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Thread: Swimming after liftin'

  1. #41
    Very Active Member Paul Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    I have always felt that lifting was an essential...but supplemental part of my swimming. Anytime I have done ANY dry land exercise before swimming (weights, yoga, spinning, running stadiums) my swimming suffered. I think these guys summed up the debate very well:

    http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/t...rciseOrder.htm
    I crack myself up. It is jealousy. It is Boredom. I Did not accomplish enough when I was young, and I hate anybody faster/younger than me.

  2. #42
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by swimBRCT View Post
    "Swimming is not the best exercise to prevent osteoporosis" (actually, swimming is not an exercise to prevent osteoporosis at all. No load on the bones= no reason for your bones to ossify.)

    If you're looking to improve your bone density, then weight training will help you. Doesn't matter whether you're a swimmer or not.

    If you're trying to swim faster, dryland training will not help you swim faster (unless you're a new athlete in which case doing any sort of exercise will help you.)

    Here's a non-Costill Study
    http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/swim/training/crowe.htm

    Muscular strength is not related to sprint-swimming performance.

    Even Dr. G found this when he studied olympic trial qualifiers from 2000.

    http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/swim/training/sokolova.htm

    Dryland helps you if you have muscle imbalances, and you're looking to balance your muscle stabilizers to ward off injury. (Particularly in the rotator cuff). This is an important goal! But one should not confuse corrective exercise with activities that help you improve your times (note that evening out a muscle imbalance could enable you to have better range of motion/ stop a muscle from inhibiting its activity, see Janda's reciprocal inhibition theory).) But this is different from improve your maximum capabilities!

    Quote:
    "In just about EVERY sport, the time spent in the weight room has gone up while the time spent "doing the sport" has gone down among the elite.


    I'll take the 30+yrs of anecdotal evidence and improvements across just about all sports including swimming over one or two studies anyday."

    Do you have any evidence for the first statement? Even if that is true, is their improvement due to spending more time in the weight room?

    What makes the studies inferior to "what peopel have been doing"? Particularly when they have a sound physiological explanation for their findings (namely, the principle of specificity.) Those who are gifted in swimming do well in spite of faulty coaching practices that are the product of armchair theorizing rather than concrete evidence. Classic example is that of the swimmers in the 40s, 50s, and 60s rolling their bodies despite being told to swim as flat as possible.

    If you're dead set on doing lots of dryland, that is your business, and I hope your times improve. I cannot help those who are unwilling to consider that something they have been doing is right just because they have been doing it for a long time. People are wary of change, and rightfully so. But I urge the open minded to consider why exact is it that strength gains in the weight room do NOT transfer to the water.

    For those who unsure, I advise you to consider what exactly you are trying to improve in the weight room and not have some abstract concept of being "stronger" or being able to plank longer. If you have the option of training 6 times a week but there is 1 day where you have no chance to swim, go ahead and lift. Some exercise is better than none. But if you have the option to swim, please do so. It will have infinitely more value for your body than lifting.


    REGARDING STEROIDS

    -Steroids help people recover faster. Reason why East Germans were so successful in the 80s was that they could go race pace every practice and recover faster and from deeper stress curves than their opponents.

    Improvement comes from recovery, not training. If you overdo 1 component (training or recovery), make it recovery. With recovery, you have a little extra in the tank. If you overdo training, you get an overtrained person who mysteriously plateaus. Not a popular concept for coaches to grasp with maximum yardage philosophies, but it's one that must spread if we want kids to stop quitting due to overtraining plateaus.
    So how fast is your 50 free, Dr. Weakness?

  3. #43
    Very Active Member joshua's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    A very interesting thread. Allow me to throw in my (very anecdotal) 2/100.

    I will be 58 next week and have been swimming and strength training for years. I have gone from HIT type training, to powerlifting type training to what I do today - kettlebells and bw exercises. I have found strength training to be of great benefit to me but in a GPP way. I am quite muscular (in an athletic, not bodybuilding way) and strong for my age but I have never felt that there was a noticible transfer to swimming. I regularly see women in the pool who are faster than me even though they are not muscular at all. They are great technicians and spend all their time swimming.

    I do not beleive that composite exercises like squats or deadlifts are really transferable to the water. I was deadlifting about 200% of my bw but it had no effect on my swimming. Recently, I have been giving thought to the idea of doing more strength training in the water with the aid of big paddles, pullbouys etc.

    Another point to consider is the slower recovery rate as we age. At various times I prioritize swimming or strength training, but I can't go really hard on both during the same period (add in the job factor).

    Finally, I have recently felt that improving my flexibility would be a greater contribution to my swimming and to my general well being as I age. After every swim session I do about 10 minutes of flexibility work in the pool and I am feeling alot "looser" especially in my shoulders.

  4. #44
    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by swimBRCT View Post
    Quoted:


    Force production is a fickle thing in the water. You push the water, the water pushes back, up to a certain point. If you push too hard, the water "caves" (it's called cavitation" and you "slip" in the water. This is when "bubbles" show up, and coaches tell you you have a poor "catch"! (As in, you're not grabbing the water because you pushed too hard!)

    Chris Ritter went over a detailed plan for structuring the order of dryland and swimming.

    http://theswimmerscircle.com/blog/ch...-construction/


    Regarding cords, you shouldn't be doing them primarily for strength. They are for shoulder stability, as in recruiting the little guys who wouldn't otherwise be engaged. So I do them every day, they're never done to fatigue (because fatigue is not the point! It's not for endurance... fatigue is catabolic, rest is anabolic!)

    Weights can't replaced swimming as far as getting faster goes. But you can get stronger in the pool by doing all out work/adding resistance. Functional strength is built by doing the movements you want stronger, not by isolating components and doing them separately and slower.
    I think reading the original post by SwimBRCT goes to his points, AND I think many are thinking in terms of absolutes when really there is a wide array of swimming circumstances and human conditions involved.

    First think about an analogy of a boat, motor and propeller.

    1. The propeller pushes water backwards and that makes the boat go forward. Your arm and hand do the same (ignore lift).
    2. To make the boat go faster, one increases the throttle, the engine increases in speed and the tranny then makes the propeller spin faster. The speed increases as the prop spins faster until it reaches the maximum engine speed (RPM). The boat is not going faster because the propeller is pushing the water harder, but because it's turning faster and pushing water at a higher rate. If one wants the propeller to push harder, one has to increase the diameter or reshape it to be more efficient at the desired size and RPM.
    3. One can keep putting bigger and bigger engines on the boat, but if using the same propeller at the same speed, the bigger hp won't make the boat go any faster. That is, if the propeller is 8" diameter, spinning at the max engine speed of 1200 RPM, and a 20 hp engine is needed to make this happen, replacing the engine with 1,000 hp engine will not make the boat go any faster (probably would go slower due to the extra weight). Conversely, if it requires 20 hp engine to turn the propeller at a speed of 1200 RPM and the engine is only 10hp, the engine would either operate below max RPMs or burn up and the boat won't reach or sustain the desired velocity.
    4. You can buy more speed for your boat by getting a motor with more hp and bigger dia. propeller. However, for humans we're stuck with what we're born with as far as the propeller goes - you grow and the dia. becomes fixed for each individual. My propeller at 5'-9" ht. doen't have the same potential as a person at 6'-9" turning at the same RPM and mechanics. (But, the hp required to drive that bigger propeller will be greater at the same RPMs and propeller mechanics.)
    5. You can also buy more speed for a boat by purchasing a propeller with a better more efficient design. There are 8" propellers that are designed for power to bite faster and yank a skier out of the water, and 8" propellers designed to operate efficently at slow RPMs for say fishing. The mechanics of the propeller's design govern its ability to create boat velocity at a given rotational speed. With better design, the propeller may need less hp and produce more boat velocity at the same rotational speed.
    6. It is conceivable that some swimmers have more than enough hp (strength), and would benefit most from improving their propeller's mechanics (stroke technique). That is, if you are very strong already, you might be adding a 100 hp engine to a propeller that only needs 20 hp to spiin at the required RPMs. In this case working on a better propeller makes more sense and would be more likely to produce resuts.
    7. There are probably some elite swimmers that conceivably aren't going to beneift (the way most of us would) from piling on more yards and swimming technique work.
    8. It's also conceivable that most of us need BOTH, that is improved propellers to gain more speed or to use less energy AND more hp (we're under-powered) or strength. So, does it make more sense to accomplish both of these in the pool where you can work on technique and strength or on dryland where you really can only work on strength?
    9. With dryland you know what you are (or aren't) doing. The workout is in-your-face and direct. In the pool it's easier to swim through a set especailly when working alone or if distracted by other stuff in your life.
    10. With dryland you can focus on your own specific muscle needs - work to balance weaknesses, stabilze shoulders, or on a too fat core. Dryland may be more efficient to get after specific difficiencies. Read the article by Ritter that Swim BRCT posted above regarding which comes first - the swimming or the lifting. I'm also wondering why Ritter found that it matters?
    11. Most of the books ive read lately on runnig, biking and swimming point our the dangers of over trainging and under-estimating recovery needs. I don't think too many masters swimmers are in danger of over-swimming, because we don't have the time. It is probably easier, however, to go over board with the weights at times for me.
    Pretty fascinating thread over all. Thanks.

    Last edited by Sojerz; December 27th, 2011 at 04:58 AM.
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  5. #45
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Even though performance will drop off considerably immediately following weights, one can still work on technique and drills.

  6. #46
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by slow View Post
    Swim then lift (7): Swimosaur, jaadams1, ElaineK, knelson, nkfrench, aztimm, Allen Stark
    Lift then swim (8): The Fortress, gaash, dadis, slow, Chris Stevenson, ande, _steve_ (?), androvski

    It's about even. Sorry if I miscounted or misrepresented someone's preference!
    Just to be clear, my own preference is to split up the workouts, usually swimming in the AM and lifting after work (or sometimes at lunch).

    But I think the OP's original premise was, if you HAD to combine them for scheduling reasons, which would you do? In that case, lift then swim is my preference, probably because I have found that I can sometimes (but not always) fight thru the effects of the weights and still post some pretty good times, while after a hard swim workout I don't feel I can muster the intensity needed to make lifting worthwhile.

    Just my $0.02 of course, I don't know that there is a universally correct answer.

  7. #47
    Very Active Member Paul Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by gaash View Post
    In just about EVERY sport, the time spent in the weight room has gone up while the time spent "doing the sport" has gone down among the elite.

    I'll take the 30+yrs of anecdotal evidence and improvements across just about all sports including swimming over one or two studies anyday.

    There's probably a tipping point where the extra strength isn't worth it versus the extra added weight, but I doubt most people whose main activity is swimming get there without any lifting.
    The studies that I saw swimBRCT quoting where done in the 90's...some relevance still I'm sure but the fact is all distances 500 and under are now so "power" driven that its hard for me to believe that supplemental weight training has not played a part (I won't dare to bring up WHICH exercises so as to not hijack this thread! ).

    Even looking at some of the worlds best like Phelps and Lochte added very powerful dry land training to their workload post-college and have both shown incredible improvements late in their careers.

    For old farts like most of us on this forum I honestly think that delaying/reducing muscle loss through the aging process by weight training has as much to do with success as actually getting "stronger" (except in the case of masters swimmers who did not compete in college and partake in weight training who see significant gains by introducing it later in life for the first time).

    Another interesting perspective: http://www.collegeswimming.com/news/...know-swimming/
    I crack myself up. It is jealousy. It is Boredom. I Did not accomplish enough when I was young, and I hate anybody faster/younger than me.

  8. #48
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Swim then lift (9): Swimosaur, jaadams1, ElaineK, knelson, nkfrench, aztimm, Allen Stark, That Guy, Paul Smith
    Lift then swim (8): The Fortress, gaash, dadis, slow, Chris Stevenson, ande, _steve_, androvski

    @Chris Stevenson: I read the original question the same way and share your reasoning.

    Since I am on vacation, today I had the luxury of swimming in the morning and lifting weights in the late-afternoon. But that type of schedule is going to be impossible 95% of the time.

    If I were going to start a poll re: lifting weights, what would be a good format?

    Do you do any strength training out of the pool?
    No, not for me
    Yes, rarely (~once per week or less)
    Yes, sometimes (two or three times a week)
    Yes, regularly (four or five times a week)
    Yes, often (six or seven times a week)

    Hmmm, not quite right... Need to phrase it better!
    Last edited by slow; December 28th, 2011 at 12:16 AM.

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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    I am a deployed US Army soldier and travel through-out the middle east. In certain areas I actually have access to a pool. When I am there I have started to mix both muscle development and swimming. I have time for a 3000 yd workout usually about 50-55 minutes during my lunch break. Then after shift I will hit the gym by running 3 miles on the treadmill (thank goodness for ipods) and then I will take the p90x exercises for a muscle group and do moderate weight but hig reps for muscle endurance. So today I will swim then in the evening I will run and immediately work chest by doing a lot of different push-ups and use dumb-bells on a flat and incline bench.

    I try to incorporate p90x and cardio for my dry-land workout.

    I am back homei n the US in May then gonna really focus on the worlds in '13.

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    Very Active Member chowmi's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Short answer to put me in one camp or the other: Lift then swim.

    Main reasons:
    1. Can't stand drippy wet hair!!
    2. Lift "seriously" when I lift; so therefore, I would have "nothing left" for a swim practice. If I lifted afterwards, i'd just be rushing through the motions to hurry up and get in the shower.
    3. Usually swim a very easy 1000 to 1500 max afterwards to loosen up and set up for the next time I swim, not as an actual swim practice. This is also very limited by time available. I almost never have the time for a 2 hour workout, so an extra 15 minutes is about all I have left anyway. Totally cuts into my exfoliating day, and so for a few weeks i'm a flaky version of myself.

    I think a lot of the answers posted depend on your schedule as well as the type of lift/dryland and the type of swimming you do, and that is very different from one poster to another.

  11. #51
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by slow View Post
    If I were going to start a poll re: lifting weights, what would be a good format?

    Do you do any strength training out of the pool?
    No, not for me
    Yes, rarely (~once per week or less)
    Yes, sometimes (two or three times a week)
    Yes, regularly (four or five times a week)
    Yes, often (six or seven times a week)
    My advice: drop the descriptors and just ask how many times one lifts weights each week:

    0-1
    2-3
    4-5
    6-7

    (Up to you whether to include other forms of strength training.)

  12. #52
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    For the most part I follow the Chowmi/Fort construct and prefer to swim after I lift. If it is a hard lift (1 X a week for me) Iíll just go 500-1,000 easy after wards till I feel ok in the water and have my stroke somewhat back to normal. There are times (especially early in taper) when Iíll lift fairly easy, but still explosive, immediately prior to a speed workout. This works well for me. I also usually do one moderate lift a week and can manage a good hard workout one to three hours later.

    I want to weigh in a bit on the comments of whether or not to lift at all as a supplement to swimming.

    First, I wouldnít rely too heavily on previous studies. Many are grossly flawed. I participated in one during the early 1990ís at the OTC. Very scientific design with highly credentialed investigators. It involved swimming in the flume to exhaustion, numerous blood draws, all expiration gases collected, a strict 24 hour diet and 4 freaking muscle biopsies! And I could tell shortly into this torture that the collection of data was messed up, that protocols were being adjusted on the fly and communication among investigators was poor. I did not trust the eventual conclusions. I love to read studies on performance physiology, but with a very skeptical eye.

    Second, it is a mistake to ignore the huge amount of anecdotal evidence that has demonstrated the improvement that resistance training has enable in many sports. Sure, the design isnít very scientific, but the longitudinal experiences of the same individual counts for plenty. Personally, Iíve got 35 years of my own detailed data to analyze and I believe it is more telling than studies lasting 6 weeks. BTW, I'm pretty sure Dave Costill does supplemental dryland training and is still setting masters swim records in his 70's.

    Third, I feel supplemental resistance training out of the water, especially for masters swimmers, will benefit both their swimming and help them age successfully in living day-to-day. Not only is your muscle mass decreasing as you age but your neural transmissions become compromised. Correctly designed dryland training (along with intense swimming) can greatly forestall these eventualities. I feel that as you age, maintaining strength through resistance training is as, or more, important than cardiovascular training. Spoken like a true sprinter!

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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    I disappear for a nice vacation, and discover that my replies have generated quite a bit of discussion! I welcome that, let me know if I didn't address a point.

    @ElaineK, the studies were not done at SDSU, a professor from SDSU compiled a list of swimming science related studies and links to them on his site.

    Quoted:
    "What makes the studies inferior is that there are too many variables they do not control, they do not account for the history of some of the swimmers, etc. They often do not account for how the same particular swimmer would have done w/less strength, which is much more meaningful, and those studies that try to do that (i.e. measure an improvement in strength etc.) often those swimmers are not gaining real muscle and only just training their body how to do the lift in the time the studies are done due to as you correctly point out, overtraining which is waay more real than people think and ESPECIALLY true when heavy weight lifting is introduced.

    Have you seen Phelps improvements in sprint free since 2007? Coincides when he started doing weights. Did you read Ryan Lochtes comments on how he injured his leg I think in 09 and then his improvement since then, when he could only really lift for a while as opposed to just swim?"


    @Gaash, your observations about the potential flaws of studies are sound. But I ask that you consider that anecdotal evidence has just as much room to be flawed, if not more. Regarding 'gaining real muscle'... the fastest swimmers are muscular, but not necessarily the most muscular. Added muscle mass is a liability in the water.

    Note that the era of buoyant supersuits was launched in early 2008 by the LZR. I'm not saying that dryland didn't help Phelps and the other Olympians, but I'd be wary of adopting a practice style simply because the elites and/or other people are doing it.

    Comes down to this... say your lat pulldown goes from 10 x 30 lbs to 60 lbs... does that guarantee you will swim faster? I say no. What's more, even if it goes down, the time spent getting there is extremely inefficient compared to doing race pace or resisted swimming.

    There are a lot of people on my team who are far more proficient in the weight room than in the water. They have made strength gains, yes. Their power (speediness) in the water, I can't say.

    quote:
    "And when it comes to the women, the benefits are even more dramatic. (Dara Torres, East Germans (no, your rationale is not entirely accurate, strenght advantage was another reason) etc. etc. So one study shows that it doesn't help female swimmers. Look at overall improvements in time, look at the impact of steroids in swimming (if you think it is not also increase muscle mass/less body fat % you are simply nuts"

    Swimming is not a strength dominated sport, period. As I said before, muscle mass is a liability in swimming. It increases form drag, makes you ride lower in the water. One might say that Phelps and Lochte are very muscular. But there are other swimmers in the B final who are more muscular. They HAPPEN to have a lot of muscle mass, but they are not fast because of it. Also not sure how steroids affect body fat percentage.

    Your "real study" idea is intriguing.

    Quote:
    "This coincides much more to the anecdotal evidence from real life, where we see improvements over the entire world of sprinting more or less where dry land has gone up and swimming time has gone down. It also is much more relevant, as the factors that are most important to swimming between individuals are probably height and technique, but what matters for whether or not a swimmer should lift is whether or not it will improve THEIR OWN swimming speed.

    Lastly, as I mentioned before, it is possible and probably likely that the returns of strength training are asymtotic (sp?) and that some swimmers, perhaps those with a history of lifting or good genetics have already reached the plateau of where they are strong enough that strength gains are unlikely to have much benefit. However, this is much more likely in men and there is I would say, ZERO likelihood that women can get to that point or EVEN CLOSE without lifting, and probably they cannot even get there without steroids. (Hence part of why women at the elite level are slower than men at sprints, and why the impact of steroids is more dramatic for women in swimming and just about any sport)"


    Be wary of causation versus correlation. This is not a universal trend, for its population size the United States is not a sprinting nation (despite our short course pools!)

    http://www.swimmingscience.net/2011/...sprinters.html

    You can go look at newer results yourself, not much has changed. Given the principle of specificity, I feel like improvement has come in spite of the "lifting" emphasis and not because of it.

    However, for those without the foundational strength required for ideal technique for their body type (ex weak hip abductors fro breaststroke kick) then any exercise that stresses those muscles will lead to improvement. It's a paradox, what works well for beginners does not work for "elite"/"established" swimmers.

    @Fortress
    "What are you talking about? Wary of change? Unwilling to consider something new? Most people who know me would say the opposite.
    I've only been lifting more seriously (still not even near my max potential) for 2 years. My times have dropped with more serious drylands. I know others with similar results. Your sport specific strength movements notion is what sounds antiquated.

    Agree with Gaash on your non-Costill study. It proves nothing without a prior history of sprint times and lifting and a relative before and after comparison of each test subject over a meaningful amount of time.

    If all you want to do is swim, then swim. But adding more yardage in the pool is not "infinitely better" (I'd like to see the substantiation for this) and will not necessarily make you faster. Maybe you should try some squats and plyos to see if your starts and walls improve. "
    _______
    I wasn't addressing you in particular, it's a widespread coaching belief. (At least at the age group/senior level, I have spent more time in these programs than with masters.)

    Just because a principle has been around for almost a century does not make it antiquated. I defer to pages 23 of this document for an explanation of specificity. There have not been many studies examining this principle since then as there has been little reason to dispute it.

    http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/swim/bullets/energy39.pdf

    The Olympic Trials qualifier study (and other studies) are not perfect. However, if you look at the swimming population, most people engage in some form of dryland. Some people seem to benefit from it, some people don't. Those who seem to benefit from it (based on the principle outlined above) are the exception rather than the rule.

    Fortress, please don't misunderstand me. I am a huge opponent of "garbage yardage". I am referring to the question about whether one could replace a day of swimming with a weight room day. (I just realized that I've been using "dryland" and "lifting/weights" interchangably, but they are very different. Dryland tends to refer to various bodyweight, tubing/medball/battleropes exercises; lifting refers to lifting weights and using fitness machines.)
    That said, given that a swimmer is not in a physically stressed state, more yardage swum at ideal race pace and with race technique will yield improvement.

    Starts and turns are not swimming. They are fundamentally different exercises (you have a solid foundation to push off of). Squat jumps are part of my pre swim warmup.

    @Androvski

    "This is a myth. Strength training with compound movements (squats, deadlifts, pull ups, clean and jerk, etc) will always transfer to sports. Almost all athletes in pretty much every sport are doing weight training and benefiting A LOT from it."

    The brain maps movements, not muscles. Please see page 23 of the document above.

    "The authors warned that land-based resistance training exercises may alter stroke mechanics."

    For that matter any resistance training alters stroke mechanics. Put on a pair of fins, swim, then take them off. Does your arm/leg rhythm feel the same? You're putting out more force for a brief period as you became comfortable with doing so... but unless you learned to do this in conjunction with what the rest of your body is doing, you can't train separate components and glue them together into 1 faster stroke.

    Movements that may enable you to do a vasa trainer or tubing pull effectively are not necessarily the same movements you do in the water. When you take the arm movement and separate it from the body roll, you have the freedom to do things that would slow you down in the water, without getting the feedback of slowing down. Simply put, movements that your body adapts to on land are not the movements best suited to going fast in the water. However, when you're racing, your brain will "run the land program" because that's what you're familiar with + that's the movement you trained with resistance (resistance strengthens the familiarity of a movement.) And you will swim less efficiently as a result.

    "No, you can't. To gain strength you need resistance. Water does not provide enough resistance to develop max strength, period."

    Yes. But do you need more strength to go faster? For some, yes. But for those who can already approach the force needed for cavitation (slippage)? No. Your cavitation threshhold varies depending on the efficiency of your "catch". Those with better catches can put out more force without slipping.

    Thanks for the videos. Since we're on the topic of Lochte, he ate at McDonald's every meal while he was in Beijing.

    @Allen Stark + ElaineK

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. A little dynamic warmup before lifting (a jog, some shoulder mobility drills, light medball work) might have a similar effect though.) I have a hip mobility circuit, shoulder mobility circuit, core circuit, and (for lack of a better word) "energizing" circuit (involves short land sprints, jumps, and whole body exercises) that I run through before every practice. Each one takes about 3 minutes, and none are fatiguing.

    If one must lift (for various reasons, ex not having a certain foundational level of strength, "prehab" exercises, warding off strength loss due to aging, etc) I agree with Ritter's assessment that it should come before swimming. Maximal contraction is required for improvement, and it's more difficult + more likely to result in you dropping something on your foot if you're tired from swimming beforehand.

    @Paul... thanks for your input! One must be wary of categorizing all dryland/weight activities under a single umbrella... I feel that the biggest role of dryland is to address the inherent muscle imbalances that result from modern-day posture realities (sitting all day) and from the anterior dominant nature of swimming (mainly using muscles on the front side of the body). This is to ward off injuries, improve posture (better boat in the water!)...

    For those who may have difficult given their technique achieving a certain degree of cardiovascular intensity for long periods, dryland "circuits" may enable them to keep their heartrate up better than they could in the water. However, if you do this type of training on land and then attempt to do the same thing (more cardio) in the water, clearly the first session would be more productive than the water session, and the water session would be better used doing something else (like sprint training, technique work, recovery swims, etc).

    I recently added yoga to my post weekend swims and it is simply magnificent.
    I do not consider it to be "dryland" (no fatiguing poses for me) but it has helped increase my range of motion and relax tight muscles.

    @Jazz Hands...

    I have a 24.1 50 Free from last spring. It's not spectacular, but I don't train sprint freestyle as I have externally rotated feet (duckfeet) that seriously hinder my flutter kick. A steady diet of 12 x 25 BR off the blocks 4 x a week on 1 minute has moved my 50 Br from 29.5 to 28.6.

    @Joshua...

    Thanks for your two cents!

    "Another point to consider is the slower recovery rate as we age. At various times I prioritize swimming or strength training, but I can't go really hard on both during the same period (add in the job factor)."

    Yep. Excellent consideration. Pushing on when you're physically extremely taxed isn't wise. Check out the supercompensation curve for exercise, if you keep doing down then you'll end up overtrained.

    "Finally, I have recently felt that improving my flexibility would be a greater contribution to my swimming and to my general well being as I age. After every swim session I do about 10 minutes of flexibility work in the pool and I am feeling alot "looser" especially in my shoulders."

    ElaineK's link earlier had some great stretches.

    Here is an active shoulder warmup routine you can run through before your swims that may help you out as well.

    http://www.udel.edu/PT/PT%20Clinical...p%20George.pdf

    @Sojerz... thanks for the detailed analysis and thoughts! A slight note for your analogy...

    "To make the boat go faster, one increases the throttle, the engine increases in speed and the tranny then makes the propeller spin faster. The speed increases as the prop spins faster until it reaches the maximum engine speed (RPM). The boat is not going faster because the propeller is pushing the water harder, but because it's turning faster and pushing water at a higher rate. If one wants the propeller to push harder, one has to increase the diameter or reshape it to be more efficient at the desired size and RPM."

    As a person, you can change the shape and motion path of the propeller. Upgrading the RPMS of the engine WILL modify the shape and path of the propeller. Why? Because the brain maps movements, not muscles. (there is not "biceps" zone. But there is a "bring hand toward shoulder aka elbow flexion zone". Once again, see page 23 of the document way above, movement @ different speed is a fundamentally different pattern.

    "It is conceivable that some swimmers have more than enough hp (strength), and would benefit most from improving their propeller's mechanics (stroke technique). That is, if you are very strong already, you might be adding a 100 hp engine to a propeller that only needs 20 hp to spiin at the required RPMs. In this case working on a better propeller makes more sense and would be more likely to produce resuts."

    I don't have any studies here. But if they're anything that Terry from TI has done a great job with showing, it's that for many masters swimmers it's technique that's holding them back. This is a great comparison though.

    " So, does it make more sense to accomplish both of these in the pool where you can work on technique and strength or on dryland where you really can only work on strength?"

    In the pool you have guaranteed transfer (assuming you're going at race pace), on land you are not guaranteed to transfer the same movement patterns and energy system training, if it transfers it is via general conditioning improvement and isn't specific.

    "With dryland you know what you are (or aren't) doing. The workout is in-your-face and direct. In the pool it's easier to swim through a set especailly when working alone or if distracted by other stuff in your life.
    With dryland you can focus on your own specific muscle needs - work to balance weaknesses, stabilze shoulders, or on a too fat core. Dryland may be more efficient to get after specific difficiencies. Read the article by Ritter that Swim BRCT posted above regarding which comes first - the swimming or the lifting. I'm also wondering why Ritter found that it matters?"

    good point. If you're fatigued in dryland it's easier to see/feel the effects. WIth the supported and cooling nature of the water, the mechanics breakdowns that lead to slowdown are far more subtle. This is where a good coach comes into play.

    Why it matters? You can email chris with your specific question. However, why does it matter? If you do them in the "wrong order", they you will not get the maximum possible benefit from doing the sessions. I assume people want to be efficient with their time.

    @Paul Smith Again:
    "The studies that I saw swimBRCT quoting where done in the 90's...some relevance still I'm sure but the fact is all distances 500 and under are now so "power" driven that its hard for me to believe that supplemental weight training has not played a part"

    Note here that power and strength training are two different things. Not sure what previous races were if they weren't "power" (as in speed that a given force is applied) driven. There has been a shift away from the insane yardage "darwin" training of the 70s/80s to a lower yardage high intensity style training. Check out Bill Boomer's interview here regarding Dara Torres and Jason Lezak, their success has had a lot to do with not training the same way they did as age groupers.

    http://vodpod.com/watch/4083819-mss-bill-boomer

    _whew. I Probably didn't explain as clearly as I could have, so please feel free to challenge and ask for clarification.

    Not trying to "convert" anyone... I guess to answer the original question, WHY are you (Lifting/drylanding), and WHAT (1 hour weight room? 30 minutes bodyweight?) are you going to be doing?

    Generic "get stronger" doesn't work unless you're just starting out. As I said before, for a beginner any sort of activity has the potential to be helpful.

  14. #54
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    Re: Swimming after liftin'

    There is a point where strength benefits do not help in swimming, that is for sure, and it probably depends on many factors including stroke efficiency, height, stroke (sprint breaststrokers seem to benefit the most from lifting if I had to guess) but I think, SwimBRCT, you vastly overestimate how many people reach that point and how quickly they reach it, particularly when it comes to women.

    I agree w/you 100% on the overtraining by the way. However, gains from lifting translate to other activities as there are certain neural muscular/central nervous system improvements to the body that simply cannot be attained with any efficiency without lifting heavy weight.

  15. #55
    sprint diva The Fortress's Avatar
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    Re: Swiimming after liftin'

    Quote Originally Posted by swimBRCT View Post

    Starts and turns are not swimming.

    For that matter any resistance training alters stroke mechanics. Put on a pair of fins, swim, then take them off. Does your arm/leg rhythm feel the same? You're putting out more force for a brief period as you became comfortable with doing so... but unless you learned to do this in conjunction with what the rest of your body is doing, you can't train separate components and glue them together into 1 faster stroke.
    Last time I checked, starts and turns were an enormous part of "swimming." This is especially so given that the vast majority of masters racing is in short course.

    Are you sure about the second proposition or just cogitating? In my own experience, I haven't found this to be true.

    Look, fast swimming involves quite a bit of innate talent. Strength is not a substitute for talent, technique or high intensity training. (Btw, you'd probably get more bang for your buck if you did some of those 25s @ 3:00 instead of 1:00.) But I don't agree with your analyses or conclusion that strength is largely superfluous. And I agree with Gaash that many masters, probably due to time and life constraints, are underachieving wrt lifting. (People may also be underachieving wrt to yoga and flexibility as well.)

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    Re: Swimming after liftin'

    On Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday's I lift for about 1:15 then go to the pool. I plan for my swimming workout to be fairly short and spend the 1st 500yds going slow and doing a lot of stretching. At that point I can usually do sprints but die on any distances from arm fatigue.

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    Re: Swimming after liftin'

    I do a 40 minute circuit of core / weight work 2x a week before swimming. I focus those days on drill work (both upper and lower body) and short distance intervals. I agree with bowyer954 - any distance efforts result in immediate upper body fatigue. Other than that, I swim one or two days during the week without lifting - I tend to primarily focus on 150 - 250 intervals during those workouts.

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    Re: Swimming after liftin'

    well I am happy to say that for the first time in my life I have this opportunity. I only lift once/week and now at the same place I swim so I figure I might as well get something in while I am there even though it will take 2+ hours door to door. I swim just a few sprints fly mixed in with some easy stuff. The piano drops on my back after a 50 fly anyway so I figure thats a good bang for the buck as long as I don't blow out my shoulder.

  19. #59
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    Re: Swimming after liftin'

    If you can swim right after lifting then your lifting was probably a waste of time.

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    Re: Swimming after liftin'

    I can swim afterwards but 99% of the time the weights, when done at same time of day, are done after. Sometimes driving is difficult when done after the lift

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