"HARD" TRADITIONAL TRAINING MIGHT NOT PROMOTE SWIMMING STRENGTH AND MAY BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE PERFORMANCE OF A LARGE PROPORTION OF A SQUAD
Havriluk, R, (2013). Seasonal variations in swimming force and training adaptation. Journal of Swimming Research, 21, pp. 8.
[Editor's Note: This study is not of acceptable scientific research design. It is commonly called a "pre-experiment group design" because the absence of a control group does not allow one to rule-out all possible causes of phenomena other than those of interest to the researcher. The best that can be attributed to this set of observations is that hypotheses are suggested when there appears to be something affecting the dependent variable(s).]
This study assessed whether seasonal hand-force variations provided information for adjusting the workload of national caliber swimmers (N = 9) to maximize the training effect. Ss practiced with a team known for training with a substantial workload ("hard training"). Ss were tested seven times over an eight-month season. The average hand-force over a 10-m swim at maximum swimming velocity was calculated for each trial.
All Ss had depressed hand-force values in the middle of the season compared to the baseline (the beginning of the season). Force values were elevated at the end of the season when compared to the middle of the season. However, only five of the nine swimmers (55%) had a higher force value at the end of the season when compared to the value initially obtained before the eight month's of "hard" training.
Speculation. The workload might be described as being too severe and possibly did not allow a substantial proportion of swimmers to recover enough to improve performance at the end of the observation period. Periodic hand-force testing could provide feedback about training adaptation, both to optimize performance and minimize the risk of illness and injury. A control group in subsequent studies needs to be used to make reliable inferences about observed phenomena.
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