I recently upgraded my transportation. My previous car was a little Mitsubishi coupe with a 1.6-liter engine. It got me where I wanted to go, looked good and was an overall great car. For my new ride though I needed a little more room and power so I upgraded to a Jeep.
Wow what a difference in power and speed! I knew that I’d be drastically increasing my car’s power; going from a 4-cylinder to an 8-cylinder 5.7-liter engine. What I didn’t realize is how the increase in power would affect my driving habits and performance.
What’s more is that the change was instant. By upgrading my car’s power I was more comfortable driving around. I knew that I had additional power whenever I’d need it. I actually found myself driving a lot slower because I had more confidence in my car’s power if I needed it. Whereas before I was spinning my wheels a lot more and maxing out my engine’s capacity just to keep up with the flow of traffic.
When you increase your power you instantly have greater reserves that you can tap when needed.
A concept that swimmers and coaches don’t think a lot about in swimming is your strength or power reserve.
When I switched from the little coupe to the big SUV I gained a greater reserve of power. My car’s engine now runs at a much lower RPM rate when going 45mph. The old coupe would’ve had to work much harder to be at that speed and wouldn’t have had much in reserve to give if I needed more power.
In swimming you’ll always need a reserve to tap into. The question is really how big your reserve is and if you’re continually increasing it or diminishing it through your training.
Whether it’s at the end of a hard set at practice or trying to run down your opponent on the last lap. You need a reserve that you’re confident you can pull from.
The only real way to increase your reserve is the same as my car upgrade.
Get stronger and more powerful!
By gaining strength your muscles automatically increase their reserve capacity. It’s the same with my car. Now when I drive my Jeep at any speed the engine is at a lower RPM rate than the old Mitsubishi. So not only do I have access to more power as I drive around but I’m putting less strain on the engine.
So the increase is actually beneficial on two fronts: more power in your reserve and less strain on your body at any speed.
And if you read Mold an Athlete into a Swimmer you understand that the most important part of you gaining strength is to improve durability. This is following the same philosophy. You’re getting stronger so that you can last longer and be faster in the end.
Don’t wait until you’re broken down from training or getting passed at the end in every race before you decide to get stronger. Get started on some Pull-up Training and check back here next week to learn how to gain strength in a practical way.