T Nation

Tennis Instead of HIIT?


I've been cutting and have lost 25lbs over the last 6 months, and this site has been a huge help. Thanks guys!

I usually train 6 days a week 2-4 hours a day. A typical week is like this:

Mon- 90min Full-body, 30 min cardio
Tue- 90min Legs, 2 hr tennis
Wed- 90min Full-body, 20 min cardio
Thu- 1 hr singles, 2 hr tennis doubles
Fri- 90min Full-body, 30 min cardio
Sat- 40 min cardio, 2 hr tennis
Sun- off day, but usually play 2 hour doubles...

Each week that's around:
6 hours weights
2 hours cardio
7-8 hours tennis

My question is this: Do you think that tennis substitutes HIIT and I don't need any HIIT in my training?

In my mind, the constant sprint/catch-your-breath/sprint is very similiar to HIIT. I started last week to substitue a couple of cardio sessions with HIIT, but the more I think about it, the more I think I already do all the HIIT I need by playing tennis. When I play competitive singles tennis my heart rate often averages 165bpm for 120 minutes with peaks at 200! (My max is 206 as far as I can tell- Polar is cool, but not perfect) Those are higher heart rates than I can hit with HIIT, or at least higher than I've been able to get to so far.

My goals are basically to be functionally fit (ha ha), strong, and fast. I'm 5'11" and weigh 191 (goal 185). I love tennis, but I play it more to stay in shape than to compete. So I'm not trying to work out for my tennis game, but my tennis game gives me a workout.