Just started a gym program for tennis.

I just had a session in the gym with a tennis specialist and it was a very unique experience. I was just wondering how many of you guys have done some sort of tennis specific training program, and if you did, how effective it was. I'm very excited about getting stronger and faster on and even off court.
 

Tyrus

Professional
My Coach and I spend half our sessions doing alternate training: lifting, jump rope, today we were boxing.

Off the court training will set you apart from the rest on your team/league of people who just go out and hit balls.

HUGE improvement.
 

kishnabe

Talk Tennis Guru
I know there are Tennis Specific training exercises, drills, and supplementary training! I never had a tennis specific instructor....if you are going, please do share! But I feel he is just going to make you do Interval Sprints, Plyometrics provided that you have the strength already to be converted to power, and muscular endurance exercises!
 
He's not exactly tennis specific, but he does have a tennis specific program that my coach recommended I try.
I know there are Tennis Specific training exercises, drills, and supplementary training! I never had a tennis specific instructor....if you are going, please do share! But I feel he is just going to make you do Interval Sprints, Plyometrics provided that you have the strength already to be converted to power, and muscular endurance exercises!
He was making me do some things with a yoga ball for balance and coordination, and he kept talking about power and whatnot, but not necessarily endurance, I think he expects that to just come along with the exercises.
 

USERNAME

Professional
1) Light-mid weights, high reps (bench press, military press, curls, squats etc.)
2) Lots of strength exercises using your own body weight (push ups, pull ups mainly)
3) CORE WORK!!! Sit ups with a weight vest, weighted leg lifts, torso twists with weights or resistance bands, planks etc.
4) Legs! Lunges, sprints, bike, etc.
5) I like yoga for balance and calmness

These are some of the things I do in the gym/off the court.
 
1) Light-mid weights, high reps (bench press, military press, curls, squats etc.)
2) Lots of strength exercises using your own body weight (push ups, pull ups mainly)
3) CORE WORK!!! Sit ups with a weight vest, weighted leg lifts, torso twists with weights or resistance bands, planks etc.
4) Legs! Lunges, sprints, bike, etc.
5) I like yoga for balance and calmness

These are some of the things I do in the gym/off the court.
sounds a lot like what I'm doing, but not to the bench press yet. I have a feeling I'll get there in a few weeks, I'm very skinny and my dad doesn't want me doing too much weight until I can handle my own haha
 

CptnRiceKrispy

New User
I think a really good way to help your tennis game is too cross-train. If you play other sports it helps with your athleticism, hand eye coordination and being able to compete.
 

USERNAME

Professional
sounds a lot like what I'm doing, but not to the bench press yet. I have a feeling I'll get there in a few weeks, I'm very skinny and my dad doesn't want me doing too much weight until I can handle my own haha

Weight training will have you getting bigger in no time. I went from like 145-165 pretty quick and really saw results on court, felt stronger and really was stronger! Could hit bigger shots, had more explosive movement, stamina got a nice boost, off court training really makes a world of difference. Using your own body weight is a great way to actually cut out the need for a gym, push ups and pull ups are great strength builders and don't require weights. If you do have a bench or go to a gym just remember, lighter weights higher reps, you don't want to put on muscle like a body builder. I've never put up more then 140 on the bench, 120 military press, and 200 for squats, don't need more then that! That being said I think squats are the best, they are the multitaskers dream. Squats work the core, legs, back, shoulders, and arms all at once.
 

maverick66

Hall of Fame
lighter weights higher reps, you don't want to put on muscle like a body builder.

You know bodybuilders use lighter weight and high reps to build muscle right?
Obviously there light weight is more than normal people but not even close to what strongmen/powerlifters use that are the same size as them.

There is so much wrong with that statement it hurts.
 

Gemini

Hall of Fame
I played basketball, swam and ran track while I was playing tennis in high school. Probably the best cross training I've ever had.
 

USERNAME

Professional
You know bodybuilders use lighter weight and high reps to build muscle right?
Obviously there light weight is more than normal people but not even close to what strongmen/powerlifters use that are the same size as them.

There is so much wrong with that statement it hurts.

Ok, just for you, lighter weights for normal sized people. :) What my pt told me, word for word, is that "we need to get you on a light weight high rep regimen".
 

GuyClinch

Legend
There is so much to this topic - it really depends on how serious you want to get, how young you are and how much time you have.

I think if you want to tailor your workout program to tennis you should concentrate on overall strength via compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, cleans, dumbell or barbell rows - as well as mixing in core strength via planks crunches etc.

To this you add a mix of plyometric and agility training like jumping rope, ladders, box jumps and sprinting drills.

Finally I think most male players could benefit from alot more flexibility - so they should end their workout with some old fashioned static stretching to increase this aspect.

I think some aerobic exercise might help some guys out as well. But if you are playing basketball as a cross training sport - or something like that you are probably in good enough aerobic shape to play tennis. I don't think its that demanding aerobically because most rallies are not that long.

So it's actually tough to find a goodwork that fits your time constraints and maximizes your on court performance when you look at all the factors involved. The more serious athlete is mixing up like entire workouts focused on agility or strength. I think your rec player is going to go like 5-10 warmup/15 agility/25 strength/15 aerobic/10 stretching..
 
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fRa

Rookie
You know bodybuilders use lighter weight and high reps to build muscle right?
Obviously there light weight is more than normal people but not even close to what strongmen/powerlifters use that are the same size as them.

There is so much wrong with that statement it hurts.

They use low-medium reps from 6-12 with high to medium weight. It's never light, even compared to their body weight.
Light weight + high reps is endurance training and does not induce muscle hypertrophy (unless you have really great genetics).
 

maverick66

Hall of Fame
They use low-medium reps from 6-12 with high to medium weight. It's never light, even compared to their body weight.
Light weight + high reps is endurance training and does not induce muscle hypertrophy (unless you have really great genetics).

Yes it does. The best way to get big is high volume. Not so much worrying about moving a ton of weight but to move a high volume of reps. Thats why German 10 x 10 are extremely effective. Not easy but very effective. Unless we are talking moving 5 lb db then you are just waving your arms around wasting your time.

Yeah bodybuilders totally go with light weight. Check out this classic video of this noted bodybuilder. He even tells you how its light weight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifChTHwvu08

Ronnie Coleman was a powerlifter first. He was a beast way before he got into the bodybuilding. He uses high reps to get more size on him if that is even possible at this point.
 

OldButGame

Hall of Fame
Yes it does. The best way to get big is high volume. Not so much worrying about moving a ton of weight but to move a high volume of reps. Thats why German 10 x 10 are extremely effective. Not easy but very effective. Unless we are talking moving 5 lb db then you are just waving your arms around wasting your time.



Ronnie Coleman was a powerlifter first. He was a beast way before he got into the bodybuilding. He uses high reps to get more size on him if that is even possible at this point.
This is extremely misleading. The statement implies the subject is doing '100 reps' in this German modality. However when You break it down to '10 reps' in 10 seperate sets, then You are really talking about 10 reps,...period. Typically when people speak of High reps and light weights,...they imply reps in the range of 15 - 25 PER SET,....with a weight that comes close to exhaustion at completion. In the modalities that use 'pre-defined numbers' like 10 x 10,...the early sets are nowhere near exhaustion. If they were the trainer would not begin to get 10 sets out. these early sets IMO are reletively meaningless. If in the 10th set the subject goes to failure because of all the earlier work, then he could have done the same thing in one or two sets, with a higher weight and much more efficiency in his workout.
Systems like a 10x10 approach were used long ago and despite possibly still used in places, have largely become antiquated in terms of training efficiency. This would not be the best approach fir size unless the subject was using steroids (Ronnie Colemen) to facilitate that kind of volume and recovery. Extrapulate for a bit,...if You are talking about ,say, squats,...are You going to advocate doing a HUNDRED squats in one session???...in 10 sets??. My belief is that ONLY someone on 'roids can do that,...and yes,..there are examples among probodybuilding ranks and power lifters,...but i think thats pretty much an obvious 'case-in-point'.
*No disrespect intended if it came off that way,... :)
 

maverick66

Hall of Fame
First you are wrong with how you said it. 10 x 10= 100 reps with rest inbetween each 10 reps. No matter how you say it the thing comes out to 100 reps. But thats not the point as no tennis player in his right mind would attempt it. My point was that lighter weights high reps is how they really pump the muscles out.
Also with your steroids comment. Even if I started doing heavy weights with low rep scheme I would not ballon up to a bodybuilder without help. If anything I would get pound for pound stronger then someone at my same weight.
There are different modes of training and I am pretty sure that the op is doing a GPP phase seems he has never trained but doing high rep sets is just not that great for any kind of sport training.
 

OldButGame

Hall of Fame
First you are wrong with how you said it. 10 x 10= 100 reps with rest inbetween each 10 reps. No matter how you say it the thing comes out to 100 reps. But thats not the point as no tennis player in his right mind would attempt it. My point was that lighter weights high reps is how they really pump the muscles out.
Also with your steroids comment. Even if I started doing heavy weights with low rep scheme I would not ballon up to a bodybuilder without help. If anything I would get pound for pound stronger then someone at my same weight.
There are different modes of training and I am pretty sure that the op is doing a GPP phase seems he has never trained but doing high rep sets is just not that great for any kind of sport training.
Maverick;

I think we're kind of 'cross-communicating',..I'm not following all of what You said here,...we agree that high reps are going to produce a 'pump' effect. One thing i disagree with is that "high rep sets is just not that great for any kind of sport training'.
High repetition training produces muscle 'stamina'. A greater tendency for oxygenation, local muscle endurance, and an overall 'staying power' in the subject, ( a blend of both increased strength and stamina in areas worked.). This increase in strength would come with a minimum of hypertrophy or increase in size.
 

maverick66

Hall of Fame
Maverick;

I think we're kind of 'cross-communicating',..I'm not following all of what You said here,...we agree that high reps are going to produce a 'pump' effect. One thing i disagree with is that "high rep sets is just not that great for any kind of sport training'.
High repetition training produces muscle 'stamina'. A greater tendency for oxygenation, local muscle endurance, and an overall 'staying power' in the subject, ( a blend of both increased strength and stamina in areas worked.). This increase in strength would come with a minimum of hypertrophy or increase in size.

Hypertrophy phases in most programs I have seen is between 10-15 reps. I can understand what you are saying about muscle endurance but that isnt what I argued about in the first place. A poster said that he does high rep stuff so that he doesnt get big like a bodybuilder when the fact is bodybuilders are doing high rep stuff so its kinda funny.
And I stand by my outside of a GPP phase 10-15 reps isnt ideal for athletic development. that is why things like 5x5 or 5/3/1 are very popular right now. You need the strength aspect from training.
Outside of GPP and prehab I dont recommend doing high rep training.
 
The little workout plan that I received from my trainer has a list on the back that says:
15+ reps = Strength/endurance/tone
8-12 reps = Strength/size
less than 8 reps. = Strength/power

He has me doing a lot of 2x12's for several exercises involving the big yoga ball
 

Nellie

Hall of Fame
I just had a session in the gym with a tennis specialist and it was a very unique experience. I was just wondering how many of you guys have done some sort of tennis specific training program, and if you did, how effective it was. I'm very excited about getting stronger and faster on and even off court.

For a while I did a core and leg specific workout along with lots of flexibility work that really helped my game. By leg work, I mean a lot of lunge-type movements where I am walking around in a low stance with my weight on my hips and jumping. I did get a lot better and I found that my form was more consistent, especially late in matches.
 

TimothyO

Hall of Fame
I've been doing lots of tennis and fencing-focused (kendo) weight training for my arms. It has made a HUGE difference! It has certainly improved my game but has also resulted in much healthier and pain-free arms.

For fencing I use a weighted shinai (kendo sword).

For both sports I start with 5-10 pound weights and work my way down to 1 pound weights as the session progresses focusing on reps rather than huge mass or bulk.

I think the weighted shinai also stretches my arm tendons in a good way. When you warm up with a shinai you take big cuts swinging the sword all the way behind your back and then over your head and pointing at the floor to your front (you use both hands with a kendo sword).
 

Sreeram

Professional
You know bodybuilders use lighter weight and high reps to build muscle right?
Obviously there light weight is more than normal people but not even close to what strongmen/powerlifters use that are the same size as them.

There is so much wrong with that statement it hurts.

You are wrong, light weight with high rep is for getting a ripped body not a bulky one like body builders have. I can lift 40 pounds comfortably but instead of doing 8 reps with it. I use 20lbs and do 16 reps. In short any athetlic sports related workout schedule should not involve lifting heavy weights.
 

TimothyO

Hall of Fame
You are wrong, light weight with high rep is for getting a ripped body not a bulky one like body builders have. I can lift 40 pounds comfortably but instead of doing 8 reps with it. I use 20lbs and do 16 reps. In short any athetlic sports related workout schedule should not involve lifting heavy weights.

I think it depends on the sport. For football we generally bulked up on heavy weights.

For tennis and fencing I prefer lighter weights and more reps.
 
Well, "heavy" is a relative term, but I'm guessing that Sreeram is pretending that Agassi didn't bench 300 pounds? Most people on a tennis forum would consider that a healthy bench number.
 

maverick66

Hall of Fame
You are wrong, light weight with high rep is for getting a ripped body not a bulky one like body builders have. I can lift 40 pounds comfortably but instead of doing 8 reps with it. I use 20lbs and do 16 reps. In short any athetlic sports related workout schedule should not involve lifting heavy weights.

I could rip into this and tell you how wrong you are but I will just leave it with you are wrong. Extremely wrong.
 

kevsaenz

Rookie
I love when people say that high reps will give you better muscle endurance. If I squat 300 lbs and you squat 200 lbs, I guarantee I will be able to squat 200lbs more times than you, even if you are doing a high reps program.
 

Funbun

Professional
Nearly EVERY sport effectively needs you to have heavy weights and low repetitions. It's false that lifting heavy weights will make you turn into the Governator.

Bruce Lee used high weights and low reps, but he still looked relatively toned. Sure, he grew a bit bigger, but it wasn't much. Your diet mostly determines your muscle size. A high-protein diet typically helps build size and stamina. Carbs help you recover in addition to protein. Genetics may also play a part. When I lifted regularly in the summer, I grew in size, but it didn't restrict my ability to run Cross Country in the fall. In fact, I've gotten my best times during that season.

While low weights and high reps may help, high weights and low reps will probably help most athletes achieve results faster. Similarly, those who walk for 9 hours straight will probably achieve the same level of exercise and benefit as those who do a 7-mile tempo workout in an hour and a half at 90% effort.

Because of this, many top long-distance running coaches include sprinting workouts in their athlete's schedule. It never hurts to put maximum load on the legs from time to time, unless you manage to injure yourself due to poor warmup/stretch prior to it.
 
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I agree with the post above and also like to add a few things for "Tennis specific training". You need to train with high weight and low-mid range reps (8-15) BUT on unstable environment. Tennis is a sport that involves speed, and quickness which can only be achieved by having good balance. For example instead of doing barbell bench press (stable environment), you may want to do one-arm dumbbell bench press instead to increase core strength and stability which in turn will give you better balance=more speed and power. As you get better you can use a stability ball instead of the bench for progression.

We also need to focus more on the muscles that slow down the movements which I called "Breaking system". This will allow your body to move even faster to the best ability. Imagine a Ferrari with really bad breaks racing with a highly tuned Honda with an excellent breaking system around the track with many sharp/short turns...who do you think is going to win? For example we use our chest, shoulders, abs, hip flexors , quads and many other anterior muscle for our big forehands. The muscles that slow down this movement are Lats, rear delts, glutes, hamstrings and many more posterior muscles. If we put so much focus on how much we can bench, that will lead to muscular imbalance and injuries.

Also don't forget about flexibility...:)
 
I agree with the post above and also like to add a few things for "Tennis specific training". You need to train with high weight and low-mid range reps (8-15) BUT on unstable environment. Tennis is a sport that involves speed, and quickness which can only be achieved by having good balance. For example instead of doing barbell bench press (stable environment), you may want to do one-arm dumbbell bench press instead to increase core strength and stability which in turn will give you better balance=more speed and power. As you get better you can use a stability ball instead of the bench for progression.

We also need to focus more on the muscles that slow down the movements which I called "Breaking system". This will allow your body to move even faster to the best ability. Imagine a Ferrari with really bad breaks racing with a highly tuned Honda with an excellent breaking system around the track with many sharp/short turns...who do you think is going to win? For example we use our chest, shoulders, abs, hip flexors , quads and many other anterior muscle for our big forehands. The muscles that slow down this movement are Lats, rear delts, glutes, hamstrings and many more posterior muscles. If we put so much focus on how much we can bench, that will lead to muscular imbalance and injuries.

Also don't forget about flexibility...
This is what a majority of my exercises are, involving balancing on the ball of some sort with 12 reps of a challenging weight or in my case, my body, for push ups and hamstring curls on the ball.
 

OldButGame

Hall of Fame
^^^ Called 'Turbulence Training',...often used in phsycal therapy,...but very very applicable to sport training.
 

Buffster

Rookie
When lifting weights to improve your tennis game, your main focus should be on explosiveness. Just focus on the basic exercises, like squats/deadlifts/bench presses/push presses and don't go for a few sets/8+ reps, but go for more sets and fewer reps, while keeping the motion explosive (but controlled obv).

When I squat for example, I do 8 sets of 3 reps @ 60% of my 1 rep maximum. Every now and then I go for heavy weights and I build up to a 3 rep maximum, but my main priority is explosiveness at a high volume.
 

Buffster

Rookie
You are wrong, light weight with high rep is for getting a ripped body not a bulky one like body builders have. I can lift 40 pounds comfortably but instead of doing 8 reps with it. I use 20lbs and do 16 reps. In short any athetlic sports related workout schedule should not involve lifting heavy weights.
No offence, but this is total ********.
 

maverick66

Hall of Fame
When I squat for example, I do 8 sets of 3 reps @ 60% of my 1 rep maximum. Every now and then I go for heavy weights and I build up to a 3 rep maximum, but my main priority is explosiveness at a high volume.

Yes and no on this. You cant just do one thing through out the year and expect to make gains. You can when you are a beginner but eventually you need to do something different. Thats why there is no perfect program. There are times when you might wanna up the reps to that 12-15 range and times when you are gonna do 3-5. They do different things at different times. I wouldnt put a pure beginner on a program doing 1rm lifts.

No offence, but this is total ********.

He probably uses Jillian Michaels dvds for his fitness. :)
 
This is what a majority of my exercises are, involving balancing on the ball of some sort with 12 reps of a challenging weight or in my case, my body, for push ups and hamstring curls on the ball.

Sounds like you have a great tennis training routine already. Another thing that I found to be very effective for tennis is working with a medicine ball. It does help you gain explosiveness power and also teaches your body to slow down the movements. A great example of this is throwing the heavy med-ball against the wall like 2 handed back hand motion. You will gain explosive power and your body will have to learn to stay in balance. I see many people in the gym using cables for rotational training for tennis, golf and other rotational sports which is very effective for gaining power. But the neg-force of the cable system will help you slow down the momentum going forward so your body does not have to work your "breaking system". Give med-ball a try if you are not already doing so. Have fun!
 

Buffster

Rookie
Yes and no on this. You cant just do one thing through out the year and expect to make gains. You can when you are a beginner but eventually you need to do something different. Thats why there is no perfect program. There are times when you might wanna up the reps to that 12-15 range and times when you are gonna do 3-5. They do different things at different times. I wouldnt put a pure beginner on a program doing 1rm lifts.
Agree... variation is key.
 
General rule of thumb is lifting routines should be changed ever 6-7 weeks. Or if it's a legit program like Starting Strength or 5x5 then follow that once or twice then move on.
 
He probably uses Jillian Michaels dvds for his fitness. :)

Wait, you mean to tell me that ifit live and google maps is not the secret to weightloss? Blasphemy!

It always makes me chuckle when the formerly obese comment on how much weight they lost with it. Well yeah, when you're that big pretty much doing anything makes you lose weight.
 

maverick66

Hall of Fame
Wait, you mean to tell me that ifit live and google maps is not the secret to weightloss? Blasphemy!

It always makes me chuckle when the formerly obese comment on how much weight they lost with it. Well yeah, when you're that big pretty much doing anything makes you lose weight.

Ya that is true. the guys comments of high reps to get ripped is something I have heard her say. Its sad really that she is the number fitness person in the country right now when she cant even figure out how to use a kettlebell.
 
Hahaha yeah... this is all so true! Anyways back on topic, Just after the first week on the program (twice a week) I noticed a huge improvement in my volleying skills, they were sooo much more solid, and much easier to get power from. I am moving around the court a bit faster as well because I've been doing leg workouts too. Balance is slightly improving, but still needs some more work. Overall, I can't wait to continue this program and get stronger, faster, and more balanced so that my tennis can improve to a higher level than was possible before.
 
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