Biology of Swimming Contents

Part One: How the Swimming Machine Works

  • Muscle- How it Works
    • Sarcomeres: The Base Unit of Muscle
    • Myosin Heads: The Movers
    • Swimming Long is Against Biology
    • Muscle Damage: Explaining Soreness
  • Energy Systems- The Ultimate Hybrid
    • ATP:Pure Energy
    • Phosphagen system: The Energy Already Sitting Around
    • Glycolysis: Burning sugar
    • Aerobic: Efficient Burning
    • The Race Chooses the Engine.
    • Fuel for each Engine
  • Muscle Types- Sprinter vs. Miler
    • The Spectrum: Fast vs. Slow Twitch Fibers
    • Number of Fibers vs. Size of Fibers
    • Changing-ish your Muscle
    • Sprinters in the Mile and Milers in the 50

  • The Motor Unit- The Basics of Control
    • The Nerve Highway
    • Motor units Big and Small
    • Different Strokes Means Different Motor Units
    • Unlocking your Nerve Potential
      • Cardio- The Pump that Never Stops
        • The Circuit: A Pump and the Blood Highway
        • VO2: How big is your Fire?
        • Cardiac Output: How the Pump Works
        • Explaining all your Worst Feelings

      • Lungs- Breathing and Acid Control
        • Getting the Air next to the Blood
        • Why do we Feel Air Hungry?
        • Dealing with Acid:  Lactate and CO2 in the Blood
        • Lung Capacity and Breathing Muscles
        • Lactate Threshold- The Ultimate Endurance Test
          • Following the Acid: Creation to Elimination
          • What is the Lactate Threshold?
          • How to Test the Threshold
          • Lactate Threshold Graphs for Sprinters and Milers
        • Hormones-  Masters of the Machine
          • Training Hormones: Maintaining Sugars and Pressures
          • Recovery Hormones: Refuel, Rebuild, and Rehydrate

          Part Two: How the Swimming Machine Adapts

          • The Basics- What's the best workout? 
            • Science studies in swimming: tough to generalize
            • Specificity: Get better by Doing
            • Playing the physics game vs. the biology game
            • Elite athletes: their start point and maximum ability to train
          • Endurance Training- Laying a foundation
            • Aerobic Power: VO2max Training
            • Aerobic Endurance: Mitochondrial Training
          • Sprint Training- Top speed that lasts
            • Speed Training: Nerves and Muscle Angles
            • Lactate Tolerance: Buffering and Hypertrophy
          • Motor Learning- Cementing habits
            • Motor Pattern: Technique
            • Motor Learning: Writing Motor Pattern Programs
          • Taper- Super Compensating
            • Day by Day Changes during Taper
            • Types of Taper: Minor, Major, Retaper
          • Overtraining- Too Much of a Good Thing 
            • Over-reaching vs. Overtraining
            • What does Overtraining Look Like and How to Test for it
            • How to fix Overtraining and Stop it from Happening Again
            • Dryland/Lifting- Building In-Water Power... Out of the Water
              • How Dryland Helps You Swim Faster
              • Circuit, Strength, Power and Speed Training
              • Flexibility: Increasing Power and Decreasing Drag

                Part Three: How the Swimming Machine is Perfected (on the way!)

                  • Physics
                    • Power to Drag ratio
                    • Bernoulli vs. Newton
                    • Drag in the water
                    • Shaving
                    • H2O dynamics
                    • Body shape
                  • Nutrition
                    • Training
                      • Meet Day
                      • Controlling body weight- Put good in, get good out
                      • Supplements- Optimizing training and recovery
                      • Cheating- Understanding super-biology helps understand everyday biology
                    • Injury
                      • Common Injuries
                      • Prevention
                      • Rehab
                    • Psychology
                      • Getting psyched: the balance between emotion and focus
                      • Sleep
                      • Motivation
                      • Visualizing- linking the body and the mind
                      • How reflexes/instincts get in the way (drowning, righting reflex, parachute reflex)