Development of physical qualities of a freediver and a swimmer

Why are we training? To achieve the best sports results – someone will answer. Another will say to be in good shape. No matter how we formulate our aspirations, the goal of regular training is to develop the necessary physical qualities.

Sports doctor and physiologist Irina Zelenkova compiled for us a table of physical qualities that freedivers and swimmers need to develop in order to achieve the best results. The table suggests the types of exercises to work on these qualities and shows how often you need to do them in order to progress. It also lists the suggested duration for this type of workout.

It is important to remember that this table is for an average person. After a break or recovery / rehabilitation, a different exercise schedule and intensity level will be required. And for an advanced athlete, this training regimen will not be enough to progress.

When we talk about development, we mean a gradual increase in capabilities, and, therefore, in the workload. In fact, training is stress, to which adaptation gradually arises. For progress, you need to “dosed” increase the level of load and perform the next workout on time – taking enough time to recover, but also not to miss the moment when the body needs “new stress” for development. The most important aspect of training is regularity.

In addition, to build a training program I need to understand what qualities I personally need to develop. Which exercises should you pay more attention to? Planning more aerobic or strength training? By the way, you need to consider how different qualities and types of exercises can be interrelated (or mutually exclusive). For example, we wrote about a comprehensive approach to flexibility development: it combines several different types of exercises, including exercises to develop strength.

This may not be easy for everyone to figure out on their own, but you can, with the help of a trainer, determine the direction by analyzing the initial state. And then – do it yourself, watching the improvement of performance.

The physical development chart is part of the Aqualibrium method for pool training. All instructors own it and regularly undergo master classes and consultations conducted by Irina Zelenkova. The technique includes 9 levels and combines training on land and in water. It involves a gradual increase in training loads and individual planning of distances for holding the breath at a high level.

You can order the development of an individual program. Then you will receive specially prepared complexes, training plans and knowledge necessary for organizing training and evaluating results.

The Physical Development Chart for Intermediate Levels gives an idea of ​​the qualities that freedivers and swimmers are working on. To make it easier to understand, below we will explain some of the types of exercises, the names of which may not be familiar to readers.

The table is a general guideline and is for the intermediate level:

Quality Frequency Duration
Flexibility 4-7 workouts per week (joint mobility exercises) 15-30 minutes
Strength 2-3 workouts per week – general training

3-4 workouts per week – separate upper and lower body workouts (resistance exercises)

45-60 minutes
Strengthening stabilizer muscles 3 times a week (bodyweight exercises) 30 minutes
Endurance 3-4 workouts per week (aerobic workout) 30-60 minutes
Speed ​​ 3 times a week (max acceleration, leg strength and plyometrics (jumping) in one day) 30 minutes
Strength + speed 3-4 times a week (acceleration, fartlek, HIIT, tabata, weight training, plyometrics, metabolic training) 30-60 minutes
Hypercapnic Workouts 3-4 times a week (exercises with a predominantly hypercapnic component) 30-60 minutes
Hypoxic training 2-5 times a week (exercises with a predominantly hypoxic component) 30-60 minutes

Plyometrics – Jumping workouts that use explosive fast movements to develop muscle strength and speed. To safely perform training, the athlete must learn the correct plyometric technique under the supervision of a trainer, and be rested and healthy.

Fartlek is a type of cyclic training that changes the load from anaerobic sprinting to aerobic slow walking or jogging. Unlike interval training, here the loads and cycle times are not preset, but follow the athlete’s own feelings.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a form of interval training that combines periods of high-intensity anaerobic exercise with periods of low-intensity recovery. This workout typically lasts less than 30 minutes or less, depending on the athlete’s current fitness and exercise intensity.

Tabata is a short, high-intensity interval workout that combines 20-second cycles of exercise at full strength and 10 seconds of rest. This workout is very effective for burning fat. After just a few minutes of tabata, the metabolic rate increases significantly.

Metabolic Training is effective for developing endurance and burning fat around the internal organs. It combines anaerobic strength training with aerobic cardio and involves exercising at increasing intensity with each successive set. Rest periods are very short.

Exercise with a predominantly hypercapnic and hypoxic component is a workout that fosters tolerance to high carbon dioxide levels and low oxygen levels, respectively. Examples are the practice tables that are taught in freediving courses starting at the AIDA3 level.

Based on this table, you can plan workouts aimed at achieving individual goals. The physical qualities mentioned in it are important for both swimmers and freedivers. In order to create the right program, you need to clearly formulate goals and analyze your form at the beginning of the training period, and then use this information to plan the program in detail.

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