Training for Newk’s?

Two months before some of us head off the Texas for our annual fix of too much tennis,newk-geo too much food, too much wine; but never too much of the good times with good people. As Steve Contardi always says in his summer letter, we need to be in the best shape possible to really enjoy the week (and not come back injured). But my question is: what is the best training regimen and timing of that program?

For sure I will be doing my regular, almost daily dose of tennis. And trying for a daily sequence of stretching/yoga; as well as some light weight training three times a week. But I still have questions:

1) What is the best way for a senior tennis player to improve his cardio/wind/leg fitness? I used to run; but that really hurts the joints now.

2)What other training would be helpful to get ready for the week of two-a-day tennis?

3)And, when should that training effort peak and how much “down time” before going to camp?

Looking forward to seeing you there.

8 thoughts on “Training for Newk’s?

  1. Firstly, thanks to Jeremy for fixing the computer problem.
    George, you’re already w-a-y ahead of what I’m doing prep-wise for camp, but I’ve
    found that jumping rope (very light bouncing on the balls of the feet) helps with the
    cardio, and gives the legs a little more spring (it also seems to help strengthen the upper body a little as well.) Having “wonky” knees, I try not to overdo the bouncing aspect, but gradually increase the number of “light” jumps over time.
    Ideally, I think, the peaking of playing time/workout time needs to happen at least
    a few days before camp, with enough time given for the body to recover
    before the main event.
    Looking forward to seeing you again in October! — Jimmy

    Jimmy =- tks. see you soon, geo

  2. instead of jogging , ride the bike once or twice a week. 10-20 miles each trip

    willy – bike maybe. 20 miles, no. tks geo

  3. My training is simple. I increase my daily consumption of beer, wine and mixed drinks from at least one a day to between 10 and 20 a day. I need no more training than this.

    Marty – now, there is a plan i can embrace with gusto! tks geo

  4. Forget Cardio…..Tennis is not a cardio sport, it is a “power law” sport. So train with that in mind. Quick bursts of high intensity followed by rest. Example, take a 20 min. walk, and about 3-5 times during the walk, sprint as fast as you can for 80 meters, then quickly do some pushups or burpees (5- 7) then continue to walk.
    For more info on “power law” check out

    Marc – i can understand the “non cardio” viewpoint; but i believe you need your legs to be in shape for lots of time on the court. geo

  5. Your legs will be in perfect shape from walking and sprinting 😉 You will ruin your tennis legs with lots of cardio. Walking and sprinting…..the oldest and most natural excercise.

  6. I like Marty’s approach best and have changed my routine accordingly!! I’m not a hard court fan but mother nature has forced me indoors about half the time I played this summer. I hope this is sufficent for Newk’s courts.

    John – dont forget the drinking part too! geo

  7. I think I have discovered a new way to train for Newks. Read on…..

    I played three very difficult sets of doubles two nights ago and literally ran my butt off. This is not because the quality of tennis was high (it wasn’t) or because the opposing team was so good (they weren’t). It was because my partner (who had been randomly assigned to me, as it is a league) absolutely, positively stunk. Translation: He sucked. He was awful. He crapped. You get the picture.

    For example, he literally stood with one foot planted in the middle of the alley and the other foot slightly in the service box whenever I served. This made it nearly impossible for me to serve and volley, because whenever I did, the other team was able to pull me either wide to my right or left, just past my reach, as I was trying to approach the net. I tried repeatedly — starting nicely, and then getting pretty snippy — to get my partner to at least stand fully in the service box when I served (I gave up any idea of getting him to stand in the middle of the service box), but he absolutely refused to do so. His theory? He was trying to prevent the other team from passing hm down the line. When I tried to point out to him that a down the line return into the alley is pretty difficult to pull off in doubles because the net is higher over there and a serve with either some kick or pace, like mine, is not so easy to return anyway, he would have nothing of it. When I further explained to him that, statistically, he maybe was saving two or three up the line shots each set off my serve but, by doing so, he was also exposing me to impossible reaches on my net approaches and he was, therefore, “giving” the other team maybe 10 or 12 free points on my serve each set, he simply could not comprehend the point. So, I had to run like a banchy back and forth, diving like Boris Becker for three solid sets just to do what you are supposed to do in doubles, which is try to get to the net whenever you can on your serve.

    As for other aspects of my partner’s doubles game, they only added to my running burden. Specifically:

    (1) He hit all of his returns either straight at the net man, or if he tried to get it past the net man at all, he hit soft lobs or attempted drop shots cross court. He seemed to be pathologically incapable of hitting a simple, deep ground stroke to the open court, away from the net man.

    Marty – i will work to get the crappiest partners i can!!! (i think there must be a word max and you were cut off) – geo

  8. My wife bought a dog, a Jack Russel, named ella. I didn’t want the dog but is too expensive to get rid of my wife. The dog thinks I am the owner since my wife works and I do things part time. So, I am walking the dog 10 miles a day to get ready for our tennis camp. The is one problem – the dog loves to chase balls so I have to bring her to camp and he will be running around the court with me when we play our doubles matches. So be prepared – you got me, my partner and the dog to play against. Good luck- Looking forward to seeing you all soon. Jacker

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