Antonio Lutula Named New Head Coach at Sweden’s National Elite Center

Antonio Lutula will take over head coaching duties from Johan Wallberg at Sweden’s National Elite Center in Stockholm. Wallberg was originally set to lead the NEC up until 2020. Lutula starts his new position in January 2022. 

Current Swedish National Team Members affiliated with the NEC include: 

The NEC is a training and development center that offers both full-time and part-time training for swimmers. Lutula was already on staff as an assistant coach and development manager. He was also with the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences and holds a Masters of Science degree. Lutula has two scientific papers published on ResearchGate

One paper, published in 2017, looks at the reliability of Pansold’s Step Test protocol in swimming for determining lactate threshold. Pansold’s Step Test, which according to the paper has been used by Swedish Swimming since 2016, includes various repetitions of 100m, 200m, and 400m swims conducted in steps. Step one consists of three repetitions of the distance with one minute of rest, followed by a three minute rest before the next step. At step two, two repetitions are performed with one minute of rest, followed by another three minute break before the next step. Steps three – five all consist of one repetition of the distance with rest being anywhere from 5-20 minutes. Blood lactate levels are taken after each step at various intervals of time, and each step consists of a different stroke (in IM order). The study found that reliable lactate measurements can be obtained using the Pansold protocol. 

His last paper, published in 2019, sought to determine the effects of resistance training on sprint swimming. Lutula’s research found that there were no improvements in resisted sprint training over non-resisted sprint training. However, he also writes that “resisted sprint training can be used effectively as a form of variation to unresisted sprint training in swimming” in his conclusions. In the acknowledgements of that paper, Lutula thanks Wallberg for “providing me with literature and valuable advice”.

The NEC offers a physiological/physiotherapeutic team which focuses on “land and strength training linked to swimming training and follow-up strength and work physiology”. It will be interesting to see how Lutula utilizes resistance training in his programming going forward at the NEC. 

Other programs offered at the NEC include: 

  • Biomechanical/technical team
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Mental counseling 

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