Effects of training on performance in competitive swimming

Can J Appl Physiol. 1995 Dec;20(4):395-406. doi: 10.1139/h95-031.


The relationships between the mean intensity of a training season, training volume and frequency, and the variations in performance were studied in a group of 18 elite swimmers. Additionally, differences between the swimmers who improved their personal record of the previous year during the follow-up training season (GIR, n = 8) and those who did not (GNI, n = 10) were investigated. The improvement in performance during the follow-up season was significantly correlated with the mean intensity of the training season (r = 0.69, p < 0.01), but not with training volume or frequency. The performance improvement during the follow-up season was negatively related to the initial performance level (r = 0.90, p < 0.01). The decline in performance during detraining from the previous year was less for the GIR than for the GNI (6.21 +/- 2.30% vs. 9.79 +/- 2.18%, p < 0.01). The present findings suggest that training intensity is the key factor in performance improvement in a group of elite swimmers. Factors such as previous detraining and initial performance level could jeopardize success in spite of a good adaptation to training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lactates / blood
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Swimming / education*
  • Swimming / physiology*


  • Lactates