Latest: Adam Peaty Smashes World Record To Take Gold In 100m Breaststroke
Team GB’s Adam Peaty has won his first gold medal in the Rio 2016 Games, at the age of 21. He smashed his own world record to win the race in 57.13 seconds – by comparison, Michael Phelps‘ career best was 1:02.57, a full 5.44 seconds slower, although it is not one of his specialist strokes. So, how did Adam Peaty win so easily?
Today’s swimmers all train in a very similar fashion, so you can learn as much from reading about Phelps’ training routines as we can learn today from Peaty.
Peaty has been trained by Mel Marshall since he was 14 years old. Mel described first seeing Peaty swim at a City of Derby swimming club – she described him as swimming freestyle badly in the slow lane, certainly nothing special, but then he changed to breaststroke and immediately she saw his potential – he was a natural.
From that day Peaty committed to the breaststroke. So this is the first lesson – find what you are good at and work on that. Peaty will not be the next Phelps (who now has 19 Olympic Golds), but he can certainly beat him in his specialist stroke!
The key to his success is his commitment to training. Nothing else matters and he has given it his 100% since he started working with Mel Marshall. This means starting at sunrise each morning (well, before sunrise in the winter!) and finishing after dark every night.
However, it almost did not happen. In 2012 he was starting to become more interested in going out and socializing – it was seeing his old friend, Craig Benson, made the semi-finals in London 2012, and he knew that he could better him if he really tried!
Full Time Training
From that day, Peaty dropped out of college so that he could train full time. No more early morning starts and night-time swims – he started training at the optimum times, allowing proper time for nutrition and recovery, something not possible when you’re also studying or working full time. By the time he was 19, Peaty competed in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and beat Van der Burgh, the Olympic champion, and Peaty’s idol. He also broke the Games’ record. The following month in the European Championships he won four gold medals, and then the following year he broke Van der Burgh’s world record at the British Championship.
Superman Push Ups
Swimming training requires a combination of pool training and dry training. Endurance is vital as well as explosive power. For this he does cardio training (often on an exercise bike) and weight training.
Plyometrics play a role too, as can be seen with his “superman press-ups”, which he shared on his Instagram account. He also works with a medicine ball to build power as well as powerlifting – 6 months ago during winter training he beat his deadlift PB
Max Heart Rate – Sprint Training ….
Peaty says that during training his heart rate often hits maximum – 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 is classic Tabata training, a.k.a. MetCon training.
…. Then Gym Training
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.
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.”