A Non-Conventional Approach To Strength And Power Development in Aquatic Athletes

A Non-Conventional Approach To Strength And Power Development in Aquatic Athletes

September 10, 2014 0 By ApexPredatorAthletics

Monday night the Apex Predator Athletics Research Team (APART) gathered baseline aquatic data with California State Monterey Bay Women’s Water Polo(CSUMBWWP).  The team’s in-water metrics and land based strength and endurance testing scores will be measured throughout the three-phase strength cycle they will be following.  The program is a sport-specific design developed by Coach Scheppler, with a heavy emphasis on explosive hip movements.  Below is a short summary of the training design.


By introducing dynamic, explosive hip movements and a mode-specific strength and conditioning program to aquatic athletes, we can improve strength and power performance in an environment not traditionally associated with strength and conditioning. Total volume of movements will be minimized in an effort to lower the injury rate amongst our target population; no weighted exercise will exceed 8 repetitions, and traditional core movements will be augmented by gymnastic exercises.

The training and testing cycle will encompass 3 months (13 weeks), with a pre-phase test to be administered at the beginning of each cycle and one final test being performed prior to winter break.  If possible, athletes will again be tested immediately following the break, and one final time post-season to measure drop off post training cycle.

Water Polo is a unique sport in that its relationship to the tactical maritime athlete is direct.  The ability to exert force in a dynamic explosive fashion provides an advantage both in collegiate play as well as in a rescue or combat scenario.

Polo Team 6 aka POLOGRU - caption credit Coach Ian Visible

Polo Team 6 aka POLOGRU – caption credit Coach Ian Visible

Total strength in the water is relative to mastery of the domain.  An athlete’s ability to deadlift 400 lbs is negated if they are incapable of transferring that strength in a single upward movement to block a pass or close the reaction gap to a survivor.  While endurance is usually considered to be the hallmark indicator of an individual’s athletic ability, if this same person cannot exert strength dynamically when needed, then all the endurance in the world won’t matter if the survivor slips under the waves before you get there, or the ball flies over your head and out of your reach.

We will be conducting 4 tests in the water.

– Max vertical leap from water line (3 attempts)

– Max cross bar touches to water line (30 sec interval / 2 attempts)

– Mid range sprint test 

– Endurance swim test (3 possession simulation – 150 meter wallless swim)

We will be conducting 9 tests on dry land

– Max push ups (2 min)

– Max sit ups (2 min)

– Max pull ups (2 min)

– Max vertical leap (3 attempts)

– 1RM

– BP

– BS

– FS

– PP


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