Coaches are often confronted with the problem of finding time in a swimmer’s busy schedule to arrange extra physical preparation sessions, which are useful for developing the athlete’s all-round attributes. Always open to new ideas and research, Erwan Jacob, coach of Mathilde Jouanjan at Guingamp-natation swimming club, decided to include a mix of Crossfit and muscular strengthening in his training regime.
These small training programs allow swimmers to develop their all-round physical fitness, as well as to acquire the core skills needed for any sport: endurance, power, agility, speed, etc. By incorporating and combining them with different strokes, these short and intensive programs are a complement to a comprehensive overall training plan.
“Swimmers are offered these exercises well in advance of seasonal goals. The exercises involve stimulating muscle fibre in the gym, then putting them to specific use in the pool. We try to alternate between agonist and antagonist muscles, over a period of 5 minutes” explains Erwan Jacob.
This training program was set up just over a year ago and has enabled Mathilde to improve on her skills, speed-coordination, speed endurance and MAS (maximum aerobic speed). It also enabled her to sharply improve her performance on all her strokes, making her part of the elite of French swimming. Lastly, these sessions stop swimmers from falling into a routine and bring a touch of fun to training.
For swimmers that are having difficulties with the tractions, it’s possible to place a bench beneath the bar.