Training César Cielo (’09 World Champ in Men’s 50 & 100 Frees) by Brett Hawke (2010)


It’s a real honor to be here. I’ve been to a couple of these clinics and conventions before, and sat in the back row and taking it all in and it’s an honor to stand up here and present.

Late back in 2005, when I was at the world championships with the Australian team, I was in that phase of what am I going to do with my life. I just had my [indiscernible] [0:00:53] handed to me by a couple of athletes in the 50 freestyle and that was my gig, the 50 freestyle. I was sitting on a bus and I remember sitting next to Kim Brackin, who was an Auburn head coach at that time. I was talking to her about the whole process like what am I going to do and she suggested to me at that point she said, you know I think Brett you’ll be a pretty good coach and I don’t know, I put 2 seconds of thought into it and then the next year I went to the Commonwealth Games and realized that this was pretty much it. There’s not much more I can take of this. I’ve got to find a real job. My dad is kind of a working class guy so he is always telling me get a real job, get a real job. So I thought the only way I could get a real job is if I graduate from college which I hadn’t done yet and so I talked to David Marsh, who was the head coach at that time in Auburn and asked him if there was a possibility of coming back and finishing my degree. He said there was, which was amazing, and so I’ve decided to just go back and finish the degree and then get the real job. At that time, there was an assistant position open at Auburn and he asked me if I wanted to do some part-time coaching kind of thing while I was getting my degree full time. And so I said yeah, let’s do it and just used it as a way that I could earn some extra cash not really wanting to get into coaching but not really knowing what I wanted to do. And then once I got on the pool deck as a coach and actually experienced what you guys experience, because I didn’t give you any credit before, it was all my doing kind of thing. [laughing] So once I experienced that I started to appreciate how much work you guys put in and how detailed, I mean I had to write a work out for the first time and I’m sitting there freaking out. How do I write a work out? All I’ve done is just follow these work outs. So that was 2006, I had no idea how to write a work out and in 2008, won the Olympic gold, so I apologize for that. [laughing].

I will say I heard Sean speak today and it was a great talk. I got a lot out of it. But one of the things I was disappointed with was that he — I kind of felt that he was apologizing for winning. Where is Sean, you around here somewhere? Sean is back there. You back there, now what were you apologizing for? You didn’t have to apologize to me. You kicked everybody’s butt last year. You deserved it. She deserved it and I’m certainly not going to apologize for that one, so don’t expect it from me. But I think you’re a great coach and I think you’re doing an amazing job and just the way that you presented that, it’s obvious why you won. It had nothing to do with the suits. The suits were put on us and we had no choice but to deal with the situation. I felt like his [Cesar’s] advantage was he has this amazing style. He gets off the blocks like nobody else and this year they’re bringing this wedge and not everybody is getting off [point 6] [0:03:44.6] these days. So I feel like the advantage is taken away but you deal with whatever they present you with and you were presented with suits. I was presented with suits and I just make the most of them, and it’s kind of what am I going to talk about today. I’m not going to talk about the 2008 performance at the Olympics. I’m not going to talk about the 2010 performance at Pan Pac where we lost. I’m really here to present on the 2009 performance and what that entailed and the kind of our thought and our methodology along the way. So if you guys got questions about other things later, that’s fine. But I’m really here to just talk about this performance. That’s what I wanted to center my talk on.

So in saying that, what were we looking for in 2009; obviously, we knew we had some things to play with in terms of the [suits] [0:04:34] and other things. Obviously, he’s just coming off the back of a huge win at the Olympics. So there were things in our favor, I felt. So what I do at the start of every season especially with an athlete like Cesar is I take it from the end result first. What I accomplished at the end? What am I trying to accomplish? And for us it was pretty obvious, we wanted to be under 47 seconds in the 100 and we wanted to be under 21 seconds in the 50 and that was our goal. That’s where we felt like we could get to and maybe that was a barrier that other people didn’t think was possible. But at the start of the season when we talked together, we thought that’s where we wanted to be. So it was definitely a plan to get there and as you now, we did get there and we’re pretty lucky in that sense that it worked out.

So I’m going to take you through the steps of, all right, here’s the performance, how do we get to that performance, all the way back. So I take it from the race itself through the tape. I’ll work backwards all the way to the very first work out. Instead of working from the first work-out forward, I kind of take a different approach in that sense and that’s the way we looked at it; that’s the way I looked at it. So in saying that what was I looking for and what was he looking for? Obviously, we’re looking for a great technique. You can’t be the best sprinter in the world with a terrible technique. You’ve got to be able to have power in your stroke; you’ve got to be able to hold a certain stroke lengths, stroke distance; you’ve got to swim it a certain way. It’s got to look pretty. It can’t look ugly. You just can’t get away with it in sprint in sprint freestyle; it has to look pretty in order to be the best. So that was something that we looked at and talked about and tried to perfect. Obviously, the energy system physiology, what’s it going to take in order to get a 46 performance? How do you swim 46? When I was swimming, just a few years earlier, if you swam 49 seconds, you’re pretty good. If you swam 48, you are pretty amazing. And we’re talking about 46 seconds now, so I mean it was just mind blowing. But again I was lucky, as Mark said I had influences like David Marsh and Richard Quick. Richard Quick was a phenomenal person and he’s presented here before and I know he had done some of the best talks anyone has ever heard but I got that everyday. Every day, Richard would say to me, Brett, everybody else is looking here, how can we look over here? How can we look beyond where everybody else is looking? So I had that influence for a short amount of time and it was so powerful. So when I looked at Cesar in terms of what he could do, we try to look beyond what we thought he could do and 46 and 24, it was kind of where it was at.

Obviously, the strength training – I’m not standing here today and talk to you about his performance without the strength training. I’m lucky enough that I had the best strength coach in the world and if you guys know of our program. If you know anything about our strength coach, I mean he’s just phenomenal. At the end of every preparation when I get pats on the back for all these performances, the first person I think is him and then if it’s a bad performance, like it was this year, or it didn’t meet our expectations, I apologize to him because I feel like I let him down because he does such a great job in the drawing of the strength and I’ll go into a little bit of what he does that it’s just a combination. It’s really not just what he does in the water; it’s really what he does on the land. I think that it’s important to understand and this is really the training of Cesar Cielo. This isn’t the training of Fred Bousquet or anybody else that I coached or even the Auburn University Team. This is Cesar’s training. It’s very specific to him and it works for him and I’ve been lucky enough to coach him over a few years so we’ve kind of work out the twigs. Obviously the power training is essential for us. Plyometrics is huge. The core development and stability I think, just setting up the stroke obviously very important. And then I’m going to talk about the race model in terms of how we get to a particular performance, you break down the season for that.

I think warm up is one of those areas where we don’t spend a lot of time and I’m not going to do it today either but I think it’s something that we’re trying to play with and explore because when I swim, I did the 200 for warm up and that was it. The coach couldn’t tell me anything else. I’m going to do a 200. Actually I did four 50s, that’s what I did; four 50s and they’re all easy. And what I did in those four 50s is I would visualize my performance and for me that was stimulating, that was my warm up. I would get energy from that. Cesar does and plays around a little bit with warm ups. I think that there’s something there that we can really play with. I found this on the internet the other day. I’ve never heard of it before but I put it in my talks. The said print was the specific adaptation to imposed demands. It’s not something that I had heard or thought about but it’s something that I believe in. So I thought I’d put it in there. What I’m trying to do in my training is get an adaptation to a certain demand that I put on the effort and you’ll see in a second as I talk through the different phases of the program why I’m trying to accomplish that. I program the athletes who are obviously trained in multiple, diverse, and randomized. I think that’s important. We try to change up the stimulus of fair amount. Now the word out there is muscle confusion but my strength coach doesn’t like that at all. We trained because the muscle can’t think. We don’t have a brain button. We try to confuse the body as much as we can. I think I should preface this with the fact that I’m not the same as what Sean was talking about. I’m not a physiologist. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a number of things. I’m just a guy who knows a lot about sprint.

I’ve spent many years as Mark was saying to try to fine tune — I was in an event, the 50 freestyle, where it came in hundreds of seconds and that was my career. I had two young children that I had to support and I was in an event that came down to hundreds of seconds so I spent hours and hours and hours of detailed work trying to find ways that I can get faster and I think that analysis from myself has now helped me become a better coach and understand my athletes a little bit. So I think that’s why I‘ve had success fairly quickly. I want to say this, for me, you can’t swim fast without swimming fast. The base for speed is speed and I’m a firm believer in that and I know that there are many theories and many methodologies out there and many ways to accomplish things but for me if you’re not swimming fast, how on earth are you going to be able to swim fast? So I try and swim fast as early as possible. From the very first work out, I’m trying to teach the body to swim fast because when they come back, they’re out of shape and they’ve change. So speed is essential from the very beginning for me.

Early in the season, I’m trying to establish the stroke length. Now, we’ll do stuff where we’re trying to hold a lot of water. We’ll do stuff where we’re counting strokes very early on. As the season progress that’s when we start to establish the rate that we want to race at. So I think those two elements are essential in how we approach the season, establishing the length early and then building in to the rate. Then obviously the stroke efficiency is something that’s very critical and something that can separate a lot of great athletes. It’s the thing that separated myself from Alexander Popov and then maybe the thing that separates Cesar from some other athletes. So the efficiency of the stroke is very important I think. The imposed demands, early in the season, the body is not capable of the type of power, the type of explosiveness that we want so how do we get that? How do we build that? Again that’s something I’ll talk about in a second. Feel for the water is obviously very important because if you’re not feeling the water early, you’ll not going to feel that light. You have to establish that feel for the water. Again it’s the same as establishing the length. So it’s something we spent a lot of time doing early in the season is establishing a good feel for the water and a good stroke length. And then as we’ll see in a minute, really the only thing that changes in my program throughout the year is not really the amount of work outs that we do. It’s not really the time that we do them. It’s really just the volumes and the intensities that I manipulate throughout the season that really changes the most for me.

I’m a very simple person. I like to keep things simple. So the simpler it is for me the better I am as a coach I guess. The one thing that interests me a lot is I think in terms of track they really value sprint. I think that they kind of not used ahead of where we are or where we should be in terms of sprinting. To watch the Usain Bolt do what he did last year at the world championships, I mean it’s just phenomenal and you get that crowd involved in that as well, I mean that’s my dream for sprint freestyle or sprinting is that one day we can have a meet where it’s like track, where everybody is so involved in it and values it so much that everybody wants to watch it in that sense. And so these are the four sprints that really interest me the most, thee 400, the 200, the 100 and 50. I think they’re true sprint events in the sense that there is a quality of sprint in all of them. I know that other people like Dave Salo will say that 1500 is a sprint. I don’t really agree with that but that’s his opinion and so in terms of what I’m trying to do, I’m trying to compare the four. So if I’m looking at the 400 in the pool, I compare it to the 1500 meter in track. How did the track guys get the guys to run faster at 1500? I think that would relate to the 400 because it’s fairly close in time. I think the same for the 200, the 800 on the track. The 400 and the 100 are very close in. So I’m looking at Cesar’s hundred and we want to get to 46 seconds. What are they doing over on the track that interests me? It’s just an interest, I don’t really make anything else about this but it’s something that I’d like to explore. It’s something that I like to look into and I think like I said I think they’re ahead of us in terms of really valuing sprint and what they’re getting out of these sprints.

So for me, from looking at just a general 6-month plan, I break it into 6-week blocks. Again what are the components of the 100 freestyle that I’m trying to get to appear in the race at the end of the season? For me the four qualities that I’m looking for are: the endurance because you need endurance to finish the race as I proved this year; you need strength; obviously, you need power; and you need explosiveness. They’re the four components of the race and I think they’re crucial and vital to developing over the season. So I break them up into blocks of work. I don’t think I can get the explosiveness early. It’s something that — you can’t swim at the 50 meter pace that I want him to be at the end of the season. You can’t do that early in the season. He’s not on the pace. You can’t hold that tug of war. You can’t hold that length. So, how do I develop it? I developed it through the speed endurance and then I move on to the speed strength, then I move on to the power and then finally in the last stage we try and develop the explosiveness that you see Cesar has off the blocks and off the turns and through breakouts. This is something that we specifically try and develop.

This is just a general slide again. This is the season plan. I try and look at how many work outs a week I want to do this stuff and this is again where the manipulation, the volumes and intensities come in. I was influenced by David Marsh and I was influenced by Richard Quick and if you know those two coaches, they don’t track what they do. So I blamed David for the way I coach. I don’t keep records. It’s pretty miserable. So when I was looking back and trying to figure out how we actually won, it’s based on what I could remember kind of thing and so putting this down on paper is kind of therapeutic because it brings some nice thoughts out but it also puts it down so you have something to look at.

In the next level I’ll explained a little bit better in terms of our weekly plan but here I say, 6 times a week, I’m trying to hit that speed endurance and you’ll see in a second that there are 6 work outs that we do for the first period where we’re doing some kind of endurance work and it’s kind of related to the speed. We’re trying to develop the speed. We’re trying to develop the endurance so that he can handle the requirements of 100 freestyle. So during that time when we’re building the aerobic swimming, I don’t really do a lot of threshold type work, I tried to, I did just by trial and error and kind of eliminate a lot of threshold. There is a lot heart rate in our program. There is a lot of speed. There is a lot of high intensity. But there’s also a lot of just long slow easy swimming. We did swim work outs a week, 3 of them are completely off speed. We don’t do any sprint, which we’ll show you in a second. So anyway, the 6 work outs a week, we try and hit the speed endurance in the first period. In those work outs, 3 of those work outs are a power-based workout, so we go from the gym to the pool and then the other 3 are just straight swim work outs where they’ll have a set inside the — obviously you’ll have the warm up, your main set, and your cool down set, during that period we’re probably going somewhere between, somewhere around 5-1/2 thousand. I don’t like to go over 5.5 thousand for my 100 freestyle or my 100 sprints; but Cesar in particular I found that 5.5 was about his limit. That was it. If he did any more, it was just sloppy. It was terrible. So if you guys want something that you can hold on to that’s about it you know. I can’t tell you exactly day by day. In some days it might be 4,000. In some days it might be 3,000 but it will never get above 5500 kind of thing.

In the second period now as the intensities increase you know because we’re going out into a strength phase you know, the volumes come down and then as you can see as you are going to the power phase the volumes come down again and then you go into that explosive phase and the volumes come down again. So that’s kind of how I progress my volumes.

Again, it’s just a day by day kind of thing but I’m looking for that desire in the outcome and so the aerobic work is kind of built into the training but there’s not really an aerobic component of the 100 freestyle or all the 50 freestyles so it’s not something that I really sit down and think a whole lot about. I just know that in terms of being able to swim a little bit more it gives you a good feel for the water. It sets up your stroke length and all that sort of stuff.

So this is the weekly planner that we stick to with the whole six months and again just as the volumes and intensities change so we will lift in the morning before swimming on Monday and then were going to a power transfer or some sort of transfer or swimming transfer. So what I’m trying to do is I match my strength program with my swim program so that they are working in unison combined. Again, this is not a swimming thing. This is a total package for me where I worked with my strength coach to try and get the desired outcome. Now, these guys get their butt kicked in the gym so there’s no point in me having something that doesn’t match up in the pool because if I’m not knowing what’s going on in the gym I come over here and I do over some endurance, crazy endurance stuff. It’s not going to match up what were doing. I’m not going to get the desired outcome and so it’s all just going to be a mess. So it’s very classically related to the types of workouts they are doing in the gym and I try and you know, get that same stimulation in the pool.

If you are doing some endurance stuff in the gym they are going to do it in the pool. If they are doing some strength in the gym they are going to do some strength in the pool with the power and that sort of thing so… And then I would like to leave these three workouts in Monday afternoon or Wednesday afternoon or Friday afternoon. There are three main workouts throughout the whole year. That doesn’t change.

You know, there are three main swim workouts so when I’m looking for him to get some type of endurance work it will be on a Monday afternoon when I’m saying, “All right, since we are going to hit this workout we got to do really good at it. Okay?”

Because what I do in the next days I give them a total recovery and this again was influenced by Richard Quick and I only talk about the 2008 Olympics just briefly. About six weeks out on the Olympics Cesar was miserable and he was complaining and I – you know it’s the Olympic Games and you want your athlete to win so you are doing everything you can. You will kick in his butt.

And what we are doing is we are doing some speed here and some speed on Mondays and some speed on Tuesday and some speed in Wednesdays. You know maybe a recovery workout on Thursday and then speed Friday and speed Saturday. I was trying to get speed over time because I’m like, “We are going to the Olympics. You are talented but we got to win this thing. You know you are only 21 years old”. And it was just – I wasn’t getting the desire to fix so I went to Richard Quick and I said, “Richard, what am I doing wrong here?” and he said, to me he said “Burke my experience, you have to treat the talented athletes differently.” You have to give them more recovery. I mean, this kid is talented but he’s got to respond off the type of work that you given him and he needs to recover.

So he said but I said to him, I said, “Richard I’m giving him Thursdays full day recovery. I mean, what else do you want me to do?” and he said, “Give him another day. Give him two full days. Give him three full days but when you are in the water make sure that you are getting what you want in the water and then give him a next day off and then come back and do it again.” And then give him a next day off and then come back and do it again, and then give him the next day off and then come back and do it again but he has got to be hitting those specific phases that he wanted to hit.

So six weeks out in the Olympics we tried this and it was [Indiscernible] [0:24:23] whose… He went from a guy who is going to finish in the semifinals to a guy who was going to win the Olympics in a very short amount of time because we went through this plan and so I thought, “Why don’t I try this over the whole season.” And so that’s what we did for the 2009 World Championships.

On a Monday, I made sure that I empty the tank or whatever it was. Whatever phase we were in he was going to empty the tank on Monday. Tuesday we not going to do a single hard stroke. I didn’t ask him to do a hard turn or a hard stroke or anything. Everything was easy and long perfect technique and just a full recovery. The only thing that I wanted him to do on those days was hit his lungs because obviously these days you know the swims are taken less oxygen into the races and in the 50 he doesn’t take a breath at all you know, a 100 is breathing every four strokes. So there’s a hard demand on his lungs so I said to him, “Okay if we are not going to hit the body let’s hit the lungs.”

So on those days we do some pretty heavy hard toxic work where he is holding his breath while he is swimming slow and he is doing some easy under water kicking. You know he might do 75 underwater kicking just really easy and soft. You know those are the days when we hit the lungs and the other days we will just hit the body. And I went to that plan in 2009, I gave with the six months and we got the result we wanted and I got that same result with some other athletes I was working with, with [Indiscernible] [0:25:54] and some others it worked. You know and it was just, “Okay I will keep doing it then.”
You know, it was one of those things that – it’s high-risk and you are thinking so, “I can’t give this guy two full days off. He is one of the best athletes in the world.” And then at Saturday morning we weren’t doing anything Saturday morning either. Now other athletes are like killing themselves Saturday morning flying up and down the pool. You know but I said, “Just give me three days a week where you are giving everything you got in the gym and come out and give me everything in the pool and come back that night and went through the tank again. We will get the desired outcome to rewind. Then I will just give you the full 24 hours off and then start the process again.” So it worked [Indiscernible] .

This is something that I ask my strength coach to put in. Again, I’m not the strength coach. I am the swim coach [Indiscernible] [0:26:42] but this is something that he goes blind so it’s something that I have to understand. It’s something that I have to try and work with and it’s something that I have kind of modeled my swimming program off as well. Now, his philosophy in the first phase that I talked about, the endurance phase is he is trying to get the general conditioning and he is trying to get the body back into being able to lift again and lift heavy weights and throw weights around.

This period for him goes for about five weeks. Again, he is lifting three times a week. The intensities are down and the same as what they are in the pool for me. You know, you are still getting up to 70% of your max but it’s only up to 70% so the [Indiscernible] [0:27:27] is you know three to five. The sets is three to five sets and the [Indiscernible] [0:27:32] range is 8 to 10 kind of thing. You know what type of exercises there is a 101 different exercise but I have put a couple in there and not to confuse me too much. We don’t have to put too much in the slab but you know we do it [Indiscernible] complex which is you know, clean jerk press and deep squat.

They do processes of these so it’s an endurance type of activity but it’s lifting weights. What else we got in this? And some squat and all that sort of stuff, and bench press general stuff, upper-body strength but the bio complex and some other exercise that we do work on that endurance during that phase. It is really just getting the body back into shape and that’s all what we are trying to do in the pool during this phase as well, which I like to explain in too right now.

So if they can’t swim at the speed that he is wanted to be at the end of the season, what speed can he swim at? Because I want him to swim fast and so what is the speed that I am looking for and so I take it back to that 400. You know if Cesar can swim the 400 in what he is trying to be and be around in four minutes, let’s say he is a pretty talented athlete. I think he can go four minutes for a 400 long course. So if that’s the case, if that’s the maximum speed he can go for that. You know I will just break it down simply. I think that he can hold 60 seconds for hundreds and I think that’s pretty fast you know.

When you are early in your preparation you can hold 60-second hundreds long course that you are swimming pretty fast. It’s not the desire at speed that we want but it’s going to give you that endurance of factuality of those who can endure probably four to eight kind of thing and you know giving the example of that workout at second. You know during this period the rest is obviously shorter. This is where we manipulate the intensities and the volumes and the distances.

I never sprint him or I never asked him to go anything harder than a 200. Never. I never have and I never will. He doesn’t like it. So if I ask him to go 200 kick for time, that’s where it will and it will never be beyond that. You will just want to do it. I asked him to and that’s going to get 300 and you tell me to shove it. So I don’t ask him to do it. So 200 here you know, but usually if I’m going to get into swim you know something really intense it will probably be a 150 during this period and now give me a 150 or give me hundreds and that kind of thing.

So again, it’s like science in this. It’s kind of just I’m trying to develop the speed for the end of the season. So this is an example of the set that I would do and the way that Cesar works too and what I found over experience again is the way he likes to develop his workout. Since he likes to build into his workout so by the end, I think, covertly all the coach has talked about this today. You want them to feel successful and you want them to feel most powerful at the end of the set.

I don’t want to hit them with something that is so intense at the start of the set and by the end their stroke goes in to trash. The feeling about themselves is worthless. I want him feel like a world champion at the end of the set. So how do I get that? So what I do is build in these rounds of sets and I get him to feel certain things by and I manipulate the work to rest and all that sort of stuff. So an example of the set that I would do with him early in these his first period would be a 100 swim and a 50 kick, six times and then we were like get through 450s with easy back stroke with these three rounds with that.

First round is on 140 here and the kick is 145. What I’m asking him to do in this first round is just a whole of 120s and on the kick give me all out. So the highlight is being sparked on the kick and the effort is being inspired during he is going into a nice cruisey freestyle. You know, so for me he is getting that endurance and effect where the hotrod is working but he is not feeling like he is killing himself while he is swimming.

In the next round I will ask him to pick it up a little bit. We dropped the kick off a bit because obviously you know thirty five second kick is really intense so I asked him to bring that intensity back a bit but I will ask him to bring the swim up a little bit. [Indiscernible] [0:31:44] on 140 and 50 seconds for the kick and I am asking him to swim 110 for the hundred and move back to 40 seconds. So the hard ride during this time is just going all the time. It doesn’t get really any downtime in his heart rate. 110 for a big guy like him is pretty tough and it’s kind of laugh off a little bit when you got a big man like him. At 110 he complains a bit a lot.

So the program is around, I’m trying to get him the feel like he is a world champion. Okay I’m trying to get him the feel like he accomplished something and so you know he disguised the first few rounds and we are trying to get you know the work but maybe then… The third round is, all right, now we get into speed that I’m trying to get him to feel and now his bodies feeling like it’s really working at a hard rate.

So again, I keep the 100 on 140 and move the 50 back to 55 and I seem to swim as strong as he can and it’s somewhere around 60 seconds. And then just give me an Arabic kick okay. So he gets the chance to be kind of try to bring his heart rate down during the kick and I still ask him to get 45 seconds for the kick so we don’t float in the kick. He is still work during this period but his emphasis is really on that 100 you know. So this six 100 where he is working pretty hard during these early phase and that’s if I get that out of him and if I can get that stroke counted on one, you know if I can get that length that I want. If I can get him to look pretty during this then I feel like I have gotten the desired outcome.

I feel like what I’m trying to get is successful because what I found with most of these springs when you ask him to swim a 100 at 60 seconds it just turns messy. You know we all love the phase. These good guys can knock it out but the big spring is just getting ugly so if I build into this set and make him feel like a hero at the end and he walks away with a smile on his face I’m pretty happy. We are going to the second phase and after the first six weeks of doing work like this when we are building up with speed – stop doing that.

Again, this is the strength and this is from the strength coach, make a shift with two individual strength needs you know, based on the base strength. So again, for Cesar, he is the strongest person in the gym and so he goes to a different level than any other athlete that I coached. And this is the phase that he really enjoys. He enjoys getting stronger and so really works hard in the gym. So you know, I have to take that into account but he has got to go in the gym. He has got to kill himself.

So when am I going to get in the pool, when am I trying to get in the pool? What can I get? So this phase lasted about eight weeks. He is in the gym again for the same amount of three times a week but the percentage is going up. He is now lifting about 80% of his max. The reps are coming down as same as what I do in the pool. He is doing a few different exercises and he is braking up that exercise that we have talked before and now he is just doing them separately.

He is doing the hand cling and a snatch and then he is doing this push presser. Instead of doing it all together he is now breaking up the three different exercises and trying to get stronger at the same exercise he was doing together. So for me this is kind of a 200 tough phase where he is swimming at a true kind of 200 phase. The rest interval increases. You know 30 seconds to two minutes you know for his repeats because he needs a little longer and the distance is coming down.

Again, I wouldn’t get him to kick or swim or anything over 150 during his period. You know, the amount of time and he is really working is coming down too so he is coming out in an endurance phase and we are trying to get a little bit more quality for a sure amount of time. So for him and during his period if he could hold 26 seconds for 50s, you know 8 to 10 and 50s I feel like I have got the desired outcome. I mean, 26 seconds for push 50. You know within a set and you are doing it for you know for 20 minutes but if you are getting 8 to 10 [efforts] [0:35:52] during this period then he is hitting the wrong – you know, again we have taken that leap from the minute phase to now a true kind of 200 phase for him so again it’s another speed progression.

He is learning to swim faster with the same technique with the same length. So an example of the set here again, I always build my sets in for him so he feels successful. Here we got 1250s and then 1925s and 1950s and 1925s and 650s in 925s. On the 50s what were doing is we are just increasing the speed which increases the heart rate as you go down so we are going to do an easy backstroke and then we will go through kind of 140 hear rate where he is just holding that length and just setting the length up and setting the stroke up in every step that we do.

This is not reinforcing. It’s sitting it up and sitting it up, sitting it up and sitting it up and then applying the speed. In the 25s, here we are just setting up the temp by now. We are bringing in some of the temporal work. You know, so we got the length and now we are brining in some of the temporal and so you know, we stop by and we are doing an underwater hypoxic kick around 40 seconds and then you know we are doing one to three temporal for eleven to five for 25 long course.

You know, we are getting into that and that’s kind of for him that’s feeling the stroke and feeling the set. We will build into the [Indiscernible] [0:37:12] a little bit. At the second round we will do a couple of 50s with the backstroke in a couple of 50s in a higher heart rate. Just set the time and then for the 25s we are trying to pick up the temporal a little bit and increase the speed.

Again, he is building with the set so by the end of this he is going to feel superhuman. At the end he is going 650 and he is going one easy back stroke and one strong one. And here he is pushing 26 seconds for his 50s. And then on the temporal once he is going like a one temporal which is his 100 temporal and that 10 five for a push 25 and so now he is going to feel the true spirit. It’s time to come back again.

So if he sets like this in this block of time where he is building up his strength for that end result. My strength coach decided to combine these two periods. He starts here and it goes for six weeks and he stopped doing that. But I think for me it goes for a further longer but I think you know, during this period of time where we are pretty similar, this is where we make the shift into maximizing his power in explosiveness.

He is going to stroke. You know, he has got some endurance behind him and now we are making the shift into the power and getting that explosive power and getting that power in the front end of the stroking with the power in the kick. The body is prepared for this now. We have done 12 weeks of work. He is ready to live in the next phase.

Again, the lifting schedule doesn’t change but the intensity now jumps off to 95% and then sometimes a 1005 of what he can max out on. The set range is the same, three to five sets and the reps is coming down to anywhere between the six and two reps and sometimes we will do singles of stuff. Now, he might do a clean and jerk where he just picks it up and drops him on the ground. With that, that’s kind of a lighter – it’s probably a little closer to the type of phase where he is doing stuff like that.

He is going to do the hand clings from the blocks which is more specific to what he is trying to do. Hang-snatch and we are doing a split jerk you know, all types of exercises that increases his power and his explosiveness that he is trying to get out. And this is a hardly men’s stuff in the gym. This is a guy who could be – now if he put his mind into it an, Olympic lifter he really puts that much time and energy into his technique in the gym which then translates into his technique in the pool. So really values the stuff a great deal and so I have to value it with a great deal as well.

This period is kind of like the lactate training for me where he is generating a lot of lactate and so again, I didn’t do anything really out of the 75 meters in terms of sprints. I care usually at doing a 100 at the time and then during this period but generally when we are doing sprints it’s anywhere between 25 and 75 meters. This is his true 100-pace works.

So now we’re really getting to where we wanted to swim his hundred. It’s the last 12 weeks into the preparation. He’s hitting very specific paces. If I want him to go out in 22 mid, the first 50, reach 100, he’s going 22 mid in training. That’s what he’s doing. If I’m asking him to come back in 24 and a half seconds for the backend of his hundred, he’s got to hit those paces, there’s no excuses. That’s why we’re building those days of rest, because I demand those paces. You don’t go in 22 seconds in practice and you don’t give me 24 seconds for push 50s, then we’re not getting what we want. We’re not getting what we need.

This is very race-specific in this period. Here I put an example of 25 where César has to hit 10 flats. He holds himself to a high standard today. He’s probably going 9.7s, 9.6 for a 25 long course, 50 from the blocks. He’s pushing race-specific paces. Again, the efforts here, probably some are between 6 and 8 efforts that we’re trying to get that very specific. I figure, if he can give me part of a race or half of a race 6 times, we combine that together and during practice where at least you got one race out of him.

So you practice that 2, maybe 3 times a week for 6 weeks, you can go into a meat, pretty confident that you’re going to hit those paces when you need them.

An example of something we may do in this period will be 2 rounds if he’s feeling really good, maybe 1 round if that’s what we want but depending on what period or part of the period it is, so the backend we might do one round if it’s toward the front end of this period, we may do 2 rounds of this. He’ll start off just doing some very paced, 15 meters is kind of setting his stroke up, setting his power up and setting the speed up. Then we’ll move in to some descend, 25s from the blocks where by the third one he’s trying to hit that specific 9.7.

He holds himself to the standard. If he’s not hitting it, we need to figure out, it’s not going to happen today and we’ll just put an end to the set or we’ll find a way to make it happen. We have to get to this pace. We’re just going 10.5, we have to analyze straight away like you’re not ready for this today or you’re just not motivated for this today. Usually he’s not ready for it so we might just put an end to it, come back to it on a Wednesday or come back to it on a Friday, for the most part because he’s getting these days of rest, he’s really ready for these sets.

So we get the desired outcome every time we do this. Obviously we’ll throw in some kick in all of these sets because kick is the most important quality. The quads are obviously the biggest muscle in the body and we want those legs to be firing. We want the legs to work and so we’re always putting some fast kick in our practices.

Then if we’re doing some front end speed, we always find a way to put in some back end speed so we can measure it during the same workout or at least feel that during the same workout. So again, if he’s doing a push 50, I’m expecting him to be 24 and a half seconds with the drag suit on. That’s just the expectation.

Now we’re onto the 4th period. This is the period that I like because you’re going to have a lot of fun, this is the period where you’re just building that explosiveness. For us it does last about 6 weeks. Now in the college season, usually sometime around just before SCCs, we’ll set the bulkhead to 15 meters and put the touch pads in. So about 6 weeks out of NCII is when we’re doing this work. So again, about 6 weeks out of the world championships, we’re doing this type of stuff where it’s very explosive.

For him, before the Olympics, when I started to give him this rest period, we did a set 1 day where I asked him to go 4 15s on the touch pads where you held somewhere around 5.2, 5.3 with the drag suit on from a gun. So, I think his best time at the time was 5.18. So my expectation was for him to go 5.2, 5.3. I wanted him to be pretty fast. His expectation was he was going to go 5-0. So I asked him to go 4 efforts. He got to the 4th one, he was 5-22 I think. He wanted to go under his best time which is 5-18. For me 4/100, whatever, it’s nothing. But for him, it was the end of the world. He wasn’t faster than he was the previous workout.

So he ended up, he’d swim back, get back on the bunks, he’d be like “Brett, send me again.” He’d go again, and then 5.27. He swims right back, “Brett, get me again.” Bang, 5.29 and I was like, “Oh this is going downhill real quick.” He got to like 5.39 or 5.40 even. He was up to 5.40 by the 19th, 20th repeat. I’m like, “Oh my God, please.” This is like embarrassing now, just stop.

He hit 5-4 and I could see something just clicked in him and he swam straight back, and he just put one leg up on the blocks and he was like, “Brett this is the Olympic final. There’s no excuses on this one.” And jumped up, took off and was 5.08 or 5.09, just destroyed what he done. But he made it, he made his mind. He wasn’t going to settle for this crap any longer. It was now or never for him and he did it. That’s the kind of guy he is. That’s the kind of guy I’d like to see again.

In the 4th period, it’s just explosive movements. What can you do explosively? We use a lot of power acts, we use a lot of stretch cores, we do runners, we do the 15-meter pool. I like to use a lot of fins and paddles during this period because it keeps that length, stops you from chopping up too short the front of your stroke. Starts, turns and finishes are obviously crucial. We want to just be refining these over and over again.

Again we don’t do a lot of these. I’ll ask him to go 3 or 4 starts or 3 or 4 turns or 3 or 4 finishes but I want them to be perfect. I want them to look and feel the way he wants them to feel in 3 or 4 weeks from now. Because when we get to the end result, we’re not doing many of these things. It may be a couple of times a week where he’s really hitting exactly the way he wants it to feel in a race and that’s it. We’re kind of winding down the amount of explosiveness that we use in the last few weeks leading into a major meeting. Now I’ve been away with the Brazilian team the last few preparations and you see guys like doing all the speed work and doing 50s and starts over and over again, and he’ll get in, he’ll do 1 start, 2 starts or he’ll do a front end 25 or whatever it is, just something short and fast and that’s it, I hit it, I’m done. He’ll leave. So, he gets to a point where it’s perfection. He doesn’t need to repeat it over and over again in the last few weeks of a preparation.

This is kind of the back end of my talk so what I wanted to show you is the result. For us, the result is that in the last few years, in the lead up to the Olympics and the lead of to this World Championships, his stroke length was exactly where I want it to be. His stroke count was exactly where I want it to be. It was because we progressed through these 6-week blocks that we got this desired outcome. It wasn’t just by chance. We really set the stroke up in every practice and then try to bring in the speed with the stroke that he already had.

This is the desired outcome right here. I’m not a big scientist but when I look at numbers, from the analysis, there are a few things that stick out to me. I remember I got some analysis after the semi-final at the World Championships and Alain Bernard had just swam 47.2, and César had gone 47.8, which is his best time, and it was close to where we wanted him to be.

When I saw the rice, I was like, “Oh it’s good I know he can be better.” But I’m not just sure where. But then I got the analysis and it just like was glaringly obvious to me. It was like first of all, we can be better, second of all we can win this race. Where can we win it? Well right there in the stroke count. As far as I could see, Alain and César was going out and some very similar times, and they were coming back in very similar times. But the stroke count was so different. He was going out in 29 strokes and Bernard was going out in 34 in the semifinal anyway. And then he went out, he came back in 32 strokes and Bernard came back in 40 strokes. He’s a guy who’s the same height, who’s the same weight pretty much, who’s the same strength and he’s using so many more strokes.

So when I saw this analysis, I took a straight decision, I’m like, César this is what we want. You’re going to go out a little stronger, okay? If we have to push it to 30 strokes on the way up, you’re still taking 4 less than him. So he’s working a little bit harder than you. And if you have to push it up to 33 strokes on the way back, he’s still coming back in 40. He’s still working a little harder than you. You got to get him, I’m telling you. Push the front end a little bit, pick up the stroke count, try and get out in 22 –” I actually told him I wanted him out in 22.3.

I was like, “You went out in 22.6, I want you out in 22.3. If you’re out in 22.3, you’re winning this race. I guarantee you, and the way you’re going to do it is pick your stroke count up a little bit if you need to. Just push it, because you’re holding so much water now. It’s easy.” So this is the result. It was a reverse. He goes 46.9, Bernard is 47.1, he goes out in 30 strokes , comes back in 34, exactly what I wanted him to do. He splits 22.1 which is faster than I wanted him to split. He comes back in 24.7 which is about what I thought he could be. But the 22.1 set it all. It just set the race up.

Bernard goes out in 35 strokes and come back in 41. I mean that’s 12 strokes. A guy who’s the same height, same weight, same strength, he’s taking 12 extra strokes. To me that’s working harder, I don’t know. That’s just the way it seems to me. César got the desire outcome, he won.

So, let’s have a look at it. César is in line 5, Alain is in lane 4 and you’ll see it on the way down, you can see the stroke count, he’s working harder. Check it out. He killed him off the start too which helped. I mean just so long and it looks easy to me and he told me he’s working pretty hard but it looked easy. The turn was crucial for us. I wanted him to stay under and get onto that wave which he did really well. You can see there, Bernard is just like stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke. César is keeping that length that we worked on the whole preparation. It’s still really long there, really long, just length in to the finish, wins the race. That’s funny. Thank you.

I mean how easy did that look? That was a 46-second 100 freestyle. How easy did that look? It doesn’t make any sense. Don’t try to make any sense of it, all right? It’s crazy. But he didn’t see himself as a 100 freestyler at that point. I think it was really in the semi-final when I said to him we can win this thing, that I think he really believed he could. He sees himself as a 50 freestyler for whatever reason. I don’t think he likes the pain on the 100. But I think when you prepare adequately, you can finish the race, and that’s the way we did it.

Let me go to the next slide. I’m trying to get to the next slide. Where’s my tech guy? There we go, thank you. So the same thing in the 50 freestyle, his training partner, Fred qualifies fastest, or maybe not, I don’t know. Maybe he did, yeah. 21.2 he goes in the semifinal. We’ve raced Fred all season in practice, so it was kind of like, “How do we win this thing?” He goes 21.3 in the semifinal, Fred goes 21.2. How do we win it? Well let’s look at it.

It starts off at 57 and drops to 53. Fred is at 63 and drops to 55. The distance per stroke is 2.46 meters down to 2.37. Fred’s is 2.2 down to 2.1. Again, he’s taking less, as far as I could tell, he was just doing it easier. He was holding good water, he had more distance per stroke and his 15-meter as you see there is 5.3 and his 25 is 9.7. I said to him, “You’ve been going that everyday in practice. I don’t want to see it at the World Championships. Give me something extra. I know you got more in you. Pick up the stroke right again. Shorten the distance per stroke a little bit. I’m not saying a whole lot but just make those adjustments. Work that front end a little bit better.” So in the final that’s what he did.

He goes out in 5.2, hits 9.5 for his 25, picks up his stroke rate, brings his distance per stroke down a little bit, gets the desired outcome and that’s how he won it. I think the same thing carried over when he actually broke the world record later in December when he went under 21 seconds. He swam very similar to this. Let’s have a look at this 50 freestyle. César is there in lane 6. I think Fred is lane 4 which is 2 over from him. You can see Fred just tearing up the water like he does.

Oh come on, not now man, not now. All right trust me, he won. The computer died on me. Let’s turn it off. That’s it. Anyway, thank you.

All right there’s many things that went into this performance and obviously there’s many things that I could talk about, the psychology of it. I just graduated with a psychology degree which I’m really happy with. But, you know there was a whole bunch of that that I didn’t talk about. I really just tried to keep it to how we set up his stroke and the way we build the season. If you guys have got questions, I’ll be glad to take any questions in regard, yeah.

[audience member]: [Inaudible] [0:56:38] the reason with Gatorade Challenge.

[BH]: Gatorade Challenge? You didn’t watch that, did you? That was a joke, come on man. I was young, all right. But you know what, I try and mix up the training for those guys. I try and stimulat7e them in many different ways and when we had a camera coming in, it was just the nature of a sprinter and a sprint coach to want to put on some sort of show. So we did the Gatorade Challenge and thought it was pretty good. Yeah?

[audience member]: You obviously have 2 guys that use totally 2 different strokes. Did you ever try to have one something like the other and the other something like the other?

[BH]: No, absolutely not, no. I prefer if they8 didn’t look like each other because they don’t want to look like each other. They want to beat the hell out of each other. So, you look great doing that and you look great doing that. They’ve got their own unique styles and both very effective.

So no, I try not to. All I’m trying to get is that stroke length. If Fred ride up a little bit more, that’s great. Ride up, don’t slip. If anyone has seen the European Championships where Fred just went 21.3, I spoke to him after the prelims and he said to me, “Look Brett, I’m going to cruise in to the semifinals. Can I just take it easy?” I said, “No, I don’t want you to take it easy. Let’s work the first 35 meters and then give me just length, just bring it back to just long, easy swimming.” And he did that and he went 21.3 and then he comes back the next night and tries to rip it up and goes 21.4.

So I think there’s something you’ll be setting that. The length in sprint and I think too often, we try and tear at the water and we think that’s sprinting. We saw all this splash and we don’t really know what to make of it. But if you’re a sprinter or you’re doing the event, it’s an odd form. So you’re trying to hold as much water as you can. You try to make it as easy as you possibly can.

So that’s what I try and do with those guys, make them look pretty doing it. Fred can look a little ugly sometimes. We call him monkey arms but he’s got this thing that he’s trying. I know that there are some coaches in the room, Dave Durden and David Marsh who’ve set foot up. So I didn’t want to mess with what they created. I just wanted to try and make it better and help in some sense so, just keep the length. If you can keep the length and you have a chance of doing something in the sprint. So I’m just trying to play with their strokes in that sense. Yeah?

[audience member]: Doing one of that, what type of training things do you do so that they can make a chain between prelim and the finals of, okay, increase your stroke rate without spinning. Well if there’s something you think you can work with them so that they’re aware of how to do that?

[BH]: Yeah I mean I try and get them relaxed. Don’t go in there with tension. If there’s tension, you got to put tension in the water. So we try and relax them before the race. We try and find ways that they can ground themselves, center themselves, feel really relaxed and chilled. Obviously if you’re at a World Championships or Olympics, it’s tough. I just try and instill belief in them. It’s part of where the psychology comes in with the athletes that I work with is that I tell them that I believe in them, and so that makes them feel secure.

The work is already being done. They can sprint. If the work hasn’t quite worked out the way you wanted it to or there are some mistakes made, I didn’t want to talk about this season but I will talk about a little bit. There’s probably some little mistakes made that we could have done better. So in that instance, when you’re at a meet, you try to make those adjustments. But when you feel like you’ve done everything right, you’re going to really have to make these adjustments. You just have to make them believe they can do it. So really trying to relax them and make them believe they can do it. Yeah.

[audience member]: You’re over the 2 swimmers at the same time?

[BH]: Yes I do. I try and not put them up against each other all the time. so Fred might be at the front of the line, César would be at the back or vice versa. If they’re doing 25 sprints, they won’t be next to each other doing the sprints. If they’re in the gym, they’ll be doing different exercises. They like to have the identity. It’s like 2 lines. You don’t want to put 2 lines together all the time. Every now and then it’s good for them to compete and bring out the best in each other but it’s the separation that’s probably the best.

What I find is that I’ll get César to do something and Fred will just be sitting back watching and in his mind he’s like, “I’ve got to be better than that.” So then I’ll get him to do it and he’ll try and be better, and then in César’s mind, “I got to be better than that Frenchman because he speaks French and I’m also going to try and find away to be better than him. So that’s the way it goes.

[audience member]: The rest of the squad in the pool at the same time?

[BH]: Oh yeah. I don’t do separate workouts, no. I mean I like the guys but they’re not that special. Yeah?

[inaudible question from the audience]

[BH]: Yeah it’s something that we’ve been experimenting with. I try and get them to relax in the first 300 of the warm up to stretch out the stroke a little bit, and then we do some kind of connection drill or they might do some kicking with their arms by their side, head position stuff, just setting the stroke up, maybe do some drilling.

One of the things that I like to do is a 300 where it’s kind of I get them to go like 10 meters on and then 20 meters off, something like that. So it’s just short burst of legs and then just go into some easy kicking. I do that for a 300 kind of continuous, warm the legs up. Then I get them to do some type of hypoxic work where they might do 450s where they go 3, 2, 1 and then zero breath, just warming the lungs up. They find that really easy. After all the hypoxic work that we’ve been doing, that stuff is really easy to them. It kind of gets them ready.

Then we’ll just do some varied speed work. They might do a couple of breakout 15s or it might be in and out of a turn, something like that. Fred, in a couple of preparations we go where he’s swimming really fast, he did 450s descend. The 1st one was just easy, 2nd one he put a little bit of stroke into it, 3rd one probably around 26, 27 seconds and then the 4th one he’d be right on 24 seconds, right on his back end speed. I mean everyone is a little bit different.

The warm up lasts anywhere between kind of 900 and 1200 for the most part and then they hit the showers kind of thing, and then it’s just a lot of trying to get that ready as well. Yeah?

[audience member]: You don’t plan your warm down [Inaudible] [1:03:48]

[BH]: Warm downs, another thing is you just experiment with it. We’re playing around with cold tubs, obviously everybody does that these days, massage after the race or just a flush after the race and obviously just swimming. I get them to swim easy. I think when I swam, the training team went through this phase where you would have to do like short bursts of speed within your cool down. We don’t really do that. these days we just get in and just swim until the heart rates down 100 beats kind of thing and then either hit them in the cold tub or get a flush. Yeah?

[audience member]: How close to competition do you start with?

[BH]: Pretty close. We go all the way up. It’s a good question. When I was swimming, we couldn’t lift — did that die? I think is dead, isn’t it? Everything has died on me right now. It’s good? All right, I wouldn’t lift like 3 weeks out — this thing sucks. I’m going to get another microphone.

For these guys I found that the best results I get now or if they lift up to 3 to 4 days out of a meet, it’s just touching stuff again. It’s the same concept of what they’re doing in the pool and they might just do a 15 meter blast and that’s it and you think to yourself, that’s it for like a weekend or a 2 weeks out. For them they’ll just get in and throw some medicine balls around or maybe do a clean and jerk and that’s it.

It’s really just touching stuff. So nothing ever disappears completely in our program, it’s just a progression down of how we do things. So that makes it easy for me. I don’t have to go through all this, “Am I tapering right? Am I doing this, am I doing that? Am I eliminating this?” Everything just stays the same and it just tapers down. So it’s worked out pretty well. Yeah?

[audience member]: It was fun watching situations taking home so many — both records a few years ago and I took a high school kid with me and I said, “Watch how they warm up and warm down.” It was amazing how you got performance ready in about 15, 20 minutes that you got yourselves ready.

[BH]: Yeah.

[audience member]: One of the things I noticed is during the race though, César looked like he was bouncing off the trampoline on the clearance, going to where he go, how did he got leg strain [Inaudible] [1:06:19]?

[BH]: He does a lot of explosive moments, a lot of plyometrics. Our strength coach again is fantastic in developing the plyometrics and they have a progression for the plyometrics as well which lasts probably 10 to 12 weeks.

So, it’s fairly detailed in trying to get that spring. It just doesn’t happen, he’s not born with it. He’s born with some gifts but certainly it’s something that we develop fairly strongly and so, sometimes he’ll do box jumps, you know the box will be kind of up here and he’ll jump up like a cat on that thing. That’s towards the end but they do a lot of explosive movements, jumping up on the things, jumping off things and then jumping into the air, they do movements with weights as well. We’re looking for something more specific in the pool.

[audience member]: What’s applicable to a high school athlete if they don’t have access to the Olympic lift, like training for the Olympic lift?

[BH]: I appreciate the fact that you want me to talk about high school athletes but I couldn’t do it. If I gave a high school athlete some of the things that we do, they’ll end up in hospital. It’s scary to me to want to talk about that stuff, because these guys are professional athletes and that’s who I work with honestly and I haven’t been into a high school gym to really see what they’re doing but I would say that the more basic the plyometric, the better it would be.

We do fairly specific stuff, fairly detailed stuff and so I’m certainly not trying to advocate for that. But it’s just the level of where they’re at. But I would keep it basic, just simple jumps up in the boxes. If you’re looking for power in the front of the stroke, just try medicine balls down onto the ground. Things like that where it’s explosive movements where you’re generating that fast twitch. Yes?

[indiscernible question from the audience]

[BH]: Well it’s changed a lot in the last few years. It used to be about an hour between the warm ups. Now it’s probably about 30 minutes. He likes to get his warm up in and then just sit with these legs in the air and kind of just center himself and really prepare his mind. The final phase before he walks into the marshalling area or the ready room is preparing the mind, because the body is going to do whatever the mind tells it to do at that point in time.

We’ve been lucky in the last few years where he has got his mind ready to race. I remembered before the Olympics, I’m thinking to myself, here’s a 21-year-old athlete, never been in an Olympic final, or never been in the Olympics before is in the Olympic final in the 100 but he’s in lane 4 at the Olympics, 21 years old and I want him to win, he wants to win, his family wants him to win. He’s got all this expectation from Brazil, how is he going to win? I remember I’m like looking in his eyes and his eyes just telling me, don’t worry I’m ready to win, I’ve got it.

So whatever he did in that period after he got out of the pool, maybe it was during the period in the pool or he’s warming up, he was getting his mind ready. Now, on the bus on the way to the water cube or ice cube or whatever they called it, he was relaxed. He was having fun with his Brazilian teammates. He’s not even thinking about the race. But when he steps on deck, it’s business. It’s like, “I’m there for a purpose” and part of that warm up is getting his mind ready. Once he’s out on the pool it’s really just talking to himself over and over again just saying positive — just positive reinforcement about what he’s going to do and how he’s going to do it.

So for me it’s been great to watch that and experience that. It’s made me look really good, but he’s kind of the one on the side just taking care of business. Yeah?

[audience member]: Do you increase the intensity, do you increase the number of touches per second first on your planned training?

[BH]: First of all it’s volume. We’re doing volume, and then once we get the volume of the jumps again, we’ll reduce it. We may add weight to the jumps. He may jump up on the boxes with weights. He may jump down with medicine bowls and throw explosive medicine balls. Again, it’s preparing the body for what you want at the end. So, it’s a very explosive movement that we’re trying to gain, we’re trying to get him to spring off the blocks better than anybody else. We’re trying to get him to bounce off the walls. We’re trying to get him to pop out of his breakouts. Really, really high intensity movements and we’re trying to get them to happen without him thinking about it. They’re supposed to happen automatically.

So, the progression in the wait room is very detailed. We’ll start off in that endurance type, getting the body ready for it and then building in the explosive movements as we go down the track. Again, this presentation hasn’t scratched the surface of where I think we can go or what we can do or how we can do it. I’m a big believer in kind of the rich and quick philosophy. One day very soon, somebody is going to be swimming 44 seconds in 100 freestyle. Somebody is going to be swimming under 20 seconds in the 50 freestyle. Whether you believe it or not, it’s going to happen. We just have to start to believe it. We just have to start to try to get to that level.

Right now it seems like a fantasy but we can do it. For me this is just the first phase of trying to get to there and I’m going to keep experimenting, keep playing and hopefully I’ll have some great athletes to work with. For me this is kind of the years of experimenting with sprint and getting the best result as far as I’m concerned. I was in programs where the first phase was just your endurance block, you just swim. No technique, it was all just kind of depressing to really think about it.

But I’m trying to get these guys to sprint. So how do we sprint from the very beginning, and so we build that season as it goes.

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