Last month, Japan’s new high-altitude swimming facility of Yunomaru Kogen Sports Exchange in Tomi City opened its doors for business. And one of the nation’s top breaststrokers, Yasuhiro Koseki, is wasting no time taking advantage of the opportunity to train at the $11 million complex positioned at an elevation of 1750 meters (~5741 feet).
But venturing into high-altitude territory isn’t the only tactic Koseki is incorporating into his training regimen to potentially make his mark on a home nation-hosted Olympic Games.
As reported by Sanspo, 27-year-old Koseki has been carefully studying the training methods of British breaststroking beast Adam Peaty, both in and out of the pool. Peaty is the reigning Olympic champion in the 100m breaststroke, the event in which Koseki took gold at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.
Peaty is also the man who has been simply untouchable in the 100m breast event, owning the fastest time ever by a mile with the 56.88 he produced at the 2019 FINA World Aquatic Championships in Gwangju, Korea.
Last year SwimSwam analyzed Peaty’s actual stroke, noting how the Loughborough athlete is able to reduce the time of his breaststroke recovery without wasting any propulsion, enabling him to have more time to glide. Bottom line, Peaty’s technique in the water is the gold standard, of which you can read more about here.
But the Brit is also known for his disciplined training in the gym, with his chiseled physique and broad chest easily recognizable on pool decks around the world.
Rivals like Koseki are taking notice and taking action.
“It’s simple. Peaty is working with weights, so I’m going to work with weights,” said Koseki to Sanspo this week. Specifically, Koseki points to Peaty’s hanging on a bar with weights attached to his hips, a move he has started undertaking as well.
You can see the exact exercise demonstrated by Peaty in the video below, courtesy of Loughborough University:
Koseki began performing the exercise last November, performing 15 pull-ups with about 25kg (55 lbs) suspended from his waist, specifically focusing on his latissimus dorsi muscle.
Peaty has said about pull-ups,“[They] improve my upper-body strength…..connecting the muscles on the front of my torso with my back muscles, which also plays an important part in catching the water.
“Always try to get your chin across the bar. If you’re not doing that and you’re not going all the way down you’re shortening your movement. And you can also hold at the top for an isometric pause.”
Koseki will need all the ammo he can arm himself with, as the breaststroking competition within his own nation has gotten intensely fierce over the past few years. In addition to his mainstay rival Ippei Watanabe, who formerly held the 200m breast world record, a young gun in 18-year-old Shoma Sato has also emerged on the scene.
Just last week Sato threw down a big-time mark of 2:07.58 to throw his hat into the ring of potential Japanese swimmers to represent the nation on the biggest international sporting stage fewer than 175 days from now.
Lifetime Bests of Yasuhiro Koseki:
- 58.78 100m breast from 2018 Mare Nostrum – Monte Carlo (current JPN national record); 12th fastest performer all-time
- 2:07.18 200m breast from 2017; 6th fastest performer all-time