In my view our “Fitness Guide” is fairly comprehensive as regards helping our students formulate realistic fitness goals and plans to accomplish them. Students are still keen to know what my goals are and how I plan to accomplish them. Sharing this information can be of some help in our students formulating their goals and plans.
What is My Fitness Agenda?
Having a clear aim is vital to prepare a plan. Understanding our bodies is also important.
· Fitness agenda: My agenda is to be the fittest in my age group in Tennis in India. In concrete terms it implies that I should be able to last a 3:30 hour singles match and recover adequately to play with energy a doubles match one hour after that and be fresh for a 3:30 hour match the next day. In this season I was not measuring up to these requirements.
· Fitness Problems: I have a broken bone in my right heel and that prevents me from pushing myself as regards sprinting and jumping. I was living with a lower backache and left hip for almost four years because of deficiency of Vitamin D and Calcium. This problem has gone and I can thus push myself in strength building exercises.
· Weight: To avoid overloading my ankles, knees and lower back I cannot afford to increase weight beyond 77 kg; 74- 75 kg is good & below 73 kg means that I need to eat more!
Cardio Improvement Plan by Sep First Week
Get to a level where I can undergo a training session of 2:30 hours of Tennis and thereafter a 20 min session of vigorous footwork drills for at least two days in a week.
Strength Goals by Sep First Week
· Thighs: Be able to half-squat 120 kg (I can do 100 kg now).
· Calves: Be able to do a calf raise with a single leg with 70 kg (I can do 55 kg now).
· Abdominal muscles: Be able to do 4 sets of 40 sit-ups on an inclined bench (I can do 4 sets of 30 sit-ups now)
· Shoulders: Be able to military press 60 kg (I can do 40 kg now).
· Chest: Be able to bench press 100 kg (I can do 80 kg now).
· Biceps: 40 kg; triceps:50 kg.
· Monday: morning: Tennis; evening: core (4 sets upper abdomen & 4 sets lower abdomen & 8 sets of hyper back extension) & calves (8 sets of 15 reps each). 15 min of stretching exercises.
· Tuesday: morning: Tennis; evening: chest, upper back & calves (8-12 sets for all the 3 muscle groups, depending upon the weight being used).
· Wednesday: Same as Monday.
· Thursday: morning: Tennis; evening: legs: 12 sets of half-squats (15 reps), leg-press (15 reps) and body weight lunges (30-40 reps of super-sets). 4 sets each of leg extension & leg curls (quadriceps & hamstrings); 8 sets of triceps.
· Friday: Same as Monday.
· Saturday: morning: Tennis; evening: 8-12 sets of shoulders and biceps & calves.
· Sunday: Off.
Points to Note
· Once I am in a position to push myself well in cardio exercises then it will be 3 days tough and 3 days light or 2 days tough and one day light and 2-3 days off (in case professional work load is high). Core muscles are trained 3 times a week.
· Calves are trained 5 times a week (I need it to be able to last matches on hard-courts and preserve my injured Achilles heel).
· Stretching exercises are done 3 times a week to improve and maintain flexibility and prevent injuries.
· Other major muscle groups are trained just once a week. I can train them twice a week but I cannot afford the time.
· This is an off-season plan. Once the tournament season is on then the focus increases on the cardio part and reduces on the strength part.