Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015-12-01)

Preseason Training: The Effects of a 17-Day High-Intensity Shock Microcycle in Elite Tennis Players

  • Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez, David Sanz-Rivas, Jose Manuel Sarabia, Manuel Moya

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 14, no. 4
pp. 783 – 791


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Preseasons in tennis are normally reduced to 5 to 7 weeks duration, and coaches should use an integrated approach to conditioning and skill-based work. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of adding a high-intensity training (HIT) shock microcycle to the normal training content in several physical performance indicators in the preseason training of high-level male tennis players. Over 17 days, 12 male tennis players performed 13 HIT sessions in addition to their usual training. Physical performance tests (30:15 intermittent fitness test [VIFT], 20 m sprint, countermovement jump [CMJ], repeated sprint ability [RSA]) were conducted before (pre-test) and 5 days after the intervention (post-test). After the shock microcycle, results showed a significant increase in the VIFT (p < 0.001; Large ES) and a significant decrease in the mean RSA time (RSAm) (p = 0.002; Small ES), while there were no significant changes in the other parameters analysed (e.g., 20 m, CMJ, best RSA time [RSAb]; percentage of decrement in the RSA [%Dec]). Moreover, the training load (TL) during tennis sessions was significantly higher (p < 0.01; Large ES) than the TL during the integrated sessions, except during the first training session. A 17-day shock microcycle (i.e., 13 HIT sessions) in addition to the regular tennis training significantly improved parameters that can impact physical performance in tennis. Moreover, additional sessions, including running exercises based on the 30:15ITF and on-court specific exercises, were characterised by significantly lower TL than tennis-training sessions.