A CONDITIONING EMPHASIS IS NOT A PATH TO SUCCESS
Kame, V. D., Pendergast, D. R., & Termin, B. (1990). Physiologic responses to high intensity training in competitive university swimmers. Journal of Swimming Research, 6(4), 5-8.
"Numerous studies have shown that increases in swimming capabilities can only be facilitated via a program of swim training. . . . . These studies have consistently demonstrated that increases in VO2max resulting from other forms of exercise training are not reflected when the subjects were tested swimming." (p. 7)
[Important references used in the article:
Because swimming has such a high degree of specificity of training, the physical conditioning of swimmers is not maximized by "general" or "mixed" programs of swimming. The most beneficial form of conditioning will be that which mimics the actual energy requirements of each competitive race (p. 7). This agrees with the principles proposed by ICAR.
University swimmers (N = 17) were tested before, at mid-point, and after a full season of training and competition. Although there were increases in VO2peak, this was not reflected in any increases in the swimming efficiency of the subjects. Performance improvements reflected only those attained through conditioning. No changes in skill were evidenced. "The data suggest that high intensity training brings about optimal changes in physiological parameters, but other factors, such as skill of the athlete must be addressed to facilitate maximal performance." (p. 8)
Implication. A swimmer's progress will not be maximized by programs which only or primarily emphasize conditioning. The skill component needs to be emphasized to produce further progress since physiological adaptations are limited to each individual's inherent capacities.
Return to Table of Contents for Training for Swimming.