Payne, W. R., & Lemon, P. W. (1982, October). Metabolic comparison of tethered and simulated swimming ergometer exercise. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Sports Sciences, Victoria.

Two forms of swimming simulation were compared using metabolic measures. The first form of simulation was on an arm ergometer with the arms using a freestyle action and the legs stationary. The second simulation was a tethered swimming action with legs tied and buoyed. The protocol for loading required continuous activity with loads being incremented each minute.

Tethered swimming produced a significantly higher value for VO2max and lactic acid accumulation. Simulated ergometer swimming exhibited a significantly greater VE/VO2 ratio. Maximum heart rate and VEmax were not significantly different.

Implications. "These data demonstrate that despite the apparent similarity of these two procedures as indicated by HR, VE, and subjective assessments by the subjects, the energy requirements, at least during maximal exercise, are quite different."

If the exercises yield different training responses which one is correct for swimming? Is either correct for swimming? This study supports the specificity principle and illustrates that the parameters of performance are usually peculiar to the activity, even if the intention, apparent general movement pattern, and athletes' subjective assessments of the activity are similar.

Using non-specific training activities for swimming training may only be beneficial early in the conditioning phase. Once a high level of physical fitness is attained, further participation in non-specific activities is likely to be useless and possibly counterproductive.

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