Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: How Long Should Dryland Training Be?

Depending on the objective of the training. sessions will vary in length.

Contributed by Deniz Hekmati – Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Sport Scientist 

The length of our workouts on land will largely be dependent on what the objective of the session is.

Workouts during the season can be longer, and workout during taper may be shorter – at least in terms of the actual work-time, compared to the prep- and cool-down time.

Generally speaking, the body has about a good 30-45 minutes of “making strength gains.” Past this time, we tend not to get as much adaptations from the training, beyond endurance, mental strength, and resilience. If we want to develop strength, power, or add muscle mass, our total work time should not exceed 45 minutes to be a full body incorporation.

Warm-ups can range from 5-20 minutes depending on prior daily activity, such as swimming. If the lift is the first session of the day, I encourage more time to warm-up and prepare the body properly before getting after it.

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Cool-downs are important, yet very individual and should definitely be incorporated. Each swimmer has their own favorite way of cooling down, so I encourage letting swimmer be free, exploratory, and productive – Recovery time is just shown to be significantly shortened with a proper cool-down, and we can use that time wisely if we know how to properly utilize the cool-down equipment.

That being said, some swimmers can be done in either 45 minutes, while others may need up to 90-minutes in total time spent in the gym.

For dryland training- time can be utilized 5-30 minutes as a warm up before swimming to mobilize and prepare the body for swimming. Most commonly, I see added work and volume without true meaning.

I do think that our swimming community can overdo the dryland training and forget to focus up on important details, such as range of motion, balance, and overall injury prevention, which starts from the core.

In 2020, use the time spent outside the pool wisely because it can literally save our swimmers shoulders.

See more videos from Swimmer Strength Coach Deniz Hekmati:

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Age to Start Dryland Training or Strength Training

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: When to Add Weight to Strength Training

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: McGill 3 Core Exercises

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Shoulder Pain

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Yoga and Swimming

About Coach Deniz Hekmati, MS, CSCS

Sweden native, Deniz Hekmati is a strength & conditioning specialist and sport scientist. He was a breaststroker at Arizona State University and a silver medalist at the Swedish National Championships. In his coaching career, he has worked with age-groupers, high schoolers, collegiate teams, and elite level post graduate athletes. Deniz’s philosophy is to learn each athlete’s individual stage of physical and mental readiness, and then design the most appropriate training protocol in a way that resonates with the individual and team.  He offers in-person or online training.  Try his 10-day free online training.

Note: All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.