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Category Archives: Triathlon

The Edge that Strength Training in the Pool Gives to Athletes

In last month’s blog, we had a great interview with water training guru, Lynda Huey and so we thought it would be a good idea to provide additional information about the benefits of strength training in the pool.

If you missed out on last month’s interview with Lynda Huey, be sure to check it out!  Strength and resistance training in the pool provides numerous advantages for athletes who are both rehabilitating or completely healthy and just looking for a bit of an edge. With pool workouts, you can design intense training regimens that decrease risks of injury and also support less soreness to muscles and help you bounce back more quickly after training.

Minimize Wear and Tear on Your Athletes’ Bodies

For decades, professional athletes have found tremendous benefits exercising in the pool. Sprinters Jeannette Bolden and Florence Griffith Joyner were both able to train in the pool effectively when they were injured and directly have their workouts translate over to medaling on the Olympic podium thereafter.

The impact of forces on your body is greatly minimized when working out in the pool. When standing chest deep in the pool, an athlete only experiences the pressure of 10% of his or her body weight. With much less pressure on an athlete’s body, wear and tear on the joints is effectively minimized and athletes will feel much less sore the next day, while still receiving an effective workout.

Enhance Recovery Time Between Workouts

With less wear and tear on your joints and less muscle fatigue, athletes are able to recover more quickly between intense workouts in the pool. High-intensity forms of weightlifting and sprinting on dry land would never allow for athletes to perform at their best consecutive days in a row without running the risk of overtraining athletes and causing overuse injuries.

Allow Athletes to Increase Their Number of High Intensity Workouts Each Week

Because water accommodates resistance, the harder athletes push or pull through water, the more resistance their muscles will experience both in eccentric and concentric movements to produce equal levels of strength in both types of movement patterns – which is critical for preventing overuse injuries out of the water.

Due to less impact and a quicker recovery time between workouts, athletes can increase their amount of high intensity workouts per week with strength and resistance training in the pool. Because water is much more resistant than air without any gravitational forces, a 30-minute workout in the pool can give you benefits very similar to a two-hour dry-land workout. With only so much time in the day for athletes to workout, if they are in college, high school, or have other jobs, pool-based workouts are incredibly effective and valuable in saving time.

Designing a Water Workout for Athletes

Fortunately, designing workouts for athletes in the water doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think. Almost any exercise your athletes do on land can be done in the water as well with the right modifications and proper equipment to further increase the effectiveness of the water workout. Many athletes and coaches find that, resistance cords can very helpful, including:

Resistance cords in combination with water dumbbells and weighted boots are most commonly used. Additionally, sport specific equipment such as baseball bats or tennis racquets are effective to incorporate as well based on the sport your athletes are engaging in.

Get the Equipment You Need for Resistance Training in the Pool

For the high-quality resistance training products you need for your athletes’ pool workouts, turn to NZ Manufacturing. Professional sports teams and coaches trust us for good reason. For just starting to introduce pool workouts to your athletes’ training regime, we suggest you also check out a water training pioneer’s book titled the Water Power Workout by Lynda Huey and Robert Forster, P.T.

For more information about using our effective, powerful resistance cords and products, feel free to reach out to us today at 1-800-886-6621 or use our online contact form.

Drag Training: How Resistance Can Impact Swimming Performance

In the world of competitive swimming where tenths of a second can make a major difference, swimmers everywhere are trying to learn how they can gain an edge over the competition both physically and mentally. Achieving the race outcomes you want starts with immense preparation and focus. While you are probably already following a strong workout plan and recovering optimally, one additional way you could gain an edge is through implementing a strategic drag training regimen on a weekly basis. For swimmers, effective drag training can offer you a number of unique advantages.

Advantages of Drag Training

Increased Strength

Added resistance and drag makes swimming more difficult for all athletes. This increased difficulty forces swimmers’ bodies to have to respond and grow stronger – which allows for enhanced endurance abilities. While strength training outside the water is important for any serious swimmer, sport-specific resistance training is just as important as well. This type of training forces your body to adapt and become more comfortable with fatigue. Simulating fatigue better prepares your body for what races will feel like, so you can learn to better push through the pain.

A Stronger Mental Game

In the water, alone with your thoughts, swimming is as much a mental challenge as it is physical. Utilizing resistance and drag training in practice will help you be better prepared to handle the pain when things get tough during competition. Learning how to fight through and prosper in uncomfortable situations is crucial. Plus, when it comes to race time, swimming without resistance will feel much easier as you release those additional pounds of resistance. This is the very same rationale behind using tech suits only in races and shaving right beforehand; they’re popular techniques for good reason!

Utilize a Non-Intrusive Form of Drag Training

Researchers suggest that drag training is ideally suited for shorter, high intensity sets with ample rest to ensure that you maintain proper technique and form. When utilizing drag training in your training regimen, the last thing you want to do is choose an intrusive type of drag training that alters your form. This is where parachute resistance is ideal. At NZ Manufacturing, we have specifically engineered the DRAG BELT/TOW TETHER S109-STRECHCORDZ® to be designed in a way so that is does not interfere with kicks, flips, or stroke type. Our unique design can accommodate multiple chutes simultaneously while allowing for up to 80% of additional workload for elite swimmers. From elite triathletes to beginning competitive swimmers rehabbing, the DRAG BELT/TOW TETHER S109-STRECHCORDZ® is ideal for all types of athletes. Among other things, this swimming solution can be used for:

  • Endurance Swim Training
  • Resisted Water Walking
  • Running
  • Lunging
  • Water Fitness Classes

Reach Out to NZ Manufacturing For More Information

For high-quality resistance products of all types, look no further than NZ Manufacturing. We have been trusted by professional sports team and national organizations for more than 30 years. If you have any questions about our products and their uses, contact us today at 1-800-886-6621 or fill out our online contact form.

Interview with Andy Potts about Olympic and Ironman Experience

In our previous blog, we interviewed Brian Peresie, Head Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach for The University of Akron about his Olympic experience. We hope you enjoyed that interview, and we thought it would be a good idea to do another interview this month with an Olympic athlete, Andy Potts.

Andy Potts competed in the Olympics in 2004, and has since focused his energies on a variety of Ironman competitions around the country.  After a bad fall on his bike at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on October 8th 2016, Andy still managed to place 11th. Previously he has placed 4th twice at this event. We spoke with Andy to ask him a few questions about his Olympic and Ironman experiences, as well as his commitment to using our StretchCordz® band resistance tools in his daily training regimen.

Can you tell us a little bit about your Olympic experience and background?

As you might imagine, for my entire life, going to the Olympics was a dream of mine. I represented the US in the 2004 Olympics in the triathlon event. I placed 22nd and was 1st out of the water.  As a former swimmer, I always say that I won the 1500 in the Olympics.

Tell us how you were first introduced to NZ Manufacturing products?

I have used StrechCordz® brand stretch cords as part of my training routine for most of my swimming career. My coach, Mike Doane, recommended NZ products to me about 8 years ago and I have been using them ever since.

Which NZ manufacturing products in particular do you use, or have you used in the past?

I try to use the StretchCordz® resistance bands on a daily basis before every swim workout. They are one of the few things that I can say have been in my training bag for my entire career.

Have you ever noticed a drop off in your endurance when you stopped using StretchCordz® products?

The past two years I had gotten away from my regular StrechCordz® swim training tool work and my swimming definitely suffered (you may not be able to tell but I certainly can). In April, I made the adjustment to go back to doing 5-8 minutes of using StrechCordz® tools for dry-land work. I’m starting to see the results now, and my swimming will be better this year because of it. I learned that it’s too valuable to forfeit that type of work.

What are some tips for a young swimmer aspiring to make it to the Olympics?

As an aspiring Olympic swimmer, it takes a lot of time, energy, dedication and focus.  It also requires many different teams at different times in your development. I will tell you the same things I tell my kids, which is applicable to everything in life: The only things you can control are your attitude and your effort. You need to have an eye on the big picture, but still focus on the small daily goals to achieve your long term goal.  You always have to work towards continuous improvement.

How has your Olympics experience differed from Ironman competitions?  Has the training essentially been the same, or was one more difficult than the other?

The training between preparing for the Olympics and Ironman competitions is completely different. I took a lot of what I learned and have applied it to my Ironman training, but they require different strengths. Unlike Olympic distance racing, Ironman racing, as a function of its length, requires a few key additional areas to focus on such as nutrition and mental focus. It is critical in Ironman training to stay focused for 8+ hours, whereas an Olympic distance event is under 2 hours.

Interested in learning more about the wide array of NZ Manufacturing products that can greatly improve your resistance training?

We can’t thank Andy Potts enough for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us for this interview. We wish him all the best in his future competitions. If you’re looking to improve your own resistance training regimen, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to discuss our StretchCordz® products. We can be reached by phone at 330-634-0271, or through our contact form.