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Elise's Fitness Fun

Why am I broken down?

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
by , July 10th, 2009 at 10:50 PM (1470 Views)
Got in a quick weight workout at the Y. Had to cut it short in a few areas to get to dinner on time.

Bench press: 2 sets of 95 x 8
Lat pull-downs: 110 x 10, 130 x 8, 150 x 6
Military press: 2 sets of 50 x 10
Triceps press: 2 sets of 40 x 10
Alt. hammer curls: 2 sets of 15 x 10

Pull-up/push-up set:
3 pull-ups
20 push-ups with bosu ball
2 pull-ups
10 push-ups with bosu ball

Core work:
25 crunches with Swiss ball
25 bicycles
25 good morning darlings
25 back extension

Toe raises: 10 front, 10 outward, 10 inward

Question: I'm only swimming around 10,000 to 11,000 yards a week (still have to get in my workout tomorrow - am at 7500 for this week) and lifting twice a week. Yesterday, I could tell when I was swimming that I had that broken down feeling in my arms. How could this be? I'm not doing that much. Or am I? I've been lifting heavy weights, but surely I wouldn't feel that broken down with only doing it twice a week. I'd love to hear any thoughts on this.

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Updated July 10th, 2009 at 11:04 PM by elise526

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Comments

  1. Chris Stevenson's Avatar
    It isn't just the volume, it is the intensity too. Lifting heavy twice a week can really take it out of you.
  2. elise526's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson
    It isn't just the volume, it is the intensity too. Lifting heavy twice a week can really take it out of you.
    I didn't think so before, but I think you are right. In light of this, I'm trying to figure out how soon I should come off the weights. I had planned to come off 10 days before my first event at Nationals, but I'm now thinking that would not give my body enough time. I know from previous experience that three weeks is too much time. Any suggestions?
  3. qbrain's Avatar
    Chris is right about intensity being the key. You are lifting heavy, and don't forget your Run+Swim day. Near max effort work will wipe out glycogen stores almost completely, so a 2k sprint day will leave you feeling more broken down than a 5k aerobic day.

    You can drop weights completely 4 weeks out, and you will lose no strength that matters. To keep you from going stir crazy, but get a good taper, drop weights and running 3 weeks out, drop body weight exercises 2 weeks out and core one week out.

    If you don't want to be sore when you come back, drop your weights to 80% or so and you can keep your same reps that you ended with.

    Chris explained his weight training cycle in some detail here. It is nice to look at his workout plan since I think he has successfully tapered once or twice in his life

    Good luck at Nationals.
  4. elise526's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    Chris is right about intensity being the key. You are lifting heavy, and don't forget your Run+Swim day. Near max effort work will wipe out glycogen stores almost completely, so a 2k sprint day will leave you feeling more broken down than a 5k aerobic day.

    You can drop weights completely 4 weeks out, and you will lose no strength that matters. To keep you from going stir crazy, but get a good taper, drop weights and running 3 weeks out, drop body weight exercises 2 weeks out and core one week out.

    If you don't want to be sore when you come back, drop your weights to 80% or so and you can keep your same reps that you ended with.

    Chris explained his weight training cycle in some detail here. It is nice to look at his workout plan since I think he has successfully tapered once or twice in his life

    Good luck at Nationals.
    Thanks, qbrain!

    These are great guidelines. I guess I have been hitting things more intensely than I realized. I like how you have it broken down into regular weights, body weight exercises, and then core exercises. I'll feel a little better being able to do something (core exercises) up to a week before the meet instead of dropping everything.

    I may have a hard time not running for 3 weeks out. I might have to cheat a little on that one and do it up to 2 weeks or 10 days before. Otherwise, I might drive my family nuts.
  5. qbrain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by elise526
    I may have a hard time not running for 3 weeks out. I might have to cheat a little on that one and do it up to 2 weeks or 10 days before. Otherwise, I might drive my family nuts.
    Legs needs the most rest, so if you are going to cheat, think about short, flat, slow runs to get your fix in. An easy aerobic treadmill run would be the best if you must run.
  6. elise526's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain
    Legs needs the most rest, so if you are going to cheat, think about short, flat, slow runs to get your fix in. An easy aerobic treadmill run would be the best if you must run.
    I like the idea of SLOW!
  7. Chris Stevenson's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by elise526
    I may have a hard time not running for 3 weeks out. I might have to cheat a little on that one and do it up to 2 weeks or 10 days before. Otherwise, I might drive my family nuts.
    I think a good taper should drive your family nuts, by the time you hit the target meet, you should have tons of energy and feel ready to burst out of your skin. I'd encourage you to take at least 2 weeks off running leading into the meet. Don't leave your best performance out on the road. You will be feeling good and will probably push yourself harder than you realize in your running.

    The standard answer for weights is 2-3 weeks. Another common saying is that people with more muscle mass need longer tapers; a corollary is that women usually need shorter tapers than men.

    I tend to err on the side of caution. If you have put in the work, you won't get out of shape. I usually take 3 weeks off weights but have taken longer than that many, many times without noticeably losing power or speed in the water.

    The "in the water" part is key. I do tend to sprint just a little more in the pool once I stop weights (or course, that needs to taper down too). I also use paddles to help keep up swimming-related strength.

    I have always thought (admittedly without much scientific backing, based mostly on my own feeling and experiences) that, although doing weights can yield some fairly good short-term benefits for swimming performance, a good weight training program really helps over the long term, too.

    To me, if true, it would sort of imply that the inverse is also true: you don't lose those benefits overnight.
  8. elise526's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stevenson
    I think a good taper should drive your family nuts, by the time you hit the target meet, you should have tons of energy and feel ready to burst out of your skin. I'd encourage you to take at least 2 weeks off running leading into the meet. Don't leave your best performance out on the road. You will be feeling good and will probably push yourself harder than you realize in your running.

    The standard answer for weights is 2-3 weeks. Another common saying is that people with more muscle mass need longer tapers; a corollary is that women usually need shorter tapers than men.

    I tend to err on the side of caution. If you have put in the work, you won't get out of shape. I usually take 3 weeks off weights but have taken longer than that many, many times without noticeably losing power or speed in the water.

    The "in the water" part is key. I do tend to sprint just a little more in the pool once I stop weights (or course, that needs to taper down too). I also use paddles to help keep up swimming-related strength.

    I have always thought (admittedly without much scientific backing, based mostly on my own feeling and experiences) that, although doing weights can yield some fairly good short-term benefits for swimming performance, a good weight training program really helps over the long term, too.

    To me, if true, it would sort of imply that the inverse is also true: you don't lose those benefits overnight.
    I'm thinking about coming off the weights 3 weeks before the day of my last event. I'm a little nervous about this as I don't think I am naturally strong and I lose my strength pretty quickly. At the same time, I've been hitting the weights pretty hard since the end of March with only a 10 day break in late May/early June before the Athens meet. My body is tired and is begging me for a break, so I'll err on the side of too much rest rather than not enough.

    You have a good point about the running. I would be inclined to hit it a little harder on the run because I am feeling better. I am concerned, however, if I take more than 10 days off of running I will lose everything and have to start from scratch. I'm pretty good about making myself go slow when I need to. If I do any running inside the two weeks before, it would be slow and short. No way will I do any running within 10 days of the meet.

    I have noticed the paddles really seem to help with power and strength. I was thinking that I would add in some more paddle work once I come off the weights.

    Thanks for the suggestions, Chris. I've never focused on lifting heavy before, so I'm kind of green in knowing when to stop before a big meet.
  9. qbrain's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by elise526
    I'm a little nervous about this as I don't think I am naturally strong and I lose my strength pretty quickly.
    "Muscular strength was not diminished over 4 wk of reduced training or inactivity"

    The paper is really about what happens when you go from hard training to almost nothing. Nothing happened to strength, but swimming power dropped off a cliff. Your strength will be fine without lifting during your taper. Focus on doing the right things in the water.

    Quote Originally Posted by elise526
    I have noticed the paddles really seem to help with power and strength. I was thinking that I would add in some more paddle work once I come off the weights.
    Add paddles earlier in next season, but don't increase their use during taper. Just about everyone on the forums knows more about tapering in the water than I do, but I do know that taper is too late for strength or endurance improvements.

    There have been lots of good threads about tapering in the forum and also what to do at the meet. There is good good stuff buried in there. Just don't try to get help deciding what suit to wear