Adam Peaty is a beast. He holds the 10 fastest 50m breaststroke times in history, no one else is even close.
So what the f*** does he do differently to everyone else? Well, it's not all down to training obviously. You don't have that sort of dominance without having the right mental attitude. Anyway down to the training, what exactly does Peaty do in and out of the pool?
Well in an interview Peaty did with the Telegraph
“To build lean muscle I do a lot of squats, deadlifts and pull-ups. Earlier in the year, I do big weights and fewer reps but before the Olympics, it was more about lifting lighter weights more quickly for explosive power. It is very, very tough to get to this kind of level. On some days you are so tired you can’t even move your eyelids in the morning.”
Some of the more explosive power he is talking about includes plyometrics. An example of plyometrics is when you do a press-up and you clap your hands in the middle.
What are plyometrics?
Plyometrics are exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength). It's the speed-strength that's the key. If you have large muscles but can't move them quickly then its pointless for sprinters. You need the right balance and ideally, you need massive muscles firing really quickly.
Plyometric exercises train your fast-twitch muscles fibers, and that means speed. We're all born with a combination of fast and slow twitch muscles fibres. Some people naturally have more than others of a particular type.
Max Heart Rate Sprint Training
Max heart rate sprint training is when you push yourself to your absolute limit, you're at the point at which you cannot go any faster or harder. Peaty says that during his training regime his heart rate often hits maximum BPM – this means he cannot physically train any harder than he does. To achieve this, he does interval training in the pool – usually 50m or 100m sprints with a short recovery.
This training is then followed by a gym session – “. Sometimes after a session like that you cannot physically move but you have to go and do a gym session too. By the end of the week you are practically in your coffin.
A Diet of kings
Full time training means you need a lot of calories. Peaty explained: “During a tough winter training block I can eat 6,000-8,000 calories a day to fuel all my training and recovery. I have to get through a heck of a lot of food but I try to keep things interesting by eating my protein on a cycle – for example, steak on Monday, chicken on Tuesday, and fish on Wednesday. I get through a lot of scrambled egg and piles of veg and rice too. I live with my parents so that is helpful but after spending seven weeks training in Australia I got pretty handy with the Cajun spices in the kitchen.”
Loughborough Swimming Training
Although Peaty learnt his trade at the City of Derby Swimming Club, he now trains full-time at Loughborough University Swim Team. Loughborough is renowned for being the top swimming destination in the UK and has a proud list of world champion Alumni. It's one of the hardest swimming clubs to gain access to due to the entry times.
So in conclusion if you want to swim as fast as Peaty you're in for a pretty tough ride.