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Old 08-14-2012, 08:07 AM   #4
Chas Tennis
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 4,104
Default Anaerobic & Aerobic and Tennis Recovery

I have read that 'singles tennis is an anaerobic sport'. I have also read that tennis is a mixture typically with '60% anaerobic and 40% aerobic'. The second view seems more reasonable to me. Also, individual tennis will vary a lot. In my doubles and also my singles rapid breathing hardly ever occurs, in any case, less than 3%(?) of the match time.

I have also seen calories expended per hour for various sports including tennis. Maybe 700-900 per hour for singles? The information presented looks a little internet cut and paste and not based on well understood research.

The pros play very intensely, often for more that 4 hours, and often they perform very well in the last set (even a 5th set). What is that intensity of tennis doing to the glycogen, stored in the muscles & liver, that supplys energy for anaerobic exertion?

Recovery for the pros. In a typical tournament the pros play every day or two. They have a day between matches for 5 set grand slam matches. After each match they must replace muscle & liver glycogen for the next match. They most often seem to recover pretty well for the next match. Do people in condition replace depleted glycogen better than the average club player?

The TV announcers are always pointing out how so-in-so had two 5 set matches and might be spent.....or played for so many hours in their previous matches. But they never ever quote any research to support the claim that it is significant. That information would be available in the match result records - variation of the probability of winning the next match after 2-set, 3-set, 4-set or 5-set matches, etc.

Has anyone seen scientific data on recovery, the time required to replenish glycogen and win-loss results after long or short tennis matches?

From this 1998(?)reference some of the basic issues are still to be determined:

Review Paper - Glycogen Replenishment & Exercise

Circuit training sounds more glycogen depleting than tennis. A tennis instructor of mine said to do 'gym after tennis' but not 'tennis after the gym'. As I recall it we were discussing on the same day. I seemed to play flat after the gym so I stopped going before a tennis match.

I hope you get some informative replies, it's an interesting question.

Last edited by Chas Tennis; 08-14-2012 at 12:24 PM. Reason: added link - Glycogen Replentishment...
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