European bronze medalist!

Congratulations to my friend Karen Driver who competed in the European Masters Swimming Championships in Cadiz last week.

She got 4th in the 800 metre freestyle (only missing out on the bronze by 0.6 sec! :(), and knocking 3 seconds off her personal best!

She got 3rd in the 400 metre freestyle (yay!!! :))

And she got 13th in the open water freestyle, knocking a fantastic 3 minutes off her personal best!

Karen Driver Swimming

Karen Driver Swimming

We have trained together a lot here in the gym, and we worked hard to make the time as productive as possible.  She spends hours every day in the pool, so the last thing she needs is “work for works sake” in the gym.  We scaled back on exercises that were not helping her with swimming and fine tuned others to make them as specific as possible to her events.

The only reason we were in the gym was to improve her swimming time.  So there was no thought of showing off, posing in the mirror, or doing the things the bodybuilding boys were doing.

“If it did not directly help with improving her swim time, we didn’t bother with it.”

I loved every minute of training with her, because we got loads of strange looks from all the bodybuilding boys confused as to what we were doing.  I even got told i was training “wrong” because i wasn’t “isolating the muscles”!  The human body does not work in isolation.  It is 1 incredibly complex unit that needs to work in a coordinated fashion.  So that’s how it should be trained.

The most important moves we were doing were big, compound exercises (full depth heavy squats, pullups etc), explosive plyometrics for the legs (to help improve her turns) and very swimming specific moves on the cable machine (so we were “swimming” on dry land!).

Barbell Squat

Vertical jump

It highlighted a big difference between people in the gym.  Some come in and do things because it looks good/sexy/cool (and they read it in a magazine that sell a lot of “supplements”), and we come in and do things because they WORK!

What kind of person are you?