loris bertolacci

Sport, Health and Fitness

Perceived Exertion Rates, Loadings and Tennis

I have used the RPE system first devised by Foster since 2001. I kept databases galore and by 2004 had found some trends using the system. When GPS data was added it seemed we had a powerful tool to get some bearing on loads in AFL training and games. All old hat now. Some clubs use some other markers and systems and many now categorize drills using RPE & GPS and coach/player feedback.

Tennis is a unique sport. It has high eccentric demands and can last for hours. So all energy systems contribute. But tennis players seem to train so much more and play more often than AFL players. I have kept some preliminary loadings and had one player doing 10,000 units 2 weeks before the OZ Open. Amazing!

Now I will not enter into an analysis of actual time trained and distance covered or TRIMPS etc here. Reality is they train heaps and often on hard surfaces. So of course there is no body contact and thus I would assume CK levels would be lower. The Skill Set required is the main factor but do they enter tournaments often at 90% power and speed levels?

Now how much work does Federer and Nadal and other top 20 players do? Do they periodize more and do they train for 120 minutes but at an RPE of 3 and thus 360 units.

The information is so blurred in Tennis and more research is needed on loadings. That is the critical information. How long and how hard? Reality is very few players make it and so many get injured despite the lack of body contact.

There is some uniformity with loadings information using various methods in Team Sports now. Also there is lots of evidence now with Track and Field and sports like Triathlon.

Aaron Coutts was involved in an N=1 study 2 years ago at Paris Open and the loadings there were fairly similar to what I saw in AFL. But so far my own experiences have seen LOADS of 4000 occuring quite often.

So are players on the circuit over reaching? Especially the 100 plus ranked players.

And young players? What is the optimal load?

Lots of scope for research in Tennis with Loads as against Periodization. What do the best do? Tough sport this one.

September 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments