Carlos Alcaraz is a 20 year old Spanish tennis pro. He is currently ranked #2 in the world and was previously #1. He will be back!

Carlos has already won over $27 million in prize money. This will increase this week at the Miami Open. He reminds me of the great Rafael Nadal, also from Spain and also a superstar as a teenager. “Rafa” is the most athletic tennis player I have ever seen, but “Carlito” is just as impressive.

Carlos has a fitness routine that is just as striking as his tennis success. It may even provide an explanation for that success.

In the above picture, he looks like a crazed man with veins popping out on his arms. By the way, that kind of vascularity indicates lack of body fat. Like most tennis players, he can be emotional. But he is personally very soft spoken, friendly with competitors and ball kids – and possessed of a charming sense of humor and an easy smile.

This post will examine Carlito’s fitness habits, workouts and nutrition.


Here is Carlos’ workout routine for strength, agility and mobility:

Warm up (10 minutes)

  • Light jog or skipping for 5 minutes
  • Leg swings, arm circles, high knees, butt kicks and walking lunges for 5 minutes

Agility and speed training (15 minutes)

  • Ladder, box drills for 8 minutes, side to side hops. See demonstration.
  • Cone drills for 7 minutes, zig zag runs, figure eights

Strength and power training (25 minutes)

  • Squats, 3 sets of 10 reps with barbells or dumbbells for leg power
  • Lunges, 3 sets of 10 reps with dumbbells, for leg strength
  • Single leg Romanian deadlifts, 3 sets of 10 reps per leg with dumbbells, for hamstring and glute strength. See this exercise demonstrated,
  • Plyometric push-ups, 3 sets of 10 reps for chest and triceps power. See demo.

  • Medicine ball rotational throws, 3 sets of 12 reps on each side for core strength and power
  • TRX rows or pull-ups, 3 sets of 12 on each side for upper back strength. See TRX demo.

Core training (10 minutes)

  • Russian twists, 3 sets of 20 reps, holding a medicine ball. See demo.
  • Planks, 3 sets of 30-60 seconds holds
  • Side planks, 3 sets of 30 second holds each side
  • V-ups, 3 sets of 15 reps for abdominal strength

Tennis-specific drills (20 minutes)

  • Groundstroke drills, 10 minutes from the baseline, forehand and backhand
  • Volley and net play, 5 minutes, quick reaction drills at the net
  • Serve and return drills, 5 minutes, for serve power/ accuracy and return positioning

Cool down and flexibility (10 minutes)

  • Static stretching, 8 minutes, emphasizing calves, quads, hamstrings, shoulders, chest and back
  • Foam roller, 2 minutes for any tight spots

After this, Carlos will run, hike, cycle or swim for cardio. Note the time limitations on his workouts. Very little rest time is taken and the volume of sets and reps is incredible for the minutes allowed to finish.

This, of course, does not include the hours of tennis practice he needs to maintain his sharpness. Carlos works out or practices tennis 5 or 6 hours daily and more if needed. He is in shape for whatever he is called upon to do in a tennis match.


Here is a typical daily diet for Carlos:


  • Whole grain waffles or pancakes with maple syrup
  • Scrambled eggs, with spinach, tomatoes and feta cheese
  • Smoothie with Greek yogurt, mixed berries, a banana, chia seeds, whey protein and almond milk
  • A cup of green tea or black coffee

Mid morning snack

  • Handful of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews)
  • An orange or apple


  • Grilled chicken breast – or – tofu salad with mixed greens
  • Whole grain roll or bread with butter or olive tapenade
  • Iced tea or water with lemon

Post training snack

  • Protein shake with whey or plant-based protein
  • Banana or handful of dried fruits
  • Creatine


  • Baked salmon or lentil patties
  • Steamed broccoli and carrots with olive oil and sea salt
  • Mixed bean salad
  • Herbal tea or water

Evening snack, if needed

  • Cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with honey and granola
  • Chamomile tea or warm milk


Carlos features speed, pace and innovation as a young tennis player. He can run as far and fast as he needs to retrieve wide shots. He has revolutionized the drop shot and can implement it if he sees his opponent well back of his baseline. He thrives on crucial points. He doesn’t “push”; he goes all out on pivotal points.

His serve is not fluid with a continuous motion, like that of Roger Federer, Pete Sampras or Nick Nyrgios. But he can serve aces when he needs to. His motion is slowly improving and he is beginning to eliminate the stiffness that was evident when he became known.

Carlos has a flair for the dramatic and seems to enjoy doing things on a tennis court that seem almost magical.

Take a look at this video for some examples of tennis magic performed by Carlos at the U.S. Open.


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Foam roller, for therapy on post workout tightness

TRX suspension training equipment

Medicine ball, for rotational throws

Training cones, for agility and speed training

Training ladder, for footwork

Carlos Alcaraz hooded long sleeve t-shirt

Carlos Alcaraz short sleeve shirt, unisex

Whey protein powder, vanilla

Creatine monohydrate powder

Organic chia seeds

Mixed nuts


We are witnessing a “Changing of the guard” in professional men’s tennis. Roger Federer has retired, Rafael Nadal is somewhat injury prone and Novak Djokovich is losing matches.

Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner (from Italy) have risen to the top. These two are friendly competitors in the tradition of Federer and Nadal – wholesome, likeable and supremely talented. Daniil Medvedev is also in the picture.

The United States continues to lack a top male player like Connors, McEnroe, Sampras or Agassi. Maybe Frances Tiafoe or Ben Shelton can begin to challenge Alcaraz or Sinner. We shall see.

Personally, I am happy to see the new emerging “almost superstars” at a time when they are hungry to prove they belong at the top. Men’s tennis is in good hands!

Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Let’s get out on the courts!


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