Monday, October 3, 2011

Let's Get Physical

Date: Monday, October 3, 2011
Time: 6 p.m.
276 days to Olympic Trials

At the gym: 

Five minutes shoulder warmup exercises

Sitting bench press (5 @ 90, 12 @ 140, 8 @ 170, 6 @ 185)

Standing lat pulldown (5 @ 50, 12 @ 60, 8 @ 90, 6 @ 105)

Leg extensions (5 @ 70, 12 @ 130, 8 @ 160, 6 @ 170)

Hamstring curls (5 @ 70, 12 @ 90, 8 @ 120, 6 @ 130)

4x25 breaststroke strokes on therapy ball (w/ five-pound dumbbells)

Ten minutes abdominals and stretching

Since yesterday's workout in the pool had no real race-pace training in it, I officially name today the official start of my sprint phase. For the next eight weeks, I will be focusing on building stroke-specific strength in and out of the pool, while getting my fast-twitch muscles ready to race on December 10. This will be done every day in some fashion, even on recovery days. As we go through this phase, you will see what I mean when I say every day will have some racing focus.

No swimming today, and I was worried about doing two weight workouts in a row. I hardly ever do that, but my schedule after work for the rest of the week will keep me from getting to the weight room again until Saturday at the earliest. The stuff you see above is the type of exercises I will be doing this week and next. That will be followed by a week of "recovery" in the gym, where I do my normal 15-12-10 sets. Then, repeat that three-week cycle again, followed by tow more hard weeks and finally, taper!

Doing the breaststroke strokes on the therapy ball really helped me focus on where the most power comes in the stroke, and what muscles are responsible for it. I recommend this to people who have difficulty generating a fast tempo on sprint breaststroke.

I've just chugged a 16-ounce glass of milk with protein powder mixed in (great for recovery) and now it's time to settle in with pasta, tuna and broccoli -- and tonight's new episode of "How I Met Your Mother."


  1. Can you describe these breastroke pulls on the therapy ball? Are you sort of in the position of doing a back extension?

  2. What you want to try and do is place your pelvis on the therapy ball for good balance, and plant your feet on the wall. Then just do a breaststroke pull. I'm not entirely sure what the position is for back extensions, but the goal is to be in a similar position on land that you will be in the water when you are in the glide phase of the stroke. Do not lift your upper body or head when doing the insweep.

    Hope that helps.