Articles, Blog

Why Jogging is a Waste of Time for Tennis Conditioning | Episode 9

August 30, 2019

Hello and welcome, my name is Philipp Halfmann and I am the Director of Exercise & Sports Science at the IAAPH, and author of “Advanced Concepts
of Strength & Conditioning for Tennis”. In the previous episode I shared my opinion
on how to improve the state of US tennis. In today’s episode I will explain why steady
state jogging is a waste of time for tennis conditioning. Many coaches require their players to include
jogging into their regular training program in order to maintain or enhance endurance capabilities
but from a conditioning standpoint continuous steady-state jogging is inefficient and hence
a waste of time. There are more effective training components,
such as interval training, that allow the athlete to improve additional performance
parameters besides improving aerobic energy system efficiency (endurance capabilities). Next I will talk about: 1. Energy System Contribution During Competition
2. Interval Training 3. Training Recommendation So lets take a look at the physical demands
of tennis: As you can see the intensity is rather high
with rallies lasting 10-15 seconds on average depending on court surface and skill level
followed by approx. 20 sec of rest in between points. Now, with regards to energy system dynamics,
a tennis player requires contributions from all three energy systems: (ATP-CP, Anaerobic
Glycolysis, Oxidative Rephosphorylation) during a match but the anaerobic energy systems
(ATP-CP, Anaerobic Glycolysis) predominate and hence improving their capabilities should
be emphasized during training. Steady-state jogging is inefficient because
it requires a lot of time and targets the “wrong” energy system; it mainly enhances
the aerobic energy system (Oxidative Rephosphorylation) and slow twitch muscle fiber recruitment but
neglects the anaerobic energy systems and fast twitch muscle fiber recruitment. So, why would one send the athletes jogging
for hours each week if that time could be used much more beneficial? Now, interval training is a much better alternative.
Interval training, which is characterized by alternating low — and high exercise intensities
over a prolonged period of time, enhances the efficiency of bioenergetic processes (energy
transfer) for aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways; it mirrors and optimizes the metabolic
demands (energy system dynamics) experienced during a tennis match and hence is a much
more sport-specific form of training! Now, depending on age, gender, level of play,
and court surface, work-to-rest ratios during a tennis match vary. According to the ITF
rule book, during professional play there are rest intervals of 20 seconds between points,
90 seconds during change-overs, and 120 seconds between sets. Let’s assume that, on average, a point lasts
10-15 seconds and 7 points are being played per game. That means that a game lasts approximately
3 ½ — 4 minutes, of which 1 — 1 ½ min are of high intensity work and 2 ½ minutes
of low intensity (rest) activity. Therefore, on average, the work-to-rest intervals
during a tennis match are 1:2 ½ to 1:3, which means 10 seconds of high intensity activity
follow 25 — 30 seconds of lower intensity activity, which means that during interval
training the athlete sprints for 10 seconds and lightly jogs for 25 — 30 seconds. Now, each game lasts approximately 3 ½ — 4
minutes and 2 games are played before there is another 90 second rest interval due to
change-over. Therefore, we have 7 — 8 minutes of interval work before the athlete gets a
90 second break, which means that the athlete alternates 10 sec sprinting & 25 — 30 sec
light jogging for 7 — 8 minutes before getting 90 seconds to recover. Therefore, if each
interval includes the duration of 2 games and 10 games are played per set, then 5 intervals
will represent a set, which means that an interval training session of 5 intervals will
last 41 — 46minutes. Well, that’s it again for today’s episode.
As usual, opinions can differ. What’s your point of view? Let us know below
in the comment section. A brand new episode will be available next
Sunday. So make sure you don’t miss it and subscribe! In the meantime I recommend you watch some
of the previous episodes — you should really watch them all!
If you like what you saw tell your friends — I’m sure they will appreciate it. I’m Philipp Halfmann, Thank you for watching
and Auf Wiedersehen! Tennis Conditioning TV episode are licensed
under creative commons. You are welcome to embed these videos, forward them to others
and share these ideas with people you know. Brought to you by Advanced Concepts of Strength
and Conditioning for Tennis; available at Music by Dan O at

No Comments

Leave a Reply