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Old 06-01-2011, 04:27 AM   #1
Matt Mazur
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Izmir  Turkey
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From pro tennis to injury to Crossfit!

Hello everyone,

This is my first post on the board and boy am I glad to ahve found something like this.

Quick overview of where I come from -- I've been in sports my whole life and have a background in professional tennis, was ranked number 1 in my country (Switzerland) as a junior and won several national championships. Competed in all the big junior tournaments -- European and World championships and competed with all the top guys you can see on TV: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, etc.

Suffered an extremely tough injury at age 16 while being ranked number 1 nationally and number 12 worldwide for my age group. I tore my quadriceps playing soccer. It took me over 6 months to walk and run again, close to 9 months to get back on the tour.

Then, I played briefly on the ATP tour for a couple years and getting some good momentum going in my game and training hard. But I was forced to put an end to my tennis career in 2007 after 2 consecutive pneumonias that lasted 4 months to get rid of, and over 2 years to recover my fitness level. It was hell.

I played and trained with the best conditioning and fitness coaches in the tennis world. I have been lucky to have trained with some of the best conditioning coaches in the tennis world, and shared the same physical coach as Roger Federer, the master himself :-) , for close to 10 years.

I've pretty much seen and done it all in fitness and conditioning for top sports and came across Crossfit in March 2011 and I *wish* I had found out about it during my pro sports career.

It is changing my fitness life and I've already lost 6% body fat (I put on a good 20 pounds since 2007) and gained 3% muscle mass in less than 40 days since I started integrating Crossfit.

My goal with Crossfit is to get back to 8-10% body fat as I was during my career years and improve my skills, moves and times in all the major Hero workouts, as well as increase my max rep numbers.

I've had to overcome a good string of injuries (mostly shoulder, back and knee) which are frequent in the tennis world. This means I need to sub some exercises in the Hero worjouts here and there.

I'm also looking to meet some interesting people here and hopefully build some great relationships!

I'll also be posting my training log in the log section.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this board, there is more wisdom here about getting REALLY fit than anywhere else I've seen online.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:40 AM   #2
Edward Miles Hughes
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Re: From pro tennis to injury to Crossfit!

Matt,

It's great to hear your story, and welcome to the community! Are you Crossfitting at an Affiliate or on your own? I am the author of tenniswod.blogspot.com (WFS) and would love to hear your feedback if/when you have the time.

I specifically designed the program to try and reduce repetitive stress injuries associated with tennis (ie: knee, hip, shoulder, elbow). I played Division I tennis and am a certified PTR instructor so I have a reasonable foundation for developing my program, but it would be great to have some constructive criticism from someone with your perspective.

Well, that's enough shameless promotion for one paragraph. You mentioned your injuries, have you also checked out Kelly Starrett's mobilitywod? It would also help accelerate your acclimation to CrossFit and who knows maybe you could even attempt a Challenger circuit comeback in a year?....
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:51 AM   #3
Matt Mazur
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Re: From pro tennis to injury to Crossfit!

Edward,

Thanks for your message! I'm definitely going to check out your site in depth and will be happy to share my thoughts.

I'm currently Crossfitting on my own and trying to keep the workouts as different as possible. I had to come up with my own routines to sub the exercises that put too much tension in certain angles. But I'm LOVING thsi Crossfit thing

I've trained almost all may career with Pierre Paganini (who basically BUILT Roger Federer's physique from the ground up) as a conditioning coach and although he obviously does have world-class knowledge, I think tennis players could benefit incredibly by "tuning out" of tennis-specific exercises only and going into *real strength* conditioning like Crossfit offers.

Currently, I'm more explosive and faster than I used to be when training on tennis-specific drills, which does make me wanna play some Challengers and get back in the game just to have some fun

Anyway, it's great to meet you. Where are you based? How do you Crossfit?
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:29 PM   #4
Edward Miles Hughes
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Re: From pro tennis to injury to Crossfit!

Matt,

I CrossFit 4 to 5 days a week at http://www.crossfitlorton.com (WFS) which is right outside of Washington DC. Steve, the owner, is a great coach and his programming is also fantastic. He puts a lot of thought and effort and creates full programming in 6-12 week cycles.

I absolutely agree with you in regards to tennis specific conditioning. I think tennis players in general are scared of building muscle in fear of "bulking up" and not being able to move on court. Well, as you know there's a big difference between looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger and looking like Chris Spealler. I think if more tennis players were exposed to CrossFit they would realize that lifting heavy weights makes you strong - not huge.

The bottom line is that strong muscles generate more force, more force = more speed which is the whole point of on-court drills, suicides, etc. However, Deadlifts and Squats have 2x the benefit because they make you faster and less prone to injury.
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