Day in the Life:
“I’m a massive believer that all areas of your life need to be equal for you to perform at your best. Lifestyle, family, and friendships. If one is out then you are not going to be at that level.” These are the words of world-renowned breaststroker Adam Peaty — and no one does it better than him. Aged 22, the London based swimmer manages to continuously smash the world record for the 100 breaststroke — with no one within the second of breaking his time. Currently at 57.1, Peaty sheds more time off his unmatched record with each and every event he swims, finishing the 2017-18 season with two world records in the 50 and 100 breaststroke. He’s a swimmer no one wants to miss, and he’s far from slowing down in the competitive field.
Peaty goes in depth of his life and what it takes in becoming a world-class athlete, making each day of training count. Take a look into how he manages to make a splash at every event he swims:
6 AM – First Meal of the Day
Adam starts off his days early with a quick and easy meal, preparing for the long day of training ahead. “I tend to have high protein granola with soya milk,” Peaty reveals, keeping his intake high in proteins and low in carbs for his morning workout. Occasionally he subs two protein bars or a porridge pot, depending on the intensity of the day.
“Even though I’m spending about nearly 8,000 calories a day, I still got to make sure that it’s really healthy energy” As Peaty finishes up breakfast, he gets his body prepared to jump in the water at 8 o’clock.
8 AM – Training in the Water
Fueled up and ready to go, Peaty’s training in the water revolves around fast-paced intervals and few recoveries. As a short-distance swimmer, Coach Melanie Marshall structures the basis of his workouts on sprints that require his heart rate to hit its maximum.
“My most painful training session is when I am training at my heart-rate max. That means my body cannot physically work any harder to get the blood pumping around my body. 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.”
When swimming back and forth becomes tedious, Peaty always tries to keep his mind running to maintain his focus and determination. Although the laps in the sets he does are short, there are several of them for endurance. As for every swimmer, focusing on hitting intervals requires a tremendous amount of discipline, especially for high-intensity sets like these.
20 X 100 Long Course Meters @ 1:25
75 Freestyle/25 Breaststroke
Descent of the blocks every fourth
20 or 25 second breaks in between every 100 meters The last few the interval is changed to 57 or 56
In short, it’s a lot of training – and the day has only begun.
10 AM – Weight Training
Just as his swimming, Peaty’s gym sessions are made of both endurance and power sets. A typical session involves heavy weightlifting with a range of free weight exercises. They are more favorable towards swimmers to practice maintaining technique under a lot of tension, similar to inside the water. From insane superman pushups to deadweight lifts, these workouts are nothing less of brutal, and they provide results.
“To build lean muscle I do a lot of squats, deadlifts and pull-ups. Earlier in the year I do big weights and fewer reps but before the Olympics it was more about lifting lighter weights more quickly for explosive power. It is very, very tough to get to this kind of level.”
With his level of the physique, there’s no doubt his regime provides results. Whether it be in the water or land, Peaty ensures he goes above and beyond during practice.
11 AM – Rest and Eat
Every day is different for any athlete. Depending on the season of training, Peaty will get out at 11 AM or 12 PM after hours of crushing it at the gym or pool. This crucial time is for regaining energy for the next session later on in the day.
“When I’m training, it’s game time, but as soon as I finish a race [or practice] I completely switch off.”
He always makes sure to find his balance through eating, napping, playing video games, or enjoying other people’s company: only then he can perform at his greatest. The amount of stress on anyone’s mind and body is overwhelming as a swimmer, and during his breaks, he tries not to think about what he’s going to do next for practice. It’s a simple philosophy: how well-rested you are is completely contingent on how you are going to perform, and constantly thinking about swimming will only lead to burnout.
3:30 PM – More Training
There’s no doubt about how sore Peaty gets at the start of the second swim. This is the time it really matters. Through all the high-intensity workouts in the morning, this practice is a test of his consistency. The lactic acid from the first two exercises has set in, so mental toughness is what gets him to the homestretch at the end of the pool.
Peaty visualizes himself in a position of flourishment when the pain hurts the most: that is how his visualizations become realities in his races.
5:30 PM – Eat… A LOT
The calories burned from the entire day need to be replenished, and dinner is when Peaty eats his most. Just as his other meals, they require high amounts of protein and low amounts of fats or carbs. Anything from salmon to chicken to prawns, Peaty adds on whole grain rice or quinoa to fill up the lost calories. Piled high are cooked vegetables such as asparagus and broccoli. Totaled up at the end of the day, he eats approximately 8,000 calories worth of healthy, lean meals.
6:30 PM – Family, Friends, and Video Games
Again, as a firm believer of balance, Peaty spends the last few hours before he hits the hay with family and friends. As a two-time world record holder, you’d think his life would revolve around swim 24/7, right?
“Sometimes I go downstairs and my mum and dad are watching one of my races and I tell them to switch it off,” Peaty insists. “ If I start seeing that, I can’t stop thinking about it all night which means you are losing energy where you should be gaining energy.”
He’s a huge fanatic of video games, and it isn’t something he hides. Playing a wide genre of games, Peaty enjoys computer games the most like every other person. He tries not to stay up too late though, calling the day at 9:30 PM.
Ready to start another full day of work.
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