Aussie pool queen Emma McKeon’s INSANE training regime comes to light after she made history by winning her 13th Commonwealth Games gold – and there’s more where that came from
- McKeon ‘never had a day off’ as she prepared for busy Comm Games schedule
- Gruelling regime sees her complete nine sessions in the pool every week
- Gym work and race-specific training – plus physio sessions – round it out
The intense exercise program that has helped drive Emma McKeown to a record 13 Commonwealth Games gold medals has been revealed as she dominates in the pool at Birmingham.
Top-flight swimmers are renowned for chasing the black like at the bottom of the pool for kilometre after kilometre, but the five-time Olympic gold medallist takes it to another level.
In the lead-up to competition, the 28-year-old completes three gym sessions a week, hits the pool nine times and does separate stints where she hones racing-specific skills like her starts, turns and how she finishes her races by extending to the maximum as she touches the timing pad.
McKeon hits the gym three times a week, with a big focus on strength work to help her ‘move through the water better and faster’
The weight training comes on top of a staggering nine sessions in the pool every week – often one in the morning and another in the afternoon
McKeon completes the draining regimen under the watchful eye of coach Michel Bohl, with Swimming Australia performance manager Jessica Corones working with her on the technical side.
Corones said her charge never had a day off as she prepared for her gruelling schedule in Birmingham.
‘She has to do the physical training and be conditioned to be able to cope for multiple days, but there’s also the mental preparation,’ Corones told the Herald Sun.
‘There’s a big emotional toll because you have to get yourself to an optimal level of arousal to race, which is quite high, then you have to get yourself down really quickly and recover.’
Swimming Australia performance manager Jessica Corones says her charge never has a day off – and it’s been more than worth it in Birmingham, where she’s become the greatest Commonwealth Games athlete ever
McKeown has previously broken down what a day of training looks like for her.
It begins when she wakes at 5.30am, has a banana to give her body some fuel for the upcoming water torture, then begins two hours of work in the pool, she told Women’s Health magazine.
She gets through one-hour sessions in the gym to increase her strength so she can ‘move through the water better and faster’.
By 9.30am she’s tucking into Weet-Bix for breakfast, sometimes followed by a two-hour nap, then a physio appointment that usually focuses on her shoulders, which cop a large part of her workload.
McKeon – pictured with boyfriend Cody Simpson – prefers her gruelling afternoon pool sessions to the training she does in the morning, as they’re more race-focused
Another two-hour session in the pool follows just after 3pm – and it’s even worse than the morning hit-out, sometimes incorporating high-lactate work, which sees her do high-intensity swimming to increase the speed she can maintain without fatiguing.
McKeon prefers the afternoon sessions because they are ‘more based on the race’ and she gets to try to hit the time she needs for each lap.
By 9pm she’s getting her much-needed eight hours of sleep after having a quick dinner such as chicken curry.
The regimen has proved its worth in Birmingham, where McKeon has stamped herself as the greatest Commonwealth Games athlete ever – and she looks likely to add to her tally of golds when she tackles the women’s medley relay on Wednesday night.