Before the sun rises, the swimmers hit the darkened pool deck sporting street wear, standing in rows, in front of a projector.
A workout film illuminated a whitewashed wall in the dark, and the athletes followed instructions as coach Dave Boggs looked on from a timer’s table.
The athletes jumped, ran around the pool and did push-ups and ab workouts rapid-fire for nearly an hour.
For almost a decade, the Seymour swimming and diving team has used P90X workouts in their training regimen.
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P90X, which was developed by Tony Horton in 2002, focuses on exercise techniques which include strength training, cardio, yoga plyometrics and stretching through exercise videos.
The workout tapes are focused for those already in great psychical shape — challenging fit athletes to a full body workout.
Two days a week during season, Boggs typically has his swimmers do the dry land exercise.
“We’re always looking to try new things,” Boggs said. “I’ve been coaching long enough where I don’t want people to say, ‘Well, coach is saying the same things he was 30 years ago.’ We’re always trying to improve on things and trying new methods.
“When (P90X) came out, the kids talked about it, and we got it. We do it in the mornings.”
Following one tape, the group on the deck alternates with a second group in the weight room at Bulleit Stadium.
“What I like about it is that it trains the entire body including the core,” Boggs said. “It helps work on our athleticism. We alternate between two or three of the nine discs.
“If I didn’t think it was going to help, I wouldn’t be doing it. It’s something they can carry on later in life. I encourage the kids to continue staying in shape their entire life. I have never seen anything negative from this.”
Senior Alexis Anders said she has taken part in the workouts for entire swimming career at SHS.
She said that the land exercises are a nice change from pool workouts.
“I’ve done it for four years,” Anders said. “It’s nice to get a break from the water. With swimming, it’s the same thing with different patterns. After season, I have a gym membership and I use the skills I have learned from P90X to help get stronger outside of practice.”
Girls swim team co-captain Nastya Yakovleyva thinks the workouts help increase stamina.
“It helps our stamina — we work different muscles on the dry land,” Yakovleyva said. “If I ever need a workout outside of season I go to these moves.”
Junior swimmer Skyler Cash has noticed an increase in endurance from the tapes.
“I’ve done it the entire team I’ve been in high school swimming,” he said. “We do a lot of weights and running and stuff as well, and we use the videos a lot for cardio.
“I had some problems with my back being weak, and I’ve gotten a lot stronger. I can run a lot faster now, too, which helps me swim longer. When I’m not in high school I will probably do something like this.”
For junior Steve Frohling, the P90X workouts offer a different physical challenge.
“I feel like my leg strength and endurance have gotten better,” Frohling said. “I like hard workouts, and it’s challenging for me. I feel like my times have gotten a little faster.”
While the workouts are less orthodox, Boggs plans on continuing P90X until he feels a change is needed.