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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 11-10-2008, 02:47 PM   #1
Jon Pearson
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current or ex swimmers

anyone out there who swims competitivly or used to swim competitivly? How has crossfit affected your swimming performance?
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:51 PM   #2
David Croushore
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Re: current or ex swimmers

I used to swim competitively. I was a sprinter (20.4 50 free, 46.2 100 free).

I haven't made a habit of swimming since I've been crossfitting, but the one workout I did I popped off a couple 50s in :24, :25 and one fly in :27 after about 2.5 months since my last swim workout. So I'd say it was beneficial.

Duda used to whoop me in college and he went to the Olympics doing crossfit (albeit from a smaller country, and he got crushed at that level).

My take is this: if you're trying to compete in swimming, swim. You need to spend a lot of time working on technique in the water, and working at race pace (or simulated race pace with resistance) because swimming is the one sport where you can lose your feel incredibly quickly.

However, crossfit as a dryland program or an offseason program would certainly be beneficial.

That said, there are certain side-effects of crossfit that aren't great for swimmers. You need to keep your body fat up depending on your discipline, and overhead presses aren't that useful for swimming (except maybe breaststroke).

I'd also look into using a VASA training instead of a C2 rower, and not running too much to maintain ankle flexibility.
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:32 PM   #3
Jon Pearson
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Re: current or ex swimmers

Thanks. I just stopped swimming a few months ago once I started college. I was 21.4 in the 50 and 46.8 in the 100. I was thinking about swimming again and I'm not sure how crossfit would fit in. what kind of workouts do you do
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:49 PM   #4
David Croushore
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Re: current or ex swimmers

I work out at an affiliate. More metcons than strength days (though lately that reversed), and lots of bodyweight exercises.

If you're thinking of swimming with a college team, I think this is a consideration that you don't need to be making. Coaches tend to have training plans in place, and there's likely no time and more importantly not enough recovery time for crossfit. Keep it in the offseason.
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:50 PM   #5
Mark Dziak
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Re: current or ex swimmers

Dave -- I was more then halfway through my post when I realized you swam at W & L. I coach at WV Wesleyan.

I've actually incorporated CrossFit workouts into our training this year. We do dryland/weights 3x a week -- monday, tuesday, thursday. Monday and Thursday are more traditional weight days but on tuesdays, I've been doing several MetCons from CrossFit. I think the training is very beneficial. It falls under the umbrella of "if you are a better athlete, you will be a better swimmer." I do modify the workouts as I see fit based on our equipment availability and the distance speciality of the swimmer. A couple of my thoughts on some of the exercises that are featured in CrossFit:

Pullups, Pushups, Squats -- I saw an article from awhile back where body-weight training gave better swimming results versus traditional weights. Plus the pullup (palms away), especially if you can do the butterfly kip version, is similar to the stroke mechanics of the butterfly stroke.

Dips -- Strong swimmer = strong triceps, need I say more?

Thrusters -- Think about pushing off the wall/block, the motion here is very similar. Same with wall ball shots

Shoulder Press/Push Press -- strong shoulders are a must for swimmers for in-water strength gains along with injury prevention.

The team has done a "Wet Tabata" which turned out splendidly well. I've done others wet versions (sometimes altered) of other named workouts, along with coming up with my own stuff. Its fun. Swimming isn't necessarily the most exciting sport and doing the combo of swimming and dryland (Wetland as I call it) keeps it interesting for the athletes.

Now am I totally committed to CrossFit as out-of-the water work for swimmers? Not at this point -- we'll see how this year works out. I do think that it is worth exploring more and a viable option for all athletes.
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:10 AM   #6
David Croushore
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Re: current or ex swimmers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Dziak View Post
Dave -- I was more then halfway through my post when I realized you swam at W & L. I coach at WV Wesleyan.

I've actually incorporated CrossFit workouts into our training this year. We do dryland/weights 3x a week -- monday, tuesday, thursday. Monday and Thursday are more traditional weight days but on tuesdays, I've been doing several MetCons from CrossFit. I think the training is very beneficial. It falls under the umbrella of "if you are a better athlete, you will be a better swimmer."
Sounds awesome. Hope your team doing well. You guys still going doing the BMC meet? If so, maybe I should warn Joel that you're coming
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:25 AM   #7
Philip Stablein
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Re: current or ex swimmers

I'm an ex-swimmer, but I wasn't as fast as David (at the same events) nor as knowledgeable as Mark. But, CF has allowed me to get back into the pool with plenty of power. Technique is rusty, endurance isn't there, but the ability to set my arm and pull past or to flip myself aggressively in the turn has increased since the time I quit (which was 8 years ago).
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:08 AM   #8
John Malecki
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Re: current or ex swimmers

I used to swim D3. I was a 58 and 2:08 in the 100 and 200 Breast. I haven't been in the pool for 5 years and started CF about 2 years ago. Recently, I decided to get back in the water and while I'm not nearly as fast as I was in college, I was a lot faster than I thought I'd be. i think a lot has to do with my high level of fitness.

I think that any strength and conditioning program should be used to increase and improve fitness. Doing CF will not make you a better swimmer, paying close attention to your technique and getting doing the yardage will make you a better swimmer. I also think heavy lifting has gotten a bad rep with swimmers. As long as you work on mobility/flexibility you should be all right. Any coach who says they dont want their athletes to get stronger should be fired.

I've been checking out the CFE page for sometime and decided to give it a shot. After having gone through two-a-days and 10,000 yard practices (which I'm in no hurry to do again--believe me), it's tough to wrap my mind around doing less than 2,000 two to three times a week and being fast. But before CF I'd never have thought that 10 minute workouts would help me achieve the level of fitness that Ive come to find. Has anybody else tried CFE with swimming?
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:30 PM   #9
Jennifer Ellington
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Re: current or ex swimmers

I'm an ex-DII swimmer, in my 40s now, and have found CF beneficial for my general strength and explosiveness. I like some of the CFE WODs for swimming, but generally prefer more traditional swimming interval workouts.

If you're a sprinter, I think you can stay fast on 2000 yds/workout if the quality and intensity are high. I'm 43 and go 27 in the 50 free and 35 in the 50 breast, both of which would have qualified me for Masters Nationals this year. I rarely go more than 1800 - 2000 in a workout, 2x a week.

Try combining some CF elements with your swimming - things like pushups, situps, squats, deep-end muscleups, etc. It keeps things interesting and intense! And it beats the heck out of 2-a-days at 10,000+!
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:50 PM   #10
chris tetro
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Re: current or ex swimmers

[quote=David Croushore;445051]I used to swim competitively. I was a sprinter (20.4 50 free, 46.2 100 free).

QUOTE]

Um.. Wow I Swam and I was good in my neck of the woods.My best 50 time was 22.9 and 53.9 for the 100.. that is blazing fast man!
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