So how fast is your 50 free, Dr. Weakness?"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
Muscular strength is not related to sprint-swimming performance.
Even Dr. G found this when he studied olympic trial qualifiers from 2000.
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!
"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.
-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.