Fitness routines for tennis

ignacvucko

New User
I have tried several different ways to get into shape for tennis tournaments and stay injury free:

For a few years I did running and cycling. This was great for cardio, but terrible for strength and explosiveness.

For 2 years I did crossfit 3x a week. This was great for cardio, strength, and explosiveness, but only for the first 1h of a match, and definitely not for a 2nd match (especially if it was during the same day). I say this because the crossfit workouts are a strength based lift taking 20min combined with a 20min HIIT routine, and a single tennis match can last 3h on clay.

For a few years after that I did some longer strength based workouts (squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc.) along with some explosive movements (burpies, kettlebells, box jumps, hill sprints, etc.). The total duration of the workout was 1.5 hours and I did it 3-4x per week. But again, I found myself sometimes cramping in long matches that went to a 3rd set. (Yes, I made sure to drink plenty of fluids before and during and adequate salt intake).

It seems tennis (on clay) is about working hard for 10-30seconds and then resting for 15-20 seconds, and doing it about 12 times (2 games), and then resting for 60-90seconds, and repeating that about 100 times.
To top it off, you have to do it again a few hours later if you have a 2nd match of the day.
Taking all of this into account, have any forum members or researchers come up with a good workout routine to simulate this?
I didn't state my age or gender, but I don't think that should matter -- the workout could be scaled accordingly.

Thanks.
 

Grumms

New User
The best way to improve stamina is to train your heart at low intensity for a long time. Every running practice methods states a 80/20 ratio, 80% of low intensity running, 20% of "quality", i.e. running at paces that make your body work different energy production channels.
So, doing long runs at low intensity will :
- improve how long you can sustain a stamina effort (and tennis is a stamina effort)
- lower your heart rate for a similar effort
- give you confidence for being able to fight for 3 sets, twice a day.

But there is no miracle. If you don't have high level recovery equipment/team, your body won't be "fresh" on your 2nd game of the day.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
Our previous fitness center manager was a national class athlete in college and does regional competitions now. She has a schedule that she uses for her racing season and she tried to explain the science of it to me but it was a lot to take in. But something like the Garmin Body Battery is similar where you use training schedules according to your recovery times.

That said, I try to get in balance flexibility, cardio and strength-training. It's hard to do if you work a lot of hours and I often fall short.

I like running, barbells (deadlifts, shoulder press, bench, squats), pullups, dips, various abs exercises, Yoga, bodyweight exercises. I have a list in my head and try to do some daily and others when I haven't done them for a while.
 
First, if you're doing Crossfit and HIT, you are light years ahead of anyone on this forum.
People here can't even be bothered to do a single pushup.
Most people here are very mentally weak.

How can you do a 20 min HIIT workout ?
Tabata is 4 mins.

You already know the answer.
Stick to HIIT
Sprints.
 
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Grumms

New User
Did you have a target heart rate and target duration for your 80% and 20% intensity routines?
For the low intensity, I always stay below 75% of my maximum heart rate. Being 190bpm, I stay below 145bpm, no matter what. If it climbs a little too much, I walk.

For the higher intensities, my paces spread from marathon pace to full speed sprints, I try to work all the different paces.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
For the low intensity, I always stay below 75% of my maximum heart rate. Being 190bpm, I stay below 145bpm, no matter what. If it climbs a little too much, I walk.

For the higher intensities, my paces spread from marathon pace to full speed sprints, I try to work all the different paces.
My target heartrate for cardio is 155-175 and it sometimes gets up into the 180s. Sometimes it takes a while to get it up to those levels. I'm 60 right now so those heartrates are probably on the high-side of the typical formula. What I've read, though, is that maximum heartrate varies from person to person.

My heartrate is a lot lower when playing tennis though that may be partially because I'm not checking it while I'm actually playing. I have my phone displaying my heartrate when I run on the treadmill so I can see where it is and make adjustments if I want to. I only see my heartrate after the fact when running outside when I review Garmin Connect data for the run.
 

Grumms

New User
My target heartrate for cardio is 155-175 and it sometimes gets up into the 180s. Sometimes it takes a while to get it up to those levels. I'm 60 right now so those heartrates are probably on the high-side of the typical formula. What I've read, though, is that maximum heartrate varies from person to person.

My heartrate is a lot lower when playing tennis though that may be partially because I'm not checking it while I'm actually playing. I have my phone displaying my heartrate when I run on the treadmill so I can see where it is and make adjustments if I want to. I only see my heartrate after the fact when running outside when I review Garmin Connect data for the run.
Maximum HR is personal indeed. I deduced mine from some tennis games, where my heart goes higher than when I run. It's essential to know ones max to determine where is the low intensity, and where are the 2 thresholds (aérobic threshold/SV1 and Ventilatory compensation point/SV2). Working under the threshold will make them higher, and will improve stamina.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
It is helpful to know where you are at presently, both in terms of fitness and tennis (UTR or NTRP).

Down at my level (UTR 5ish NTRP 3.0-3.5 ish), most folks with decent strokes would have big fitness gains by simply dropping 20 lbs and improving their cardio so they can maintain their game after the first 45 minutes.

4.0 and up are often a much different fitness deal.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
It is helpful to know where you are at presently, both in terms of fitness and tennis (UTR or NTRP).

Down at my level (UTR 5ish NTRP 3.0-3.5 ish), most folks with decent strokes would have big fitness gains by simply dropping 20 lbs and improving their cardio so they can maintain their game after the first 45 minutes.

4.0 and up are often a much different fitness deal.
A 5.0 came over to me to chat and he commented on my weight loss ten years ago (I dropped 75 pounds) and he told me that he could stand to lose 30 pounds. He was definitely overweight but it would be a lot of work to try and take advantage of it.

Even some players at the top could stand to drop twenty pounds.





And some guys who can still probably play a very strong game:

https://www.**************.org/imgb/72743/alexander-zverev-and-ivan-lendl-will-not-work-together-for-too-long-becker.jpg
 
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