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Strengthening The Swimmer. Presented by: Rob Mamula C.S.C.S Director of Athletic Development Scott McGihon Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach. Program Design. Terms used to describe training phases General Preparation Hypertrophy Strength Power Endurance Power Endurance.

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strengthening the swimmer

Strengthening The Swimmer

Presented by:

Rob Mamula C.S.C.S

Director of Athletic Development

Scott McGihon

Head Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach

program design
Program Design
  • Terms used to describe training phases
    • General Preparation
    • Hypertrophy
    • Strength
    • Power
    • Endurance
    • Power Endurance
program design gp
Program Design (GP)
  • General Prep is always the 1st lifting phase in the off-season
  • General prep is usually the 1st phase of lifting in the pre-season
  • Focus: General Fitness

Functional Training

Injury Prevention

Muscle repair/ growth

program design gp1
Program Design (GP)
  • Duration: 3-6 weeks
    • Duration of cycle depends heavily on conditioning of athletes
  • Sets: 2-4 sets
  • Repetitions: 10-20 reps
  • Intensity: Medium <70% 1 RM
  • Rest: Minimal rest up to :30-1:30
program design hypertrophy
Program Design (Hypertrophy)
  • Hypertrophy is an increase in muscle cross sectional area
  • Hypertrophy phases are considered stand alone phases.
  • Time of Year:
    • Off-season/ pre-season/ or during the active rest period
  • Focus: Muscle growth
program design hypertrophy1
Program Design (Hypertrophy)
  • SETS: 3-6 per exercise
  • Exercises per body part: 3-5
  • Repetitions:8-15
  • Intensity: Medium – Medium Heavy <80%
  • Frequency: 1-2 days/week per body part
  • Duration: 3-5 weeks
  • A hypertrophy day will only cover 2-3 muscle groups
program design strength
Program Design (Strength)
  • Strength: The athletic bank account
  • Strength phase always follows either general preparation or hypertrophy phase
  • Strength phase always come before the power phase. ALWAYS!
  • Focus: Max effort/ Neuromuscular adaptation
  • Time of Year: Off-season/pre-season/ In-season
program design strength1
Program Design (Strength)
  • Sets: 3-5 sets
  • Repetitions: 4-10, (traditionally 1-8)
  • Intensity: 80-100% 1 RM
  • Frequency: 3-4 days/ week
  • Duration: 3-6 weeks
  • Rest Periods: Allow enough time to almost fully recover between sets
    • 2 minutes (traditionally 3 minutes)
program design power
Program Design (Power)
  • Power: The ability to generate force quickly
  • Emphasis is on speed of movement
  • Exercises are more sport/event specific
  • Optimum power: 25-45% of 1 RM
  • Focus: teach body to apply force quickly
  • Time of Year: Pre-season/ In-season/ Peaking
program design power1
Program Design (Power)
  • Sets: 3-5
  • Frequency: 3-4 days/week
  • Repetitions: 3-6 (traditionally 1-5)
  • Rest: 2- 2:30 (traditionally full recovery)
  • Intensity: 25-45% for pure power EX: Squat Jump
          • 85-95% for strength power EX: Pull from the floor
in season
  • Why train in Season?
    • Detraining effect
      • Decline in neuromuscular functioning within 2 weeks of cessation of training
      • Muscle Atrophy within 4 weeks of cessation
      • Overall decreased performance seen as soon as within 1 week of cessation
in season1
  • Maximize performance with minimum time requirement
  • Frequency: 3 days/ week (4 Max)
  • Focus: Sport/ event specific movements
  • Intensity: Medium-High
  • Volume Load: Low to moderate
    • Volume= setsXrepsXweight
in season injuries
In-Season (Injuries)
  • Address injuries with corrective exercises
  • Maintain contact with training room
  • Hold athletes accountable to get treatment
  • Discomfort does not mean the athlete should stop
  • Feeling good matters when it’s time to race. DON’T TAPER FOR PRACTICE!
in season taper
In-Season (Taper)
  • Select competitions to taper for before the season starts
  • Maximum of 3 competitions
  • Work back from the meets to decide when each phase of swimming and strength will be implemented
  • Power phase always occurs before taper
in season taper1
In-Season (Taper)
  • Tapering and rest are not the same thing
  • Tapering is best accomplished by decreasing volume load while keeping intensity level high
  • Length: 1-4 weeks
  • A heavy volume swim/ heavy weight week should precede the taper
training program for fall
Training Program for Fall
  • Qualifying event is held on November 20th
  • *GP*- September
  • Strength- October
  • Power- Late October- November
  • After Qualifying event, repeat training cycle.
  • Each training macro cycle will be 8-12 weeks in duration
    • Post Qualifying- 1 Week active rest from weight room
    • Post-Season-2-3 weeks active rest pool and weights
  • Active Rest = non structured activity
  • Allows for cognitive as well as physiological rejuvenation
sample training exercises
Sample Training (Exercises)
  • The Essentials
    • High Pull: Total body/ hip extension/ coordination
    • Bench Press: Pectoralis Major, Triceps, Serratus, Deltoids
    • Pull-ups: Latissimus, Trapezius, Rhomboids
    • Dips: Triceps, Pectoralis Major, Deltoids
    • RDL: Hamstring, Low Back
sample training core
Sample Training (CORE)
  • CORE: The mid section of the body encompassing the abdominal muscles, low back, hip flexors, and gluteal muscle groups
  • Important for:
    • Transfer of energy
    • Body integrity (ability to hold position)
    • Injury Prevention
sample training core1
Sample Training (Core)
  • Traditional exercise with emphasis on core
    • Bench Press- 1 Arm DB Bench Press
    • Squat- Overhead Squat
    • Military press- Shoulder Press-ups
    • Lunge- DB Overhead Lunge
sample training core2
Sample Training (Core)
  • Core specific exercises
    • Plank
    • Side Bridge
    • Side bridge leg raise
    • Kips
    • Superman / Hyper extensions
    • Push-up Arm raise / Leg Raise
    • SB Exercises: Be careful not to overuse this apparatus
sample training dry land
Sample Training (Dry-land)
  • Excellent way to vary the stimulus
  • Stadium training:
    • Plyometric exercises are excellent for swimmers
      • Develop overall body power
      • Specific to take off and wall turns
      • Easily modified for endurance athletes
      • Great combo of strength and power work

* Cycle 2 weeks of dry land one week of games*

sample training dry land1
Sample Training (Dry land)
  • Warm-up
    • Squat Jump x 10
    • Split Jump x10
    • 180’s x10
    • Frog Jumps x 10
    • 1 Leg Long Jumps x 10
    • 2-4 sprints up stadium
    • Repeat 2-3 times with 1-3 minutes rest between sets
sample training toughness
Sample Training (Toughness)
  • Toughness days are a great way to spark competition and break teams out of a lull
  • Don’t need to be specific
  • Great team bonding time
  • Has positive psychological effect on athletes

* Reverse Bear Crawl up the stadium*

keys to success
Keys to Success

1)Balance- train for balance in athletics

  • Know your time limitations
  • Major on the major, minor on the minor
  • Ensure athletic qualities are in correct proportions
    • EX: An extremely powerful athlete who is prone to injuries needs to train more on injury prevention and less on power production.
keys to success1
Keys to Success


  • Pool work
  • Dry land
  • Weights

* All Aspects of training should be working together towards 1 common goal. Some sacrifices need to be made to accomplish the common goal

keys to success2
Keys to Success


  • Head coach and athletes
  • Head coach and strength coach
  • Strength coach and athletes
  • Strength coach, head coach, and athletic trainers
keys to success3
Keys to Success


  • Create athletes that are passionate about swimming
  • Be passionate about them realizing their potential
  • Have a passion to become better and grow more than you did the previous year
  • Have a passion for your craft.

*A person of passion is easy to get behind*