In the late ’50s and ’60s, future Olympic legends Mark Spitz and Debbie Meyer were knifing through the pool at the Arden Hills Swim Club. In total, Arden his has produced 31 Olympic medals, 21 of them gold. Today, prospective Olympians and top swimmers are doing the same thing—but now they’re using CrossFit too.
The mission of the Arden Hills USA Swim Team is to help athletes reach their full potential and follow their Olympic dreams, and head coach Brian Nabeta has decided CrossFit is going to help them do so. Nabeta introduced CrossFit in the fall of 2008, and he reports that he saw impressive strength gains in the first three months. Improved swim times followed. He wrote about integrating CrossFit and swimming in the CrossFit Journal article Pukie at the Pool.
Just like other top athletes, the swimmers at Arden Hills have discovered they can achieve elite performances with lower volume. The key, of course, is the intensity of the training, not the yardage in the pool. With CrossFit, Nabeta is seeing stronger swimmers who use their powerful bodies to cut through the water and drive out of the turns. Starting the day with a WOD allows Nabeta to condition the athletes before he gets them into the pool to perfect their technique.
Brian himself works out at CrossFit East Sacramento and is a Level 1 trainer, and he was also recently selected as a swimming coach on the United States World Youth Team that will compete in Spain. Since starting the program, both he and his wife Cherie have lost weight and regained their competitive conditioning, and Brian’s out-of-control cholesterol is back to normal without meds.
Nabeta’s athletes are stronger and fitter, too. Many are well on their way to scholarships and perhaps even the Olympics. Visit CrossFit Arden Hills Swimming for WODs and more information.
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