Thursday, October 26, 2006

Swimming Weight Program

I’ve decided to stop my general fitness weight program and switch over to a specialized weight program for swimming. It means a significant change in training for me, as for the first time in my life I’ll be taking up weight training in a serious way. I was introduced to weights when I was running, something necessary to keep from burning off all my upper body musculature (the saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it” quite literally applies when one starts running extensive mileage). It was a basic maintenance weight program for the entire body using relatively light weights and high reps twice a week – as a middle distance runner I just wanted a ‘balanced’ physique, not build one (definitely not at 168 lbs!). A while after I had finished with track I added another day of the same program and this, along with dropping my weekly mileage to about 30k, enabled me to actually build myself up by around a kilogram a month. And I’ve been on this very same program off and (mostly) on ever since. I’ve grown rather attached to it. This new swimming program employs ‘splits’ and I’m to train four times a week instead. This means I have to drop a day of running (down to only one day of running a week!) and extend dry land training to every day. I’m also to change every exercise’s weight based on my estimated one rep max for each one, instead of using standard weights for multiple exercises as I do now. Sounds complicated and time consuming to me. Another problem is there are three distinct training cycles with this program: off season, preseason, and maintenance. So where am I to start? Looking it over I’ve decided to not be overly concerned about my swimming times this first season and so I’ll begin November with the off season cycle. That means I can finish the preseason cycle in March – in time to swim the Provincial Masters in April in maintenance cycle (oh joy, tax season!). But it should be very good at building muscles and, lets admit it, even at six practices per week my schedule will be basically off season for a competitive swimmer. Yea, I know, I’m not a competitive swimmer.

Marilyn showing perfect form

No comments: