Agonist-antagonist paired set (APS) training refers to the coupling of agonist and antagonist exercises, performed in an alternating manner with rest intervals between each set. The purpose of this review is to identify the proposed benefits and possible underlying mechanisms of APS training and to suggest how APS training may be exploited. Furthermore, areas deserving of further research attention will be presented. This review will also suggest a common terminology (i.e., APS training) for describing training modalities that alternate agonist and antagonist exercises. Although somewhat equivocal, evidence exists supporting the use of APS as a means of enhancing short-term power measures. Evidence also exists suggesting APS training is an efficacious and efficient means of developing strength and power. Time-efficient methods of developing strength and power would have benefits for athletes and the general population. Athletes able to spend less time developing strength and power would have more time to devote to other aspects of performance or other unrelated tasks. The general population may be more willing to adhere to less time-consuming resistance training programs that offer similar results, as compared to more time-consuming programs. This review concludes that the practical applicability of APS training in terms of acute performance enhancement is limited. However, the use of APS training as an efficacious and time-effective method for developing strength and power may hold some merit.
Objective: To describe the physiological responses to tournament tennis in relation to prevailing environmental conditions, match notation, and skills that underpin performance. Design: 14 male professional tennis players (mean (SD) age, 21.4 (2.6) years; height, 183.0 (6.9) cm; body mass, 79.2 (6.4) kg) were studied while contesting international tennis tournaments. Environmental conditions, match notation, physiological (core temperature, hydration status, heart rate, blood variables), and performance indices (serve kinematics, serve velocity, error rates) were recorded. Results: Hard and clay court tournaments elicited similar peak core temperature (38.9 (0.3) v 38.5 (0.6)°C) and average heart rate (152 (15) v 146 (19) beats/min) but different body mass deficit (1.05 (0.49) v 0.32 (0.56)%, p<0.05). Average pre-match urine specific gravity was 1.022 (0.004). Time between points was longer during hard court matches (25.1 (4.3) v 17.2 (3.3) s, p<0.05). Qualitative analysis of first and second serves revealed inverse relations between the position of the tossing arm at ball release and the position of the ball toss and progressive match time (respectively, r= -0.74 and r= -0.73, p<0.05) and incurred body mass deficit (r=0.73 and r=0.73, p<0.05). Conclusions: Participants began matches in a poor state of hydration, and experienced moderate thermoregulatory strain and dehydration during competition. These adverse physiological conditions may compromise performance and influence notational analyses.