Training Methods of Elite Athletes

In this weeks sports science news, elite training methods, attentional focus is elite athletes, tennis energy expenditure.

Eric Curry

By Eric Curry
Last updated: March 8th, 2024
4 min read

This week in the world of sports science, here’s what happened…

  • Four training methods elite athletes use
  • External focus of attention in lower limb strength tasks for elite athletes
  • How many calories do tennis players burn per day?

Four training methods elite athletes use

4 Training Methods Elite Athletes Use (YouTube)

Matt Casturo from the Movement System is back with a new video. In it, he shares his experience “coaching thousands of athletes over the last ten years” and discusses “four training methods elite athletes use that you might not know about”.

The following are the four training methods:

  1. Low-level plyometrics: Casturo suggests that athletes should spend at least five to ten minutes every other day performing low-level hops and skips. These exercises prepare the joints, muscles and tendons for more intense athletic movements. Additionally, becoming smooth and rhythmic in low-level plyometrics can help reduce the risk of injury to the foot, ankle and knee.
  2. Overcoming isometrics: This method involves trying to move an immovable object, such as placing a barbell in an unmovable position in a rack but attempting to move it. Casturo believes that this method allows for maximum force production with relatively low fatigue. When coaching these, he uses a three-second build-up and a three-second maximal isometric hold.
  3. Dynamic effort lifting: This method involves lifting a lighter weight and performing the concentric part of the lift as fast as possible. Casturo recommends various percentages of 1RM that athletes can use to benefit from this method. He believes that this method is extremely beneficial for power development and that it can potentially aid athlete longevity.
  4. Zone two cardio: This method involves performing a cardiovascular activity at 60-70% of maximum heart rate. Casturo believes that zone two cardio builds true aerobic adaptations and provides insight into how to program dedicated zone two cardio training sessions or how to incorporate it into sport skill training sessions.

Watch the video for a more detailed explanation of the four training methods recommended by Casturo. It is an excellent resource that can benefit a vast majority of athletes.

External focus of attention in lower limb strength tasks for elite athletes

(Image: NASM Blog)

It is widely accepted that when it comes to focus of attention, an external focus is better than an internal focus. For strength performance, an external focus of attention is also considered best practice. (By the way, in my Master’s thesis, I studied focus of attention in the context of the Countermovement Jump!)

However, a recent systematic review has created some uncertainty. This review examined the focus of attention in athletes during lower limb strength tasks. Although almost 300 studies were evaluated, only 15 met the inclusion criteria. Out of these, only two studies showed that an external focus of attention was advantageous for lower limb strength tasks among athletes.

While this systematic review does not contradict existing research on the focus of attention and strength performance, it highlights the limited research available for elite athletes. If you work with elite athletes and are interested in attentional focus for lower limb strength performance, this presents a great opportunity for further research. More research in a professional setting can only lead to better development of coaches and athletes.

How many calories do Tennis players burn per day?

(Image: Stack)

Tennis is a sport that demands a lot of energy expenditure from players. A recent study investigated the energy demands of elite male and female tennis players, revealing some interesting findings.

Elite male tennis players were monitored for 26 days, comprising of 33 tennis training sessions, while female tennis players were monitored for 43 days and 58 tennis training sessions. The study found that male players burned an average of just over 4,700 calories per day, with an average of 10 calories burned per minute during training sessions. On the other hand, female players had a lower average energy expenditure of 3,639 calories per day, burning an average of 7.6 calories per minute during training.

These findings highlight the importance of proper nutritional planning to help tennis players recover and prepare for their rigorous training sessions. Burning almost 5,000 calories per day requires a lot of refuelling! It’s also worth noting that nutritional planning should be tailored individually to each player, as the range of total daily energy expenditure varied between players in the study.

If you work with tennis players, this study is a valuable reference for monitoring their energy expenditure and guiding their nutritional planning.

From us this week:

>> New course: Emotional Intelligence
>> New podcast: Should You Train Through Pain?
>> New infographic: Differences In Training Load In 1st Team And U23 Players From The English Premier League
>> New article: 15 Best Barbells For Home Gyms

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Eric Curry

Eric Curry

Eric is a Strength and Conditioning Coach from Ireland. Eric holds a MSc in Sports Strength and Conditioning and an undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise. Eric is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA. Eric currently works as a Strength and Conditioning Coach in Ireland predominantly with youth performance Tennis players. Eric also has experience working with athletes from basketball, martial arts, football, hurling, and Gaelic football.

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