Swimming Energy Calculator

OttrLoggr: Energy Use Calculator

Swim Energy Usage

Distance
Time
:
RER
Stroke

RER Value Guide

Slow (0.7)
A1 band - warm-up, recovery, cool-down sets
Moderate (0.85)
A2 band - aerobic capacity sets
Intense (1.00)
A3 band - aerobic power, VO2max sets

Data Source: Zamparo P, Bonifazi M (2013). Bioenergetics of cycling sports activities in water.

Coded for Swimming Science by Cameron Yick

Freestyle data

Velocity
/s
Cost
kj/
Total Cost
kj
Calories
kcal
Carbs
g
Fat
g

Quick Food Reference

Bagel
48g Carbs
Apple
25g Carbs
Peanut Butter
16g (2 tablespoons) *

Weekly Round-up

  1. Genetic Trainability: Your Genes Influence Your Workout Results - Nick Tumminello.
  2. Hypotheses about the Specificity of Physical Conditioning in Swimming: It Is a Lot -More Specific than Commonly Believed - Brent S. Rushall. 
  3. Ultra-short Race-pace Training and Traditional Training Compared - Brent S. Rushall. 
  4. Current Swimming Techniques: The Physics of Movements and Observations of Champions - Brent S. Rushall. 
  5. A Training Possibility - By Brent S. Rushall. 
  6. Adapting to the USRPT Format - Brent S. Rushall. 
  7. Aerobic Training is Not Enough - Brent S. Rushall.  
  8. USRPT and the Non-taper - Brent S. Rushall. 
  9. Understanding a USRPT Set - Brent S. Rushall. 
  10. Coaching Knowledge and USRPT - Brent S. Rushall. 
  11. Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections in the Treatment of Chronic Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial With 1-Year Follow-up -S Kesikburun.
  12. Chronic Effect of Static Stretching on Strength Performance and Basal Serum IGF-1 Levels- CL Borges Bastos.
  13. The effect of fatigue on the underwater arm stroke motion in the 100-m front crawl - by H Suito.
  14. Six weeks of aerobic training improves VO2max and MLSS but does not improve the time to fatigue at the MLSS- by TT Mendes.
  15. DRD2 C313T and DRD4 48-bp VNTR polymorphisms and physical activity of healthy men in Lower Silesia, Poland (HALS study)- by P Jozkow.
  16. Sex differences in central and peripheral mechanisms of fatigue in cyclists-by BW Glace.
  17. Long-term creatine supplementation improves muscular performance during resistance training in older women-by AF Aquiar.

ISCA Presentation Review: Dr. Rushall, Ph.D., R. Psy

These notes are taken from the ISCA conference. They are not verbatim, but a summary of the information discussed. For more on this topic, please read Swimming Energy Training in the 21st Century


Dr. Rushall, Ph.D, R. Psy
Error in training due to lack of reading research.
Harvard fatigue laboratory greatly influenced him, as it applied practical information.
"Put your evidence where your mouth is".

Motor Learning

Pincer grip with coins activates 3 areas of the brain. Squeezes a toilet paper roll activates different areas of the brain than pincer grip. Brodmann's areas in the brain are incorrect, the brain detects movements. Each individual activates different areas of the brain during the same activity. Weighted vs. body weight likely activates different areas of the brain.

Ultra Short Rest Race Pace Training (USRPT)

Requires new thinking, all swimming physiology taught has benn wrong.
Remove current ideas held.
Expect very different performances for swimmers compared to traditional training (TT).
"Principle of specificity" is king.
If lactate is ~10 mmol, learning is impossible.


Glycogen stays elevated in USRPT compared to TT, if glycogen is depleted it takes 48 hours to recovery.

Motor learning requires more repetitions than we think.
50 - meter/yard training doesn't following typical training, it requires hypoxic training.
USRPT requires lots of repetitions, it takes 7-8 exposures to mimic race conditions. 

USRPT optimizes amount of race pace training.
Train for an event, not a physiological system.

60% of SCY is underwater, making the importance of underwater kicking obvious.
Warm-up is the biggest dogma in swimming. Body temperature decreases 3 degrees during water entry, so how do you expect swimming slow to increase body temperature?
In-water warm up effect ends after ~20 seconds, making it impossible to facilitate benefits.


USRPT wants to reach capacity for training.
Old training increases, decreases glycogen and impairs ideal swimming velocity.
Varying metabolic responses occur during traditional training, which isn't ideal for motor learning.

USRPT develops aerobic training better than traditional training.
Power is better for USRPT and a better term than strength.
Sorry for the poor quality

Sorry for the poor quality
Sorry for the poor quality
Changes in capacity and performance often occur. Performance is what matters.
USRPT+Tradition does not improve performance, but tradition+USRPT does improve performance.
It is high-energy metabolism of the phosphagen-related substances that is the anaerobic activity primarily involved in racing performances in swimming.
USRPT uses more oxygen to convert type IIb to IIa [oxidative].
Not aerobic, but anaerobic adaptation.

Exposures of the same set take take 3-4 exposures for improvement
M-W-F same set, but improves. Sa half the exposures.




Another benefit of USRPT, after injury takes only 2 months to catch up with group. 

Dr. Rushall feels technique and mental skills are the biggest avenues for improvement. 

Respiratory rates allow better measurement of recovery than heart rate. 
Race pace 1:1 work rest, during sprinting more than 1:1. 

50-m Training
Carlile swim club-10 age group swimmers, 5/10 #1 ranked.
Dive 25 walk backs.
Push envelope of swimming fast with hypoxic training.

Go too fast too early you use to much anaerobic and pay for it during end of race.

Offseason Training
Feels you can gradually increase velocity during beginning of a season [yet admits he has rarely worked with this as Australia doesn't have an "offseason"].
Swimmers have larger left ventricle than other sports (except other prone sports)
Reference:
  1. Rushall, Brent S. "Swimming Energy Training in the 21st Century." Sports Science Associates. Hilton Hotel, Clearwater, FL. 28 August 2013. Keynote Address.  
By Dr. G. John Mullen received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science of Health from Purdue University where he swam collegiately. He is the owner of COR, Strength Coach Consultant, Creator of the Swimmer's Shoulder System, and chief editor of the Swimming Science Research Review.

Daily Heart Rate Variability Monitoring for Overreaching Monitoring!



The use of heart rate variability (HRV) monitoring is becoming more prevalent for overtraining/overreaching. However, daily fluctuations are likely present in HRV monitoring. 

Le Meur (2013) split Twenty-four trained triathletes into either a control (C) or an intensified training group (IT). The training was 7-weeks total and split into four distinct phases. The first two phases were similar for both groups. The first phase was 3 weeks of their normal training. The second phase was one week of low-intensity moderate training. The third period had the IT group complete a 3-week intensified training program designed to overreach the subjects. The training load was typically increased by 40%. The fourth training period was the same as phase two with a one-week taper. 

An orthostatic test was performed each morning during the second, third and fourth phase. Questionnaires were also provided to monitor ratings of perceived exertion (RPE).

Results

Fifteen of the sixteen IT subjects had a decrease in performance during the overload period followed by a super compensation effect of performance after taper. The OR group had greater improvement throughout the entire training. The overreaching (OR) group had a very likely greater fatigue than the control at the end of the overload. After taper, the perceived exertion decreased. 

The OR group had a decrease in HR during the third phase of training. However, HR likely increased in this group. 

Discussion

This study suggests daily readings in HRV demonstrate an increase in parasympathetic modulation during the overload period. This phase was reversed during the taper. Also, it seems OR is necessary for optimal improvement in performance.

Practical Implication

OR is necessary for swimming improvement. For accurate monitoring, daily HRV is necessary for optimal gains and preventing overtraining. 

For more on overtraining, review Volume 1: (3) of the Swimming Science Abstracts

Reference:

  1. Le Meur Y, Pichon A, Schaal K, Schmitt L, Louis J, Gueneron J, Vidal PP, Hausswirth C. Evidence of Parasympathetic Hyperactivity in Functionally Overreached Athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 May 14. [Epub ahead of print] 

By Dr. G. John Mullen received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science of Health from Purdue University where he swam collegiately. He is the founder of Mullen Physical Therapy, the Center of Optimal Restoration, head strength coach at Santa Clara Swim Club, creator of the Swimmer's Shoulder System, and chief editor of the Swimming Science Research Review.

Weekly Round-up

  1. Journal of the International Society of Swimming Coaches (Volume 3, Issue 1) [MUST READ!!] articles by Dr. Maglischo and Prof Lederman
  2. 2013 ISSN Conference Part II: Research Presentations by Sean Casey
  3. Recommended Reading: Looking at Lactate by Tad Sayce
  4. Figueiredo, P., Seifert, L., Vilas.Boas, J. P., & Fernandes, R. J. (2012). Spatio-temporal coordination in high intensity swimming. Presentation 1919 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  5. Connaboy, C., Coleman, S., & Sanders, R. H. (2012). Gender differences in heave and pitch phase relationships in maximal undulatory underwater swimming. Presentation 1917 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012by Dr. Rushall
  6. De Jesus, Karla, de Jesus, Kelly, Figueiredo, P. A., Goncalves, P., Pereira, S. M., Vilas-Bolas, J. P., & Fernandes, R. J. (2012). Analysis of upper limb dynamometry in two variants of backstroke start technique. Presentation 1914 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  7. Kjendlie, P.-L., & Olstad, B. H. (2012). Automatic 3D motion capture of swimming: marker resistance. Presentation 1939 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  8. Ofoghi, B., Stefano, D., Zeleznikow, J., & McMahon, C. (2012). Modeling relationships between swimming attributes for performance prediction. Presentation 1935 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  9. inna, M., Milia, R., Roberto, S., Marongiu, E., Olla, S., Loi, A., Ortu, M., Migliaccio, G. M., Tocco, F., Concu, A., & Crisafulli, A. (2013). Assessment of the specificity of cardiopulmonary response during tethered swimming using a new snorkel device. Journal of Physiological Science, 63, 7-16. by Dr. Rushall
  10. Sousa, M., Vilas-Boas, J. P., & Fernandes, R. (2012). Comparison between individual and averaged methodologies for anaerobic threshold assessment of age-group swimmers. Presentation 1281 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  11. Knab, A. M., Gillitt, N. D., Ciadella-Kam, L., Nieman, D. C., & Shanely, R. A. (2012). Polyphenol rich juice supplementation in Olympic swimmers does not alter inflammation or immune biomarkers. Presentation 1396 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  12. Kojima, K., Wilhite, D. P., Ishimatsu, M., Wright, B. V., & Stager, J. M. (2012). Expiratory flow limitation during maximal exercise in young competitive swimmers following one-year of swim training. Presentation 2246 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  13. Stager, J. M., & Cornett, A. (2012). Sex differences in childhood athletic performance. Presentation 1981 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  14. Rodriguez, F. A., Iglesias, X., Feriche, B., Calderon, C., Abalos, X., Vazquez, J., Barrero, A., Rodriguez, L., Hynynen, E., & Levine, B. D. (2012). Effects of altitude training on heart rate variability in orthostatic test in elite swimmers.Presentation 1562 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  15. Chan, D. K., Lonsdale, C., & Fung, H. H. (2011). Influences of coaches, parents, and peers on the motivational patterns of child and adolescent athletes. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 21, 1-11. by Dr. Rushall
  16. West, D. J., Dietzig, B. M., Bracken, R. M., Cunningham, D. J., Crewther, B. T., Cook, C. J., & Kilduff, L. P. (2012). Influence of post-warm-up recovery time on swim performance in international swimmers. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15, 6 pages (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S144024401200120X). by Dr. Rushall
  17. Dragunas, A. J., Dickey, J. P., & Nolte, V. W. (2012). The effect of drag suit training on 50-m freestyle performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26(4), 989-994. by Dr. Rushall
  18. Whitehead, J. R., Moran, M. P., Guggenheimer, J. D., & Brinkert, R. H. (2012). The effects of static stretching warm-up versus dynamic warm-up on sprint swim performance. Presentation 994 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  19. Godard, M. P., Godard, K. M., & Jessen, D. (2012). Ultrasound measured left ventricular strain in competitive youth swimmers: Acute and chronic effects of training. Presentation 1121 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  20. Zadeh, M. H., Roshan, V. D., Babaei, H., Shirinbayan, V., & Arendt-Nielsen, L. (2012). In vs. out of water recovery methods, performance and inflammation response: A comparative study. Presentation 1341 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  21. Fernandes, R. J., Ribeiro, J. Sousa, A., Sousa, M., Abraldes, A., Ferragut, C., Figueiredo, P., & Vilas-Boas, J. P. (2012). Kinematic comparison of different step lengths in a swimming incremental protocol. Presentation 1908 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall
  22. Matsunami, M., Taimura, A., & Mizobe, B. (2012). The role of high volume endurance training in competitive swimming. Presentation 1564 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012. by Dr. Rushall

Evaluating Coaching Effectiveness

Measuring performance is essential for improvement. In swimming, measuring improvement seems easy, simply by tracking improvement from year to year. However, times are misleading, especially in age-group swimmers where a 3% improvement is expected with growth and maturation.

Measuring the effectiveness of a coaching staff is essential, but simply using swimming performance and subjective measures (likability, "talks a good game", etc.) are not enough. Instead, using an objective method is necessary to prevent bias. 

Dr. Rushall has gained a lot of media coverage with his work with 14-year-old standout Michael Andrew. This training philosophy is a radical change from the traditional swimming training, causing many to love, hate, or fear his philosophy. No matter your view on his training methodology, all must respect his body of work which can be found here.

In my opinion, one of his least recognized contributions is the practice session coaching performance assessment form (PSCPAF), which can be viewed for free here. This evaluation is a simple questionnaire measuring the effectiveness of a coach during a swimming practice. It also forces coaches to use multiple forms of feedback to their swimmers. This form is more important now than ever, as swimmers are used to constant attention (either from their excessive activities or constant electronic devices), making it essential to keep the swimmers engaged in themselves, each other, and learning. In the long-run, each swimmer won't be an Olympian, but teaching them about their bodies, exercise, nutrition, and anatomy will help them immensely in the future. On a larger scale, teaching them healthy and fun methods for health and well-being will likely decrease the enormous health care costs eating away at the US and most developed countries. 

Unfortunately, the short-term effects of statue coaching and using the pool deck as a coffee shop will not help a swimmer. Sure, a few "talented" swimmers will succeed with this form of coaching, but the majority will not and are likely to quit the sport and perhaps exercise in general, aiding to the current state of health. 

Practical Implication
Measure your coaches during practice effectiveness and challenge your coach to perform to a level of competence. Moreover, coaches need to educate themselves more on health, giving swimmers to tools for long-term success, since many children do not receive this education in school. 

By Dr. G. John Mullen received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science of Health from Purdue University. He is the founder of Mullen Physical Therapy, the Center of Optimal Restoration, head strength coach at Santa Clara Swim Club, creator of the Swimmer's Shoulder System, and chief editor of the Swimming Science Research Review.

Do Swim Lessons Impair Short-Term Performance?


Last week, the long-term effects of swim lessons was discussed in Do Swim Lessons Impair Long-Term Performance? Yet, we all know most swim lessons are used directly before a meet to improve importance. However, this practice may hinder, not enhance biomechanics.

Altering Stroke Biomechanics
In an ideal swim lesson, a coach is providing frequent (ideally continuous feedback: feedback during swimming) for stroke biomechanical improvement. This alteration results in new muscle activation and likely soreness. This soreness will either cause the swimmer to quickly resort to their old form or continue to swim with the new soreness and likely impaired performance. Now, the latter is the ideal outcome, but many times the new stroke biomechanics is not reinforced. Reinforcement is necessary for improvement, realizing swimming times may be impaired for a period of time.

In a less than ideal lesson, a coach will not correct the biomechanic flaws or create other flaws which cause greater drag and stroke deviation. This often occurs as many coaches do not understand biomechanics or fluid dynamics, simply making stroke corrections based off of "what they did" or "what others say". This atrocity only hinders acute performance.

Psychology
As many swimmers hope for stroke biomechanical adjustments during a lesson, sometimes only "traditional coaching" is performed. This "traditional coaching" often includes yelling, clapping, or screaming about a variety of topics. This "traditional coaching" may instill motivation or confidence, improving the psyche of a swimmer. Unlike, the biomechanical adjustments improving the psychology or increasing confidence in a swimmer can improve acute performance.

Unfortunately, this form of psychology shouldn't be necessary during a private lesson, but instilled and fostered during the practice session. Unfortunately, the "too crowded" excuses exist on every pool deck. Even on the biggest teams, is it impossible to talk to every swimmer multiple times (for ~10 seconds) over a 120 minute swim session?

Conclusion
Stroke changes take a while for ideal implementation. Some suggest not correcting a stroke form for 2 weeks prior to an event (Rushall 2011). This has not been researched, but seems like a good rule of thumb, until validated.

Now, some may argue swimmers improve after swim lessons. However, many factors are involved during improvement, eloquently described by Dr. Rushall in his book Swimming Pedagogy:

"1. Growth. The majority of swimmers are maturing through childhood or adolescence. Changes in physical capacities and mechanical attributes provide for improvements in force production and performance extension. Coaching has little to do with these factors and much to do with reducing their influence. Given the skilled nature of swimming, the skill development phases of growth that occur in both genders, roughly in the 7-9 years age range and for boys again in the early post-pubertal years, render it essential that correct coaching (instruction) occur at those times to stimulate maximum performance changes. Neglecting that facet of development is unconscionable.
2. Being taught how to swim faster. Appropriate instruction can be used to teach swimmers how to improve in swimming speeds (e.g., developing more beneficial force, reducing unnecessary movements, and reducing resistances). The emphasis here is on teaching. Unless swimmers' performance-behaviors are changed for the better, effective teaching does not occur. The capability of a coach to change swimmers effectively and permanently is the mark of successful coaching. Without that demonstration, coaches are merely, at best, "supervisors".
3. Serendipity. In the absence of coach-instruction, some swimmers do change for the better to varying degrees. Having the good luck to make unexpected and fortunate discoveries about swimming techniques (e.g., through watching others, discussing actions with swimmers/persons other than the coach, trying "different" actions largely through trial-and-error, etc.), swimmers happen upon something that improves their performance. That influence is limited. The improvement factors usually are few, and if they reach a "comfort level of satisfaction" will be maintained and changed no more. A very few swimmers "discover" more factors than others and go on to be extremely successful. This yields the observations of some swimmers achieving despite their coaching. However, the majority of swimmers will languish in the realm of mediocrity and eventually realize that reinforcements from achievement improvements no longer are frequent or satisfying in the sport."


References:
  1. Rushall, B. S. (2011). Swimming pedagogy and a curriculum for stroke development (2nd Edition). Spring Valley, CA: Sports Science Associates [Electronic book].  
By Dr. G. John Mullen received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science of Health from Purdue University. He is the founder of Mullen Physical Therapy, the Center of Optimal Restoration, head strength coach at Santa Clara Swim Club, creator of the Swimmer's Shoulder System, and chief editor of the Swimming Science Research Review.

What Motivates a Team?


Building motivation in swimmers is necessary for a successful team. Unfortunately, knowing which factors increase motivation is highly individualized and difficult to assess. For this reason, many coaches feel research is not able to provide individualized tools of motivation for a team. In a recent interview (stay tuned for the whole interview), Kansas Women's coach Clark Campbell discussed the importance of motivation and developing a motivated team. He indicated knowing everyone's role is essential, as each team member brings a different element to the team.

This discussion got me thinking, what motivates a team? 

Most individual motivation is categorized as intrinsic (IM) or extrinsic motivation (EM). Blegen et al. (2013) surveyed 224 in-season Division III college football players (athlete's without financial incentive for performance) with a sport motivation survey. Blegen compared the results of football players on championship and non-championship caliber teams. 

The results suggest there were no motivational differences between starters and non-starters or year in school. However, players on championship teams had greater IM-stimulation, IM-accomplishment and IM-to know, as well as greater EM (Identification, introjection, regulation). This lack of importance on playing status and academic year, suggest the caliber of the team and likely the team environment is a large contributor to motivation. Moreover, improved IM is extremely important, as non-associative self talk is common during harder exercise (Gibler 2012). Non-associated self talk likely causes a dissociation from exercise, impaired  motor learning , and eventually decreased performance.

Even research in swimming suggest, the motivation of the team alters one own motivation. Dr. Rushall (2011) notes this in his book Swimming Pedagogy:


"Peer relationships are one of the most important motivational sources in swimming (McPherson,
Marteniuk, Tihanyi, & Clark, 1977; Reitter, 1982). Peer approvals of behaviors are much more
frequent and influential than those of the coach (Rushall, 1982). It is important for procedures to be
developed where swimmers have the opportunities to reinforce and recognize each other for good
behaviors and achievements. Experiments have shown that peer reinforcement in swimming settings
is more influential than coach reactions (McKenzie & Rushall, 1980)."

Conclusion
EM and IM have been previously suggested as the main modes of motivation in elite athletes. Specifically, IM appears to correlate with success. As a coach, it is vital to encourage a team of IMed athletes. Coaches of all levels, especially in those where financial resources are limited/irrelevant (Division II, III, age-group), should strive to increase IM and EM and their swimmers for the sake of motivating their team.

Reference

  1. Blegen MD, Stenson MR, Micek DM, Matthews TD. Motivational differences for participation among championship and non-championship caliber NCAA division III football teams. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):2924-8. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182719123.
  2. Campbell, C. (2013, Jan 23). Telephone interview.
  3. Rushall, B. S. (2011). Swimming Pedagogy and a Curriculum for Stroke Development (Second Edition). Spring Valley, CA: Sports Science Associates.
By G. John Mullen Doctorate of Physical Therapy founder of the Center of Optimal Restoration, Dochead strength coach at Santa Clara Swim Club, creator of the Swimmer's Shoulder System, and chief editor of the Swimming Science Research Review.

Does Low Bone Mineral Density Aid Flotation and Enhance Swimming Velocity?

Bone mineral density (BMD) in swimmers has been a topic of debate for numerous years. In research, swimming has been correlated with low BMD (Carbuhn 2010; Guadalupe-Grau 2009;  Mudd 2007). These results are not unfathomable, as swimming is partially gravity assisted. However, this health problem likely increases the risk of acute injuries as well as increasing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures later in life. Yet, position statements on this health risks in swimming do not exist. In 2010, Mullen stated: 

"no matter if you are a male or female swimmer you have a higher risk for osteoporosis. These alterations can be deterred with dryland exercise, as training and nutrition have effects on BMD... As one ages, BMD decreases making it even more important for Master's swimmers to use dryland exercises in their weekly routine."

The lack of stance on the subject of BMD in swimmers suggests minimal concern exists with BMD and swimmers, as long-term health is typically not a concern of governing parties. Similarly, this occurs with the United States pertaining to regulations on sugar toxicity, elegantly discussed by Dr. Lustig in 2009. Simply put, since the risks of low BMD don't surmount until years after swimming, regulations are unlikely to exist.

Moreover, having a high BMD likely impairs swimming horizontal velocity, since a high BMD contributes to sinking. If a swimmer has low body fat and a high BMD they are more likely to sink, opposed to float on the water. Floating isn't a prerequisite for elite swimming, but likely aides to the ease of movement. Those with difficulty floating must expend more energy to stay atop the water. This thought may have crossed the minds of those overlooking the health of swimmers, but poised them not to make a position statement on the risks of low BMD, but I have not heard this case defended. This theory was partially discussed by Rushall (2007) as he noted: 

"Asian Indians are lean "sinkers" because they have little fat and a high percentage of bone and muscle in their physical make-up. On the other hand, the Inuit are fat and round, adaptations that minimize heat loss. That combination also makes them float well. Unfortunately, political correctness will not make this disposition disappear. In some situations, it must be considered."

Conclusion
BMD correlates with flotation. Therefore, a low BMD may increase horizontal swimming velocity by making it easier to float. This acute performance benefit may be the reason no position on the risks of low BMD in swimmers. Yet, the long-term health of swimmers must be considered, especially in the aging athlete. Once again, health and sport are not always correlated (Mullen 2013) and if you are an aging swimmer or someone with recurrent musculoskelal injuries, dry-land and nutritional methods to increase BMD are indicated. Make sure you take responsibility for your health, balancing sporting success with lifelong healthiness. 

References:
    1. Rushall, Brent S. "SWIMMING SCIENCE BULLETIN." Swimming Science Bulletin. N.p., 15 Feb. 2007. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. .
    2. Lustig, Robert H. "Sugar: The Bitter Truth." YouTube. YouTube, 30 July 2009. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. .
    3. Mullen, Gary J. "Bone Mineral Density in Swimmers | Swim Sci." Bone Mineral Density in Swimmers. Swimming Science, 21 July 2010. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. .
    4. Mullen, Gary J. "Science of Performance: Are Morning Workouts Worth the Sleep Deprivation? Part I." Swimming World Magazine. N.p., 4 Feb. 2013. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. .
    5. Carbuhn A, Fernandez T, Bragg A, Green J, Crouse S. Sport and training influence bone and body composition in women collegiate athletes. J Strength Cond Res. Jul 2010;24(7):1710-1717.
    6. Guadalupe-Grau A, Fuentes T, Guerra B, Calbet J. Exercise and bone mass in adults.Sports Med. 2009;39(6):439-468.
    7. Mudd L, Fornetti W, Pivarnik J. Bone mineral density in collegiate female athletes: comparisons among sports. J Athl Train. 2007 Jul-Sep 2007;42(3):403-408.
    8. Velez N, Zhang A, Stone B, Perera S, Miller M, Greenspan S. The effect of moderate impact exercise on skeletal integrity in master athletes. Osteoporos Int. Oct 2008;19(10):1457-1464.
    By Dr. G. John Mullen founder of the Center of Optimal Restoration, head strength coach at Santa Clara Swim Club, creator of the Swimmer's Shoulder System, and chief editor of the Swimming Science Research Review.

    VO2max is not Important for Competitive Swimmers

    On my vacation, I had the luxury of reading and came to the conclusion, measuring VO2max is not important for competitive swimmers. I know this is a bold, hellish statement and one which is not perfectly supported. Moreover, it is never smart to say something is useless, well at least in the world of science. However, the more I learn about VO2max, the more I realize it is only applicable in high volume swimming practice, not a meet, practice. As we all know, no medals (at least important ones) are handed out in practice.


    Two readings specifically to swimming have supported this thought that VO2max is not important to swimmers:



    Dr. Rushall has been dismissing VO2max for sometime. Dr. Rushall has radical views in the minds of many traditional swim coaches, but let's think about it. The majority of swim races last for approximately :20 – 2:00. However, reaching VO2max takes approximately 10 minutes in most testing procedures. As a result, the metabolic demands of VO2 max testing aren't related to the metabolic demands of races. Also, the cyclic nature of swimming (alternating resting and moving body segments) and lack of gravity in the sport of swimming decrease it's demands, making VO2max occur even later. Instead, Dr. Rushall advocates the importance of race pace and motor programming, an important aspect of training.

    To confirm, Dr. Maglischo, another pioneer in the sport, also questions the use of VO2max. His argues, VO2max is not the limiting factor of success as there is always oxygen in the circulating blood. However, Dr. Maglischo discusses the importance of mitochondrial density as the limiting factor in his great paper on Lactic acid and muscular fatigue. His point confirms the importance of oxygen, however, oxygen itself is not the limiting factor, instead the ATP-generating mitochondria that prevent further oxygen from reaching the muscles.

    Overall, it is hard to completely dismiss the importance of oxygen for exercise, especially in anaerobic races. However, it does seem VO2max is not as vital as once thought, therefore it is time to question previous facts in the sport. Too long have myths in exercise science been passed along the swimming community, for these reasons it seems that improving VO2max should not be a goal of competitive swimmers!

    By G. John Mullen founder of the Center of Optimal Restoration, head strength coach at Santa Clara Swim Club, creator of the Swimmer's Shoulder System, and chief editor of the Swimming Science Research Review.