Five groups of college swimmers were formed and participated in the following activities:
They were tested on swim bench activities and 50 and 200 m performances in the pool. Swimming training was early in the fall with the majority of yardage being performed at EN-1 and EN-2 intensity levels. The weight training was low repetition (<6) and high resistance (100-120 lb.).
[Changes in power were measured on a swim bench. The belief that bench-power is a good index of swimming capacity is not well founded. This cautionary note must be considered when interpreting the results of this study.]
Fatigue ratio. The swimming only and power weights only groups improved most (22%) in the fatigue ratio test, a measure of endurance. It was surprising that the endurance weights group did not improve as much (only 14%). [This is a confusing finding and may be an artifact of group selection. One has to question why the swimming and power weight group would not be equal to at least either of the two most improved groups since it experienced both activities as opposed to a single experience.]
Force and power output. All groups, except swimming only, improved in swim bench force and power measures. The almost exclusive use of slow-twitch fibers in EN-1 and EN-2 intensity swimming explains why activity requiring fast-twitch fiber activation is not improved.
Performance. The swimming only group regressed the most in aspects of performance (mid-pool velocity, distance per stroke, and stroke frequency) over 50 and 200 m time trials. The other two groups involved in swimming also regressed but not as much.
These results are confusing for they do not show any logical pattern. Some reasons for the results are as follows.
The study contends that basic endurance training should be coordinated with dry-land training to maintain power while an endurance base is established. The reader should be warned that results do not fully support such a conclusion because of the contradictory nature of the specific factor results, the confusing design of the study, and the validity of the measures used for all the treatments considered.
Implication. Little should be heeded from this study. At best, it is a preliminary investigation that suggests topics that should be studied in greater depth.
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