Saturday, October 25, 2008

Strength training

Well thus far my strength training has consisted of lifting 2lb weights twice and using my therabands three time. Kind of lame I guess, but I am trying. One of the methods recommend by Hodding Carter in his recent book is a parachute. The idea is akin to running with a weight belt on I guess. I looks like this:



My friend John who swims with the Y in Portland has actually purchased one these contraptions and has this to say:

"....let’s say you swim a fifty in 40 seconds. The same effort, with the parachute, would take about a minute ... It turns out that getting tangled in the chute is NOT the problem with flip turns. MISSING the wall is the problem. With the chute on, there is basically no glide. So, I'd start the turn at the usual place, give a big pull into the wall as I flipped, and then realize during the flip that despite the pull I had no momentum. As a result, when I went to push, there was no wall to push against until I had my legs almost completely straight. So, I'd say that some of the time difference was due to that (and to the fact that after the third miss, I'd start laughing at myself and almost need to stop to catch my breath).

I'd say it could be pretty good as a version of weight training on swimming specific muscles. On the other hand, losing the glide was strange, and I don't think I'd want to use it too much for fear of a) losing feel for the water and b) hurting something."

And for the total investment of $20 what the heck, right?
John keep us posted as you experiment more with the parachute!

4 comments:

News said...

Have you seen the new Hyper Vest that people are using for resistance training in the water? It sounds pretty cool. Don Swartz at North Bay Aquatics is using it on his swimmers and recommends them highly. http://swimcoachdirect.blogspot.com/2008/10/resistance-training.html

IronMatron said...

neat. I don't think it looks very fun, though. I LIKE TO GLIDE. ;)

Swimming for ME said...

Thanks for the link to the interesting blog.
I'd wonder about how the Hyper Vest would place the body in the water and the strain it might place on one's lower back, especially as it isn't designed for swimmers. I was imagining more of a water vest out there with drag pockets. I wonder if that exists?

Ange said...

I bought this cool contraption with thick cords that was supposed to tie to something (think dock at camp) and allow me to swim in place. Nightmare!!! It dragged me down at an angle. I was so disappointed. I'd be interested to try this parachute.