20 Reasons To Be Thankful For USRPT

Courtesy of Team Andrew Indie Swimming, a SwimSwam partner.

With Christmas just ahead, it has caused us to reflect on things we are thankful for. With swimming being a big part of our family experience, we decided to list five things each that we appreciated about the USRPT approach to training. Each family member had their own take on what they liked best, and it seemed appropriate to share these personal views with you.

Peter – Father/Coach:

Coach and father, Peter Andrew wth Michael Andrew  (coutesy of Mike Lewis)

Coach and father, Peter Andrew wth Michael Andrew (coutesy of Mike Lewis)

1. I believe in Ultra Short Race Pace Training.  It takes away the confusion and uncertainty that I had before starting with USRPT training. Having pursued a variety of coaching approaches, USRPT blended science and pragmatic learning, with high intensity and fun.

2. I know what outcome to expect and how well our athletes will perform based off exactly where they are in training, by how many repeats, at what time they can hold without a failure. As a coach, I greatly appreciate eliminating some of the mystery associated with good performance.
3.  I like being able to talk to the kids at the completion of every length for the prescribed 15 or 20 second rest period where I can point out a technique issue or praise them for something well done.  This is very valuable since correction is almost immediate, and encouragement instantaneous.

4.  I enjoy the fact that the kids leave the pool happy and not fatigued, there always seems to be laughing going on in breaks and at the end of a practice. As a coach, it is hard to overstate the encouragement that is to me. As a father, I can’t think of anything I want more for my children than a positive training experience.

5.  I enjoy the fact that I as the coach have time to still do other activities as I’m not spending 6 hours a day coaching. I can be intense, but move on to other responsibilities.

Michaela – 13 years old:

I love USRPT because

1. Practices are short. I love swimming but I don’t like to be in the water for hours.

  1. It continues to be fun. I like racing more than training and with USRPT I can do both – practice is like going to a swim meet everyday.
  2. I believe I get a better workout even in less time than traditional training.
  3.  I know I will never burn out while training this way.
  4. It works. Not much more I can say than this.

    Michael – 15 years old:

    Michael Andrew (courtesy of Tim Binning, theswimpictures)1.  I like USRPT because it allows me time to do other things. It doesn’t require countless hours of training to be the best, just purposeful short practices.

    2. I totally believe in the science behind this approach so USRPT makes sense to me. I’ve never understood swimming thousands of yards/meters at a slow pace, and then expect to swim fast in a race. Seeing the science behind the approach just brings confidence.

    3. It is race specific.  When chasing records USRPT allows us to focus on a specific event/goal, meet or break it, and move on to our next goal. I’m always motivated, but not overwhelmed.

    4.  My progress in training is measurable. It gives me great confidence when competing as I know what to expect. I’ve seen too many other swimmers wonder if they have peaked at the right moment as they approach a big meet. I really don’t worry much.

    5. I love to race, and USRPT allows me to do what I love everyday!

Tina – Mom / Wife / Manager:

As a passionate swim mom of ambitious swimmers, wife of a coach, and manager of our team I love USRPT for a thousand reasons but will list my top five.

  1. I love that USRPT restores hope and refuels a love for swimming.  I see countless emails from athletes, coaches and parents (from injured swimmers, age groupers, elite/pro swimmers, master swimmers, those returning to the sport and those totally burned-out swimmers), accrediting USRPT and USRPT Technique for making the difference and bringing back the joy of swimming.
  1. The ability to attend swim meets fully expecting swimmers to excel and anticipate swimming personal bests as opposed to always being in a defeated, uncertain or broken down physical state incapable of performing at their best.
  1. I envision USRPT revolutionizing swimming. It addresses so many concerns. By freeing up pool space due to shorter training periods, reducing overuse injuries, building excitement among athletes who see immediate results and share that excitement with friends and peers, it helps athletes buy in and become more goal-oriented since they have concrete ways to measure improvement week after week.  For all of these reasons the Sport can be taken to new heights with more fun, exciting, with fast meets that entertain spectators.  When a training method exist that allows athletes to compete their best more than once or twice a season without needing to taper, a national swimming league or association (like NBA or NFL) becomes viable options. It’s a big vision, but I think it’s possible.
  1. Balance, balance, balance. I love USRPT because it allows athletes to have balance in their lives.  The time required to be exceptional, even pursue a professional career in swimming does not mean that you have to eat, sleep, swim – do it again.  Two sessions of an hour to an hour and a half maximum is all that is needed to do what it takes to compete at the highest levels in multiple events.
  1. USRPT prepares athletes to compete competitively in multiple events in session as only 10-15 minutes rest is required between typical race pace sets that mimics a meet.
Team Andrew / Indie Swimming (left to right): Michael,Tina, Peter & Michaela Andrew.

Team Andrew / Indie Swimming (left to right):
Michael,Tina, Peter & Michaela Andrew.

We all had one item in our lists that was the same – and that was the huge sense of thanks, appreciation and admiration of Dr. Brent Rushall, who has been willing to follow the scientific trail associated with Ultra Short Race Pace Training, bring together diverse studies and pieces of information, stand firm in the findings, even when unpopular, and through all of that, be a willing mentor, encourager and friend. We are so grateful to and for him. It’s obvious that our family loves the USRPT approach and we encourage coaches and swimmers of all ages to explore this exciting training approach.

Merry Christmas from Team Andrew Indie Swimming.

USRPT provides training materials associated with the Ultra Short Race Pace Training and is offering a Christmas Special – over $50 off when purchasing both titles – “Understanding and Implementing USRPT” featuring Dr. Brent Rushall and “How We Train with USRPT” featuring Michael and Peter Andrew. This special offer is good until December 25th.



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7 years ago

I have been using this USRPT system since August and here is what I’ve found.
First I invested in the DVD’s of both the Andrews and DR. Rushall. (If Im going to do it I want to learn as much about it as possible first.)
First month was hard.
Kids loved it, but the older kids who were accustomed to 7,000 sets had a hard time believing, as well as me personally. I jumped all in though.
The next couple of month were a lot of fun!
Every Meet every swimmer had at least one time drop.
– including some that had hit a wall and hadn’t dropped time in months.
We have… Read more »

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Another article about USRPT?
And again already +50 comments! 😆
But that topic starts to be a little boring. We always read the same things.

NM Coach
Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

What about doing an article that features training philosophies for the 400 IM or distance free? I still have yet to see or hear of a program that uses USRPT for milers. I’m not talking about the kid that trains USRPT and drops from 18:30 to 17:30…I want to know which programs use it and have girls under 16:30 SCY and guys under 15:20.

It works…but the attitude of it is the ONLY method and everything else is junk is ridiculous! Too many variables that need to be worked with (pool availability, etc.).

I do love the banter back and forth though!

17 year old swimmer
7 years ago

I’ve been swimming for 10 years and am fast and this doesnt work u must do long train to get fast to get to jr nats lyke me please yall don argue bout this

Reply to  17 year old swimmer
7 years ago

Hope this was a joke.

Reply to  MarkB
7 years ago

Pssst, don’t make him write again. Imagine how people he texts to all the time feel after reading his texts.

7 years ago

Any program is going to look good when a family dedicates all of its time and focus on their talented son making the Olympics.

London Coach
7 years ago

Has anyone discussed the idea that MA would most likely be the phenom he is under any training regime? He’s a physical freak for his age (like many other super Age Groupers we are seeing these days) and if motivated would be fast no matter what. I’d be a lot more interested in him and his training if he was 5’10” like a normal 15 year old, or if he went to an actual school with a 7 hour a day curriculum, or had to commute 45 mins to get to training like many of my swimmers. Pretty sure my kids would be a heck of a lot better if we followed the same program we’re currently using but they… Read more »

Reply to  London Coach
7 years ago

No, no one has ever mentioned that MA is tall for his age.

All joking aside, though, you are right. He is one of those swimmers whose circumstances are especially conducive to fast swimming. It’s like Becca Mann, she’s homeschooled and is able to train with NBAC more often than most kids her age would be able to. I’ve also often said that the reason MA can be so good at so many events and strokes is because he can swim three times a day, every day, with individualized feedback at every wall. I can’t get pooltime five mornings per week, just two. Not all of our swimmers can make every morning (and some choose not to, which some research… Read more »

7 years ago

People can argue all day about what the best training method is and the “science” behind theories of training. But what matters is results. That is real science. DATA! Theory without the data to back it is meaningless. Until you get a swimmer being best in the world using USRPT you can’t say it is a superior training method. Let’s look at the best three swimmers right now: Phelps, Ledecky and Lochte. How do they train? Endurance training with speed and strength work in the mix as well. And before anyone says those are “distance swimmers” I’d like to remind people of how well Phelps and Lochte can do 100s and 200s. KL can do 200s well. There aren’t any… Read more »

Reply to  easyspeed
7 years ago

I see what you’re trying to say, and I’m not going to try to say Phelps and Lochte would be 1:52 in the IM right now if they did exclusively race pace (although I remember reading about butterfly in the Swim Coaching Bible and Bowman’s description of MP’s fly sets sounds more race pace-ish than volume-ish), but as far as Ledecky is concerned, I remember after she broke the 800 WR and a reporter asked how that felt compared to 800’s she’d done in practice:

“I don’t remember the last time I did an 800 in practice.”

Call it semantics, but I don’t think Ledecky is as far left of the volume-intensity spectrum as you think.

Reply to  Sven
7 years ago

I am familiar with the quote you are referring to. Her coach said something similar as well. Unfortunately you making the mistake of equating “doing an 800” with volume training. If you do 40×100, that’s “volume training.” She swims 7 to 9,000 per practice too, not getting out after 45 minutes like the USRPT model advocates. Anyway, don’t want to beat this into the ground, but it’s a bad way to train. And I’m basing that on my understanding of metabolic process. But, as I said above, it’s all about results. If we get a swimmer reaching the top using this method of training, I will be wrong. Time will tell. But I hope, for the sake of USA swimming,… Read more »

Reply to  easyspeed
7 years ago

That’s my point, Rushall says to do 3-5 times race distance, so 40×100 at 800 or 1500 pace on 1:20 would be a USRPT set. People hear “Ultra Short” and think it refers to yardage, but that’s just referring to the distance of repeats. Sure, training for the shorter events will be less yardage, but if you do 20×50 fly on :50 or :55, that’s still 1000 yards of race quality fly in 16:40 or 18:20. We apparently have different understandings of metabolic process, but I’ll agree to disagree.

As far as systematically overloading intensity, density, and volume, that’s exactly what the framework of USRPT does. If you make too many repeats, you increase the intensity. If the pace gets… Read more »

Reply to  Sven
7 years ago

I don’t there is enough volume with USRPT. 45 minute practices are not enough to get the necessary volume needed to swim at a high level. Also, it helps to do longer distance reps. 5×1000, etc. But that’s NOT the only thing you should do, and you can do sets like that “fast.” As in, descend to all out. But some swimming slower than threshold helps as well. Of course you need to do race pace and faster than race pace training too. USRPT is incomplete. That’s my main point. I agree that it’s not “easy.” Swimming high intensity sets are difficult. However, swimming sets with reps of 400 and above is also very difficult. And swimming with maximum effort… Read more »

Reply to  Sven
6 years ago

Easyspeed, does being more difficult mean it will help you more?

You honestly think 5×1000 could be a better way to spend practice time than 50×100 at a faster pace? Have you tried USRPT?

Reply to  Sven
7 years ago

Oh- yes it is true that Bowman advocates doing butterfly with lots of short distance repeats. He said it preserves the quality of the stroke. So? Phelps also did the Urbanchek rainbow endurance stuff too. To my point, everyone should do some of everything. People on her mistakenly assume “volume training” or “endurance” is swimming 16x800s slow or something; it’s not.

Reply to  easyspeed
7 years ago

The best three swimmers right now are actually: Ledecky Hagino and Le Clos……their training methods might fit your conclusions, although Hagino’s program is a lot lighter from what we’ve read. Manadou on the other hand is close to that group, and he is doing a program that looks very much like USRPT plus dry land. Funnily enough, he is very quick!!!!

Reply to  Billabong
7 years ago

I think once Lochte and Phelps get back in the swing of things, they are going to be the best again for at least one more Olympic cycle. But whichever swimmers you pick as the best, none of them are doing USRPT as it is being sold. If a swimmer uses that training program and wins a world title or sets a world record then there is some validity to all these claims about it being “better.” As of now, it’s all just theory. I like Michael Andrew. It isn’t really his fault, he is just following what his dad believes. And they want to sell something to make money, nothing wrong with that. If the MA starts setting world… Read more »

7 years ago

We did over 13,000 today…a little over five of it was meters…we also did 45 mins of dry-land.

Our swimmers worked super hard the whole time. They were focused and “in the zone”. They were flowing. None of it was garbage, the whole practice had a point. When they had time between sets (which they didn’t have much of), they were cracking jokes and smiling…

When the second practice finished, their energy carried over onto the deck. They were laughing and horsing around, messing with each other – stuff that was frowned upon by the lifeguards.

I’m not saying my training methods are right…who knows…but I am saying it’s possible to work really hard for a long period of time,… Read more »

Reply to  AA
7 years ago

should clarify total yardage/meterage was from two practices…

Reply to  AA
7 years ago

great job, we did 1800yards today and kids are proud and exited with 30min med ball dry land.
day one of Christmas training ….

Reply to  acoach
7 years ago

sorry 18000y

Reply to  acoach
7 years ago

I used to do that much yardage, too. My swimmers became awesome practice swimmers. Meets, on the other hand…

Kevin T
7 years ago

I just hope that MA has not plateaued. His times so far have not been too good this season, granted it is still rather early in the season. I am pleased with his 200 IM and 200 breast times.
And his 100 fly/ 100 back seem to be on target. But I don’t know about his 50, 100 free. He is a bit off on those 2 swims.

His Long Course, I really want to start seeing big improvements there. This past summer he was way off from where I expected him to be in LCM.

Reply to  Kevin T
7 years ago

I think he’s been focussing on SCM this season. Check out his times from the World Cups and that recent junior international meet in Canada, he is going stupid fast for a 15 year old.