This thread really caught my attention. I wouldnít say Iím out of shape, but I could be much more fit cardiovascularly. I will get winded early in matches even during warm-ups sometimes. I think that is mostly adrenaline and/or nerves. During night matches Iím usually fine to compete hard, but I will get out of breath during long points. The big issue I have is playing in the sun. Itís during these matches where Iím completely out of breath at the changeovers and my opponent isnít even huffing at all. I actually find that I canít even compete in the heat. Just no ability to hustle. That began to bother the heck out of me recently. Some of it is just lack of sun exposure, but Iíve learned that it also a fitness issue as the blood from your body has to move away from your muscles to your skin to cool you off. This requires a higher level of fitness.
I like to lift weights but now at 36 and a shoulder surgery it seems Iíve hit a wall where I just donít want to push myself much farther. Iíve reduced the weights somewhat and shorten the workouts to about 30 minutes. I do dead lifts, pull-ups, rows and front squats and rotator cuff work over 2 workouts. That leaves time for fitness work. Iíve been doing the HIIT type, not the aerobic type workouts after lifting weights and 1 or 2 days by itself. I will do suicides in the backyard 30 sec on, 30 sec off for twenty minutes. Other times Iíll do split squats, or burpees 30 sec on, 30 sec off. After only 4 weeks Iíve seen a big improvement which is awesome. Even during my night matches I feel much fresher and I didnít think I needed much help at night. I was wrong.
My weight is pretty much in check. When I find the need to lose weight I track my calories on dailyburn. I just make sure to keep my protein up above 130g and calories right around 2000. That seems to let me lose about 1-2 lbs per week.
Unless you like long distance aerobic work, I would consider cutting it out. After I hurt my shoulder I found this guy online, Eric Cressey. Heís a strength coach that works with athletes, mostly baseball players. Anyways he seems to think the repetitive motions of aerobic work can lead to overuse injuries. In addition he feels anaerobic work will condition the aerobic part even better.
There is a million theories on how to get fit and how to work out. Iíve decided to just latch on to this guy. He has a blog and some great articles on T-nation.