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.
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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.

FOLLOW USRPT ON TWITTER HERE.

LIKE USRPT ON FACEBOOK HERE.

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Steve Nolan
6 years ago

20 reasons to be thankful for USRPT and not ONE is “FOR ALL THE CLICKS!!! CASH RULES EVERYTHING AROUND ME – COMMENT COMMENT COMMENTS, Y’ALL!!”

Reply to  Steve Nolan
6 years ago

Consider someone who you would like to focus their training on mid-distance to distance at 15. The swimmer is a 16:30 milers and swims the 400IM as well. This could potentially be one of two workouts that day for them:

10 minute dynamic warm-up on land

Warm-up: (10 Minutes) (10)
2 x 200 @ 3:00 #1- Rev IM Swim/Kick by 25 #2- IM Build/Kick by 25

Mile Pace: (50 Minutes) (60)
30 x 100 @ 1:15 Mile Pace
200 Warmdown – 50CH K 50CH S 100BK K/B/K/B by 25 (10 minutes total)

200BK Pace: (25 Minutes) (85)
Swimmer is a 2:00 200BK
20 x 50 @ :50 200BK Pace
200Warmdown – 50BK K 50BR… Read more »

Coach
6 years ago

Explain to me what I’m missing here. I watched Michael Andrews, who is a great talent by the way, swim the 200 fly at Juniors this summer and I saw him dying the last 50. Looked like he barely finished the race. Might of been a best time but not the way I like to see my swimmers finishing a race. Also, watched his freestyle and his technique is HORRENDOUS. Granted FAST does not have to look pretty but you can’t stand on a Technique soap box regarding your training methods when your technique is not good. I guess I prefer a good mix of endurance and speed training like a Michael Phelps or Ryan Lochte did at the top… Read more »

wave rider
Reply to  Coach
6 years ago

Tom Shields died on his last 50 of the 200 at Nationals. Seliskar is doomed. I’m kidding…I think Durdan is one of the best coaches out there and his he still had his swimmer die on the last 50. There were a lot of other swimmers coached by great coaches that died in their races as well.

MA tends to die every time on a 200 LC fly but that isn’t one of his top events and I think he will drop it from his program as he just older and focus mainly on the 100’s.

Reply to  Coach
6 years ago

Think about what you just said…

You’d rather a swimmer LOOK good on the last 50 than go a best time???

Is this still planet earth? Almost all of my athletes best swims (the OT cuts, the only Jr Nats cut, the only time under a Sectional cut), even back when I was grinding out 4-5k per hour, they were just hanging on for dear life the last 25 or 50…

brandy
Reply to  Hulk Swim
6 years ago

My daughter came thru the same program as ryan lochte where the coach frequently bragged about his methods and massive yardage. She could barely finish a 200 fly. I just wish there would have been an alternative when she endured the useless yardage.

Steve Nolan
6 years ago

“Hey, I saw this one kid finish a race poorly this one time. And his freestyle looks different than what I’m used to. THROW THE WHOLE THING OUT.”

The big picture. That’s what you’re missing.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Steve Nolan
6 years ago

Well, crap. This is supposed to be a reply to “Coach” above there.

Allen
Reply to  Steve Nolan
6 years ago

I see hundreds of kids who have pretty bad techniques from the start to the end of the race, and they don’t train under USRPT. What should we do with them?

Paul
6 years ago

pot stirred……got my popcorn 🙂

samuel huntington
6 years ago

I can’t think of any reasons to be thankful for USRPT.

This is my opinion, feel free to argue with me and down vote me!

Allen
Reply to  samuel huntington
6 years ago

I respect your opinion and would like to know if you have ever tried USRPT and read any of Dr. Rushall’s articles regarding it?

samuel huntington
Reply to  Allen
6 years ago

I’ve read the stuff, never tried it.

His work just doesn’t seem to make sense, especially the no dryland bit. I may be proven wrong but none of the top swimmers in the world that I know of do USRPT, mainly because you need to crank out the yards to build up strength, speed, and endurance.

Sven
Reply to  samuel huntington
6 years ago

I would try it before rushing to judgement. I’ve been playing around with it as a way to save time writing and selecting workouts (I’m a busy guy and decision fatigue is a real thing) and can attest to it working. Whether it’s better or worse than other methods, I don’t really care to say, but I did a meet recently and cranked out a lifetime best in the 100 fly. Including my times from the supersuit era. I’ve basically been doing between 10 and 12 25’s on :30. I fell off pace a bit on the fourth 25, but that will come as I get up to 16 or so 25’s, I think. 20 is recommended, and I can… Read more »

Rich
6 years ago

The incredibly neat thing about USRPT is that if you don’t like it, you don’t have to train that way. Some people get way too heated over this.

Allen
Reply to  Rich
6 years ago

It appears that some who don’t like USRPT have a problem with USRPT and those who train under USRPT.

swimmer/coach
6 years ago

USRPT is an amazing training regime….IF you’ve put in the time to build an aerobic base. Bob Bowman was asked about this last April and he said that he does USRPT (just differently). When Phelps was younger, he trained distance and Bob was very very strict on certain things (6 beat kick, good technique, etc.). By training like that when he was younger, Phelps was able to focus on his race pace training when it was time to perform (2008).
My fear is that Michael Andrew is just another kid who will hit a wall- because when he’s hit the ceiling with USRPT, he will be at a point where he won’t want to build an aerobic base.
… Read more »

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  swimmer/coach
6 years ago

That’s the best comment so far Swimmer/Coach ! spot on

wave rider
Reply to  swimmer/coach
6 years ago

Didn’t Ed Moses and Breeja Larson start swimming in high school? Maybe they could have been a lot better if they put in high yardage as young kids but maybe not, it’s hard to say.

Josh
Reply to  wave rider
6 years ago

There is a commonality between Ed Moses and Breeja Larson: BREASTSTROKE. Amanda Beard dropped a ton of time to make the Olympic team in 1996 after being virtually unheard of the year before. Kurt Grote started swimming late too. Swimming doesn’t find breaststrokers, breaststrokers find swimming.

Sven
Reply to  swimmer/coach
6 years ago

1- How do you measure an aerobic base? Is it just straight up aerobic capacity? Cause race pace training will increase that. If it’s not measured by aerobic capacity, then how?

2- What evidence is there that you need years of aerobic training to be fast later on? Yes, Bob Bowman’s metaphor about the crafting and filling of jugs is nice, but I can’t see the science behind it. Aerobic activity can help increase mitochondrial density, but as another commenter pointed out on another thread, so does sprinting on short rest. What is the physiological mechanism through which cranking out yardage for 5 years increases your body’s peak potential? I don’t have access to The Science of Winning, the book… Read more »

Cynic
Reply to  Sven
6 years ago

There are other anatomical/physiological adaptations that have been proven to result from aerobic training…and some of them take many years, and require the training to be performed during puberty to be maximized. In addition to mitochondrial density, increased lung profusion and increased density of muscular capillary beds are two adaptations that have been proven to occur from long term aerobic training. Whether or not those adaptations occur through USRPT, I do not know…nor does anyone else.

I think there is a place for this type of training in a good program, but the arrogance that all other forms of training should be scrapped and Rushall’s assertion that these training modes are actually doing damage is enough for me to… Read more »

Cynic
Reply to  Cynic
6 years ago

Just proof read my message, and the second sentence in paragraph six should read “…the best scientists don’t claim….” sorry!

Sven
Reply to  Cynic
6 years ago

Cynic, I get the feeling that we’d get along well. I basically agree with almost everything you just said about Rushall and USRPT (although I don’t think the Andrew’s are trying to capitalize, I think they are genuine). The ego, tendency to operate on extremes and speak in absolutes with no compromise, and sense of there being an underlying agenda (money, prestige, or just for the sake of contradicting the establishment) all annoy me. Still, race pace makes sense to me, and USRPT as a standardized convention for applying it is as good as any. If nothing else, a USRPT coach would save a lot of time writing workouts.

Now, I’m of the opinion that you can get the same… Read more »

Cynic
Reply to  Sven
6 years ago

Sven, I think the 1 vs. 2 hr question is the key. Physical age, event selection, genetics, etc. all play a role in the appropriate amounts to do with your team. The key is that you do enough to continually progress and overload your athletes with QUALITY aerobic sets as a part of your program. It doesn’t have to be huge volume stuff. While I am a huge fan of training as specifically as possible, I cannot totally let go of the concept of 20-30 100’s on a fast interval working explosive turns and underwaters being relevant for a senior level club swimmer.

Not only can well developed kids handle those sets, they can love those sets and they can… Read more »

Sven
Reply to  Sven
6 years ago

I can get on board with all of that. We have a set of 20×100’s (25 IMO/75 free) on short rest that we do fairly frequently, and the group I work with (mostly sectional level, some slightly faster or slower) is a solid mix of race pace and quality sub-pace/aerobic. I guess to sum up my point, 1) the aerobic system will only develop so far no matter how much time you spend on it and 2) even when you aren’t focusing on aerobic swimming, the aerobic system is being developed, be it sprinting, drilling, doing pace work, whatever, as long as you aren’t giving them a minute off after every single repeat.

I think many coaches give aerobic… Read more »

Billabong
Reply to  swimmer/coach
6 years ago

There is no scientific proof behind any of these theories. When a qualified scientist conducts an experiment pitting USRPT vs traditional high yardage training, then and only then, will we have good answers to the question. You would need two statistically significant groups of equally talented swimmers to commit to the experiment. One group following USRPT, the other following traditional, from the age of 12, all the way through college and up to Olympic level. You could then monitor all apects of their progress and settle the argument. It would need at least 100 volunteer swimmers, 200 committed parents and would take well over a decade to complete. Until somebody does this, there will be no definitive proof that one… Read more »

acoach
Reply to  Billabong
6 years ago

REALLY WE NEED A SCIENCE CONDUCT?
what ever being done by Greg Troy , Bob Bowman ,Jhon Urbancheck its not enough .
I did this kind off training (usrpt) in 2002 12 years off girls set 2 national records in 200 m relays
the records still stand in state, only one girl made it to college, that’s science !!!!

GET SOME COVERGE FOR LIFEPROOVE COACHES , NOT 15 MINUTE FLASH ,
(ok, 30 minute flash)
get some interview from Troy, Bowman,Urbancheck or Sweetenham the time will be well spend,
Chears

Billabong
Reply to  acoach
6 years ago

That’s not science, it’s bordering on anecdote. If you had simultaneously trained a group of equally talented girls using the Bowman/Troy/Sweetenham methods, you could have come to a valuable conclusion. Who knows the traditional group may have produced no college level swimmers and no state records. It is quite ridiculous to throw names around like Bowman Troy and Sweetenham, and use them as a substitute for science. I ask you this, why aren’t you using The Doc Counsilman method? They made Mark Spitz into the best swimmer ever seen! I guarantee you that in 20years time, people will laugh at some of the stuff that Sweetenham and his crew came out with . In the UK, they are already laughing… Read more »

acoach
Reply to  Billabong
6 years ago

Some coaches still use Doc’s principles and they produce fast swimmers up to 100.
as fast as Brits I believe.
Yes I change training methods to more traditional high yardage workouts , now kids swim at Division 1 schools ,with top 8 finishes at world cups and top 20 world ranking.
We like to work more not less.

I just glad this horse is being beaten to death , tired of the coverage one swimmer gets,
its hundred of other great success stories out there ,(with real FASTSWIMMING)

marry Christmas

Joel Lin
6 years ago

It’s like spinach. It is really good for you.

Josh
Reply to  Joel Lin
6 years ago

Yeah, but if you just ate spinach and nothing else, you’d also be building up oxalic acid in your body, which assists in the formation of kidney stones. Just doing USRPT may not be as physically deleterious, but just as you wouldn’t only eat spinach, you shouldn’t train one way and one way only, either.