Courtesy: Ryan Evernden
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Ryan Evernden. I am the Co-Founder & Head Coach of Formidable Strength & Conditioning (FSC), a former swim coach & Australian national open finalist in the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke. This amounts to over 10 years of experience within the world of swimming.
Over the last five years, I have been solely involved in the strength side of the sport, and, in turn, FSC has worked with every level of swimmer imaginable. From 2x Olympians such as Heidi Gan to my mate Chris looking to compete in the Cottesloe Mile (a local event in Perth).
In this time I have tried and tested many different methods to get each athlete stronger, more efficient, and most importantly, decrease their likelihood of injury. Here are my three pet hates surrounding swimming strength training, letting you know exactly what not to do.
1. Mimicking strokes with bands – Wait, what? But isn’t that specific? Well yes it might look similar but that doesn’t always make it the same. The resistance quality of a band and water are completely different. It’s like saying that sugar and salt are the same because they look similar… put them in your mouth and you’ll realize that’s not the case. A band develops resistance as you pull it, where in the water you have the highest force requirement at the start of the pull. So it’s not actually specific to the demands of the stroke. It also looks dumb…. in my personal opinion.
2. Lifting heavy weights will make you slow – This is like saying 1+1=5. Lifting weight is just a way to measure an expression of force. The heavier the weight, the more force you need to express. So by lifting heavy weights we are training the body to express more force and as a result, to have a higher potential to use that force against the water. Newton’s third law of motion states: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Therefore, if you have a higher potential to produce force against the water you will have a greater reaction to that force. So you’ll be able to go faster, not slower.
3. Strength Training will not enhance your endurance – This is another one that makes no sense. As mentioned in my previous point, we are just increasing the amount of force we can express. So if I have increased the amount of force I can express, I have made my previous max easier. If my previous max is easier, it will require less effort to do. If it is easier to do, I’ll be able to do it for longer. Therefore, I can go faster for longer. For example, if I could only just do a 1:30 LCM cycle, but then improve so I could now do a 1:20 LCM cycle, I would be able to do a 1:30 LCM easily. Sounds like an enhancement to your endurance to me….
I hope you enjoyed this and found it useful. If you would like to get regular information and content please join my free Facebook group “Swimming Strong” – https://www.facebook.com/groups/swimmingstrong/ and follow me on Instagram: @Swimming_strong.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at [email protected].
Ryan Evernden #beformidable