Strengthening the swimmer
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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*

Sample training sample week
Sample Training (Sample Week)

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*