, proteins. I believe 90:60:30 is the ideal ratio. It is different for everyone.

PowerServe
04-07-2006, 07:12 AM
ExtremeBB is right. Low reps and Heavy weights is not for bulking up, it's for strength, speed, and power. Ask any bodybuilder or expert how to train for size, they'll tell you to work in the 8-10 rep range. Study after study confirms this.

The low reps train your muscles to be explosive whether it be sprinting to the ball, just as EXBB noticed his foot speed increase, or exploding through your core and shoulder muscles to whip the racquet around. High reps train endurance not strength endurance, there's a big difference in having phenomenal strength throughout a 3 hour match and just having the endurance to last.

I believe the 'myth' that low reps and high reps creates a slow bulky athlete was created in tennis and other 'speed' sports by looking at powerlifters' physique. It's true that these guys and gals are HUGE and often inflexible. A few factors contribute to this: Their goal is to lift the heaviest weight possible for 1 rep. Period. They don't need or want to be flexible or have low body fat. Their energy requirements are through the roof and the BIGGER their muscles are, the more they use the elasticity within their muscle fiber and tendons to help lift the weight. This allows for greater lifts without extra effort. Being inflexible and bulky creates a huge advantage for powerlifters. So it does a powerlifter well to be 300+ pounds. Many eat in excess of 5000 calories per day and have been known to be banned from buffet bars.

The point of the matter is that you can train explosively with heavy weight, low reps and NOT get bulky and inflexible. It's true that if you don't stretch, you may lose flexibility, but if you're truly out to improve your game, it's a given you'll follow a flexibility program whether you're training heavy or not.

I'm with ExtremeBB on this one. If you want to improve your speed, power, and quickness, train for it by utilizing explosive movements with heavy weight.

I believe 90:60:30 is the ideal ratio.

Mountainman, are you sure about this? That ratio, if I'm reading it correctly is 90%-60%-30%, which equals a total of 180%. Might want to check on that.

PServe
TennisFitnessTips.com (http://www.tennisfitnesstips.com)

Extremebb300
04-08-2006, 03:47 AM
ExtremeBB is right. Low reps and Heavy weights is not for bulking up, it's for strength, speed, and power. Ask any bodybuilder or expert how to train for size, they'll tell you to work in the 8-10 rep range. Study after study confirms this.

The low reps train your muscles to be explosive whether it be sprinting to the ball, just as EXBB noticed his foot speed increase, or exploding through your core and shoulder muscles to whip the racquet around. High reps train endurance not strength endurance, there's a big difference in having phenomenal strength throughout a 3 hour match and just having the endurance to last.

I believe the 'myth' that low reps and high reps creates a slow bulky athlete was created in tennis and other 'speed' sports by looking at powerlifters' physique. It's true that these guys and gals are HUGE and often inflexible. A few factors contribute to this: Their goal is to lift the heaviest weight possible for 1 rep. Period. They don't need or want to be flexible or have low body fat. Their energy requirements are through the roof and the BIGGER their muscles are, the more they use the elasticity within their muscle fiber and tendons to help lift the weight. This allows for greater lifts without extra effort. Being inflexible and bulky creates a huge advantage for powerlifters. So it does a powerlifter well to be 300+ pounds. Many eat in excess of 5000 calories per day and have been known to be banned from buffet bars.

The point of the matter is that you can train explosively with heavy weight, low reps and NOT get bulky and inflexible. It's true that if you don't stretch, you may lose flexibility, but if you're truly out to improve your game, it's a given you'll follow a flexibility program whether you're training heavy or not.

I'm with ExtremeBB on this one. If you want to improve your speed, power, and quickness, train for it by utilizing explosive movements with heavy weight.



Mountainman, are you sure about this? That ratio, if I'm reading it correctly is 90%-60%-30%, which equals a total of 180%. Might want to check on that.

PServe
TennisFitnessTips.com (http://www.tennisfitnesstips.com)


I defintely agree. I used to compete in powerlifting, and the majority of powerlifters were UNDER 200 lbs. I competed in the 181 lbs. weight class weighing a mere 179 lbs and got 2 state powerlifting records.

The fellow I used to train with had a deadlift of 535 lbs @147 lbs bodyweight. Just insane and I definetly would not consider him big and bulky (he's 5'8 ). We would never train above 3-5 reps.

That's proof enough for those who dont believe that lower reps are better.

I didnt start getting bigger until I did more of a bodybuilding type routine with higher reps, but then I was also weaker.

But more than anything, variety is also a good thing once in a while.


PowerServe definetly knows his stuff. BTW, what macronutrient ratio do you reccomend? I usually eat 40/40/20 (pro/carb/fat). I'm slowy adjusting my percentages to see how my body reacts, mostly by eat a little more carb with less fat, though I am keeping the protein where it is.

tlm
04-08-2006, 06:55 AM
There is no one way to train for bulk or strength,there are some general guidelines but you need to mix it up as you get more advanced.

In bodybuilding there are many ways to train they use all different rep+set combinations, the longer you train the more your body adapts+ the more you need to change routines.

The old saying you must do low reps for bulk+high reps for definition is not true ,there is some merit to this but you cant just follow one format of reps+sets for long or you will burn out+ go stale.As you lift longer variety is a must.

Marius_Hancu
04-08-2006, 07:18 AM
The point of the matter is that you can train explosively with heavy weight, low reps and NOT get bulky and inflexible.

Main thing for avoiding getting bulky: don't eat too much.

BTW, Pat Etcheberry has all his pages for tennis players at
http://www.tennisplayer.net
at 15 reps or more. I think he knows something about it.

There are other approaches of course, but I think this is a very feasible one.

chess9
04-08-2006, 07:43 AM
Main thing for avoiding getting bulky: don't eat too much.

BTW, Pat Etcheberry has all his pages for tennis players at
http://www.tennisplayer.net
at 15 reps or more. I think he knows something about it.

There are other approaches of course, but I think this is a very feasible one.

Yes, and that's because the heavier you go the more likely you are to be injured. Pat is writing for a lot of people, so he must be conservative. I think PowerServe's recommendations are fine for experienced lifters who are a bit younger. At my age, I don't lift anything less than 8 reps.

Also, I'm not sure that the extra explosive strength one gets from heavy lifting translates well to tennis. I haven't tried it, so I'm not going to express a firm :) opinion, but I suspect that one gets 90% of the same effect at reps in the 10-20 range with less weight, and safety preserved. Once you get over squatting about 200 lbs with 10-12 reps I'm not sure the rest is very meaningful.

Nonetheless, this is probably an area worth investigating further. I'd be interested in hearing any other's experiences.

-Robert
________
Marijuana card (http://medicalmarijuanacard.info)

tlm
04-08-2006, 07:49 AM
Unless you are genetically gifted it is not that easy to get bulky,i know that years back i wanted to bulk up+this is no easy task.

I worked out very hard+ate a lot of protien+carbs it was no easy task.I laugh when people say they are worried about getting to bulky.Do you have any idea how hard it is for bodybuilders to get bulky.

There is a reason steroids are so popular,believe me there arent to many of you that just do a good basic weight training program that are going to get to bulky.

If you are going to take up weight training You do need to eat more,your body needs the calories to rebuild.Im not saying pig out on junk,but to start training+to say not to eat more is bad advice.

As far as these high rep only recomendations this is not true at all.I hear people all the time saying i will just do high reps+this will give me good definition.

There is a little truth to this but in training yor body you must do different rep+set combinations.

Most of the tennis players i know are pretty thin+weak they need to get better muscle tone.

I would suggest once you get past your introduction to weight training it would be best to workout in the 8-10 rep mode with 2-3 sets of a good all around free weight program.

You need to build up your overall strength so you need to handle some moderately heavy weights.I challenge any of you to try this for at least 2 months+see how much better you will feel+play tennis!

PowerServe
04-08-2006, 08:10 AM
Good post TLM.

ExtremeBB, I'm like you, I prefer 40/40/20 ratio (p/c/f). I find that's what makes me feel the best. For any level tennis player, that's the lowest % carbs I'd ever recommend unless they're only playing once or twice a week, aren't particularly eating for tennis performance, and have other, more specific fitness goals. However, if a person plays and/or practices 4+ times per week, I'd suggest altering the protein carb ratio and leaving the fat % the same. 25/55/20 or 30/50/20 (p/c/f) would be more appropriate for extremely competitive tennis players that adhere to a rigorous tennis schedule on top of an intense training program. Though the protein % may seem low to you, since you have a bodybuilding background; you'll see after making calculations that this ratio combined with the increased caloric requirements needed for this type of schedule will usually put the protein intake at approximately .8-1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Which is appropriate for athletes to maintain a postive nitrogen balance and prevent muscle deterioration.

PServe
TennisFitnessTips.com (http://www.tennisfitnesstips.com)