RUSSIAN SWIMMERS, WEIGHT TRAINING, LEVELS OF WORK, AND CENTRALIZED TRAINING
Ewald, R. (1994). The Russian capitalists. Swimming World and Junior Swimmer, 35(3), 33-42.
Viktor Avdienko, 35, who was named Russian "Coach of the year" in 1992 and 1993, was interviewed through an interpreter.
Avdienko thinks the Unified Team's vast improvement at the 1992 Games was due to a change in philosophy at the national level. During the '80s, the Soviet swimming program declined because the top prospects were taken away from their club coaches to a training center to be trained by national team coaches. Club coaches didn't have any incentive to develop swimmers and were forced to follow training methods of a central authority.
As far as Avdienko's own training methods, he thinks it's more important to build coordination between muscles to develop force than lift weights purely to increase strength. He says his team does more repetitions with lighter weights than U.S. swimmers.
"We have some considerable differences (from the U.S.) in the concept of preparation for championships," he said. "In dryland training when working on power abilities, we don't use an overwhelming amount of weight. And in the water, it is necessary to train the swimmer for competition. The swimmer doesn't have to work to the limit in training. He just has to accumulate the buildup of his resources. You do not want to wear the swimmer out." (p. 37)
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