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Int J Sports Med. 2008 Nov;29(11):906-12. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1038377. Epub 2008 Apr 17.

Volume vs. intensity in the training of competitive swimmers.

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Institute of Sports and Preventive Medicine, University of Saarland, Saarbr├╝cken, Germany.


The present study aimed at comparing a high-volume, low-intensity vs. low-volume, high-intensity swim training. In a randomized cross-over design, 10 competitive swimmers performed two different 4-week training periods, each followed by an identical taper week. One training period was characterized by a high-training volume (HVT) whereas high-intensity training was prevalent during the other program (HIT). Before, after two and four weeks and after the taper week subjects performed psychometric and performance testing: profile of mood states (POMS), incremental swimming test (determination of individual anaerobic threshold, IAT), 100 m and 400 m. A small significant increase in IAT was observed after taper periods compared to pre-training (+ 0.01 m/s; p = 0.01). Maximal 100-m and 400-m times were not significantly affected by training. The POMS subscore of "vigor" decreased slightly after both training periods (p = 0.06). None of the investigated parameters showed a significant interaction between test-time and training type (p > 0.13). Nearly all (83 %) subjects swam personal best times during the 3 months after each training cycle. It is concluded that, for a period of 4 weeks, high-training volumes have no advantage compared to high-intensity training of lower volume.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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