Swift was just 21 when a workplace accident resulted in the lower part of his right leg being amputated. Five years later, he finds himself aiming up at gold at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
“I started exercising to mentally refresh myself [after my accident],” says the 26-year-old from Melbourne, who was a 2010 Men’s Health Man finalist and the competition’s NIVEA FOR MEN Face of the Year winner. “I just hated being stuck in the house all day feeling sorry for myself.”
Although Swift has been a gym goer for a while, he only started serious sprint training a few years ago, managing to cram in four track sessions and four gym sessions a week while working as a personal trainer and studying for an exercise-science degree.
Swift’s gym workout is designed to build explosive power and symmetry in his legs, and seeks to replicate the fast muscle contractions that sprinting demands. “I need to get power and drive through my good leg to get out of the blocks, then whack my prosthetic leg down as hard as possible to build momentum,” he says.
His gruelling regimen is complicated by the fact he can only wear his sports prosthesis for up to five minutes before it becomes too painful. “I feel pressure building up in my right calf, like a cramp,” he reveals. “It’s lucky I’m a sprinter and don’t have to wear it long.”
On top of his high-intensity training regimen, Swift also follows a strict diet to keep him in peak condition.
Jack's Eating Plan
Swift aims to eat every three-and-a-half hours, making sure he gets 30 grams of protein, a moderate amount of carbs (>40g) and lots of fibre and good fats (unsaturated) with every meal.
|8am||Breakfast||oats with banana and honey,protein shake|
|11am||Snack||four rice cakes with tuna and avocado|
|1pm||Lunch||chicken with steamed vegies or salad|
|3pm||Snack||unsalted mixed nuts, one banana|
|6pm||Dinner||steak/fish with vegies and ½ cup of brown rice|
|8pm||Snack||500 millilitres of Paul’s PhysiCal milk|
|8am||Breakfast||four eggs on a wholemeal muffin|
|11am||Snack||muesli bar, one apple|
|1pm||Lunch||chicken and avocado wrap|
|3pm||Snack||mixed nuts, protein shake|
|6pm||Dinner||pasta or Thai|
|8pm||Snack||500ml of Paul’s PhysiCal milk|