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-   -   Inspiration needed (http://www.totalimmersion.net/forum/showthread.php?t=4298)

CharlesCouturier 03-28-2013 01:34 AM

Inspiration needed
 
Hi everyone.

I would really really like to start thinking of a way of finally be able to answer the question as to what swim speed are most people entitled to, per gender and age group, given
- Fair hydrodynamic profile
- Power is being applied correctly

-----

This question isn't that easy as it first might seem.

Here's what my first biggest issue would be.

Ask any top level marathoner to perform a very light jog, 9min per miles, they can do that easily. Ask a tour de france rider to ride a bike with their young daughter at 12mph, they sure can.

Ask any good level swimmer to swim as slow as most of you guys would dream of swimming over 1500 (ie, 25min), they can't. Well they can, but at what cost. Some will have to seriously alter their stroke in order to loose enough speed to hold 1:40/100m. It's been reported in fact.

Now, we're talking 1:40/100m... Can you for one second imagine 2min/100m? There you lost most elite swimmers. They just can't move in the water that slow. Now what does it mean???

The best possible path I am thinking of would be to be able to use some sort of techno paddles that can measure force (and say rate for estimating power) and thus measure the power needed by an elite swimmer to hold 2min per 100m, after teaching him how to go that slow (with a few classes, it's probably feasible).

So there goes my first question. What would this number be? Ridiculously low? Sooooo low that just about anyone in a decent shape could produce?

How can these things be studied in your opinion. Anyone heard about techno equipement that has been used to measure (or estimate) power required to move forward?

Why is it that elite just can not swim as slow as most people here would dream of swimming...

What pace should everyone be able to hold, given fair hydrodynamic profile (that implies good balance, tone body, smart core, and everything you need to NOT make drag).

It's becoming increasingly difficult for me as a coach to passively witness people struggling to hold extreme slow pace. I won't be able to stand it for so many more years, forget it...

tony0000 03-28-2013 05:40 AM

Charles,

Not quite sure what you're problem is. Projecting a bit, I imagine that people are asking you, "How fast should I be able to swim given that I'm a 54 year old man, 170 lbs, and [whatever]?" You'd like to be able to provide a reasonable answer grounded in data. It's true that in swimming, unlike in running and biking, going fast does not imply the ability to go slow. But why should that fact prevent you from gathering the sort of data you need to answer the question? Just find a 54 year old man who's 170 lbs (like me) and find out how fast he can swim.

Sorry if I'm missing the point. It's late at night.

Tony

mjm 03-28-2013 01:39 PM

Constant Speed
 
Charles: interesting question. This company measures power and velocity in swimming: http://teamtermin.com/

Also, here is an interesting discussion of their findings:
http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...light=sensors]

Team Termin concluded from their data that the fastest swimmers have the least difference between their greatest and least speed--not the most power. In other words, fast swimmers MAINTAIN their constant pace better than slow swimmers.

So for a fast swimmer to go slow he or she would need to speed up then slow down continually during the stroke cycle. Obviously hard for them to do. Otherwise, they could introduce drag like our friend GR who said during his video series that he pointed his toes down and went from swimming 1:15/100 to 1:40/100. YMMV. Mike

CoachSuzanne 03-28-2013 05:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mjm (Post 35151)
Charles: interesting question. This company measures power and velocity in swimming: http://teamtermin.com/

Also, here is an interesting discussion of their findings:
http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...hlight=sensors

Team Termin concluded from their data that the fastest swimmers have the least difference between their greatest and least speed--not the most power. In other words, fast swimmers MAINTAIN their constant pace better than slow swimmers.

So for a fast swimmer to go slow he or she would need to speed up then slow down continually during the stroke cycle. Obviously hard for them to do. Otherwise, they could introduce drag like our friend GR who said during his video series that he pointed his toes down and went from swimming 1:15/100 to 1:40/100. YMMV. Mike

Or fast swimmers create the least drag...

CharlesCouturier 03-28-2013 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mjm (Post 35151)
Charles: interesting question. This company measures power and velocity in swimming: http://teamtermin.com/

Also, here is an interesting discussion of their findings:
http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...hlight=sensors

Team Termin concluded from their data that the fastest swimmers have the least difference between their greatest and least speed--not the most power. In other words, fast swimmers MAINTAIN their constant pace better than slow swimmers.

So for a fast swimmer to go slow he or she would need to speed up then slow down continually during the stroke cycle. Obviously hard for them to do. Otherwise, they could introduce drag like our friend GR who said during his video series that he pointed his toes down and went from swimming 1:15/100 to 1:40/100. YMMV. Mike

team Termin's conclusion doesn't surprise me at all. Deceleration/acceleration will never be the most efficient (energy wise) way to move forward in the water.

That you soooo much for these 2 links, it's exactly the sort of info I'm looking for. Unfortunately, the 2nd link points to nowhere, product may have been retired from the market.

I like the velocity analysis idea, but I'm not good enough at physics to know if this could be used as a reliable means of estimating power actually being applied.

dprevish 03-28-2013 06:47 PM

A different take
 
Charles,

I saw this post and was fascinated by it. Maybe I misread your post, but I think to find a metric by which to measure the propulsive forces that are applied though would perhaps be not as accurate as a measurement of drag resistance (or lack thereof).
I say this from observation of real world scenarios. One of coach Suzanne's posts about a month or so ago documented that she is down in the low 1:20s on her speed/100yds (or meters?), nevertheless, she also said in the same post that she could do about 40 push ups at any given time. This attests to the truth that she is moving very quickly (I'd aspire to that time) with a low threshold of upper body power. This I think closely converts (along with lats strength) to the propulsive force you'd be measuring.
At my best time/100 I'm at 1:31 and that's balls to the walls power. However, from other training and core work I generally can do about 7-800 push ups in a 20min. span and maybe 200 pull ups in that time. I'm not an exercise psysiologist mind you (can't even spell it), but you'd think I could sprint through the water like a bullet given some of this power potential; not so much!
This may also explain why it's hard for an elite swimmer to slow down, as so much of their speed is derived from all the stuff all us TI folks are trying to get better at: balance, steamlining, so forth. How does a person "un-streamline" or "de-balance".
So I think, as many of us do, that the "motor", while important is so ancillary to the technique, that even a measure of power would be inconclusive of potential.
Just seemed interesting and fun to comment on.
While on the thought of a measurement system though. I have wondered about some sort of "on board" microprocessor" that one could wear swimming that would give real time feedback of either increases or decreases in speed. If the feedback was there while swimming, I would be able to quickly know when I was going faster (or slower) and perhaps pinpoint the slight adjustments from proprioception and learn faster. All in theory.

mjm 03-28-2013 06:56 PM

Corrected Link
 
Charles: see the corrected link to the USMS discussion forum involving Team Termin in my first post above.

Coach S: agreed. Least drag = fast. Least change in speed = fast.

Least drag = least change in speed.

Mike

CoachToby 03-28-2013 08:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dprevish (Post 35155)
One of coach Suzanne's posts about a month or so ago documented that she is down in the low 1:20s on her speed/100yds (or meters?), nevertheless, she also said in the same post that she could do about 40 push ups at any given time. This attests to the truth that she is moving very quickly (I'd aspire to that time) with a low threshold of upper body power. This I think closely converts (along with lats strength) to the propulsive force you'd be measuring.

Notwithstanding your most excellent ability Dave, I think you'll find that most blokes can't do more than about 20 decent push-ups. As you are living proof, ability to do push-ups does not reflect an ability to swim fast. I'd guess if you spent as much time improving your balance and streamlining skills as you spend doing push-ups, you may one day be as fast as CoachSuzanne :-).

andyinnorway 03-28-2013 09:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachToby (Post 35158)
Notwithstanding your most excellent ability Dave, I think you'll find that most blokes can't do more than about 20 decent push-ups. As you are living proof, ability to do push-ups does not reflect an ability to swim fast. I'd guess if you spent as much time improving your balance and streamlining skills as you spend doing push-ups, you may one day be as fast as CoachSuzanne :-).

800 pushups in 20 mins, I think that counts as perpetual motion push ups.

Charles, I'm sure if you paid them these swimmers could manage a 1.40 or 2.00 100m, just tell them to balance, flick their toe and breath every 5 seconds. 20spm and no push off?, I"m sure their balance can handle it? its just a slow motion drill. 1.40 would be 8SPL and if they get the slow motion right their SPL should be the same as at 80spm?, just don't let them kick 16 beat or something crazy.

dprevish 03-29-2013 02:39 AM

Toby,

Quite, too true, "perpetual motion push ups" do not equate to speed in the water!

andyinnorway 03-29-2013 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dprevish (Post 35161)
Toby,

Quite, too true, "perpetual motion push ups" do not equate to speed in the water!

Actually Dave, where did you reach a point of perpetual motion with the push ups?

I've gone from 20 all out to 60 in about 6 weeks and was wondering once you get to 100 is 200 relatively straight forward?

CharlesCouturier 03-29-2013 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne (Post 35153)
Or fast swimmers create the least drag...

That in fact is my starting hypothesis.

Problem is that we've known it for what feels to be forever, but imo we are still yet to discover to the extent to which every little detail has a big impact.

Yesterday again, female, mid 20ties, good flexibility, ok technique, ex rower (Cambridge U in the UK), managed 14:30 for 750m in a race. That is a tidy bit slower than 1:55/100m.

My initial reaction (thanks god) is to look just as happy as everyone around her, since it was indeed a personal best and an improvement.

But that pace remains more than sustainable for me with a kick board chat kicking...

why why why...

CharlesCouturier 03-29-2013 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dprevish (Post 35155)
Charles,

I saw this post and was fascinated by it. Maybe I misread your post, but I think to find a metric by which to measure the propulsive forces that are applied though would perhaps be not as accurate as a measurement of drag resistance (or lack thereof).

I seriously need to go at the bottom of it, even if it takes years. I'm in a great position to achieve this. I work with an Olympic coach who studies for a Master in sports, in the University where I coach, one of my athlete being a professor there (sports) and a PhD. So I should be able to bring the resources together. No choice, I absolutely got to go at the bottom of it.

You've misread my post, but just a bit. I don't to measure the propulsive forces as much as estimating the power (or force) required to move at this or that pace, given a good technique. Now you may think "Charles, this is the same thing". No it's not.

On one hand, measuring (or pretending to measure) propulsive forces implies that we know, from say 10 pounds per stroke @ 50rpm, how much of this contributes to propulsion. I'm not interested in this. I want to know the cost of swimming, regardless of if the effort made has a positive, null, or negative impact on propulsion. How much does it cost????????????????????????

Then I want to compare it with the force *used* by slower swimmers to achieve the same pace, and start from there. That then could be seen as the price actually paid by lower level swimmer.

Wouldn't you find interesting to hear that a good swimmers requires merely 8lbs of force per arm stroke to move at 1:50/100m whilst an avg swimmer would use 24lbs of force to achieve the same pace?

Quote:

Originally Posted by dprevish (Post 35155)
At my best time/100 I'm at 1:31 and that's balls to the walls power.

Yesterday we had our little inhouse competition (introductory work for those who are not used to jump from a block). My fastest guy was there. And I asked him: Luke, what's the slowest pace you could swim on at the moment in your opinion, ie slower than that would feel very uncomfortable. His answer was 1:30 for 100m (not yards). The sort of session he books seems to suggest this. 4x1500m off 20min (booking every one in the low 18min), 10x1000 off 14min (booking everyone in low 12s).

Understand me. How can one could literally feel *still* at a pace corresponding to your best effort?

I must confess that a big inspiration for me to become eager to investigate this has been this man here:
Quote:

Coach Gerry

MY COACHING PHILOSOPHY…

Although my coaching philosophy has evolved over a quarter century of experience, there remain several core principles and values that have guided me since Year One and, I expect, always will do so:

1. There are no shortcuts;
2. There are no secrets;

http://tower26.com/t26-blog/
I don't know, I'm not so sure. Tell me why most people (possibly including his own clientele) are struggling holding pace an elite can't even swim at (too slow), and yes I'll agree that there remain no secrets in swimming.

Til then, I like to believe that there still are secrets, and until we unfold them, it's hard to know what the shortcuts may be (or may become in the future).

smat 03-29-2013 03:56 PM

Press up impressive. 800 in 20 mins is fantastic. I managed 92 straight of and we regularly have comps at work and i beat the young guns. Can still bench 100kg at 78kg body weight ... Swimming can not be about power as mine is not too bad ,but yet i can still only manage 36mins for 1500m.
My coach is helping with technique as my power and fitness in other areas is good. Interesting topic.

Ghul 03-29-2013 04:29 PM

A fascinating topic indeed. It may be that elite swimmers are designed
by nature to have low drag. It would be interesting to know how much variation
in drag is due to body type and how much to skill. Elite swimmers may also have much better co-ordination than average so skill may also be partly intrinsic.

Janos 03-29-2013 07:15 PM

The whole TI concept is based on observations of elite and progressively trained swimmers from US and Russia who deliberately practised at slow swim speeds to enable them to get the feedback they needed to improve their race speed. If you can't do it slowly, you can't do it fast.

Janos

Richardsk 03-29-2013 07:30 PM

It can't be just about body type, although obviously some body types are more advantageous than others. The other day a very large, tall man with a very large paunch was swimming in the next lane to mine and he was going fairly fast. I wouldn't be able to estimate a time very accurately, but probably better than 30 secs per 25, which I am not capable of. Today a large man with very powerful shoulders who is paralysed from the waist down was swimming next to me and he was faster than me, or at least not much slower. Today also a young girl (swim club type) was whizzing up and down continuously at a pace I can only dream of for one length. Her body type was more or less ideal, although to be an Olympian she would probably need to grow a bit taller. She had an excellent kick (faster than my swim) and a beautiful backstroke as well as a very nice fly to judge from her drills.

In my age group in the UK and the age groups below and above there is quite a range of physiques, although there are not too many of us. Wiry seems to predominate and often I find the best and fastest are ex water polo players. I suspect that there is a causal link there. Times for the 50m range from the low to mid thirties for the fast guys to the high 'fifties or even above one minute in my case.

Almost spherical women of similar age to mine have often swum much faster than I can swim and I bet I would have no trouble with them in a wrestling match, if that sort of thing were allowed. ;-)

'Tis a mystery!

CoachToby 03-29-2013 09:00 PM

I think it can be unhelpful to use elite swimmers as an example when tying to identify physical attributes common to fast swimmers in general - elites are a breed apart. Like Richardsk says, good swimmers come in all shapes and sizes. It's not the size of the engine that matters, but how the power is transmitted.

WFEGb 03-29-2013 10:29 PM

Hi Charles,

think you have good conditions to bring the world of swimming some steps forward.

Quote:

I don't know, I'm not so sure. Tell me why most people (possibly including his own clientele) are struggling holding pace an elite can't even swim at (too slow), and yes I'll agree that there remain no secrets in swimming.

Til then, I like to believe that there still are secrets, and until we unfold them, it's hard to know what the shortcuts may be (or may become in the future).
How you can see the answers your questions are moving many of us. And if no secrets there at least some mysteries stay out for explenation.

You are looking at the end of top Level swimmers. In my opinion the mystery of breathing is not solved for beginners. Students with strength and endurance who have problems swimming 4 laps is a mystery for me. (Seems to me a more psychological and problem of relaxation and the right mood-focuses; might be developed by psychologists than swim coaches...)

Some additional thoughts.
- You sometimes wrote of special sensors developed or inated by top swimers. Are there any researches of distribution of the nerve endings compared top level with hobby swimmers? (It is completely unclear to me, how Terry or other coaches are able to improve very finest changes and know which changes are right and which wrong...) Think everyone has more endings at the finger tips than on the back, but what if a top level swimmer has on his back as much endings as I on my finger tips?
- Are there known experiments with swimmers in flow channels as used for shipbuilding? (Could be possible with counterflows in endless pools, when water is pumped outside the pool. Several glued twine on swimmers bodies.) Guess the most fluend state is not what is felt as it. And guess it's quite different for different bodies. Is our best felt or coache's realized streamline really the very best to be effortless and fastest? May be we have to deal with different currencies near our bodies. (Pinguins and Barracudas are fairly fast swimmers with very different currencies near their bodies.) May be we get into the same velocity dependend problems as cyclists, when it's good to produce small turbulences when better to avoid them. (Bullets and golf balls also do ...)
- And how have we to move while stroking to hold the best position and Forward drive. And is it steady or to be changed acjusted to pace, force and movement?
- Last but not least I'm sure TI is a very good starting point and despite Terry's footer a long bodyline and good balance can't be wrong. But you may bring out one ore more amazing changes and new focuses.

All that will be enough for your dissertation and following habiltation. Be sure, I'll buy "your book"!

Best regards,
Werner
-

dprevish 03-29-2013 11:38 PM

I see your point now
 
I did miss your point slightly; now I see what you are getting at. I find this a fascinating point too, keeps me wondering the same thing: Why...if there is no secret does one person toil, while another cruises. You are on to something, as a way to benchmark the cost that is actually measured by an elite (say a device that fits on one's hand) would allow a person to be able to understand when they are inefficient. Because if I'm applying 30lbs (random figure) to the device on each stroke, vs the elite only applying 10, we see the rift. I'm working way too hard for the return. Actually, I'm acutely aware of that from my posts!:-)
This information could prove helpful. Even more helpful sometimes would be a way for me to measure (perhaps by infrared?) the drag locations off my body as I swim, vs that of an elite?

In my running, the cost measurement is usually measured through heart rate. And once I'm at 92% of MHR, my time at that pace is limited. But in swimming as Terry states in one of his Youtubes that in swimming there is so much less concern about your "engine"(propulsive force), but more to gain from drag reduction. And I see that in my own observations that the more unlikely swimmers can set some great times. Once a little guy about 10 jumped in the lane that I was swimming in (making three...ugggh). I thought he was going to slow us down; but he smoked us!! He just boogied up and down lane after lane...amazing. I had to really step up to keep him off my heels!

So yes, curiously with about 20 min.(about 6 - 7 sets) three days a week I can maintain about 7-800 push ups seeing slight gains about every week or two. I'm not sure why either, (Andy and Smat you were wondering). I wish I could translate that into swim speed, but thatís not it. But I've observed long ago, that it is surely not a power thing solely at least.

Iíve pondered the core weight shift principle as well and have resolved myself to the long term application of something that I am baffled by too. I do know as I said in an earlier post that one thing that I am not anywhere close to achieving yet is balance. I do observe my son slack lining (itís basically a tight rope). He is getting better as he achieves balance and can move predictably across the span as long as he has balance. Once he loses that, heís off on the ground (only about 2 feet fall with the sport). I know that the balance, symmetry and breathing skills I see from the elites is impeccable, I'm trying first to get that, hoping the rest will fall in place. But as I've found...it's not so easy.

So I am with you in this quest for understanding, and open to ideas!

stratcat 03-30-2013 02:07 AM

I sae this sometime ago on "Bang goes the theory" which is one of my favourite TV science doco programs...

http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/news/new...sp?newsPk=1830

While the apparatus and the theory behind it aren't perfect (and if you can find footage of the demonstration this is not great) it may at least be ok as a starting point for further development. For instance, I'm not sure on the merits of "dry-land" swimming - I think they need to drop the whole thing into an endless pool. But the science of making these types of measurements has to start somewhere!

Chris

DD_l_enclume 03-30-2013 08:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 35166)
Yesterday again, female, mid 20ties, good flexibility, ok technique, ex rower (Cambridge U in the UK), managed 14:30 for 750m in a race. That is a tidy bit slower than 1:55/100m.

My initial reaction (thanks god) is to look just as happy as everyone around her, since it was indeed a personal best and an improvement.

But that pace remains more than sustainable for me with a kick board chat kicking...

why why why...

Can't it just be that you spent 10 years swimming at an early age (I dunno, like 10), and she just started a few month ago?
We old learner will never be able to sustain that pace "with a kick board chat kicking... "

It's just the same in any technical activity. You can take music. Or learning a new language.
I read a lot and have more english vocabulary than my 12 yo nephew. I can compete on that level. But she already got an "native" accent that I can only dream of.

You fast swimmers have been shaped early. And you have something we are all chasing but that we will never reach.

But !!! ....we may have more happiness in that quest that you do just being fast :-)

CharlesCouturier 03-30-2013 06:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DD_l_enclume (Post 35178)
Can't it just be that you spent 10 years swimming at an early age (I dunno, like 10), and she just started a few month ago?

There's a part of my job which will forever be devoted to research.

You're spot on obviously. Swimming is best learned at early age. I'm not going to argue there. But as long as I don't know why you're right, I ain't going to be satisfied.

dprevish 03-30-2013 06:35 PM

Good to have support
 
Charles,

I think that DD hit it pretty close on the "time investment" concept. It took me many hours and years for the violin as a perfect example and I'm still learning.
My hopes in life are always that there's a quick fix to improvement, but just like drawing sound out of a bow; little by little you play back and forth with things that as Terry says are the difference between "not quite and right".
However, your on to something and there must be a way to peel the layers back on this all to understand it better.
Keep thinking; meantime thanks for you and everyone's support!

DD_l_enclume 03-30-2013 08:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 35185)
I ain't going to be satisfied.

I hope so Charles.
That thread was another one of yours that's going to land in my bookmarks.
Please keep thinking, asking and posting : that's good organic vegan food for our brain.

CharlesCouturier 03-30-2013 08:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dprevish (Post 35186)
Charles,

I think that DD hit it pretty close on the "time investment" concept. It took me many hours and years for the violin as a perfect example and I'm still learning.
My hopes in life are always that there's a quick fix to improvement, but just like drawing sound out of a bow; little by little you play back and forth with things that as Terry says are the difference between "not quite and right".
However, your on to something and there must be a way to peel the layers back on this all to understand it better.
Keep thinking; meantime thanks for you and everyone's support!

I almost accumulated a degree in music, and I really hesitate comparing swimming with playing a instrument such as a violin.... But that is another story.

Back from a first session with one of the lady. Will post footage soon.

Bottom line. Within 60min, I took here from 1:56/100m down to 1:45 per 100m (over 400m, so sustainable).

Same ol same ol. Too much drag, too much wait in the front (over gliding), crossing over, and a pulling path that was anything but *pure*.

Didn't have much time, it's just the beginning. But I believe she'll soon be holding 1:40/100m which is what she deserves.

If I was buying your *things take time* argument, I would probably *not* have good coaching pro bonno on an Easter Saturday. But I refuse to buy it (no offense).

CharlesCouturier 03-31-2013 01:55 AM

This is case #2, critical swim speed recorded at 1:56/100m on Thursday the 28th over 750m. It's fairly classical. Been working on DPS for the last couple of months (I'm not involved at all in this). And like too many people, instead of buying her DPS by developing better stroke mechanics, she spends way to much (in general) at the front.

If you ask someone to give less strokes per length, then there's a chance that that person puts more mental focus in stretching further up front to grab more water, ie increasing the reach. The thing though is that the big danger is to start building false feel for water. You feel it (and that lady has great feel for water), then you go hard on gestures that won't propel you forward. This is exactly what can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXpv1lVV36w

She's wanting so much to pull big gears (ie, less stroke) that she's almost catch up stroke.

dprevish 03-31-2013 03:00 AM

None Taken
 
Charles,

No offense taken at all. I'm one of those self coached folks with a TI DVD and a whole lot of faith. Yet many times the progress I notice is very incremental, I may have a incorrect perspective based on my own experiences.

CoachBillG 03-31-2013 03:37 AM

I'm more curious about the 700 to 800 push ups in 20 minutes. Are you sure you are counting correctly?

If you did 700 push ups you would need to do minimum of 35 push ups per minute or 1 push up every 1.74 seconds.

If you did 800 push ups you would need to do a minimum of 40 push ups per minute or 1 push up every 1.39 seconds.

Regardless whether it was 700 or 800 you would need to be in almost continual motion for the entire 20 minutes as it takes almost 2 seconds to do a push up (.50 sec. down. .50 sec. at the bottom, .50 sec. pushing up and .50 sec. at the top).

If you do it in 6 to 7 sets, you are saying that you do sets of 100 to 125 reps. I don't see where the breaks could possibly occur.

I've met only a handful of people who can do 100 strict push ups in a row (with me being one of them) and I can tell you by the 70th rep. you begin to slow down and pause more than .50 sec. at the top portion of the exercise as fatigue and lactic acid buildup occur. The fastest I've done 100 strict pushups in a row (without stopping / going to my knees) is 3:30 seconds or an average cadence of 1 pushup every 2.1 second with 1.3 sec. being my starting cadence and 3.3 being my ending cadence. The goal wasn't to do them fast but to do the entire 100 pushups. There is no way in the World I could continue doing another 600 more push ups in the remaining 16 minutes and 30 seconds.

I am a full-time athletic performance coach who trains athletes in other disciplines besides freestyle swimming (including kettlebells (GS Sport), CrossFit, bodyweight training and general strength & conditioning) and have never seen anything like what you said. Even the great Herschel Walker, who does about 1500 pushups per day, does it with numerous breaks, would be hard pressed to do 700 pushups in 20 minutes.....and that is a man who has been doing this type of training for 35 years.

I don't mean to attack you or challenge you in anyway, but your claim doesn't seem possible.

If you could please explain more how you do this I would love to know and apply it to mine and my athlete's programs. I am preparing for the NY State Kettlebell Championships and could use all the help I can get :-)

andyinnorway 03-31-2013 05:06 AM

This guy is holding just over 1 second and he is short.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X77rcwQXAjk

I think I'll try standard width push ups on a tabata set (8*20 second, 10 second rest) and see how many I can get to

andyinnorway 03-31-2013 05:25 AM

To address Charles' question, isn't a newbie adult swimmer learning crawl akin to a road crash victim going through 12 months of physio to learn to walk again?

Modern society allows us to almost not use our arms for anything requiring stamina or strength so its more about learning to use our arms from a base of zero than learning to swim

When you have children its amazing how long it takes them to run smoothly, there are a lot of years of the galloping lamb stride before the legs stretch out into any type of technique. I figure its the same with adult swimming, and children are learning to run every single day for many hours, not just a few sessions a week?

CharlesCouturier 03-31-2013 06:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoachBillG (Post 35204)
I'm more curious about the 700 to 800 push ups in 20 minutes. Are you sure you are counting correctly?

I've met (and even coached) such an animal though. Provincial level former kick boxer. Forget it.... 700-800 push/abs per day, period. So in a non stop push up contest, I bet he could do a very big bunch in a row.

DD_l_enclume 03-31-2013 10:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesCouturier (Post 35192)
Bottom line. Within 60min, I took here from 1:56/100m down to 1:45 per 100m (over 400m, so sustainable).

That's huge !
Do you feel that's something she would had achieved on her own, being self coached ?
If so, in what time frame ?
What did you do in that 60min time frame ? Touch her to let her feel something ? Guide her ? Yell at her ? :-)

Sure we can add "good coaching" as one of the secret of good swimming. But you talent cannot be translated in a book or instructions I'm afraid. You need to be physically there. (And any time you want a free couch&food&tour week on the French Riviera against free coaching, let me know !!! :-) )

Richardsk 03-31-2013 12:01 PM

We seem to have (as usual) at least two themes going on here.

With regard to the push ups, the chap in Andy's youtube video is using very wide elbows, which some say is poor form, is not going down all the way and is not keeping a very straight body line. Nevertheless it's impressive.

I thought the lady in Charles's video was showing signs of a dropped elbow, but also quite impressive.

I doubt if I could do ten proper push ups at the moment. I worked up to a hundred using a chair a year or so ago but I think I may not have been using very correct form, if the 'experts' who say your elbows should be close to your sides are correct.

CharlesCouturier 03-31-2013 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DD_l_enclume (Post 35211)
Do you feel that's something she would had achieved on her own, being self coached ?

Heavily loaded question here...

The context is training for triathlon. We've been building an interesting and unique program (since 2010). It distinguishes itself from any other varsity program in that we decided to use the university sport center class structure for our off season training needs. It's the 2nd varsity program I'm developing there. The first one was rather classical. You register, and the Club, the Team handles all aspect of the training program. But for this second project, athletes are cherry picking among various classes and training sessions offered (and managed) by the sports center for Oct-April. And early May, we get the control back, get out and manage the training process entirely.

What all that means, is that though I am the head coach of the Club, I still don't entirely (by choice) manage the aquatic program. I am directly involved in teaching/coaching the Run and Bike portion (as the only coach) which accounts for 4 time slots per week. The Aquatic program is made of 3 time slots per week, 90min each (plus a special class called Perfecting your Freestyle Stroke, which I handle myself).

The Perfecting your Freesyle Stroke is a special class. It's seminar like, new generation coaching. We use multimedia, we do dryland learning, etc... The 3 training sessions are delivered in a traditional format, with the coach who sometimes barks an advice etc, no video, just squad training.

Last year, we ended up with resources problems, so I had to make an extra effort and be in charge of the Aquatic program. It's a popular program. I would end up being alone handling 20-25 persons of various levels (from 2min45/100m to 1:20/100m). My answer to this challenge was to systematically split the group in 2:
1 week I'd work with group A (technique, video, learning, tight follow up) whilst group B would be training applying what they had learned the week before. Vice versa.

This year, to say the least, the resource problem is solved. The head coach of the elite swim team, a man walking with an olympic ring (euhh, I think it's 2) in his fingers, decided that he had time to handle our aquatic program.

So this lady is now part of it. She trains along with 25-30 persons. 2 coaches, that elite guy + an assistant. The assistants are your good old almost teenage currently swimmers with poor communication skills etc. Well, that comes standard with most team so it's fine...

She's anything but your usual web self coached enthusiastic. She comes from a rowing background.

----------

Though I tried, I am short in time. I tried to locate in the TI yellow book a quote from Terry Laughlin mentioning the importance of working on the right gesture, not on the wrong one.

Wrong doesn't become right automatically. And this is one of the biggest trap still today. This is one area where Terry has, for more than a decade now, very very important. And we tend to forget it.

I think this is the problem that we have now, and as I said last year my answer to this was to *make sure* that every single swimmer would receive high level systematic detailed video based feedback.

Traditional world splits the group in 2, and allocate poor resources to those who need more knowledge (the beginners). I would rather get my hand dirty (instead of playing with my stop watch yelling splits for 90 consecutive minutes) and work with lower level swimmers at least once every 2 week.

Now, with all that explained, your let me try to answer your question.

You have coaching and coaching. You have self coaching and self coaching.

If you work with a coach who doesn't mind enough, no video feedback, make no extra effort ensuring that *everything* be done to improve, it's one thing. If you work with new generation coaches with their cameras etc, that's another thing.

Self coaching. If you go the extra mile, ie finding a way of being filmed, then go here and there to get feedback etc, that's one thing. If you don't, then the odd of wasting years are real.

I guess what I'm trying to explain is that even in a squad, there are left overs, self coached athletes who receive very little *meaningful* feedback. So there's a danger of working on bad gesture, weeks in weeks out. And that was the case with this lady.

Disclaimer. I love our program, I love our coach. He's a fantastic coach. He cares spending time with a bunch of very slow swimmers from 8pm to 9h30pm and that, after a full day of work. So to anyone who may have read this post, I am not criticizing the work that's currently being done with our group at this level (Aquatic program). Our clientele is extremely satisfied by these services, and generally speaking, people improve. That coach is developing a distance per stroke tradition, and in spite of my natural affinities with SS who happily goes in the opposite direction. I'm comfy with this tradition, as speed remains function of DPS * Rate. (sorry for the disclaimer, these issues could rapidly become politic if you know what I mean).

One fact remains. A 10sec improvement per 100m within a 60min coaching 1-2-1 session suggests that people could improve even more. I think that the role of the assistant should be re-evaluated. They should walk by the pool with a cam in their hand, all the time, and never ever sit on a starting block yelling things. That was then, this is now.

CharlesCouturier 03-31-2013 02:42 PM

OK.

During this 60min session, I had 2 goals in mind:
1. Cleaning the pulling pathway so that more water be thrown backward
2. Increasing the rate to see if we could get instant speed improvement (the key word instant is important here)

I had to take her out of the pool, and work on dryland gestures a bit to break a bad pattern that she had been working on. By the time we were working on that, almost 40min had gone already. Takes time to do video feedback. So I certainly didn't have time to finish the job. Must see here asap. I wasn't satisfied with the pulling pathway even at minute 59, but couldn't do more than what was done. Anyway, here's a little 200m which combines the 2 aforementioned elements. She's swimming with a tempo trainer for the first time of her life on that, set at 64spm:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtYl1VCvhvo

So. Far from being perfect. But you can already notice the TI catch shape, ie made of a simple spear. This isn't what I wanted her to do. It was her answer to my requests, and I was cool with it (as it immediately resulted into a much better arm alignment). That stroke was too high for her, natural SR being more in the low 50. But time speaks for itself: 3:30 for 200m.

rcrawf 03-31-2013 02:53 PM

Charles, isn't it ironic that the man Marshall McLuhan who stated, "the medium IS the message" was Canadian?

Ghul 03-31-2013 03:05 PM

Can she do 3.30 without a pullbuoy :) ? Even if not an impressive improvement...
Her stroke pre-training didn't look that bad: occasional large kick and hands in
stop the traffic position were things that came to mind, so interesting what a little good coaching can do.

As a varsity rower she's obviously naturally athletic, so she probably has
greater potential for improvement than some of us!!

CharlesCouturier 03-31-2013 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghul (Post 35220)
Can she do 3.30 without a pullbuoy :) ? Even if not an impressive improvement...

Good question. Pull Buoy are an important part of my arsenal as a coach, and in this case as in several other cases, I used it to take the drag resistance caused by the legs away from the equation. It allowed for more cleaner stroke. So I'd assume that trying to achieve the same pace without would have been an unbearable challenge. Would have been a 200m all out effort as opposed to the footage you see with the pull which is really a pace that can be sustained for 800m probably.

As long as the lady keeps pushing water down as she does (and she seems to be throwing a lot of effort at this counter productive behavior), the front of the stroke will fight against the back (leg kick) and she will remain slower full stroke compared to with a pull.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghul (Post 35220)
As a varsity rower she's obviously naturally athletic, so she probably has
greater potential for improvement than some of us!!

Ahh this is interesting here. And this sort of questioning is what triggered the creation of this thread.

dprevish 04-01-2013 12:14 AM

Recant
 
Coach Bill and all,

I must give you a full scoop as I've mislead you all. I had just read the last post from Coach Bill about a half hour ago and decided to put the proof to the pudding. I called my wife into the room and told her I wanted her to log the push ups that I could do in 20 min. After the first few I was told to stop as she said I was not locking my elbows; she was right. She actually had to video me to let me see. Prior to today I was busting out the 7-800 by myself as part of my P90 core and ab training three days a week. I would usually start the first set counting about 190-200 and as far as the time in push up, was about 2 / second. That should have been my tip off. I was shocked when I saw the video.
So...I had her reset the timer, gave myself a short 1 min. break and then told her to hit the start and time 20 min worth.
The first set was only 89 and then the last part of the 20 min. I could only rack up a total of 286. Those were full push ups (my wife made sure!)
Amazing the difference that I did not know.
Anyhow...I feel humbled...and also pretty pumped (just downed a bit of protein)!
Anyway, sorry to have steered in the wrong direction. You are spot on about the first 100. The other sets got progressively smaller as you can see.


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