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the leader in dryland and strength training for swimmers and swim coaches

For the first time, swim coaches have the opportunity to work through a formal education process surrounding all aspects of dryland and strength training for their swimmers. After enrolling and passing the exam, swim coaches will be able to identify themselves as SURGE Strength Dryland Certified (SSDC). The knowledge base you will gain will be evident to your athletes, others involved in your program, and fellow coaches; that you can transform dryland to be a strength of your training program.

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become surge strenth dryland certfied

unlock your swimmers' potential

By Becoming SURGE Strength Dryland Certified (SSDC) You'll Learn:

How to organize effective dryland sessions regardless of age, ability or equipment

​What the most important injury prevention variables are in a dryland program

What the process of creating a season plan and writing dryland workouts should be

How to compliment dryland routines based on what type of training swimmers are doing in the water

What the different categories and progressions for exercises are so that you can tailor dryland to your swimmers’ abilities

What the best ways are to include mobility and flexibility programs into dryland and your overall program

What dryland equipment to buy that provides the best value and return on your investment

How to implement the assessment and testing process with your swimmers


The curriculum of the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification is designed to provide a foundational understanding of athletic development and strength training principles, as it specifically relates to swimmers and improved performance.

An individual that has successfully completed the curriculum and exam will become SURGE Strength Dryland Certified (SSDC). This demonstrates to others and themselves that they understand the principles of a sound dryland program for swimmers and can lead their swimmers through such a program.

Never before has such a thorough educational resource been made available to swim coaches and others interested in increasing their dryland training knowledge base.

Dryland doesn't need to be complicated. Through this process, you'll learn the principles that you can put into action for your team's success.

who should become

surge strength dryland certified

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Swim Coaches of any level or age

Personal Trainers

Performance Coaches

Strength & Conditioning Coaches

Rehabilitation and Health Care Practitioners

Anyone else wanting to learn how to better help swimmers improve with dryland training


surge strength - foundations

Dryland Overview - Get the basic questions about dryland answered: Why do it? What are the goals of dryland? How does it translate into improved swimming performance?

Movements & Exercises - Learn how to categorize and progress exercises for any level of athlete you coach. Discover the critical rules to follow when creating dryland programs and the best mobility movements for swimmers.

Principles of Strength & Conditioning - Understand the time trusted principles of training that won't disappear with the next fad. See how to structure a dryland program to build a "swimmer's body" and enable a stronger back half in all races, all while enabling improvement over a career.

Periodization - Do you know all the variables you can alter throughout a season to allow your swimmers to improve? It's much more than just reps and weight, and after this module you'll know that and more, including the different types of dryland workouts you should be cycling through and for how long in a season.

surge strength - APPLICATIONs

Assessment & Testing - Be able to implement simple and effective assessments for an athlete's movement and be able to test their athletic performance. Learn the general athletic standards you should hold your swimmers to and build towards, because how strong does a swimmer really need to be?

Creating a Dryland Program - Put your knowledge and what you've learned into action. Get guidance on how to create your dryland season plan and write daily dryland workouts for your swimmers. You'll get plenty of examples of each type to model your own after, including what to do once you get to taper time!

Training Specificity - How does dryland look different for 12-and-unders verses senior or collegiate level swimmers? You'll discover how to scale workouts for specific strokes, events and age groups from the little guys to the senior citizen swimmers and every age and ability in-between.

Equipment - What equipment do you really need? You'll get those answers along with what equipment is the best investment and how to adapt workouts based on what equipment you have access to. This is often the biggest variable across swim teams so you'll be prepared for any equipment situation you find yourself coaching in.

The SURGE Strength Dryland Certification is developed and powered by RITTER Sports Performance.

It’s self-paced learning through primarily video-based content. While the pace you choose to go through the curriculum is up to you, there are specific times during the year that the exam will be available.

This isn't just another certification where you read through a binder and mail it in. RITTER takes great pride in setting the industry standard for dryland training, education, and now certification. This curriculum and exam standard will continue that tradition.

The curriculum is broken down into two sections, Foundations and Applications, with multiple modules within each section. The sections build off each other as do the modules within each section.

Once certified (SSDC), you’ll retain access to the curriculum as well as opportunities to continue your dryland education through the SURGE Strength Academy (admission is only extended to those that are SURGE Strength Dryland Certified).

The SURGE Strength Dryland Certification is delivered, consumed, and tested 100% online, so coaches worldwide can learn more to help their swimmers through dryland training.


Understand and implement the principles of a sound dryland program

​Assess and test your swimmers’ movement and performance abilities on land

Confidently develop a seasonal plan and daily dryland workouts

Lead dryland training sessions for a variety of ages and abilities

Unlock the potential dryland can have on your swimmers’ performance

After going through all the curriculum and passing the certification exam you'll become SURGE Strength Dryland Certified (SSDC).

With this distinction, you'll demonstrate to your swimmers, other coaches, parents, the administration involved in your program, and even potential employers that you have a solid understanding of dryland and can be a valuable asset in this area.

In recognition of your achievement of completion you'll be able to add the distinction of SSDC to your credentials and receive your certification to display to others, knowing that you can now:

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Hi, i'm chris ritter

Creator of the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification

CEO of RITTER Sports Performance

As a swimmer, I developed an appreciation for dryland. Not because it helped me, exactly the opposite. I lost out on most of one of my seasons recovering from a needless injury I suffered during a dryland workout.

I went on to swim in college, pursuing my degree in kinesiology and exercise science. I knew that there was a better way to implement dryland workouts for swimmers.

Through much trial and error, I started seeing results. Fast-forward more than 15 years later and I've had the privilege of working with every level and age of swimmer. I've seen success in dryland programming from the 10&unders to Olympians and even masters swimmers in the 80&over age group.

I'm on a mission to help change how swim coaches and swimmers look at and appreciate dryland in their swim program. I want you to realize what I have a long time ago; that an effective and sound dryland program is a swimmer's secret weapon in unlocking their full potential.

I hope you'll start your path on this journey by joining me and enrolling in the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification.

You need to put in the work of learning the material and passing the exam, we're not doing that for you. But we guarantee after going through this certification process you'll be not only extremely satisfied with the knowledge and actionable advice you've received but you'll also be proud of yourself for this accomplishment of earning your SSDC. And if not? Let us know, we're easy to deal with.


Does the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification have a specific start/finish date?

No, you can choose to enroll at any time, and go through the curriculum at whatever pace you’d like. While there is no time limit for completion, allowing you to study at your own pace, there are only specific times throughout the year that you can complete the exam to become SURGE Strength Dryland Certified. These date windows will be made available to you once you’ve enrolled.

Are the modules on-demand or live?

The lessons will be on-demand, allowing you to watch on your schedule and go at your own pace. There may be opportunities for live Q&As but we haven't set that yet.

Are all of the curriculum and exams delivered online?

Yes! We chose this format to allow coaches worldwide to gain access to this information. Also with this certification curriculum being more than just a binder you’ll have an enhanced learning experience, enabling you to in turn, coach dryland at a higher level.

How does becoming SSDC help me?

It demonstrates to athletes, employers, potential employers, and stakeholders that you are a forward thinking, evolving coach who has taken control of their own coaching development, especially because most swim coaches know their knowledge and application of dryland is probably the weakest of the “tools” in their coaching toolbox. When applied correctly a sound dryland program can be your swimmers’ secret weapon in unlocking their potential. By earning your SSDC you’re demonstrating to all that you have a clear understanding of dryland.

Is the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification recognized globally?

RITTER has been providing education and online dryland training programs to swim coaches and swim teams globally for over a decade. Your certification initials provide recognition of you having a firm grasp on the principles of successful dryland training and to the quality associated with the RITTER brand.

Is there a discount for multiple coaches being certified from the same team?

Yes! If you have more than 2 or 3 coaches on your staff that you’d like to become SSDC just email us – – to let us know how many and we’ll provide you with the discounted rates.

Are there any CEUs associated with this certification?

Yes, hopefully very soon. We are currently in the process of having the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification earn CEUs through the NSCA and other similar organizations. By the time the first exam test dates are available this should be official, thus giving you the ability to earn CEU’s by becoming SSDC.

Will I be able to access the certification curriculum after achieving my SSDC?

Yes, there is no time limit to your access. Once you’ve achieved your SSDC you will have continued access for future reference.

Can I become certified even if I’m located outside of the USA?

Yes! We have coaches from all over the world earning their SSDC.

What’s next after I achieve my SSDC?

Put it to use! Create the best dryland program for your team and continually improve it. One of the best ways to do that is to join the SURGE Strength Academy. This is an extension of the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification and only those that are SSDC are extended an invitation. In the SURGE Strength Academy, you’ll have on-going continuing education on dryland training. By being an active member of the SURGE Strength Academy you’ll also have complimentary access to any revisions over the years RITTER makes to the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification. Once you achieve your SSDC you’ll receive more information on joining, because that’s the only way you can gain admission.

How is this different than The Hive or the SURGE Training System?

Great question and we’re glad you’ve already taken advantage of one of RITTER’s educational resources. The Hive is centered around swim coaching education, specifically what the best coaches are doing when it comes to their in-water training. There’s also access to live events, some of which are dryland related. The SURGE Strength Dryland Certification is vastly superior in both depth and quantity of dryland information than in The Hive. It’s not just a few videos and a quick exam, enrolling in the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification is committing to greatly increasing your knowledge of dryland training and it’s provided in a formalized curriculum with specific desired outcomes. As for the difference with the SURGE Training System that RITTER created a few years ago, that was based around a 2-day live clinic event. The principles and lessons taught there are definitely at the base of the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification but again the SSDC is much more in-depth and has even adapted some concepts that were first presented at that live event. If you have access to either of these previous RITTER resources and enjoyed the education then you’re going to want to enroll in the SURGE Strength Dryland Certification because this will the best resource RITTER has created yet!

What if I don’t pass the SSDC exam?

You’re allowed one re-try. After that you’ll be assessed a $100 re-take fee for each subsequent re-take of the exam required for you to pass.

Can I still have RITTER provide my team with dryland training through the SURGE Strength Team Program, even after I achieve my SSDC?

Yes! While becoming SSDC will certainly provide you with the tools to create your own dryland program for your team, you might just want another expert to take on this role. And we are here to help! Of course, the greater understanding you have of sound dryland training principles, the more effective an online SURGE Strength Team Program will be for you and your swimmers. To learn more about these options visit our website:

How long does it take?

We're currently finishing creating the certification and we estimate it will be a minimum of 20 hours of content and possibly more. Again this will be self-paced so there is no timeline for you to work your way through the material.



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