Will Adam Peaty Be The Next Michael Phelps?

New Power In The Waters

There’s a new power in these waters: his name is Adam Peaty. Many are already putting him in the same supreme league as Michael Phelps. A bold claim, so who exactly is this merman and how dare he be compared to the legend of Phelps? Before all that, let’s remind ourselves of Michael Phelps’ stellar record: twenty-three golds, three silvers and two bronze Olympic medals. This trove of achievements crowns him as winning the most medals in the history of Olympics.


So who is this Peaty and what’s he made of?

He’s only gone and swum the ten fastest times in the history of the 100m breaststroke. Recently he claimed the gold in both 50m and 100m at the World Championships, breaking both his own world records.

The question, then, is whether Adam Peaty is only really in competition with himself?

Peaty has 15 gold medals in his loot, meaning he’s not far off the mighty Phelps, given the early stage of the 22-year-old’s career. And seeing as he broke two records in one day, he doesn’t look like he’ll be peaking anytime soon. In fact, the Staffordshire lad is now looking to break his 100m breaststroke record of 57.13 seconds that he announced himself with at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Code name: ‘Project 56’. What does it mean? Smashing the 56-second barrier.
What does it take to go this distance as an athlete? Well, this hairless man (research suggests he shaves, though the source has not stated whether Peaty has spoken about this, or whether this is assumed) eats 8,000 calories a day and is swimming lean at six foot three with six per cent body fat. He also benches 130 kg and is apparently well-known for his oversized flippers/ feet. Presumably, you too have gone for a quick swim following that last paragraph. Works for him, right?

What do the pros say?


Olympic gold medallist, Mark Spitz told the Mirror: “You could consider him a Michael Phelps, with regard to the dominance in the breaststroke events. “He’s not swimming eight days on an eight-day programme and I wouldn’t go as far as saying that he is Michael Phelps. But I’ve always felt you should never deny somebody that is really great at an event, a world record holder, that they are not as good as Phelps — they are.”
Spitz added: “If I was in his event, the only thing I would be thinking about is who would be first to be second – not who would be first to be first because he [Peaty] has already established that’s what he’s here for. Former British swimming gold medalist, David Wilkie, thinks Project 56 is within reach, stating: “He will make 56 sec, no question. It looks like a clear field for him for at least two or three years”.

swimming recovery


So, is Peaty to be the next Phelps? If you mean a limitless athlete, a role model inspiring millions as we look on while he raises the bar and does what no other has before him, then yes, they have that in common.


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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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