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Old 07-31-2012
CoachDavidShen CoachDavidShen is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 604

Originally Posted by needer View Post
I have the same opinion as you but since I still didn't complete my swimming skills he prevent me to continue gym. He said if you want to learn you have to stay away from gym because swimming needs soft and flexible muscles. and you cannot perfect your stroke by adding weights to swimming learning process.
I am not agree with him though. and also If I give up gym then after some month I have to start everything from the begining.
If there is anything I've learned is that you cannot train weights in the traditional way and effectively train for that sport. In the old days they would say do light weights only so as to not wipe yourself out for your main sport's workouts.

And if you try to workout like Arnold, you are doing the wrong thing with weights which is to generate big muscles but not necessarily swim faster. Training to failure with weights will leave you too sore, tight, and fatigued to train effectively in your main sport.

So what I've discovered is that you can train with weights but you can't train with traditional notions of weight training.

You have to train like a powerlifter and do only 1-3 reps per set of very heavy weights. This stimulates the nervous system to activate BUT will not cause undue fatigue AND won't cause hypertrophy which is what creates Arnold-esque muscles which is not necessarily what you want or need.

Now having said that, powerlifting is not just something you walk into a gym and start doing. You should find a good coach who can teach you proper form so you won't get hurt. Then use the rule of 10 which is no more than 10 total reps in the entire set for a given exercise. I've had to adjust downward from there in the early stages because I found that going over 6 can still create some soreness the next day.

Another thing I've discovered is kettlebells. You can definitely build strength-endurance with them. Find a good HKC or RKC coach in your area to work with you on that as well. Start gingerly - work with very little times and weight on things like swings so that you do not wipe yourself out for the next workout.

A third thing you can play with is swinging Indian clubs. These help stabilize your shoulder joint.

I have found a combination of the above has helped my swimming (and running by the way) quite a bit.
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Old 08-01-2012
CharlesCouturier CharlesCouturier is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,244

Originally Posted by needer View Post
My swimming coach says swimming needs soft muscles while weight training makes them firm . He told me if you want to complete your swimming techniques then do not do gym work out unless you becom perfect in swimming. weights disturb swimming learning process.
But I do look for a fitnness curvy body . and weights are the only tools to make muscle and gain some weight.and if i give it up for some monthes afterwards I have to start everything frome the begining

what do you recmommend? should I give up weights for around 6 month to complete my swimming ? or not necessary?
Assuming that a 60min gym session is worth the disturbance of having to get there etc...

Assuming that within this 60min, you can (and should) easily spend 15min at stretching and 15min at working on core, this leaves maybe a 15min slot for doing non swimming aerobic exercising (which is fun) and a final 15min for swim specific muscle development.

All I'm trying to say here, is that Weights are a tool, they don't own a brain. in itself it can't be good or bad.

The brain belong to the person writing down the program.

An example of swim specific muscle development, some work that can really really pay off, could be to simply use a pulley machine with very very light weight, and work on your high elbow catch, ie learning to better work the first portion of the pull. If you can do this with swim ropes, it's obviously even better. Anything that can reinforce your rotator's cuff, your swimming will love this. Etc etc etc etc etc......

Last edited by CharlesCouturier : 08-01-2012 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 08-02-2012
nicka nicka is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 80

I do use a home gym(not sure of the weight) on the off nights of swimming and days where i have not had to climb to the top of wind turbines as they are a workout in itself.
This is all in the hope of improving swim times.
I do understand that it's better technique over strength and i believable that swimming every day would way out lifting weights but its just not possible for me only able to swim about 2 days per week.
My Goal to swim 1500 meters in under 30 minutes
EDIT-my goal was achieved Oct 12 2013 with 22 seconds to spare in a 25 meter pool, Thanks TI
Next goal is to achieve this in a 50 meter pool.
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Old 08-02-2012
mt6127 mt6127 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 12

I was shaking my head on the comment about weight training ruining loose muscles. Almost all high school and collegiate swimmers have rigorous dry land training routines. If done properly you will gain conditioning and importantly, resistance to injury (developing the shoulder cap to balance back and front muscles - if you train all free style, you're working only half so you need to develop the complimentary muscles). A few suggestions to defining your dry land: 1) as a general rule high reps/low weights will avoid the bulkiness and tightening "coach" was warning about 2) shoulders and core are most important to a swimmer. If you have access to a weight room at a gym here's a sample workout my collegiate swimmer daughter laid out for me: Also note the routine goes large to small muscles. Start with a weight you can do comfortably then raise the weight when you can do 3x15. Typically this will be 55-60% of the maximum weight you can do for one rep.

Leg Squats 3 sets x 12 (machine or free weights)
Chest press 3x12

Leg Extention 3 x12
Pull Down (bar behind head or alternate front/back) 3x12

Leg Curl 3x12
Row (focus on keeping back straight to isolate back muscles)

Pull ups (ugh, those of us in the 55+ AARP swim lane need a machine that off weights the body to get more than 2 or 3 reps :-(
Push ups (work in 3 sets)

Bicep (free weights) - keep elbow glued to waist
Triceps (free weights can drop behind head then reverse curl up, machine use pull down bar by starting at chest and press down to waist)

Now to the most important part - developing the shoulder with free weights (dumbbells here - if you don't have time to get to the gym, just do this at home)

1. start with hands by hips, lift weight straight armed out in front and hold for a count (ie arms rotate out to parallel to floor) 8-12 reps
2. lift hands to side and all way to top (rotating to top ie angel arms)
3. elbows bent at side , lift weights out to side (raise elbows until upper arm is parallel to floor)
4) buy some dynabands or similar elastic resistant rope, wrap around post (like your pool's backstronk flag pole and pull back extending arms outward (variations include elbows out, elbows down) focusing on upper back / shoulder cap. You can do this as part of a warm up/cool down routing too.

If you can maintain a 3x a week schedule for 12 weeks here, you'll be uncomfortable for weeks 1-4, feeling good by week 8 and by week 12 you'll be bragging of god-like qualities. To taper off weights in preparation for a competion, About 6 weeks prior, spend 2 weeks raising the weights and lowering the reps ie go up a weight notch and drop to 3x8 then up again and drop to 3x6. Put the weights down a month before and just do the abs and dynabands and you'll have both your strength and your flexibility for your event.
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