The Effects of Anaerobic Swim Ergometer Training on Sprint Performance in Adolescent Swimmers

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare 4 weeks of pool-based sprint interval training with a similar ergometer training intervention on a maximal anaerobic lactate test (MANLT), 50-m (competition) freestyle performance, and 6- and 30-second maximal swimming ergometer performances. Methods: A total of 14 competitive adolescent swimmers (male, n = 8; female, n = 6) participated in this study. Swimmers were categorized into 2 sex-matched groups: swimming ergometer (ERG; n = 7) and pool-sprint training (n = 7) groups. Each athlete performed 4 preintervention and postintervention assessments consisting of a MANLT, a 50-m freestyle race, and 6- and 30-second maximal swim ERG performances. Results: Both groups demonstrated a significant effect (P < .05) of time for all assessments. Group differences were observed after 4 weeks of sprint interval training as follows: (1) The ERG group had a significantly faster speed in the fourth 50-m MANLT sprint (ERG 1.58 [0.05] vs pool-sprint training 1.48 [0.07] m/s, P < .01) and (2) The ERG group demonstrated enhanced Δblood lactate post-MANLT (ERG 2.4 [1.2] vs pool-sprint training 2.7 [0.9] mmol/L, P < .05). A significant correlation was found between the 30-second maximal ERG test and 50-m freestyle swimming velocity (r = .74, P < .01, effect size = 0.52). Conclusions: The results demonstrate significant physiological improvements to anaerobic sprint ability after 4 weeks of sprint interval training in both swim ERG and pool-based interventions. Thus, sprint ability may be improved through multiple modalities (pool and dry land) to elicit a positive training response.

The authors are with Ontario Tech University, Oshawa, ON, Canada. Pinos and Logan-Sprenger are also with the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario, Scarborough, ON, Canada. Bentley is also with Sport and Exercise Science, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Logan-Sprenger (Heather.sprenger@ontariotechu.ca) is corresponding author.
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