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cparkerson
March 25th, 2014, 03:05 PM
Has anyone had success using "Body Pump" fitness class to improve their swimming times? Does it help sprints more than distance? Just curious if its useful for swimming related training.

Kevin in MD
March 26th, 2014, 11:23 AM
Has anyone had success using "Body Pump" fitness class to improve their swimming times? Does it help sprints more than distance? Just curious if its useful for swimming related training.

A couple of the swimmers I coach use bodypump, it can fit into a larger overall health and performance goal.

The case for strength training for fitness is strong, particularly as we get 40 and over the case for performance boosts from strength training is not so good; I don't think anyone would have data to show that bodypump is less more helpful than other types of strength training for swim performance. So bodypump is good for your health, maybe not quite so much helpful for swim performance, though maybe so. However there are a couple of minor things that it leaves you wanting.

1. Loads - the best research coming out now is showing that the performance increases that DO occur occur with high loads and low reps. This is in cycling and running mostly, there are not a lot of studies showing improved performance in swimming but they are out there.

That is relevant because your typical bodypump class is going to have somewhat lower resistance since you are there for an hour and might not want to burn yourself out early.

Now, if you haven't done strength training before, then the bodypump will probably help a lot; it is a question of degrees.

2. Lack of pulling exercises - the low row or cable row and the lat pull are excellent exercises for swimming. The cable row very important since it trains a scapular stabilizer and can help you stay uninjured. A bodypump class might include the bent over row but that exercises puts people in an awkward position and the standard cable row just kinda works better.

In the end, for the athletes I work with, one or two bodypump classes per week are supplemented with a more standard single person strength training session. Also, after the bodypump session the people who go will hit a few quick sets of cable rows and lat pulls before they leave the gym.

Enjoy the classes