T Nation

Swimming and Getting Stronger

I posted back in January looking for a strength program, and Phil helped me out. I ended up getting a program from ElitFTS (the Beginners training manual) and im about to be at the end of it soon. Right now I am swimming again for fun/ for any 18 and older comps that come up.

I have one comming up in about 2 weeks. and I"m pretty focused on it right now.

The only problem with everything is that I’m wondering whats the best way to go about strength training and swimming at the same time. I dont’ want to lose the foundation I have just built, yet I don’t want to stop swimming. I dont’ know if i’m being stupid or naive, but I am a little worried that I will have a harder time gaining strength when im swimming 2 hours practices.

The other question is, the EliteFTS manual has got me into deadlifting, benching, and squating. I love them more than any other excercise, and it’s all I want to really focus on. When will I be reaching the points of overtraining? As in if I train them twice a week, but without a Dynamic day… is it bad news?

I’m just looking for some advice as to where to start when planning a program for when this one is over. I love doing Dynamic and Maximum effort day but I kind of want to train more than 4 days of the week.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

if he swimming is the proirity id put the training in the back seat much less, less volume but big loads two me days a week bare bone maybe one lighter recover/assistance day and nail the swiiming

       if your rotating exercises etc you should be able to essentially go forever,


If your “in season” is the summer or the summer and the winter, then you can use your time in the weight room to improve your anaerobic fitness and up your mitochondria count.

During the winter, because of swim practice, I only had about 30 minutes of time I could use in the gym…40 at max. One of the workouts that I thought was a good use of my time was super-setting Dumbell Bench Press on a Swiss Ball (20 Reps) Wide Grip pull ups to failure. I know most people think anything done on a swiss ball is instantly worthless. IMO they’re usually right. Doing overhead presses or curls while sitting on a swiss ball is pretty much the same as standing. But for swimmers I think Bench Press on a Swiss Ball for high reps makes sense. You have to keep your lower back and glutes stable on the swiss ball, which mimics the lower back and glute control you need in the butterfly.

If one muscle in particular is getting sorer than others while you swim, then isolate it in your workout.

I also thought doing woodchoppers, dumbell pullovers, the dual axis row, and the leg press were good at mimicking motions in swim strokes. I think box-squats performed in an explosive motion are actually better for improving your start than Olympic lifts. Both can make you more explosive, but Olympic lifts will teach your body to wast time pulling back on the block instead of just exploding off the starting block.

The jerk portion of the clean and jerk might seem like a good way to get faster off the wall but puts you at a lot of risk for shoulder injury while your in season.

Doing rear delt rows and rotator cuff work should be done frequently to prevent in season shoulder injuries. If you think I’m wrong about everything I’ve said, at least admit I’m right about this.

If you can deal with just working out 3 days a week you can rotate exercises so you do 2 upper body pushes, 2 upper body pulls, 1 lower body push, 1 lower body pull, and whatever other isolation exercises you decide you need.