Syracuse University Swim Study

Cycling and running require a certain amount of skill, but these skills are relatively simple compared with the technique required in swimming.  Because of the complexity of swimming and difficulties in research design, strength training to increase swimming speed may appear to be ineffective.  It has been postulated that the lack of a positive transfer between dry-land strength gains and swimming propulsive force may be due to the specificity requirements of swim training.  In other words, common gym-based training patterns may not be specific enough to actual pool-based swim patterns to result in a notable positive transfer.

Proper Periodization of Strength during the General Adaptation Phase and Maximal Strength Phase and improved Specificity of Training during the Conversion Phase would yield great improvements in swimming speed and endurance for all competitive swimmers, especially for females, juniors, and everyone at the masters level. Continue reading

The Biomotor Abilities

Some confusion arises when endurance athletes and coaches question the need for the force produced in a maximal strength contraction.  Of course, a maximal level of force is not required to complete a stride, cycle revolution, or swim stroke.  So, why then is (maximal) strength considered a critical component for endurance athletes?  Because training maximal strength is the only way to develop synchronous motor unit recruitment, which is the primary requirement for increasing propulsive force and resisting muscular fatigue over long-endurance performances. Continue reading

Triathletes and Strength Training

The Great Disconnect ?

Dr. Tudor O. Bompa, considered the father of modern periodization, was once asked about the biggest training mistakes that triathletes make.  He responded by stating that “The two biggest mistakes were not using evidence-based training methods and not implementing a year-round strength training program.”  With this endorsement, justifying the exclusion of strength training by any serious triathlete or coach would be difficult. Continue reading

Aging Athletes: Training and Recovery

The effects of aging on training, recovery, and performance are fairly well-known, and even though each of us is unique in many ways we all have, are currently, or will experience these effects at some point… sooner or later.  Our physiological capabilities and the effects of training and recovery change as we age.  This is the philosopy behind ‘age-groups’.  It would be extremely unlikely for a coach who is in their 20’s or 30’s to be familiar with the capabilities and needs of an athlete who is in their 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s. Continue reading