A marathon swimmer lifts so he can swim long A marathon swimmer lifts so he can swim long

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Thread: A marathon swimmer lifts so he can swim long

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Default A marathon swimmer lifts so he can swim long(er)

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    Greetings all!

    Background: I'm a marathon swimmer, going on 8 years in this wonderful sport. A couple times in races my lower back has gone bad and prevented me from finishing, the pain being unbearable so much that I had to DNF the race. Three years ago I attempted a particularly long (for me) and difficult swim. While my lower back didn't hurt me, I thought that if I had been stronger, I would have completed the swim.

    I set a goal of trying again in 2016, and starting in fall of 2015 I began lifting with my wife (she's a very experienced lifter). Long story short, I killed the swim and felt great, very little pain during the swim and hardly anything the day after...despite having swum for 6+ hours at a mile above sea level.

    Fast forward to nowadays: Still swimming, still wanna get strong. Started 9 weeks ago doing SL 5x5. Love the program and am getting stronger. My swim schedule for this summer is busy, so I thought I'd start this log so I can track and record my progress in both lifting and swimming.

    Little about me: I'm 50, just about 51. I'm 5'8" and 180#. I eat LCHF, as best I can (about 150g of carbs a day). I've been eating this diet for about 5 years and my blood panels have been great. Only thing I've changed in the last couple months is I've started drinking milk with protein powder after each lifting session and the following morning, if I remember. I live in Moscow, Russia now, but will be moving back to the states late summer.

    The plan: I lift 3x a week, two evenings and one weekend day per week. I swim 3-4x a week, between 12k to 25k a week depending upon the season. For lifting these are my most recent workout A and B:

    A: Squat (3x5) 170lbs
    Bench: 135 (5x5)
    Row: 120 (5x5)

    B: Squat (3x5) 175
    OHP 77.5 (5x5)
    DL: 235 (1x5)

    I of course do warm up sets before all those working sets above. I failed at OHP a few weeks back (at 40kg...the gym in Moscow is all kg; the above was while I was traveling in the states), deloaded and have been working back up. I've since bought 4 x 0.5kg micro-plates that should be waiting for me when I get home next week. I'm going to build my OHP past 40kg and hopefully get it beyond 50kg (my most immediate goal).

    My squat is getting heavy (I moved to 3x5 after failing at 176 (80kg) twice). My immediate squat goal is 5x5 at my BW, so when I get past 180 (82kg) at 3x5, I'm either going to deload and move back up on 5x5, or if it was easy-ish, go beyond to something over 82kg (maybe up to 90 by 2kg?) then see if I can do 5x5 at my BW.

    My other lifts all feel easy. I started row way too low.

    When my squat stalls, I'll move to the Texas method. Of all the intermediate programs, that one seems like it'll fit me the best.

    I'll keep lifting as it's been fun, and since my wife lifts too, it is a nice hour-plus together just the two of us. For the swimming, I'll measure how I feel after my races this summer. Sure that's very subjective, but this is my log, so there's that. But additionally, I conduct a pool-based test every 4-6 weeks, which involves two timed events; a 400 then a 200, with proper warm-up, maintenance between, and cool down after. Some math is done with the times, resulting in a time (my critical swim speed, or CSS) which I can supposedly average per 100 meters for a distance of 1500. I'll try and do that test monthly now and report back here, see if my CSS improves.

    OK, that's me and my plan. I probably won't come back in here after each lift day, unless I've got something to report. Hope this finds you all well and lifting heavy!

    Cheers,
    IronMike
    Last edited by IronMike; 03-21-2018 at 03:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2018
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    OK, so today's 3x5 of squat at 180# was tough. Trying to decide what to do at my next workout (Sunday or Monday): 83kg three sets of five? Deload to 77kg and go 5x5? Then work back up by 2kg each time? Unsure.

    OHP felt pretty good. 80lbs was tough on rep 5 of set 4, and reps 4-5 of set 5. Next workout (Tuesday or Wednesday) I'll be back to kg, so perhaps 37 or 38kg 5x5? We'll see.

    I'll also be back home to my pool, which I'm looking forward to.

    Cheers all,
    IronMike

  3. #3
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    Mar 2018
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    Back home in Moscow and back to kg for my lifts. Monday night:

    Squat work set: 3x5 at 82kg, my body weight. Last rep last set I had trouble getting the weight back up to the point I thought I'd have to drop the weights. But I made it up thank goodness. I love having those micro-plates. Did full three minutes btwn sets. May move to four minutes once it gets harder. Next squat: 83.5kg. Plan is to still get the squat up to 3x5 at 90, then deload and go back to 5x5.

    Bench was taken up by a father/son duo and I wasn't sure how long it would take, so the wife and I did OHP again. Did 36kg 5x5 for the work set, thinking 37kg would be too big a leap from 80#. Then came home to enter my numbers and dammit if 36kg isn't 79.3#. Crap! Next 2 workouts will be bench to get me back on sked for workout A, so it'll be a week till I do OHP again. 37kg? 37.5? We'll see. 36kg was of course doable, with the fifth set really needing work.

    Then row. Finally at 60kg. It was tough, but felt great. 62.5 next workout.

    Getting back in the pool tomorrow (Tue) if work allows. Can't wait. Two weeks is too long off from swimming.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2018
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    Tonight was good. Squat 83kg for 3x5. Hard.

    Got to do bench tonight, which was nice. 60kg work set for 5x5. Felt great.

    Deadlift. After warm-up my work set was 1x5 at 110kg. Damn did that feel heavy. First time I ever felt that I might not make a rep, in this case #5.

    Work is crazy now (see the news!) so no pool.

  5. #5
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    Too many variables to determine why this morning's swim was so rough. Normally, the first 1000-or so yards is shake-out for me. Get loose so I can swim strong the rest of the workout. But this morning...rough. It wasn't till about 1500 yards before I felt good.

    Problem is, why? It's been 3 weeks since I've been in the pool, so it could be that. Or, it could be that I did the above workout fewer than 12 hours prior. Who knows?

    But at least I got back in. Did my 3k then some good old fashioned drown-proofing. I do this rarely, but when I got a lot on my mind (I am stationed in Moscow, for goodness sake), I like to relax and this does it for me. 10 minutes of just bobbing. Wonderful.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2018
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    Well, we got the word last night. We are among the 60 being kicked out. Wife and I are still planning on continuing the lifting here and as soon as we get back to the states, but there may be some bumps. I have no probs with that. If I only get 2 workouts a week for a bit, no biggie. Gotta be flexible, right?

    Frankly, I'm gonna miss Russia. Beautiful country. Lots of history. Nice people.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2018
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    So it turns out when you have to pack up an entire house and family in less than 6 days, you don't have much time for working out. Haven't swum or lifted since the above. Seriously cannot wait to get back to the states and back in the gym. The wife is feeling it too.

    Leaving Moscow Thursday morning, in DC area Thursday afternoon. Could a Friday workout session be too much to ask for? Stay tuned...

  8. #8
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    Mar 2018
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    Got the whole house packed, pets seen by the vet, vehicle shipped and out of Russia in six days, along with 59 other diplomats and their families. That was Thursday. Today is Saturday. And workout day! First time since 28 March! w00t!

    Deloaded 10%, which was a smart move as the work set for squats (3x5 at 165lbs) felt heavy. Same with the bench work set (5x5 at 135lbs). Row was no problem (5x5 at 135lbs).

    Next step is to find a masters swim team that I can workout with for the next few months till Uncle Sam decides what to do with me.

  9. #9
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    Today felt good. Squats were 170lbs for 3x5. OHP at 70lbs for 5x5. Because of the deload, instead of a work set (1x5) of 245, it was 215. And only 2 warm up sets. Got through the day quickly.

    Still on the lookout for a masters swim team. Ugg...

  10. #10
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    Mar 2018
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    starting strength coach development program
    Went to a neighborhood pool I swam at years ago. Took the 15-year old. Registered for a 25-visit pass, and turns out I had 22 visits left from a pass I bought four years ago. So glad it didn’t expire. What luck!

    Of course I forgot my swim suit. Dork. So I had to drive back really quickly to grab it. Tried to get in and out of the house without any other members of the family seeing. No such luck. So I got the laugh.

    By the time I got back, my DD was half done. I did a quick 1500 and we left. Felt great, despite it being so short. Great to be back in the pool again. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

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