As Michael Phelps continues to win more medals than I can swim metres (I swim a little like a brick), I was speaking with a colleague about some fascinating things I have heard about swimming (my source is an excellent programme called Total Immersion).
Apparently, dolphins are about 80% efficient at turning their movements into forward motion through the water. An average human swimmer is around 3% efficient and 97% flailing and splashing.
Phelps and the other fishmen and fishladies are more like 10% efficient at converting their motion into forward movement through the water.
Perhaps even more fascinating is that generally more elite swimmers produce less forceful movements than their less medalling competitors.
The difference that sets them apart is not the power of their movements but more the efficiency of them in reducing drag through the water. If you've ever swam wearing flippers, which give you a longer slipline through the water, you will know that this lengthening of you makes swimming a helluva lot easier.
Now, strength and power are still very important in swimming. Watch the explosivity of the block start. The underwater push during turns.
Even with the premium on efficiency, cardiovascular fitness is still crucial. Movement, however efficient it may be, still needs the heart and lungs to power it. Especially while holding one's breath under water.
Efficiency is crucial. Fitness is crucial.
For a long time, I have focused almost entirely on athletic efficiency, improving performance by improving how athletes move. I knew that many people exist who work fitness without a care for efficiency so I thought I'd leave them to that side of things.
I have changed my mind.
Through my work, I have came to understand that I am rarely positioned to help with efficiency and fitness in an INTEGRATED manner.
Having had many clients request that I help them with sports specific conditioning and many scratching their heads at how the conditioning they do fits with the beneficial work that we do together, I now offer it all.
I will help you move more efficiently and with greater control which will help you enhance speed, strength, power and endurance AND I will help condition the physical qualities that also enhance speed, strength, power and endurance.
In aquatic terms (sticking with the theme of the post), I will help you streamline your submarine, drive it better and give it a bigger better engine. Sound good?
Give me a shout if it does. I'd love to meddle/medal with your athleticism.
Taking to my new dual role like a fishman to water,
Float Sting - Rehab + Athletic Performance, Manchester
P.S. just in case you didn't realise, I'm now based out of Manchester. I'm still working nationally, internationally and online, but if you're in the area, it's now easier than ever to work with me.