This study examined the effects of a 6-week non-failure strength training program in youth tennis players. Twenty tennis players (age: 15.0 ± 1 years, body height: 170.9 ± 5.1 cm, body mass: 63.3 ± 9.1 kg) were divided into experimental and control groups. Pre and post-tests included half squats, bench press, squat jumps, countermovementjumps and side-ball throws. Salivary cortisol samples were collected, and the Profile of Mood States questionnaire was used weekly during an anatomical adaptation period, a main training period and after a tapering week. The results showed that, after the main training period, the experimental group significantly improved (p<0.05) in mean and peak power output and in the total number of repetitions during the half-squat endurance test; mean force, power and velocity in the half-squat power output test; Profile of Mood States (in total mood disturbance between the last week of the mean training period and the tapering week); and in squat-jump and countermovement-jump height. Moreover, significant differences were found between the groups at the post-tests in the total number of repetitions, mean and peak power during the half-squat endurance test, mean velocity in the half-squat power output test, salivary cortisol concentration (baselines, first and third week of the mean training period) and in the Profile of Mood States (in fatigue subscale: first and third week of the mean training period). In conclusion, a non-failure strength training protocol improved lower-limb performance levels and produced a moderate psychophysiological impact in youth elite tennis players, suggesting that it is a suitable program to improve strength. Such training protocols do not increase the total training load of tennis players and may be recommended to improve strength.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.