Getting to the Bottom of Stroke Rate: Tempo Trainer Pro

by FINIS 4

April 11th, 2012 Gear, Swim Often, Swim Smarter

What is the optimum “stoke rate” pace that guarantees faster swimming? This is a question swimmers must somehow find the answer for but coaches struggle with how they are supposed to “crack the code” for each individual swimmer.  The great news is that FINIS has created the Tempo Trainer Pro, a waterproof metronome, to help swimmers and coaches find this answer.

The best “stroke rate” is thought to be a skill swimmers instinctively possess or one that is acquired through endless repetition.  Finding the ideal tempo requires a bit of investigative work from swimmers and coaches to test, learn and execute the tempo during training sessions and competitions.

The goal of swimming is to swim more efficiently, effectively and ultimately faster than the competition.   As a result, coaches place a lot of importance on analyzing a swimmer’s stroke rate pace and distance per stroke.  Finding the perfect equation will help swimmers to avoid spinning in the water but keep the stroke turn over consistent to optimize their swim performance.

Many swimmers do have a tendency to “spin their wheels” when they increase their stroke rate in an attempt to up their speed.  Commonly, the swimmer will appear to move the water around them rather than moving their body forward through the water.  The direct result is a very high stroke rate with an inefficient distance per stroke. However, it is also important for swimmers to keep their strokes long.  There are those swimmers that have a slower stroke rate who actually need to increase their pace. Toying with the length of strokes and the rate at which a swimmer moves their arms can present difficulties and confusion for some swimmers while trying to adjust to new speeds and rhythms.  While varying a swimmer’s stroke rate when they are pacing is key, one of the fundamentals of efficient swimming is to keep a consistent rhythm, which harmonizes the various elements of the stroke. So how do you crack this code?

Cracking the code on speed is all about trying different varieties of arm rotations and distance per stroke exercises. While it may take people years to learn what their optimum stroke rate is and coordinating it with the distance per stroke, a solution has been developed. FINIS offers swimmers of all levels the opportunity to hone in on stroke rate, with the Tempo Trainer Pro. This little powerful device has been developed to help swimmers find their optimum speed remain focused and give that extra motivation to reach your goals.

For more information and training sets utilizing the Tempo Trainer Pro and cracking the code on speed check out: One Tool and Five Sets That Will Transform Your Swimming

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I dont know about these. Everytime I’ve bought one it gets waterlogged and useless in about a week. And at 30 bucks a pop I’m just not willing to keep trying new ones


Wonky, you try contacting Finis about your problems? Can’t see how a product that helps you hold tempos is not worth a try. its not like swimming success comes from random chance. Read any of the research? Even the recent one by RM @ USA Swimming about 100 back stroke rate?


i have had some of my tempo trainers for over 6 years and they still work. however, there always seems to be some that go bad and others that dont. some beep louder than others. quality control isnt consistent.

but, keeping them in a dry place between uses, not storing them in a swim bag where they can get tossed around, and not dropping them on the ground seems to keep mine working.

when they have gone bad, i have sent them back to my distributor who just replaces them… no charge. i guess they send them back to finis for a credit or replacement.

Ross and I love using the tempo trainers with our clients – a great resource and tool for learning how to swim fast!

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