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  #31  
Old 02-18-2009
naj naj is offline
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"I think this is the $64,000 question, as it indicates to me that swimming is more dependent on body characteristics such as buoyancy and mass/volume of arms relative to trunk and legs, than it does on technique."

I'd have to disagree with you Fred. I'm not trying to brag but I have a lean muscular body sort of like Cullen Jones (sort of I'm 20 years older lol!) Anyway, even with this mass/volume issue I've been very successful gliding through the water and staying streamlined. Can I ask, when your lead hand is out in front while your getting a breath and your recovery arm is coming forward to re-enter the water are you holding that lead arm out in front steady? I say this 'cause at times I might begin to pull my lead arm just a split second before I should causing my legs and hips to drop.

The other thing I want to say is that the mass/volume theory doesn't really fly for me simply because Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett, Phelps, Dara Torres are built like granite and they never have problems staying bouyant...just my two cents. Best of luck!
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  #32  
Old 02-18-2009
madvet madvet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freshegg View Post
I believe I'm swimming with the proper technique. (Okay, I'm not THAT slow, but I feel like I should be faster than I am.) I am streamlined !! Really, I am !!! Arrrggggh.
A couple of things -- just curious how fast are you? We have had some people post saying "oh I am so slow, I only average 1:05 per 100 yards."
I don't believe in absolutes, but there is a big difference between a 1:30 swimmer and a 1:15 swimmer (not to mention the 0:55 swimmer).

Videos would really help, first to see what it is you are talking about, and also to see if you really live up to "proper technique." Poor alignment can easily add 10 or 15 seconds to your 100 yard time and might be something you are not aware of without seeing it from the "outside."
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  #33  
Old 02-18-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Naj, I recently read about an old "racial" bias in swimming. There was a belief that non-black men have the potential to swim better than black men because black men have less fat on average so they are less buoyant. I doubt it. Like you mentioned, high-level athletes tend to be like granite.

In "Gold in the Water," Tate Blahnik was always referred to as a skinny guy with matchstick arms who would rarely practise and didn't really want to compete, but he just did well anyway. (Compared to his arms, my arms might look like...string. haha My torso definitely doesn't look that solid.)

I also just read about Cullen Jones, who you mentioned. He said, "I was...the kid in lane seven going slow." He put in the time and effort and we all know the results.

Even if we don't have the natural ability or the perfect physique, we have time, effort, and will. Personal best +1. The kaizen way.
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  #34  
Old 02-18-2009
mjm mjm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freshegg View Post
I experience the same frustration Fred mentioned, seeing fatties whiz by me, when I believe I'm swimming with the proper technique. (Okay, I'm not THAT slow, but I feel like I should be faster than I am.) When I do the superman glide, I jackknife and sink. Even just merely pushing off from the wall, the person in the lane next to me will go further. And I am streamlined !!
Dare I write it? Mr. T Laughlin himself is a very speedy swimmer while not exactly the most svelte minnow in the lake.

Freshegg: here's a news flash: just about everybody feels they should be faster. However, only a few lay the blame on their physique. Maybe you have heard of Natalie DuToit who swam the 10k in China. See:
http://caredigest.blogspot.com/2008/...in-boston.html

Maybe you have seen this extremely lean, big upper chest swimmer:
http://www.thelifeofluxury.com/image...ael_phelps.jpg

I'm not saying either swimmer's body types "prove" anything. I am saying that many different types of physiques can excel.

Sure it sucks to have to work all the time on technique. If it were easy, everybody would swim 100m under a minute. I can't. But I'm still trying and I'm a skinny runt. (5'8'', 135 lbs.). --mjm
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  #35  
Old 02-18-2009
ny1301 ny1301 is offline
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I've finally figured it out. Here is the solution:

1. Eat junk food 3+ times a day; make sure you never feel hungary;
2. Take it easy when exercising
3. For people complain (rightly) about not having ideal palms or feet size, don't clip nails during this period (optional);

Hopefully, in about 2-3 months, you will get ideal swimmer's body type, and let's head the pool and time your 100m. If your speed increases significantly, well, you have proved it for yourself! and you can write a book "Freestyle: REAL Easy".

I've seen people spent too much time on this topic; just want to be helpful.
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  #36  
Old 02-18-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ny1301 View Post
I've finally figured it out. Here is the solution:

1. Eat junk food 3+ times a day; make sure you never feel hungary;
2. Take it easy when exercising
3. For people complain (rightly) about not having ideal palms or feet size, don't clip nails during this period (optional);

Hopefully, in about 2-3 months, you will get ideal swimmer's body type, and let's head the pool and time your 100m. If your speed increases significantly, well, you have proved it for yourself! and you can write a book "Freestyle: REAL Easy".

I've seen people spent too much time on this topic; just want to be helpful.
Uh...that is almost exactly what I do and I can confirm that it does not make me any faster. (5' 8", 150 lbs)

BTW, here is some data I compiled just for reference. I wanted to compare Olympic times per 25 yards and to compare the relative speed of each stroke. (I'll attach it as an image.)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Olympic_25_yards.jpg (21.0 KB, 15 views)

Last edited by shuumai : 02-18-2009 at 09:37 PM. Reason: formatting issue
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  #37  
Old 02-19-2009
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freshegg View Post
...I experience the same frustration Fred mentioned, seeing fatties whiz by me, when I believe I'm swimming with the proper technique. (Okay, I'm not THAT slow, but I feel like I should be faster than I am.) When I do the superman glide, I jackknife and sink. Even just merely pushing off from the wall, the person in the lane next to me will go further...
Well, I just happen to be one of those "fatties" who go "whizzing by", and I can assure you that I have never gained any advantage in swimming from this and have had to work long and hard to improve. So some ex-tennis player is miffed that he can't just jump straight into a pool and swim really well straight off the bat, just because he was a competitive athlete once upon a time? Well, perhaps he should try getting out of bed at 5:00 a.m., morning after morning, devoting 5 or more hours a week to working on stroke mechanics, as I do.
Oh, and just for the record, I do not eat junk food three times a day.
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  #38  
Old 02-19-2009
asbarden asbarden is offline
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The original question, if I understood it, related to whether certain body types could make one become slower over time. It seems to me that the orientation of most people interested in TI swimming is that we want to swim with the best form possible, as far as possible, with the least effort possible, as fast as possible. Importantly, we intend to improve in small progressive steps over time (Kaizen). Since we all have whatever body type we have, we are forced to work with that. Barring injury, lack of motivation or lack of training, it seems to me that the only thing that could make one swim slower than previously is poorer form. That's not a criticism of you, Fred, it's just the only thing I can think of.
Regarding your comment, mjm, about Terry's physique, I would add two comments. (1) Because my 48 year old body is shaped rather like his, I find myself wishing that being shaped like a certain swimmer could make me swim as fast and as far as that swimmer. (2) Terry's approach to TI is fundamentally about shape for hydrodynamics and core for power. I've never met Terry, but I'll bet the strength of his core is awesome.
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  #39  
Old 02-19-2009
shuumai shuumai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhoda View Post
Well, I just happen to be one of those "fatties" who go "whizzing by", and I can assure you that I have never gained any advantage in swimming from this and have had to work long and hard to improve. So some ex-tennis player is miffed that he can't just jump straight into a pool and swim really well straight off the bat, just because he was a competitive athlete once upon a time? Well, perhaps he should try getting out of bed at 5:00 a.m., morning after morning, devoting 5 or more hours a week to working on stroke mechanics, as I do.
Oh, and just for the record, I do not eat junk food three times a day.
5am?! I have to go and see some morning swimmers. I have a suspicion that the better adult swimmers start their training before most people get out of bed. I know that that's when the Masters team is there; the ones who go below 15 seconds per 25.

I estimate that for me to make it to a 5:30am practice, I'd have to set an alarm for 4:00 or 4:15am. I like to eat one hour before swimming. However, I'd never make it out the door because I'm 100% sure my wife would knock me out for setting the alarm so early.

Just remember, brains are mostly fat and water, omega-3 fatty acids are essential, fat makes steak a better experience, and fat makes some people more buoyant while others watch with envy. Not to mention the smoothing effect if has on the skin.
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  #40  
Old 02-19-2009
terryhand terryhand is offline
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I have been following this thread with a great deal of interest as I do have some sympathy with Fred’s position. Of course it could appear to be all too easy to blame body type on a lack of progress, but this is something that has been nagging at me ever since I started to learn to swim as an adult onset swimmer. I have to admit that on occasions I have begun to feel that some of us just aren’t built to be swimmers.

In my case, unlike Fred I would not claim even to be an average swimmer. After a year and a half I am still struggling to get past the switch drills to a passable full stroke. Neither would I claim to be an Adonis, but I do have a running background, and a typical runners physique. Sinking legs have been a perennial problem from the beginning.

Early on in this thread, one of the posters asked Fred if he pushed away into a glide from the wall underwater did he rise to the surface in a horizontal position. I would have to say emphatically no. Despite the fact that I am looking straight down and my arms are straight out in front, my shoulders always, without fail bob to the surface first. I can feel the angle of my body changing very quickly after pushing off. I have tried doing this completely relaxed and relaxed with the core engaged. It makes no difference.

In the full stroke and in the switch drills the effect is that I hardly glide at all.

Something I noticed recently in the DVD is that Terry’s legs appear to be quite engaged on the upstroke as well as the down stroke. That is, the passive leg is actively raised at the same time as the other leg kicks down the initiate the rotation. This seems counter to everything that I have learned so far as the emphasis has always been on kicking down. Could this be the answer, or have I got it completely wrong?

I really am trying to progress, and don’t want to appear as negative. I am looking for a way ahead.
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