Reply To: The truth about USRPT (SW article)

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I knew eventually the guys from 3S would enter the equation.I mean this as no disrespect to the USRPT crowd. But the Parametric System (PS) is like PhD type work compared to mid-level HS with USRPT. The amount of work i.e. recording, tracking and adjusting that is needed in the PS system is 10 fold to USRPT (we can barely get coaches to record numbers done and made in USRPT). I work with a couple of young coaches here and they are so inconsistent in recording it’s extremely difficult to help them.

I have always posted that USRPT is a variation of PS, if you understand the PS of training. They follow basically the same path. I will agree with Dr. Beliaev, that PS is a more integrated approach in overall systems development. Which USRPT does not do especially with regards to distance swimming?

Dr. Beliaev is correct in that “speed at your main distance depends on performance at ALL distances”. It’s the whole PS in a nutshell. ALL SYSTEMS MOVE TOGETHER, especially in the PS first strategy, which is “SPEED IS CONSTANT AND DISTANCE IS INCREASING”

Dr. Beliaev is correct again in that the core claim of USRPT “does not reach levels of exhaustion close to VO2 max”. OK stop and think about this 20 x 50, on whatever interval is a 1000 y/m of total work or 10:00 minutes of work time swimming at 200/500 pace and with any understanding of energy systems is V02 max energy system and is fatiguing as hell.

Power development: This has come up in the forum a couple of times. I have suggested doing 4-6 x 25 on a longer rest interval i.e. 1:00 to 2:00 and the USRPT “purist” has trouble with the rest interval. But if you understand the development of power then you get the longer rest and by some of the responses from coaches it’s worked.

I will disagree with Dr. Beliaev, in that “USRPT does not allow for intelligent management of all factors…” He comes with a knowledge base of training far and above the majority of coaches. But USRPT at least was gotten a lot of coaches to stop and think about their training. I’m guessing here, but I think that’s a good thing.

Dr. Rushall has good or bad at least thrown out an idea and used evidence to back it up and I believe in the long run that’s a good thing for coaches. He has done this without charging coaches a dime for the information. He has compiled a site that at least supplies coaches a one stop shop for some of the latest information in sports science and again I have to believe that’s not a bad thing.

Ask Dr. Beliaev to explain the important of KTs through a season or the importance of time trials during the season? How numbers done progresses through a 16 week 1st Strategy PS season with swimmers of high, middle or lower level improvements? How training sets correlate to race speed/projections? My guess is crickets! Don’t get me wrong. His knowledge is his property and he can do with it as he pleases.

To get an idea of where Dr. S. Gordon and Dr. S. Beliaev come from try reading the following books. I thought I was a good coach until I read these books. To the Russians these are basics.

“Programming and Organization of Training” by Dr. Yuri V. Verkoshansky

“Theory and Methodology of Training” by Dr. Tudor O. Bompa (one of the originators of periodization of training and one of the world’s foremost authorities on weight training)
Had an opportunity to meet him and spent over 2 hours asking questions about training and he said “that swimming is a total different animal with regards to training” and especially dryland/weight work.

I apologize for the fragmentation of the responses.


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