In David Brooks’ book called The Social Animal, he writes, “…for some reason, today’s high-prestige men do a lot of running and biking and only work on the muscles in the lower half of their bodies. High-status women, on the other hand, pay ferocious attention to their torsos, biceps, and forearms so they can wear sleeveless dresses…”
Brooks seems to refer, at least indirectly, to male triathletes, ultra endurance athletes, and female athletes of various sports.
But in the real world of open water swimming, especially among the elite set and seriously minded amateurs, a combination of hard training in the pool and dedicated dryland work of calisthenics, running, cycling and weight-training is the optimal means to focus attention on strength, speed and stamina working both the lower, middle and upper sections of the body.
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