James Guy adds power to performance for 2018 European Swimming Championships

james guy swimmer

James Guy has been working hard on adding extra power to his performance in the build-up to this summer's European Swimming Championships.

Guy has been putting in some hard shifts in the gym to work on his leg strength while also developing his natural upper body strength.

Having returned from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games with four silvers and a bronze, the 22-year-old is hoping the additional power is what's needed to propel him to the top of the podium at Glasgow 2018.

"I feel really strong in the gym," said Guy. "I'm lifting the heaviest I've ever done, and I'm applying that in the pool as well.

"I'm doing the work that I didn't really do for the Commonwealth Games. I did a lot more aerobic-based work for the 400m and didn't really do so much speed or power work for the 200m or 100m.

"Going into the Europeans, that's our main focus – more power, and more anaerobic endurance as well, so I'm in a good spot."

One of Guy's key focus areas in the gym has been leg strength, and he said: "Right now in the gym, there's a lot more leg work like front squats and dead lifts.

"That's so important for your starts and turns, and your underwater phases, so we're working on that in the gym right now.

"I always had a theory when I was younger, that if you're better with your body weight you can swim faster.

"Now you can see with a lot of guys that are doing the sprints, like the 100m or 200m butterfly and freestyle, they are strong men so you have to be good at that to be super fast."

Guy says he's able to maximise his upper body strength when training in the pool by using fins as his preferred training aid. He added: "When we do our speed and power work, we always do a lot of fins work. It does generate a lot of power, so I do like to have that.

"I also like my pullbuoy. My strength in the pool is my upper body strength. A couple of the guys in my group are very good at kicks, but give them a pullbuoy and paddle and they are not so good."

Guy revealed he's likely to scratch the 400m in Glasgow, and will focus on success over shorter distances in the 100m and 200m butterfly, and 200m free. He's also keen to continue being an intrinsic part of the British relay teams during the Europeans.

james guy swimmer

On the Gold Coast, he shone in the 100m butterfly, posting the fastest qualifying heat time and winning his semi-final ahead of Chad le Clos.

However he was just pipped by his good friend le Clos in the final, with the South African needing to produce a Commonwealth Games record of 50.65 to snatch the gold medal away from Guy's grasp.

His other three silvers all came in relay action, where the British team finished behind Australia in the 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley.

Guy believes the timing of the 2018 Commonwealth Games benefited the Australians, and feels confident Team GB will be a far stronger proposition in the Europeans.

"It was still only April, so we're not going to be at our full maximum potential there," he explained. "But to get five medals – four silvers and a bronze – I'll take that, at that kind of time when the Aussies are in their summer.

"It's the other way around for us. I think if the Commonwealth Games were held this summer in August, it might have been a different story for us. But for the middle of the year, it was pretty good.

"It was a good medal haul, but I would have liked more. On day one I got a little bit sick, I tried to hold it in but by day three I was gone. That's why I pulled out of the 200m fly, I thought I needed a rest and that did help me for the 100m."

Away from racing, Guy is currently in his first year of a partnership with FINIS, where he has helped to develop the new FINIS Rival racing suit and other competitive swimwear.

Next week, he'll swim in the Sette Colli 2018 event in Italy, before returning to Britain to put the finishing touches on his preparation for the Europeans.

The 2018 European Swimming Championships will be held in Glasgow's Tollcross International Swimming Centre from August 3 to 9.


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