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-   -   Losing a step… (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442484)

tennytive 10-09-2012 04:55 AM

Losing a step…
 
per decade… would that make any sense? How many years go by before you start to notice you're one step away from that ball you used to get to easily?

When I was 22 I could run down any ball with no problem. Now, over 40 years later, I see the ball and think I can get to it only to fall short. Sometimes by just a little, sometimes by a lot. Sometimes I just watch it go past as I have no chance to catch up to it anymore. Not every ball mind you, many players are surprised at how fast I am, but it's all relative… you know, "for your age".

I weigh almost the exact same as I did in high school, that's never been an issue. When I was 40 I had 7% body fat. Today my BMI is 20.7 for whatever that's worth. I have the typical tennis build, lean with pretty good muscle tone. I usually play 2 to 3 hours 3 to 4 times a week April to November.

I did however, break both bones in my lower right leg at 22. It took me a year to walk, and 2 to run, but eventually I was able to regain most of my quickness. My leg would ache a lot the next day after playing hard, but even that went away after another 10 years or so. Can still feel a lump in my leg where the calcium filled in the break between the bones, but it doesn't bother me anymore.

Is it a testosterone thing? Center of gravity? Is it my shoes?? Yeah, my shoes… that's gotta be it.

I guess it's all part of the natural order. The young guys make me look slow, but they're all track stars. The older guys think *I'm* a track star, but they're all statues.

Marv Levy is fond of saying "I used to be fast. Now I'm half fast." I think I'm beginning to resemble that remark. Who's with me?

ollinger 10-09-2012 05:03 AM

Yes, definitely the shoes! What you lose in quickness, you make up in cunning -- until dementia begins.

ollinger 10-09-2012 05:08 AM

(note: definitely not a center of gravity problem. After 50, stretching of the scrotal sac helps to lower your center of gravity and stabilize your stance.)

SoBad 10-09-2012 05:11 AM

The other day I went out to hit against the wall across the street, wearing resin boots. The guys smoking crack in the lobby looked at me kind of funny though...

charliefedererer 10-09-2012 07:24 AM

From November to April do you do off court training?

Do you start with a progressive weight training program?

The Elite Approach to Tennis Strength Training http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com...-training.html

As the season nears, do you concentrate on High Intensity Interval Training?
HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training http://www.intervaltraining.net/hiit.html

Do you then concentrate more on court agility drills?
http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/USTA...oc_437_269.pdf

r2473 10-09-2012 07:33 AM

I thought most guys were dead at age 62. Or if not dead, they wished they were.

tennytive 10-10-2012 05:03 AM

Charlie…

From Nov to April I work out, play basketball, volleyball, hit the wall, swim, and shovel snow to keep in shape.

I'm not big on running unless it's after a ball, so maybe that works against me.

Thanks for those links, I'll check them out.

r2473… Wilt Chamberlain, Norm Van Lier… I don't feel so good myself.

ollinger… in my case may be a center of gravity thing as I'm still waiting for the stretch you describe. You're right, that may solve everything.

floridatennisdude 10-10-2012 06:01 AM

I'm quickly coming up on 40 and I know that I've lost a bit of burst on my first step. I work out more than average folks and do so specifically to strengthen parts of my body needed for tennis. But, facts are facts, and my 40 yd dash time today is not what it was at 22.

Looking around at my tennis buddies, I think 60 is around the age that the majority become a lot slower. Few singles players in that group. They just adapt to the game to compensate for the loss of step. Playing inside the baseline, not fearing no-mans land, half volleys, etc. a lot of these guys are really good doubles players due to their anticipation and reactions rather than foot speed.

LeeD 10-10-2012 10:12 AM

Poster 6 got it.
You know the studies. After age 30, you lose about 10% of your physical abilities every 10 years, and it starts to accelerate after age 60. That's life, you can live with it, or not.
Don't matter how much your train, lift, run, or workout.
Now some will say "this 65 year old can..."... but that guy never did anything athletic as a youth. He saved his body so he has something left.
Possibly you didn't.
In other words, if you can serve at 100 mph now, you could have served at 130 back when you were 25.

USS Tang 10-11-2012 03:37 AM

After age 60, all you need is salt air, red wine, and olive oil (plus a little stretching).

Chas Tennis 10-11-2012 04:45 AM

Heavy Resistance Training
 
Heavier resistance training - if your joints are up to it - will build muscle at almost any age. If you can do more that 12 reps it is not heavy resistance training. If you can do 20 reps it might be a great exercise for endurance and possible increased vascular enlargement but will probably not build muscle effectively.

From 40 on you probably tend to lose muscle mass at perhaps 1/2 to 1% per year. It depend on the heavier exercises & activities that you are doing and how much they heavily stress your muscles. Playing just tennis and accelerating to the ball less each year you leg muscles probably do not get enough heavy resistance and will lose muscle mass. If you do heavier resistance exercises you may be able to add, say, 5% to your muscle mass per year - equivalent to several years of your loss from aging. (That is not adding 5% of muscle to your body weight since the weight of your muscles is only a portion of your total weight. "An average adult male is made up of 42% of skeletal muscle and an average adult female is made up of 36% (as a percentage of body mass).[3]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle)

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/21/133776...-pressing-iron

Calculator - Converts Reps Performed to One Rep Max. As reps performed go above 10 the accuracy of the calculator declines.
http://www.timinvermont.com/fitness/orm.htm

1) With age there are a few very, very minor declines so why should I do anything with such certain fate stacked against me.......
2) Heavier weight training builds muscle. Test yourself for about 8 weeks by doing heavy resistance using some joint that is in good shape, arm curls? The test will indicate what you can expect from heavier resistance training.

Join a gym and subscribe to Ironman magazine.

dman72 10-11-2012 07:18 AM

I don't really FEEL slower at 40 than I felt at 25, but wheras I used to be able to retrieve every lob, I'm always a step late now.

I'm still good at getting to short balls, the problem is when I have to stop short or change direction, I always feel a few more reps away from blowing an achilles, hamstring, or knee. Last night in my league match I felt a grinding sensation in my knee that I have never experienced in my life. It was pretty scary.

Gettin' old.

charliefedererer 10-11-2012 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennytive (Post 6945582)
Charlie…

From Nov to April I work out, play basketball, volleyball, hit the wall, swim, and shovel snow to keep in shape.

I'm not big on running unless it's after a ball, so maybe that works against me.

Thanks for those links, I'll check them out.

r2473… Wilt Chamberlain, Norm Van Lier… I don't feel so good myself.

ollinger… in my case may be a center of gravity thing as I'm still waiting for the stretch you describe. You're right, that may solve everything.

Next time you bagel someone, and have plenty of gas left in the tank, stop at the football field on the way home.

Sprint from goal line to goal line.

Watch those five yard markers become a blur as you accelerate and reach full speed.

Watch that yonder goal post all of a sudden getting bigger and bigger.

Push those last 30 yards, gasping for breath, but feeling great that you are alive and running on top of the turf instead of being 6 feet under.

Pushing yourself in a sprint - now that is living!

LeeD 10-11-2012 10:17 AM

Last time the local 33 year old beat me double bagels, I gave him a ride home with his bike in my van. It's mostly downhill and 4 miles flats to his house, he said he was a little tired.
Last time Roger beat me double bagels, he didn't pick up a racket for 4 days, then in the finals of the 65's, he lost 5 and 0, claiming his legs weren't all there.
I seldom beat anyone close to 4.0 by those scores.

wrxinsc 10-11-2012 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ollinger (Post 6943832)
Yes, definitely the shoes! What you lose in quickness, you make up in cunning -- until dementia begins.

LOLz!!!!!!

LeeD 10-11-2012 12:11 PM

Tennytive...
When I was 22, I also broke my tib/fib, but in 11 places, requiring 6 pins, one long piece of wire, and a small plate to hold the parts together. I was in a hip cast for 5 months, then a calf cast for 8 months. Took me 2 years after getting out of the cast to start jogging in soft sand. My lower leg was skinnier than my arms.
Oh, I'm 63 now, still 5'11", but now a porky 150 lbs., and cannot run ONE step, now for 5 years due to a sprained ankle (or detached tendons, as said).

tennytive 10-12-2012 06:50 AM

Yeah, we'd make one hell of a doubles team wouldn't we?

With your power and my speed we'd really beat up on those octogenarians.

LeeD 10-12-2012 09:57 AM

It's not the worst thing in life.
Playing tennis, before when I could hang with strong 4.5 doubles players, now it depends how smart/ruthless they are. If they play a big hitting game, no problem. If they dink and doink, drop angles and deep CC lobs, I'm in trouble.
Same with my peers at 4.0.
Better to play with 5.0's, because they usually just go thru the motions playing their normal games, and the ball actually reaches me with depth and pace, something that is better than short mishits and weirdo slices for us mobility challenged players.


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