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ALM
June 28th, 2008, 04:51 PM
Full article, with photos and video:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/magazine/29torres-t.html?ref=olympics



A Swimmer of a Certain Age
By ELIZABETH WEIL
Published: June 29, 2008

NEAR THE WARM-UP POOL AT THE Missouri Grand Prix swim meet, in Columbia, a crop of Olympic hopefuls lolled around in practice suits and towels on a Saturday morning in February. Fully clothed among them stood some relics of Olympics past: Scott Goldblatt, who won a gold medal in the 2004 Games, wore an aqua sport coat and a striped tie and was doing on-air commentary for Swimnetwork.com; Mel Stewart, who won two golds and a bronze in 1992, wore the same goofy get-up, working as Goldblatt’s sidekick. Meanwhile, Dara Torres, who won the first of her nine Olympic medals in 1984, a year before Michael Phelps was born, stripped off her baggy T-shirt and sweat pants, revealing a breathtaking body in a magenta Speedo. She pulled on a cap marked with her initials and prepared to swim. Torres is now 41 and the mother of a 2-year-old daughter, Tessa Grace. She broke her first of three world records in 1982, at 14, and she has retired from swimming and come back three times, her latest effort built on an obsessive attention to her aging body....

jaegermeister
June 28th, 2008, 11:55 PM
Probably not a lot new here for the careful Dara- watchers. But I had never seen the resistance-stretching technique. Its weird, I don't do it and don't understand it enough to start. And it sounds like she has some innovative strength training.
Her hair sure is unflattering in the video.

ALM
June 29th, 2008, 01:10 AM
This was something I hadn't read before:

"She also became the first woman to win the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach car race; when asked to explain why she entered the event, she replied, 'I’m so freaking competitive it’s unbelievable.'"

jaegermeister
June 29th, 2008, 09:37 AM
I should also mention that she deserves credit for volunteering for the USADA's monitoring program. I still think she was doping at Sydney, but you'd have to be awfully brash to be doping and then sign up for this program.

anita
June 29th, 2008, 06:37 PM
Her hair sure is unflattering in the video.

I think the entire article is unflattering, but that's my opinion.

The Fortress
June 30th, 2008, 11:04 AM
"Over the past year and a half, O’Brien, who is also the strength coach of the Florida Panthers hockey team, has switched Torres’s focus away from heavy, static weightlifting and geared her training toward balanced, dynamic exercises that stimulate her central nervous system. “The idea is not to isolate muscle groups but to get muscles contracting together in the right sequences,” O’Brien explains. Weight training, he notes, grew out of bodybuilding, and that low-rep high-weight tradition is ill suited for a sprinter since a body comprised of big muscles that have been trained to produce force only individually wastes considerable energy trying to move."


Hmmm .... so heavy lifting is ill suited for sprinters?!

Iwannafly
June 30th, 2008, 11:09 AM
Hmmm .... so heavy lifting is ill suited for sprinters?!

Whatever kind of lifting she is doing...I'll take some! Holy crap, that picture of her is hot. Oh yeah, and she's really fast too!

scyfreestyler
June 30th, 2008, 11:37 AM
"Over the past year and a half, O’Brien, who is also the strength coach of the Florida Panthers hockey team, has switched Torres’s focus away from heavy, static weightlifting and geared her training toward balanced, dynamic exercises that stimulate her central nervous system. “The idea is not to isolate muscle groups but to get muscles contracting together in the right sequences,” O’Brien explains. Weight training, he notes, grew out of bodybuilding, and that low-rep high-weight tradition is ill suited for a sprinter since a body comprised of big muscles that have been trained to produce force only individually wastes considerable energy trying to move."


Hmmm .... so heavy lifting is ill suited for sprinters?!


Funny you should post about this Fort. As I was reading the magazine article yesterday I was thinking of the conversations between you and Paul.

pwolf66
June 30th, 2008, 12:43 PM
[quote=The Fortress;138575Hmmm .... so heavy lifting is ill suited for sprinters?![/quote]

Seems to have helped your 50 and 100 back events there missy :shakeshead:

Paul

Jazz Hands
June 30th, 2008, 01:49 PM
"Over the past year and a half, O’Brien, who is also the strength coach of the Florida Panthers hockey team, has switched Torres’s focus away from heavy, static weightlifting and geared her training toward balanced, dynamic exercises that stimulate her central nervous system. “The idea is not to isolate muscle groups but to get muscles contracting together in the right sequences,” O’Brien explains. Weight training, he notes, grew out of bodybuilding, and that low-rep high-weight tradition is ill suited for a sprinter since a body comprised of big muscles that have been trained to produce force only individually wastes considerable energy trying to move."


Hmmm .... so heavy lifting is ill suited for sprinters?!

Sometimes when I read about training, I play the "CNS game." What I do is I replace every instance of the phrase "central nervous system" or "CNS" with "brain." This is an excellent way to find out if somebody has no idea what they are talking about, since it's very trendy now to talk about the CNS without understanding its role in athletic performance.


Over the past year and a half, O’Brien, who is also the strength coach of the Florida Panthers hockey team, has switched Torres’s focus away from heavy, static weightlifting and geared her training toward balanced, dynamic exercises that stimulate her brain. “The idea is not to isolate muscle groups but to get muscles contracting together in the right sequences,” O’Brien explains. Weight training, he notes, grew out of bodybuilding, and that low-rep high-weight tradition is ill suited for a sprinter since a body comprised of big muscles that have been trained to produce force only individually wastes considerable energy trying to move.

Muscles don't get trained to do anything except contract. The nervous system coordinates these contractions. If you build big muscles with bodybuilding methods, it's not as if the brain can't use them for other purposes. The muscles don't produce force "only individually," they produce force however the nervous system decides they should produce force, and that includes swimming.

hofffam
June 30th, 2008, 01:53 PM
I suppose the muscle memory gets screwed up....ha ha

Muscles work on command from the brain. They can't be trained per se to do anything other than contract.

I agree Jazz Hands that it is a stupid explanation.

LindsayNB
June 30th, 2008, 03:22 PM
When a person first starts lifting and makes big gains as their muscle fibers start to fire in a more coordinated fashion, is that an adaptation in the muscles or in the nervous system?

Jazz Hands
June 30th, 2008, 03:39 PM
When a person first starts lifting and makes big gains as their muscle fibers start to fire in a more coordinated fashion, is that an adaptation in the muscles or in the nervous system?

That's the nervous system. A lot of it has to do with learning the skill of lifting. When you start lifting, you establish motor memory for the exercises you do, and you become more efficient at them. It's like altering your stroke in swimming.

Paul Smith
June 30th, 2008, 05:14 PM
Funny you should post about this Fort. As I was reading the magazine article yesterday I was thinking of the conversations between you and Paul.

I think some of the things Dara is said to be doing in her training sound innovative and I would absolutely experiment with them...as I've said many times I'm open to trying almost anything.

However my discussions about this subject here and with Fort are more basic...if your doing little, no or the same old strength training than almost any increase in effort and change in types of exercises used are going to help.

The strength training routine that Laura and I used and shared with Fort was based of what the U of A & ASU college teams have been doing in recent years and that involves a lot of Olympic style lifts with a goal of increasing explosiveness...the weight training is only part of the picture however, what you don't see and hasn't been discussed so much on this thread are the core exercises being done as well.

The Fortress
June 30th, 2008, 05:28 PM
I come back from vacation and you're a shark?!?!

I'm sure, as you say, that Dara is doing some explosive dynamic type lifting. Or attaching herself to cords or whatever. However, I was doing the cross over ball thing before I read the article. :banana:

Has she swum in a LZR yet?

And I am still going to the gym tomorrow!

ALM
July 1st, 2008, 07:29 PM
I come back from vacation and you're a shark?!?!


The shark is a lot better looking (although not nearly as funny) than what he was while you were away. Take a look at the attachment....

Paul Smith
July 1st, 2008, 10:09 PM
The shark is a lot better looking (although not nearly as funny) than what he was while you were away. Take a look at the attachment....


I've been on a diet since then...and staying away from fights with (S)he...but you did get a thead I was enjoying and thought was pretty funny banned Anna!