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Weight Lifting must continue during taper and athletic peaking

If you lift you must taper lifting also. Do not stop lifting or the benefits of your cross training will be lost.  You must work on speed while continuing to gain strength. The Faster Swimming coach’s guide shows an exact practice schedule for lifting during taper as well as detailed dryland workouts during this crucial phase. 

If you need help tailoring your program please email me @ [email protected]

Athletic Peaking

Athletic peaking, when you are in top shape, results in your best performances of the season. At this time fitness is at the highest level, while fatigue is at the lowest. This is the one time of the season that fatigue should in no way mask fitness. Your peak occurs when you are ready to perform at your best physically (fitness, skills, reactions…) and psychologically (strategy, focus, intent…). Peaking for sport is no accident, but rather the culmination of training, competitions, tactics and regeneration that has been planned for. 

A peaking period can be as long as several weeks or as short as several days, so defining your peaking period and planning accordingly is critical. No new stimuli of any significant intensity should be introduced at this time, and training methods (psychological, physical, and technical) must be specific to the demands of competition. Complete regeneration of all required physical capacities; such as speed, strength, and power; is paramount. These levels should all be at their highest during a peaking phase. While volume most often drops significantly and rest periods increase during a taper, some portion of training intensity MUST remain high to facilitate peak performances. To maintain an extended peak, appropriate intensity must remain in your training at some level throughout the peaking period. 

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Core Rotation Questions Answered with Video

One of our friends recently had questions about core rotations and core training.  This is the information we sent him:

Core rotations are simply rotating through core exercises for a given amount of time.  For example

Core rotations – 4 min, switch exercises every :30  could just be a series repeating – for instance, alternating pikes and ride-the-bike, or could be a bunch of exercises and look like:

:30 flutter kick

:30 kick outs

:30 ride the bike

:30 pikes

:30 Russian twists

:30 sit-ups

:30 plank

:30 sit-up get-ups

Use what works best with your team – the real effectiveness will come in progressing in exercise time and difficulty, and the effort given by the swimmers.  Some video links follow at the bottom with a bunch of core work ideas.  Please copy and paste the links below into your browser.

Championship Core Training

#1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU0jqP4radE&list=UU0zptkU-mFCY-G-5iE_r0HQ&index=94&feature=plcp

#2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9gwH829DdE&list=UU0zptkU-mFCY-G-5iE_r0HQ&index=93&feature=plcp

#3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnnS0xgARMM&list=UU0zptkU-mFCY-G-5iE_r0HQ&index=92&feature=plcp

#4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUO_ew7OnlQ&list=UU0zptkU-mFCY-G-5iE_r0HQ&index=91&feature=plcp

#5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB3ihY8zcE0&list=UU0zptkU-mFCY-G-5iE_r0HQ&index=90&feature=plcp

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Complexes Strength AND Conditioning with weights

Complexes are several exercises performed in a row, with no break in between. Complexes are really just extended super-sets where you don’t put down the bar or DB’s until you are through. A short example would be a row – clean – press – squat… 2 x 8, where you’d do 8 reps of rows, then 8 reps of cleans, then 8 reps of presses, then 8 reps of squats. Take a short break (1-3 min.+/-), and then repeat for set #2.

Barbell (BB) or Dumbbell (DB) complexes can be used to increase work capacity, improve total-body and core strength, and blast fat off of your entire body. Complexes might also make you feel like you’ll puke, and they for SURE will improve your athleticism. You don’t need a ton of weight to get a good effect, and you can use just about anything to do a complex with. General guidelines for weights to use would be 35 – 75 lbs. for ladies and 65- 105 lbs. for guys, and you can obviously adjust this up or down as needed. You can do complexes with a BB or DB’s, with a med ball, with a 45 lb. plate, or even with a suitcase or a cinder block! Whatever is available can work.

One of the keys to complexes, as with any resistance work, is to continually progress… so add weight, add reps, decrease rest between sets, and/or move faster through the complex in order to continually progress! Complexes are meant to be a hard effort, so if it feels easy, add progression(s)!!

At the end of a workout 1 or 2 complexes are plenty, and if complexes are your main workout, 4 to 6 total sets are the norm. Doing 6 or more complexes in a single workout is hard. Some example sets are listed below, and by all means, be creative and make up some of your own sets. And remember, you won’t be putting the bar down if you do these correctly, so a little chalk might be a good idea.

Good Luck!

UFC Complex – 6 to 8 reps each

Bent Rows
High Pulls
Standing Press
Ski Squat
Lunge
Squat & Press
Stiff-leg Deadlift

WWF Complex – 6 to 8 reps each

Snatch
Front Squat
Power Clean
Back Squat
Push Press
Stiff-leg Deadlift
Hang Clean & Jerk

Swim Complex – 8 to 10 reps each

Bent Row
Hang Clean
Front Squat & Push Press
Good Morning
Ski Squat

Track Complex – 6 to 8 reps each

Stiff-leg Deadlift
Hang Clean & Front Squat & Push Press
Step-back Lunge
Bent Row
Un-weighted Jumps

Jumpers Complex – 6 to 8 reps each

Stiff-leg Deadlift
High Pull
Clean & Squat
Standing Press
Un-weighted Jump Lunge
Un-weighted Jumps

Legs & Shoulders Complex – 6 to 8 reps each

Un-weighted Jumps
Squat
Squat with :10 pause at the bottom (ouch!)
Standing Press
Push Press
Front Squat & Press

Pull Better Complex – 6 to 8 reps each

Stiff-leg Deadlift
Deadlift
Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
Back Squat
Good Morning

Speed Complex – 6 to 8 reps each

Snatch-grip Deadlift
Snatch-grip High Pull
Clean
Step-back Lunge
Push Jerk (split)
Un-weighted Jumps

Now be creative and make up some of your own below.

 

Name it:_______________________

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

etc..

Name it:_______________________

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

  • by John Coffman, FasterSwimming.com Contributing Writer 
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How Strong is Strong Enough?

There are many types of measurable strength – maximal strength, speed-strength, strength endurance, relative strength, starting strength, etc, etc. – that can factor into your sport performance abilities. Training with weights or heavy objects is not the end-goal of too many sports; Power lifting, Olympic lifting, and Strongman being the main exceptions. Training with weights CAN, however, provide protection from injury, allow a greater display of force and/or speed in your sport performance, and improve your general conditioning (GPP) and work capacity. All of these factors lead to improved sport results, and can be improved upon through weight training.

So how do you best fit this into your sport training? Well, we’ve written a book on this and it’s included in the Faster Swimming Manual, so the following description is basic…Our Training recommendations involve lifting heavy weights, lifting moderate weights explosively, and lifting moderate weights for higher repetitions. Heavy lifting increases maximal and starting strength; explosive lifting increases speed-strength and force production; repletion lifting increases strength endurance and work capacity. Relative strength is your strength level in relation to your own body and is addressed in our program in the weight room (pull-ups, dips, hanging leg raise, etc) and in the dryland program – which also focuses on strength endurance, core strength, and to an even greater degree on work capacity and active range of movement. All of these methods will lead to some degree of muscle gain (hypertrophy) which further increases your capacity to produce useable force in your sport. One of the basic principles at work within all of this is that of progressive overload; you must continually and progressively increase loads (poundage and/or speed) to adapt to a higher level.

Injury prevention can also be addressed with weight training. Training with weights in a balanced program will lead to greater overall body-strength and control, which leads to more efficient and coordinated movement which leads to fewer injuries. Specific injury-prone areas for a given sport can also be addressed and strengthened as needed. Using swimming as an example, the shoulders are a frequent site of injury. Injury prevention can be addressed through specific exercises (Cuban press, faces pull, pull-ups, rack pull-ups, pullovers, etc) and through repetition and movement work with bands (internal/external rotation, distraction, etc.).

All of this can be fit into brief (around 1 hour) workouts, done 2-4x per week, to increase your durability and sport performance – which you can learn more about here (link).

So, back to the original question – How strong is “strong enough”? As long as weight training is not interfering with sport practice and/or competition, it is our view that you can always improve performance by getting stronger. Again – the end-goal is increased performance in your sport, and being able to display more force and speed while lessening your chance of injury will lead to this. Combine this type of weight training with appropriate and balanced sport training and you are on your way to improved performance!!