I can't believe I am linking to Timed Finals but this article is to good to pass up. Here is a snippet: "... The German swimmers in general simply do not train enough yardage. I am not a proponent of mega-yardage training methods, but swimmers in Germany simply do not put in the time in the pool. I would estimate that there are no more than 100 swimmers in all of Germany training 18 hours or more in the pool every week. [...] Even if one believes in quality over quantity, you have to put in 9-10 workouts a week at 1.5 to 2 hours per workout. Personally, my yardage increased by about 50% when I came over to the United States (and my times got slower, but that’s another story). [Link]
Erik also discusses how he trained while swimming for the German team or when the German team was a true powerhouse with people like Michael Gross.
Where is Michael Gross these days?