The Effect of Lactic Acid on Endurance and On-Court Performance

How iTUSA measures and monitors a player's lactic acid production to customize an endurance program for maximum results.

iTUSA believes that players must not only incorporate physical training into their tennis development programs, but they must also incorporate training with the appropriate intervals and intensity, based on each individual's performance and muscular endurance level.

In today's tennis game, fitness has become one of the most underrated, yet crucial aspects of the sport. Much emphasis has been placed on strength training and weightlifting, versus muscular endurance conditioning. For years Spanish tennis and soccer players have been developing their muscular endurance and winning championships. It is time to start equipping yourselves and your players with the knowledge of why players become fatigued mentally and physically and how to improve their endurance. To become a mentally tough competitor you must achieve the highest levels of endurance, so you can last physically and mentally while maintaining your maximum intensity throughout an entire match, no matter the level of play.

Over time VO2max testing has become popular in many sports, measuring an athlete's maximum heart rate; however, the VO2max test is not specific to all sports, including tennis and only provides training guidelines based on a an athlete's heart rate. iTUSA uses its endurance and lactic acid technology to measure not only a player's heart rate, but also the amount of lactic acid in the player's bloodstream by testing their performance at varying degrees of physical activity and training.

Muscular endurance is defined as a player's ability to perform a high volume of sub-maximal efforts without becoming fatigued. The longer in length and the higher number of repetitions a player can perform at this sub-maximal level, the greater the player's muscular endurance level. So what causes a player's muscular endurance to break down? The answer - lactic acid buildup in the bloodstream.

When players train, their bodies and muscles are continually producing and using oxygen. The harder a player trains, the more oxygen their blood uses in order to keep up with the intense activity. As training becomes more intense, the body reaches a state at which it cannot keep up with the demand for oxygen and begins to produce lactic acid. It is at this point where your muscles turn to anaerobic energy production, a state where the body no longer uses oxygen for energy production. The result of this process produces heat and lactic acid. The body is then unable to remove more lactic acid from a player's bloodstream than the player's cells are producing, and lactic acid begins to accumulate. The increased amount of lactic acid in the bloodstream increases the pH level of the player’s blood, in return causing training or competing to become fatiguing.