NBAC Coach Bob Bowman Comments on USRPT – Video Interview

Swimming video edit by Coleman Hodges

NBAC Head Swim Coach Bob Bowman – Michael Phelps’ long-time coach – comments on USRPT (aka Ultra Short Race Pace Training). This was a followup question regarding the success of age group swim star Michael Andrew. Bowman has been asked this question a few times over the last several months. Bowman maintains race pace training is important, but that he does not solely coach race pace training to his swimmers. He prefers a mix of training.

Michael Andrew is coached by Peter Andrew, his father, aka Team Andrew.

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Joel Lin

Just for the sheer comedy of it, please ask Mark Schubert what he thinks of USRPT.

We would, but I don’t think anybody brought their riot gear or face shields to Mesa.


I wish I could ‘like’ posts on this site




Usrpt has emerged as an alternative to the boring, traditional, not race specific training that promotes Mark Schubert

Please, do not generalize when commenting. Do you even know what some coaches are doing? Life is not black and white. Why don´t you swim USPROQT and some other kid rope climb while swimming. We all do what feels good and works for us.

Alex – please list the Senior National finalists or USA National Team members who train USRPT solely, most especially in the middles distance stroke races and distance fields – just to be certain there really IS an alternative to the “boring training” you refer to. You must understand – one young swimmer WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT CHANGE SWIMMING.


Yes! Been waiting for someone to say that. He’s huge and he’s realistically out on his own performance wise. I think we should all just clam up and see what happens in the next 6 years. N=1 means nothing.


Yes! Been waiting for someone to say that. He’s huge and he’s realistically out on his own performance wise. I think we should all just clam up and see what happens in the next 6 years. N=1 means nothing.

I like this. In case I haven’t made my stance on this issue clear- while I personally lean towards the USRPT end of the spectrum, I love and appreciate all kinds of work. If the coach believes, and the athletes believe, just about all kinds of work works. I’d you’ll allow for a massive over simplification of things, let’s say a 1 is pure Rush all USRPT, and a 10 is pure Schubert volume/aerobic… I’d say Bob is about an 8… and Salo is about a 3. My guess is that Eddie Reese is as close to a 5.5 as I can think of, for reference purposes. (I’d put myself at a 2.5… it sounds like Sven may also be… Read more »

Joel Lin

You see, most blokes, you know, will be going to ten. When Schubert needs that extra push on USPRT, he puts it up to eleven. One louder.


But why not keep Schubert at ten, but make ten longer and slower?


… Schubert goes to eleven.





When Michael Andrew win a bunch of medals at the Olympics usrpt will be standard in swimming. Until then usrpt will be further enhanced to perfection. It takes patience, especially for those who do not believe.

Joel Lin

These go to eleven.

Sam Perry

Oustanding 🙂 and kind of hilarious that three or four of you immediately went there.

samuel huntington

Michael Andrew with USRPT: a few medals
All other Olympians with traditional yardage: hundreds of medals

I really don’t think USRPT will become standard


Do you have the winning lotto numbers too?

samuel huntington

what, i don’t understand your comment…..


he just meant , your numbers mean nothing yet ! do you have lotto numbers as u are good in numbers ? LOL


What about Dave Durden?

I have no idea 🙂 I’m only basing the guys above on workouts I’ve seen online of theirs…and I was pretty uneasy about naming known coaches above, as who am I to really say what they do? I’m not on deck with them.

But if everyone agrees that this is all conjecture and guessing… I haven’t seen enough on Cal, but my total and complete guess would be he’s a 3 or 4.

Dan O

It is sort of silly for Bowman to say “it’s all good.” There is plenty of stupid training out there.

Almost nothing done in 1976 as Bowman mentions was done with the benefit of scientific analysis. That is what is different today – started by Councilman. A lot of coaches still don’t like science. They don’t want to change.

USRPT hasn’t been done on a large scale for a number of years yet. No one here believes that Nathan Adrian would be as fast as he if he were training with Bowman, do they?


I actually think the training group is equally if not more important than the training style. You need someone (or many people) who push you to swim harder. Michael Andrew trains by himself…and based on the little that I’ve read, it would be very difficult to train with him because it seems to require a lot on 1 on 1 coaching time. He’s only 15 now so it’s all fun. But I honestly think he’ll get bored once he gets older. You need your friends to make practices fun.

Adrian could be equally as good if he trained with Bowman. But, he has an incredible sprint-based group at Cal (including Ervin, Shields, Coughlin).

Tee Bone

Keep in mind that Adrian came from a distance oriented program as a club swimmer. In fact, lots of our top international sprinters fall in that category.


Yes Tee Bone, but we had never heard of him back then. That is not proof that the club distance oriented program made him what he is today. Perhaps they were holding him back. Maybe he would have never reached the elite level with a Greg Troy type program (I know that is not who he swam for). I worry about the kids who physically or psychologically burn out or get overuse injuries from massive yardage. And you can’t change the composition of your muscle fibers. That’s genetic. Someone like Adrian most likely has predominantly fast twitch. Sometimes I think some of us are attached to the romance of the masochism of the sport. I know part of me is… Read more »

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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