Olympian Josh Davis Tests USRPT, Swims Fastest Times in Ten Years (Feature Video)

Swimming News / Swimming Video Interview courtesy of Team Andrew Indie Swimming, a SwimSwam partner. This interview was captured at the 2014 ASCA World Clinic.

Watch 5-time Olympic Medalist, Josh Davis, breakdown your swimming career, and why USRPT works for the majority of swimmers.

Watch Josh Davis’ analysis of Michael Andrew and Coach Peter Andrew:


Michael Andrew during warm up (photo: Mike Lewis, Ola Vista Photography)

Michael Andrew during warm up (photo: Mike Lewis, Ola Vista Photography)

Ever wonder why young swimmers are taught to swim long distances at slow speeds when they are preparing for a 50/100/200/400 meter race? Or why so many great athletes get injured during practice and never reach their full potential? Or why so many gifted swimmers simply quit because they have burned out at practice? If so, you might want to learn more about the scientific research behind the new swimming training method that is impacting racers worldwide.




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I have huge respect for Josh Davis, one of my all time favorites actually. But I just can’t get behind USRPT. Of the fastest kids in the country, meaning kids in top 3 in any event in any age group, the only one to my knowledge to use USRPT is Michael Andrew and no prominent pro swimmer does, but all of a sudden just because Dr. Rushall, who has little swim experience, says he created the ultimate swim program, it can all of a sudden do no wrong. But what really bugs me about it is how 90% of their reasoning behind it is “We work on technique” or “We actually focus on races” as if other training styles just… Read more »

SwimmerAndFan – there are several prominent swimmers who use USRPT. For some reason, a lot of them have been afraid to speak about it publicly.


Well if they don’t speak about it publicly, then how can you say with confidence that they use it?


I completely agree. What is there to hide if it works? Right now in my mind there is an N of 1 who is a freak with respect to everything about him. Size, maturity, backyard pool, training by himself, seemingly unlimited cash to travel all over to swim (even before he turned pro).

jman – I can’t say for certain why they’re choosing to hide it. Not the first people in swimming to try and hide the kind of training they do.

My guess is that, given the violent reactions in each direction that people have about USRPT, the swimmers think it will hurt their ‘marketability.’


Perhaps it’s because these swimmers want to keep one step ahead of their competitors!


Possibly because they see it as a competetive advantage and don’t want the whole world to start using it!

Coach Q

Here’s how I see it. The Rushall USRPT concept is still very new, which is why there is such a small pool of coaches using it currently. Coach Dave “Sprint” Salo’s approach is very similar, and he’s been using that for years, with great success. I think most coaches are not willing to embrace USRPT because it goes completely against what they’ve been practicing for a long time. I have never embraced the over-swimming practice that many coaches use to train. I will never understand why some coaches will have a 12 or 13 year old swimming 8000 to 10,000 yards per day (more or less). This practice is ripe for the introduction of overuse injuries in young swimmers, or… Read more »

A few comments: 1. Dr. Rushall’s experience with swimming goes back at least to Indiana University (think Doc Councilman), Thunder Bay Thunderbolts when Don Talbot was Head Coach – from there to present. 2. Dr. Rushall hasn’t invented anything – he has reviewed a large body of research and has talked about what the research suggests. 3. Suggest listening to several podcasts from Ritter Sports Performance where Dave Salo is interviewed…. Salo isn’t running a USRPT program – exactly – but it doesn’t sound like he’s running a high volume program…. 4. Suggest reviewing a large body of work from Dr. Rushall at http://coachsci.sdsu.edu/swim/bullets/table.htm 5. Matt Mann (1884-1962) University of Michigan Coach in the 50’s has a poster up at… Read more »


I hate how “perfect technique” is advertised as one off the main focus points of USRPT (as if perfect technique is ignored or something in every other program in the world) but the main proponent of USRPT, Michael Andrew, has one of the worst techniques of anybody in the top of swimming. And that fact is actually really scary, because that would mean he has a lot of room to improve if he got any actual swimming instruction and fixed up his stroke techniques


When talking about technique, don’t confuse ‘bad’ with ‘ugly’. If you can point me to anything specific that Andrew is doing abdly I’d love to hear about it.




The most notable one is in his backstroke, almost his entire hand comes out of the water on his pull which means he is missing all that water. And on his breaststroke, his kick (which I have no problem admitting is one of the best I’ve ever seen) is negated by his elbows staying near the surface and making almost a barge. I’ve raced him a couple times, and we’ve traded wins back and forth over a couple years in breaststroke events, so I can say first hand that he can improve a lot technique wise


I agree that he could (and probably should) be pulling deeper with his hand to avoid breaking the surface in backstroke. That said, the alignment of his forearms (a much bigger surface area than his hand on its own) is extremely good during the entire propulsive phase of his stroke and is probably the reason he is able to hold so much water despite the shallow pull.

Not quite sure what you mean in relation to the breaststroke arm thing, are you suggesting that he should recover with elbows above the surface?


Not at all. What I was trying to describe was that his forearms in the propulsion part of the stroke are very wide and make almost a barge shape. He doesn’t bring his elbows in close to his body at any point during his stroke


Breaststroker: With that logic (that MA’s technique is terrible), then the USRPT must be pretty amazing, to get the results that he gets. I do think his technique , like most young swimmers, has room for improvement. I am more concerned with Dr Rushalls stance on strength training. I am wondering if MA’s underwaters will ever match his competitors without focus on building core strength. I also know that when I myself began strength training, it cut down my stroke count.

Gina Rhinestone

i recently read where a 100m breastroker swam 14 km training in one Day.

That is 140x competition demand . Lucky she was not a marathoner or she would have had to run 578 kms that day .

samuel huntington

this comparison is very, very flawed. Andrew Gemmel, the 10K champion, does not train 140K a day. On the other hand, a sprinter who does the 100 meter dash may do 10,000 meters of running a day to train for the event. You can’t compare the 100 breast to a marathon.


No good 100 meter sprinter does 10,000 meters of running per day. And you can compare the 100 breast to a 400 meter run in terms of energy demands. So it’s not flawed.


Andrew Gemmel would train 140k a day if he had enough time.
He would probably do 280k if you let him use paddles

Gina Rhinestone

I cut down a digit for Gravity & the OCD nature of marathoners. ( don’t give them ideas)

A fairer example would be the 400 hurdles – a good leg strength/ endurance approximation to the 100 br . No way either are going to be without significant weight work on top of distance but 400 x 140 would have them running & leaping 56 kms .

samuel huntington

well regardless of the comparison to running, we know for a fact that swimming 10K-15K a day will make you fast. So I am not sure what the problem is.


The problem is that you can get the same results on a lot less than that if you train smart.


Do we know that swimming 10k a day will make you fast? Or that there are people who swim 10k a day who are fast?

There is a big difference there. It could be argued that it wasn’t the volume that made them fast but whatever parts of their 10k had an appropriate intensity level.


With my own eyes I saw world class track sprinters(top five in world) training 3h on track (warm up drills ,power work, drills, sprint or a or 150m efforts ) then in afternoon 1h30/2h gym work ,all of that
to run 9.8- 9.9 100m.
the problem here is ,people with luck of any sports education or any athletic back round trying give advise on how to coach, im sure its not happening on medical sites.

swimmer and 2.21 marathoner.

Lane Four

2:21 marathoner???? Acoach, I am extremely impressed. (This coming from an average 4:00 marathoner!)

Gina Rhinestone

Exactly .4.5 hours per day are required to be national level at any sport 5.5 for a spring internationals . ( this includes 12 year old gymnasts)

The question here is what is done within that timeframe . In your example you have the time split between Wu / drills/ 150 m as over distance efforts / agility & gym . Of all the swim events the 100 breast would suit this division of energy best .

Perhaps we should ask Breeja how she likes to train.

I don’t think it’s the time that’s the problem. It’s what are you doing with that time. It was just stated that in the 3hrs of work, a run sprinter will spend time warming up, doing drills, strength and weight training, and practicing running fast. Didn’t hear running a 5k in there.

Swim sprinters should divide their time similarly. Warm-up, drills, speed work, race simulation and strength/weight training. 3 hrs per day total. Not just swimming 70% speed laps for 3hrs.


I think that’s what she was saying

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