Lifting aerobically for swimmers isn’t
needed. You already get your aerobic needs from the pool and or
running. Cross training is great and do just that - Cross train!
Lifting is for speed and power as described in the FasterSwimming
eBook. When you weight lift you are elevating your heart rate and
are actually achieving a small base of aerobic conditioning.
If you have had a long break and need to ease into work-outs then
please ease into it. Give yourself goals, with the best goal being
longevity for exercise. If you attack it - it’ll be harder
to maintain motivation.
I am going to elaborate on the 23 week program in FasterSwimming
and your incorporation of weightlifting, dryland and yoga. If you
follow the program you’ll lift twice a week, do dryland twice
a week and yoga once. You need to add yoga at least during the taper
phase for whole body strength and flexibility. It is also great
for pre-season training. Start off with doing yoga as part of your
dryland regime or begin with yoga as your dryland regime. When you
have flexibility and feel stronger add more intense dryland and
then start weightlifting. When you begin planning your weightlifting,
dryland and yoga exercises you need to start with an emphasis on
legs as they take the longest to get into shape and need more rest
at the end of the season. Legs are neglected by all and drive speed.
You must fight your desire not to work the legs. Legs will set you
apart, drive the speed in swimming, give you a faster start and
turn, better fly kick off the walls and create and maintain momentum.
When choosing your weightlifting daily program choose accordingly
as outlined. You can mix it up between Whole body, Upper body and
Lower body exercises either by set or alternate within sets. That
is consistent with your swimming work-outs. If you emphasize legs
during weightlifting then have a recovery kick set during your swim
work-out and the same pattern for Upper and Lower body exercises.
Choose accordingly to coordinate all your workouts as you don’t
want too much of one thing during the day. You need to alternate
either by set or within each set as this is one of the essential
guidelines to faster swimming. You alternate Upper and Lower body
parts always to force recovery of the opposite body part emphasis
as well as increase quality of the body part being worked.
When lifting and trying to maintain speed remember safety and the
mechanics of each lift. Don’t just throw the weight in the
air to ensure speed. You wouldn’t spin your arms in the water
without controlled speed and efficiency through the water. Just
remember this concept. Your controlled speed will develop over time
just keep focus.
Dryland emphasis is mainly whole body working your core always with
upper and lower body support muscles. Develop in conjunction with
weightlifting, yoga and especially your swimming.
When you begin the 7 week taper your weightlifting, dryland, yoga
and swimming are all focused on developing speed and power while
maintaining your aerobic base. Week three you’ll notice changes
in your training requirements with the slow resting of your legs.
(The weightlifting taper workouts are outlined on pages 78-81 and
the dryland taper workouts are outlined on pages 113-117 of the
FasterSwimming eBook.) Remember to specify to your yoga instructor
to hold the leg poses for less time, possibly do them at the beginning
of the work-out and do recovery stretching. The taper outline explains
when you should focus on speed work. THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU
SHOULD STOP TRYING TO GET STRONGER! Strength helps produce speed.
Do a few warm-up sets of your desired exercise then try a set or
two of one repetition maximizing your weight, then stretch or do
a recovery swim if you can. Get a massage or sit in the hot tub
maybe on weeks 5 or 6. A full body massage if done correctly will
take a few days to recover from so don’t do it the day before
your big swim. Hot tubs will sap your energy so hydrate and use
the hot tub for recovery well in advance of your big swim.
You should also limit your weightlifting and dryland exercises to
about 30 minutes while increasing your yoga and stretching to 60
minutes. Maintain 45 minute sessions of each during the season.
Recovery swimming after each would be great if you have the facility
and the time. If you decide to do dryland during week 7 then add
a +/- 20 minute session to maintain core strength before yoga or
swimming. This is a great way to help the fast twitch muscles recover
especially if you have just finished one of your championship meets.
If you have noticed from reading this article, recovery is essential
to your faster swimming.