How good of shape are the pros in?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by tt_the_man, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. tt_the_man

    tt_the_man Banned

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    How good is the phsyical conditioning of pro tennis players? For example, does anyone know how fast a typical top 100 male player would finish a 5K run? It would be interesting to know how they compare to recreational players, and pro players of other sports like baseball (which has many fat, out-of-shape players).
     
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  2. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    Most fat baseball players are either pitchers, 1st basemen, or designated hitters. They almost never have to run.
    Tennis players cover a lot of distance in a 2-hour match.
     
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  3. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

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    I just got back from watching a lot of pros practice... A lot of them weren't wearing shirts, so you can tell who's carrying some fat and who isn't. Most of these guys are totally ripped... they are in SUPER shape. I don't know how fast they run, but I bet they could be pretty fast. I have never seen a recreational player anywhere near the shape they're in.
     
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  4. daddy

    daddy Legend

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    Perfect shape. Try working a tennis court with fast oponent with precise shots. 1 hour and youre done, but you have to play against good guys, no old guys or ones who only shoot the ball back. Also harder the ball is hit, its more demanding. They are top shaped, but I think theres a difference in every sports, they can play 5 hours of tennis but would die after 45 mins of basketball, simply they are using different muscles. Or after 20 minutes of swimming they would be off,.
     
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  5. tennispro11

    tennispro11 Hall of Fame

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    They are in great shape. They can run on the court for hours on end. They could give alot of athletes a run for their money as far as the fitness goes.
     
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  6. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Ask their girlfriends..;)
     
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  7. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I honestly don't think tennis players are in as good of shape as other athletes like basketball or soccer players, or even some football players. I played HS football and found that sport to be far far more physically demanding than tennis, even if you exclude the hitting aspect of it. Just running through the plays at full speed over and over is exhausting. My legs always cramped up in the evenings after games. In tennis I get a good workout, but its not as intense as football. But let me also say that football can vary depending on position. I played mainly outside linebacker so I had to do pass coverage as well as being able to catch people trying to run around the outside, which would be more demanding than a lineman, who might be able to get away with being grossly overweight.

    I've also played some basketball for fun and always get more winded than playing tennis.

    Thing thing about tennis is there is alot of rest time and many points where there isn't much running. Even so, I found tennis to be by far one of the most difficult sports simply because it just takes so long to get good at it because there is so much precision involved and so many shots to learn.
     
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  8. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    Speaking of rest time, you can say the same for basketball, soccer, or football.
    A basketball game lasts about 2 1/2 hours, and the actual playing time for a starter is about 20-35 min.
    A football game lasts 3 hours, and the actual game time is only 48 minutes, and on average the defense and offense each play about 20 minutes, plus substitutions.
    Soccer players do not run perpetually, either. They use their energy only when there is action nearby.

    When I started out playing tennis, I thought it was not a very physically demanding game. That view has changed when I've gotten better. When you have to be in position each time, and take a big loopy swing each time, it becomes a lot more physically demanding than beginners who just push the ball around.

    I mainly play basketball and tennis. For the most part, my playing limit for either sports is about 3 hours before I have to call it quit.
     
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  9. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    The comparisons between sports is not valid. It is not the same as recreational tennis or recreational basket ball.

    To be an elite athlete in any of the sports, one has to be in great physical shape. Kobe Bryant and Rafeal Nadal are Superb Athletes. It is a given that Kobe wont be able to keep up as the same level of ball striking /court coverage as Nadal does. Nadal will not be able to keep up with Kobe on Basket ball court. But they both are Elite Athletes and they got to where they are today by working harder and smarter.
     
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  10. tennispro11

    tennispro11 Hall of Fame

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    Well said. This thread wasn't started trying to compare tennis pros to other sports professionals. He was just wondering if they are in great shape or not. Plain and simple. So stop trying to compare other sports.
     
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  11. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    There might be rest time in other sports, but in tennis there are many points in a tennis match that require little effort. I definitely play a physical style of tennis and I even run for every stray ball I pick up and basically take no time between serves and still don't get very tired compared to other sports. 20 minutes of basketball (and I suck pretty bad) is more intense for me than 1 hour of tennis even though I run everything down.

    Also I would never get beat in b-ball or even touch football by a 70 year old but I could in tennis.

    Definitely pro level players have to be in great shape, but I'm sure I see people jogging on the street every day that are more physically fit than them who aren't even pro athletes.
     
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  12. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    What part of this sentence from the original post do you not understand?

     
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  13. tennispro11

    tennispro11 Hall of Fame

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    My fault. I thougth I was in another thread. Didn't mean to post it in this one.
     
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  14. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Fitness can change for each sport but I would be interested is which sport usually requires to have the least body fat.
     
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  15. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    It is not logical to judge any athlete's "fitness" according to anything other than what they do for their particular sport. Meaning, judging how in shape they are by how fast they run a 5k is dumb. The only people that should care about that are mid-distance track athletes. Would you really say that a world champ in the 5k is in "better shape" than a world champ marathon runner because of their 5k times?

    For a tennis player the lower leg muscles are crucial because when they tire out, the footwork goes away. They also would want to be very fit in the abdomen and lower back I would think.

    But if we are talking about wind sprints or something, then yes I would pick a fast basketball or soccer player over the equivalent tennis player.
     
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  16. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    Many American football players have extremely low body fat. Sometimes under 5%.
     
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  17. Fedexeon

    Fedexeon Hall of Fame

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    When you say football players are fit, do you mean this?
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. isuk@tennis

    isuk@tennis Rookie

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    golf....no wait that would be most body fat. i would have to guess long distance running those guys looks skinny as heck
     
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  19. isuk@tennis

    isuk@tennis Rookie

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    thats not fat that's soft muscle
     
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  20. Harry_Wild

    Harry_Wild Professional

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    The only football players that have maybe 5% body fat would probably the safetys, cornerbacks and the wide receivers. All the rest including the quarterback are in the 12% or more category! Offiensive line is in the upper 30%!
     
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  21. Schills

    Schills Rookie

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    That's an easy one. Cycling.
     
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  22. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    That's hard to generalize, e.g. Michael Jordan vs. Shaquille O'Neal.
     
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  23. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    I would think wrestling/boxing. Something with weight categorys.

    J
     
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  24. Zets147

    Zets147 Banned

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    Oy, oy. "You can't be serious"
     
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  25. tennispro11

    tennispro11 Hall of Fame

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    Oh, but he was. I think that he might be what we call "retarded." :)
     
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  26. Zets147

    Zets147 Banned

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    Ah, I see. At least he wasn't a "chunk"
     
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  27. JW10S

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    It's amazing to me that such a question would even be asked. The pros do no just show to play their matches, warm up for 5 mins, play, then take the rest of the day off. They spend hours on and off court training and have the longest season of any professional sport. They are in great shape...
     
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  28. Stchamps

    Stchamps Banned

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    Depends how you define being in good shape. They might be able to run for hours, but they don't really have much muscle on them. I know people are gonna argue me on this, but I've seen plenty of them with their shirts off and it's nothing pretty. Even ESPN photoshopped Andy Roddick's arms on the cover.
     
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  29. tenis

    tenis Professional

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    It is sooo stupid compare a different sports. Just look: a lot fat baseball players, fotball(soccer in US)-a lot of "free" time, the same-rugby and american fotball. And then we have golf, chess and than athletics (runers, etc..).
     
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  30. usfferjenn

    usfferjenn Rookie

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    true, athletes spend hours conditioning just so that they can even perform their respective sports.

    Muscle size is not necessarily an indicator of how highly conditioned an athlete is. Highly, trained and conditioned athletes have lower resting heart rates compared to the the regular population. A low resting heart rate is an indicator of how in shape someone is. I think Lance Armstrong's is like 50 where the normal range is typically 70-75 for a healthy person. I don't know what any of the tennis players' are.
     
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  31. Zets147

    Zets147 Banned

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    Poker players especially excel in fitness. Have you ever seen Daniel Negreanu play? That guy is a beast. Another one to look out for the Chris T. Moneymaker. His name already implies that he is sent from the heavens to make Money using his superior fitness level. These guys just outclass pretty much every other athlete on the planet.
     
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  32. KuramaIX

    KuramaIX Rookie

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    Some have guts... federer, blake, nalbandian
     
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  33. crazylevity

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    Even if it isn't a full out sprint, most of them are at least jogging most of the time. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard regularly covers 12km at least when he plays a full match, same for Manchester Utd and England striker Wayne Rooney.
     
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  34. lakis92

    lakis92 Rookie

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    I have said it before but tennis is the only sport to have that significant impact on the human body. Tennis players get more tired than any other athlete and it's the only sport that players have to stop and rest that often. That's why they are soooo fit as they have to be I think.
     
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  35. MaxT

    MaxT Rookie

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    cardio: long distance runner.
    athletic strength: football.
    mobility: soccer.
    overall balance of body: tennis, boxing; tennis more balance boxing more strength.

    Basketball has too many positions to define. I think the best athelets are point guards or small forwards, like the 5'8 Nat Robinson who can dunk, or Steve Francis. Jordan is widely considered a great athlete, but being 6'6 he may be too tall for many other activities, and I don't think he could match the best of 6'1 people if height were not an advantage.
     
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  36. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    Basketball, especially at the position of shooting guard and small forward, has some of world's most amazing athletes. You don't meet many guys who are 230 lb. and 6'7 in real life, and the few you do meet, are usually stiff. However, NBA superstars like Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James can flat out fly.
    Now speaking of fitness, I must say on average tennis players are more fit than basketball, only because there are those fat backup players with mistake contracts bringing down the average. Now in tennis, there's simply no way to survive a match if you are unfit.
     
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  37. princess bossass

    princess bossass Semi-Pro

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    Horseracing! Them teeny little jockeys gots to watch every calorie.
     
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  38. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Rank in order of least body fat to be more specific. Point guards, clay court specialists, wide receivers, and soccer players.
     
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  39. goforgold99

    goforgold99 Semi-Pro

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    LOL, yeah right! :D

    there is no such thing as "soft" muscle. if a muscle looks soft then because there is a layer of bodyfat above it ;)
     
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  40. fps

    fps Legend

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    For sheer legs i find it hard to look beyond the fittest pro footballers, these two are great examples. However, in tennis if you lose the legs, your career is over, whereas sporting intelligence counts for a lot more in football, allowing players like Zidane and Scholes to shine into their 30s
     
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  41. princess bossass

    princess bossass Semi-Pro

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    I think we might need some shirtless photos of pros like Safin, Federer, and Roddick as evidence. We can closely examine said evidence to prove either that these men are fit or that they are not. Photos. Definitely photos.
     
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  42. tennispro11

    tennispro11 Hall of Fame

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    Here you go. Hopefully you like this. ;)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhlzQcd_Fd8&mode=related&search=
     
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  43. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    Tennis Conditioning

    Tennis players today are in the best shape of any player in tennis history, thanks to Navratilova and Lendl. If I could compare tennis to other sports, then I think soccer(futbol) or basketball would be close. However, it is not about muscle or body size as these things in Tennis will hurt you. It is about eye hand coordination, conditioning, speed, anticipation and execution (See Pat Etcheberry's book).

    Rafa and Fed are great examples for this point. Everyone raves about Rafas muscles, but this could be Rafas worst problem as big muscles cause more wear on the body in tennis. Uses more energy to move, puts more wear on ligaments and slows reaction time. Rafa makes up for the reaction with great determination, but at what cost??? Fed on the other hand, is strong but slender, allowing mobility with less effort. It also allows him to reach further to make a shot and control it with little or no muscle strain and faster recover time.

    Exersion to recovery time is another issue. When you are big (whether muscle or fat), it takes longer for you to recover for the next point. This is why you see Rafa take so long between points. He needs to get oxygen to those big muscles to be ready for the next point.

    If you do not believe that todays players are not in better shape, just ask McEnroe (who initially believed in the Hagaan Daaz diet), who is now in the best shape of his life and that is no where near the shape the pros are in today.

    TennezSport :cool:
     
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  44. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    ^^^
    No. Muscle protects ligament. Having more muscle also allows you less effort to generate the same power, i.e. Nadal only needs to operate at 30% of his effort to generate a racquet speed that I need to put up 100% effort to generate.
     
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  45. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    As a group, tennis players are amongst the most fit athletes when assessed by standard measures, especially those that reflect flexibility, short 'burst' speed, and endurance. Borg was a MACHINE. There are numerous other examples, including Vilas, Thomas Muster, Agassi, etc, etc, etc.... ;) CC
     
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  46. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    He's not the one who couldn't even work out what thread he was posting in....

    I wish someone had these court-coverage stats on tennis, I'd have no problem thinking tennis players are covering 5k+ in a 3 setter, and more to the point, this is often in explosive movements, which are very taxing on the body.

    Correct, though i think a chunk of the WTA could learn more from Martina in regards to training and performance. Both absolutely led the way in the 80s in regards to fitness and nutrition for tennis players.


    Muscle protects ligament? Interesting way of thinking. Anyways - by your logic, why aren't body builders playing tennis? They'd only need to operate at 7% of their effort to generate the same racquet speed. Answer: unnecessary bulk is wasteful to carry around, and also puts unnecessary loading on joints. Don't mistakenly assume that size directly correlates to strength, and don't forget technique is much more relevant to power and spin production than size ever will be.
     
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  47. tennispro11

    tennispro11 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Orange. It was called a joke. Don't know if you know what one of those are since you seem to have no humor whatsoever in your posts. But thanks again for pointing out that I posted in the wrong thread. It's not like I said I posted it in the wrong one and appologized for it. Keep up with the good work though. (Pompous A**) :confused: :confused: :confused:
     
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  48. BkK_b0y14

    BkK_b0y14 Semi-Pro

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    pretty damn good shape considering those who can reach one of feds wicked dropshots
     
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  49. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    How good are you in tennis? The better you are in tennis, the more demanding it becomes. Tennis is club-ish only because the majority of players are not good enough to stress themselves physically. I used to do a drill with my coach, a shopping cart full of tennis balls, he would feed me at the net, and basically had me scramble all over the court, and I had to max out on each ball until I can't move any more. I had to hit a specific type of shot to a target. It was fun but it was painful. Tennis can be leisurely, or it can be as taxing as any physical activities.

    With tennis, when you are tired, your muscle is not a pliant or smoothly firing so your touch and timing goes off. If you are serious about tennis, you have to max out your body and see how you play.
     
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  50. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    Yes, muscle protects the joints.
    Why aren't body builders playing tennis? That's because they're too heavy. They built up their body mass by ingesting tons of steroids, some of which are shown to damage joints.
    How fast do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger can run?
    In other words, what they have is unnaturally excessive, totally different from Nadal.
     
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