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In 'Training like a Pro- Part 1', you learned that we interviewed Dylan Fogarty, Travis Core, Jarratt Rouse, and Tom Witt. We asked them for tips to recover from playing roundnet and strength training recommendations. For this blog post we'll reveal their answers to our final two questions... 3. Cardio recommendations for roundnet? 4. Anything else you want to add about training and recovery? 

Let's jump right into it!

3. Cardio recommendations for roundnet?

Dylan- Interval training/sprinting is probably the best recommendation. There's a lot of short spurts of energy needed, so quickness and reaction time that you get from shorter workouts or interval training is better than long distance running. 

Travis- For endurance training, think repeated sprints and cutting drills. Distance running has its value early on if you are not in shape. A resting heart rate of less than 60 beats per minute is a good general rule of thumb to indicate if you are in “good shape.” Without going too far into how to achieve that, start with short distances (1-1.5 miles) at a steady pace and progress slowly by increasing the distance per run. Once this baseline level of “good shape” has been accomplished (or close), it’s time to start endurance training that more appropriately mimics roundnet play. The majority of points in roundnet involve running 20-40 yards, cutting 2-4 times, and lasting less than 15 seconds. One of my favorite ways to prepare for rallies is the “5-10-5” drill. This drill can modified for sprinting, shuffling, and back-pedaling so use your creativity! Start with 10 total repetitions (5 each way) with 30 seconds of rest; progress by increasing repetitions, increase distance between cones or by decreasing rest time.

Jarratt- I take pride in being a very conditioned player that has the muscle endurance to last a full day of high intensity activity without really having to conserve myself. This has all to do with my cardio endurance training I do for a living. You can keep your strength gains and explosiveness while also training endurance as long as you allow yourself to not neglect either method. If you have access to a HIIT workout program I recommend trying it out. If you are in a regular gym try mixing in days where you go for longer runs or some rowing. You can mix in strength training to your cardio days but try and not take much rest and go straight from one movement to another. An example of this is to set a timer for 20 minutes and see how many rounds you can get through of a 200-meter row, 15 high knees, 10 squat togethers, and 5 push-ups. Its all about adjusting the body to perform non stop because in a traditional gym setting you push or pull weight around with longer breaks in between without really keeping the heart elevated for a longer period of time. I will also say I am a big fan of rowing as it’s a full body booty kicker.

Tom- The best way to train for any competition is to be specific to the demands of the activity. So the best way to train your body for the rigors of roundnet is to play roundnet. Other ways of increasing cardiovascular endurance are to perform high intensity interval training, 30 seconds of work and 45 seconds of rest in whatever form your body can handle; bicycle, rower, running, cone drills, etc. to get your heart rate up into 65-85% of your maximum heart rate (Formula for max heart rate: 220-your age) while training. Again, goals should reflect the specific needs of the individual. Steady state cardio, i.e. long runs or bicycle rides, does not need to be added into a program unless the individual is severely lacking in this area.

4. Anything else you want to add about training and recovery?

Dylan- When I played, I prided myself on being able to play hard all day so that I wasn't winded in the finals of tournaments. I would practice for a few hours a day in a racquetball court in the offseason, but be sprinting everywhere and really exhausting myself. That built up a solid cardiovascular base and prepared me for aspects that are difficult to train for, such as California heat or 40-40 in game 3.

Travis- Listen, we all have lives outside of roundnet. Things come up and sometimes we just can’t prepare for tournaments the way we want or should. However, if you are a premier player looking to consistently get on that podium, an advanced player looking to earn premier status, or an intermediate player who it takes 4 days to sit down without hurting (cough* dad) then these tips can help you. 

Jarratt- A couple more strength training tips: Work your accelerators and decelerators equally. A great example of this is the person who works chest all the time cause they want to throw/swing/hit harder but neglects the back muscles that decelerate the movement. You can only accelerate as fast as your body can decelerate. If you back muscles can’t slow down your arm efficiently then you won’t be able to maximize your accelerator muscles. Another tip is to workout with a friend. When you have someone pushing you performance and efficiency will increase. Finally, write out your movement program beforehand so there is no wasted time in having to think about what to do next.

Tom- Pre-tournament: Eat foods that are familiar and known to settle hunger- have a tournament “rehearsal” day where you eat your pre- tournament meal before playing, hydrate sufficiently, and try out any foods that you want to use before or during competition day to ensure they do not cause an upset stomach, or any other symptoms that would take away from performance. Drink 6-10 ounces of water every 30 minutes during play. If you are sweating a lot, you also need to replenish electrolytes. Athletes should aim to maintain adequate levels of hydration, and they should minimize fluid losses during exercise to no more than 2% of their body weight. Though there are a base set of skills and concepts that are beneficial to use while training for and playing in a roundnet tournament, what works for one individual may not work for another. It is CRUCIAL to plan ahead and prepare yourself as best you can as to try to alleviate any surprises that may arise on tournament day. That is why rehearsing what you are going to eat before, during and after a tournament is so important. Training styles should also be based on the specific needs of that individual. Someone with a soccer background and a bad shoulder will have different training needs and specifics than a sedentary individual with a knee issue. When in doubt do some research of your own, and ask someone who knows. :)

Just wanted to take a second to personally thank our Pros for such thorough and thought-out responses! We hope you can learn a few things from these articles, or implement some new training strategies to improve your roundnet game!

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