Derek Toomey: The Life of a Pro Swimmer (Video)

Sprinter Derek Toomey has opened the door to give us a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes in the daily life of a professional swimmer who is training to earn a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic roster.

Toomey graduated from University of Minnesota in 2014, having made history as the first Golden Gopher, and the first swimmer in the Big Ten conference, to dip under the 19-second barrier in the 50 yard freestyle. He received the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor for 2014, an award that recognizes combined athletic and academic achievements.

After graduation Toomey moved to Los Angeles to train with Trojan Swim Club under Dave Salo. In this video, he takes us on deck at Uytengsu Aquatics Center at USC for dryland training, into the weightroom for some heavy lifting, and to the pool for both vertical and horizontal work.

Click on the video above to watch Toomey’s training regimen, as seen through his GoPro.

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Very well done video. I would go as far to say that even people who don’t swim would enjoy this video. Some pretty looking drills in there as well. Have to acknowledge the speedway exercise; a very fun drill. Keep it up Derek!


which was the speedway exercise?

“Speedways” are something Derek and I actually did together when we swam at Minnesota. It’s the exercise where he runs off the diving platform into a dive from about 2:06 to 2:19 in the video and again at 2:43 to 2:50. Typically, we’d also do underwater kicking to the other side of the pool for time to work on entries, streamline and carrying speed through your underwaters.

Brad Horner

If he looks particular at home out of the water too it is,because Derek is a 3rd degree black belt in karate. The training, quickness, and mental toughness that goes with that level of karate has helped Derek ‘ s swimming.

Larry Day

Great video! Incredible athlete and person! Enjoyed watching you race at the Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor and talking with one of your greatest supporters – Brad Horner who I had the honor of racing in college just a few years ago 🙂 Good in this Olympic year Derek. All the best!

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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