High Intensity Table Tennis?

April 6, 2014

The concept has definitely been proven in bodybuilding and strength environments and it’s started to become accepted in endurance and fitness circles as well. The question I’m interested in is, can we find a way to adapt table tennis practice to fit the high-intensity model?
The need for it is clear! Table tennis is a sport without much financial support or funding. Most players are not professionals and do not have 5-7 hours per day to spend practicing. Children have to fit their practice around schoolwork while the rest of us have work or university to contend with. It becomes very hard for players to become professional as they simply don’t have the time needed to dedicate to practice.

But does the high-intensity philosophy work in skill-based sports? Do you need to spend hours and hours practicing each week in order to maintain your touch, feeling and coordination? At the moment I don’t have the answers to those questions but I hope to find out.

60 Minute Table Tennis

My idea for high intensity table tennis is called, ’60 Minute Table Tennis’. It’s based around the premise that even though we may not be able to play full-time, all of us can spare one hour a day, six days a week, to practice our table tennis. If this hour is used super-productively in a high-intensity, planned session, there is a good chance we could see huge improvement to our game while stile maintaining our 9 to 5 job or our studies.

When put alongside the ‘volume training’ principle of 10,000 hours, 60 Minute Table Tennis definitely comes up short! If followed completely you would clock up a mere 312 hours a year practicing table tennis using this method, meaning it would take you just over 32 years to achieve ‘expert’ status. By this point you’d be well past your peak physically and probably would have already given up if you hadn’t seen significant results during the first 25 years!

However, I think that it would be possible to develop with just 60 minutes of practice per day, provided the practice was of a very high intensity, breaks were very short (if used at all) and sessions were planed and focused to work on your key areas.


So those are my thoughts. You may think I’m a bit crazy but this is definitely something that I’m going to be looking into. I’m hoping to speak to a few sport scientists that know their way around this topic and run the theory of high intensity practice in skill-based sports by them and see what they come up with in regards to rapid development.

If you’ve got any questions or comments please drop me a line. Thanks for reading.

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