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Zara Dampney gets ‘swim fit’ with Speedo

To diversify her volleyball training and show the benefits of swimming in cross training, Olympic Volleyball player Zara Dampney recently undertook a bespoke six-week Swim Fit training programme with Speedo ambassador, Karen Pickering.

To diversify her volleyball training and show the benefits of swimming in cross training, Olympic Volleyball player Zara Dampney recently undertook a bespoke six-week Swim Fit training programme with Speedo ambassador, Karen Pickering.


The programme involved Zara taking to the water twice a week for up to an hour, and incorporated sessions to target speed, power, lung strength, flexibility, muscle toning and fitness.


Zara’s fitness was closely gauged by experts at the University of Bath, with fitness testing taking place before and after the programme to accurately track her improvements. Incredibly after just six weeks, Zara lost 2kg, reducing her body fact percentage by almost three per cent; along with an improvement of 15 percent in her lung capacity.


The swimming sessions also contributed towards great improvements in Zara’s upper body strength, closely related to swimming, but also in her general fitness, which is a huge achievement for an athlete already training at Olympic level.


Tests like the Wingate Test, an anaerobic test on an exercise bike, showed an improvement of 79 percent and the VO2 Test, which shows how much oxygen is consumed while exercising; similarly saw an improvement of 10 percent. Jonathan Robinson, Human Performance Centre Lab Director at University of Bath, said: “The VO2 Max Test is truly the gold standard aerobic fitness and capacity test and will be very sensitive to changes in fitness. It shows that the swim fitness training programme has had a significant effect on Zara’s land based fitness capabilities”

Zara herself admits she is now a convert to swimming: "I'm a convert. I feel great when I'm doing it! I don't have that dread. When I go for a run I think, 'Oh god, it's going to be really horrible. I'm going to have to push through.'


"With swimming, because you don't have the impact and because it's quite therapeutic in the pool, it's quite easy to keep going. I'm telling all my friends to get swimming!"


If you want to Get Speedo Fit like Zara, visit the Speedo Hub on the Men's and Women's health website here. Goodluck!