Great USRPT site… not really

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  • #3072
    Avatardoc
    Participant

    After Lefthanded swimmer’s post I checked out the USRPTIA site. If that isn’t the model for self-promotion I’m not sure what is. I went through every single part of the site. I have a couple of questions.
    1. What organization has accredited this? For it to be recognized and have any meaning that has to happen.
    2. By getting this certification. What will that do for the coach, other than make Dr. Rushall $$?

    My guess is after having sat through a couple of Dr. Rushall’s clinics you will just go through every bulletin he has published. Just go to his site and save yourself the money and think!

    I’m also going to guess, there will be absolutely no data.

    Again, general observation


    ? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂

    #3074
    Avatarlefthanded swimmer
    Participant

    That was my observation about usrptia. Unfortunately, it looks like you agree about the site. It doesn’t even have a forum. It was disappointing. Doc you and others have been great mentors on this site; thank you. What’s been most helpful is for you to encourage me or anyone to collect data and do what works without being locked into a so called poorly doucmented system. What brought us here (USRPT) is my child being frustrated with long distance training and not responding. We spent first 3 months correcting survivor strokes and a little more than 3 months driving up a slow tempo. USRPT is definitely a tool that helps with tempo. I’m an accountant (not a real coach) and track everything. We started modifying practices after 3 months to get more from training because my son would crash every third day. We added more calories with drinks and even eating during practice which helped tremendously. We also do a mix of short race work now not just USRPT sets. If the goal is MORE race training, this has worked. We get more race pace work by not doing just USRPT. I’ve documented this for us. I track yards by race pace and other. We get in 800-1500 race pace yards a practice now. We target almost exclusively 100 events and 200 IM. Now my data is tainted by pubertal growth because my son was 5’8″,170 6 months ago. He is 5’11”,162 now and still growing. We didn’t compete over long course (other than one meet). Other than an invitational early summer for short course, we don’t have meet data. Our first meet is 10/1. Because of not building a cardio base like traditional seems to do once in long course and again for several months in short course, we have done this on a smaller scale during August and September but we always do race pace swimming in every practice and those sets are first rather than last. Would love to hear what works and doesn’t work from the real coaches out there. Can’t say enough about a fairly high caloric juice during practice for him. We also adopted a modified paleo diet. It isn’t a low carb diet as we include tubers but no grains (corn, bread, rice etc.) This was a health decision more than an athletic decision. Another piece of data I have is genetic data from 23andme done more for ancestry purpose for the family. A lot of data from 23andme supports that race training is what we need to be doing.

    #3075
    Avatardoc
    Participant

    Lefthanded,
    Just not sure what coaches will get out of it. Not sure many clubs needing a coach are going to require them to be USRPT certified. It’s much like ASCA’s coach certification of I thru V. OK, but not really required to get a coaching job. I hate saying this but will having that certification make the coach any more money?

    Interesting on the nutrition. I did something similar, after watching a YouTube video from Dr. Tim Noakes. I reduced eating carbs to under 90 grams a day (he wants it in the 20-30g/d, but I like ice cream) and lost 34 lbs. Now granted I’m 62 and 6’3″ was 265. But feel a lot better.

    The genetic information could be really interesting. If you know how to use it.

    I’ve attached a couple of files on PHV that might help understand what is going on with the athlete’s development. They can explain a lot of the ups and downs with athlete performances.
    1. is the shortened version 2. Is much more in-depth with research out of Canada and their LTAD program.


    ? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂

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    #3077
    Avatardoc
    Participant

    knew it. the second file is to big.


    ? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂

    #3078
    Avatarlefthanded swimmer
    Participant

    Thanks Doc. I looked up the actual files you uploaded. The growth chart stuff helps…he is in his growth spurt finally at 15. It’s been so very hard for my son to not do that well for several years. He understands it but it didn’t it easier. He is excited to finally be taller and thinner (dropped from 32 suit to 30). I told him he could be strong right now and a lot better but done growing or he could keep working patiently and continue to grow (no adams apple, short seated height, size 14 shoe, so more growing to come hopefully).

    The genetic stuff is very interesting, you can dump the raw data from 23andme into a site called athletigen and it gives some basic information that may or may not be exact but it seems to match up with what I expected. Oxygen Effeciency; sprint/endurance; power; heat tolerance; Warrior/Worrier; Diet Stuff.

    Example: High Core Temperature was on Athletigen/Lack of Heat Tolerance. We avoid any training in warm pools. This should have been a no brainer. We are all pale and hate the heat! Over 83, work load would drop in half. Very little outdoor swimming if at all.

    #3081
    Avatarlipearse
    Participant

    Doc,

    For someone who has been both enlightened and motivated by Dr. Rushall’s work in both my athletic and coaching pursuits, I feel somewhat compelled to rebut your insinuations and interpretations of USRPT and the newly launched USRPTIA.

    Firstly, it is disappointing that you have failed to acknowledge, as well as the majority of other contributors to this forum, that USRPT is a TECHNIQUE-orientated model.

    I regularly read the content published in this forum with great dismay. Most of it surrounds conditioning (a lot of which is not USRPT conditioning), despite it being the least important aspect of USRPT. I cannot recall one thread or discussion about technique. I have provided a potential discussion question below as an example of what I consider should be common USRPT discussion within this forum.

    In his book, Approaching Perfect Freestyle, Dr. Havriluk recommends that for an optimal non-breathing head position in freestyle, swimmers should look forward (at a 45 degree angle) so that both the wall at the end of the pool and the bottom of the pool are within view, and to feel the water level at the hairline. Conversely, Rushall suggests that the head should be down with the eyes looking directly at the bottom of the pool, and head depth should such that some water travels over the swimmer’s cap, in correctly-postured crawl-stroke. What do other coaches believe is most optimal for fastest/efficient freestyle swimming technique? What evidence do you have to support your position?

    Moreover, and to answer your first question: My belief is that the USRPTIA does not require accreditation from any other organisation. It is an organisation in its own right. I believe it’s relevance will come from prospective membership and the value the swimming community places in it. This will obviously become more prominent as its membership grows, becomes more well known within the swimming community, and with time.

    To try and begin to answer your second question, here is an excerpt from Rushall’s 2016 article “The least understood features of USRPT: Recognising USRPT pretenders”:

    “Examples of USRPT claimants who are actually pretenders are rife across the internet… Beware of sites and programs that claim to be USRPT but fail to include one or more basic elements of the USRPT protocol in practice sessions. Recognizing USRPT program element omissions could indicate “pretenders” of USRPT coaching.”

    It is apparent that a lot of coaches are claiming to be practicing USRPT, but are unfortunately misleading their athletes and swimming program stakeholders because they do not understand the specifics the training model demands. I believe USRPTIA certification is a strategy prominent figures within the USRPT community have identified to insure coaches can competently practice USRPT and advertise thier program as being USRPT without misleading the public.

    Furthermore, I believe your statement about “make Rushall $$” is ill-informed and at least very harsh. It is clearly stated in the USRPTIA Articles and By-Laws that:

    “The USRPTIA will carry out its activities without purpose of gain for its Members. Any profits generated by the USRPTIA will be used solely to promote its aims and objectives in congruence with its Mission Statement.”

    It is a non-for-profit organisation. I hope that it is obvious to others on this forum that you have not read “through every single part of the site”. Similarly, the USPRTIA Education Committee has organised for other guest presenters to provide webinars. I am personally looking forward to Glenn Gruber’s presentation next month!

    I hope this provides some food for thought for anyone interested.
    Cheers

    #3082
    Avatardoc
    Participant

    One, I don’t need to “acknowledge” anything. Coaches/Parents and even Master swimmers ask questions about the training system which on this site seems to be a bigger issue than technique. Those of us that have some experience/insight with a similar approach have offered some ideas, guidance, and even actual data. It may not be “conditioning” that is primary, but sure helps if you understand that part. It’s also very objective and coaches can “see and feel it”, with technique it can be very subjective more “touchy feely” not right or wrong, just is.

    I did a search on this site of your user name and found the number of topics started 0, number of replies 9. If you are so dismayed then why didn’t you start the conversation about technique long before now? Get in the fight or stay on the sidelines and just read. It is safer that way.

    You are entitled to your belief. But the reality is in order for USRPT to be recognized it eventually needs accreditation. Otherwise it’s just that, another organization.

    What is the big deal about “USRPT pretenders” who cares? “It is apparent that a lot of coaches are claiming to be practicing USRPT”. Who is it “apparent” too? Who are the “prominent figures within the USRPT community have identified to insure coaches can competently practice USRPT and advertise their program as being USRPT without misleading the public”. Makes a huge assumption that the public cares.

    “Beware of sites and programs that claim to be USRPT but fail to include one or more basic elements of the USRPT protocol in practice sessions. Recognizing USRPT program element omissions could indicate “pretenders” of USRPT coaching” So if a coach uses one or more of the basic elements (bits & pieces) he is USRPT? So then it’s not all or nothing? Can the coach make modifications to fit his or her situation? “Most of it surrounds conditioning (a lot of which is not USRPT conditioning)” or is it? But if you are following one or more of the basic elements then it is USRPT?

    I ran a “not for profit” for 35 years and I will tell you if you don’t make a profit you won’t be in business long. We had the same verbiage in our by-laws. it makes donors feel good.

    Doc/oldschool 73 topics started and 151 replies. At least I have skin in the game.


    ? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂

    #3083
    Avatardoc
    Participant

    Iipearse,

    “In his book, Approaching Perfect Freestyle, Dr. Havriluk recommends that for an optimal non-breathing head position in freestyle, swimmers should look forward (at a 45 degree angle) so that both the wall at the end of the pool and the bottom of the pool are within view, and to feel the water level at the hairline. Conversely, Rushall suggests that the head should be down with the eyes looking directly at the bottom of the pool, and head depth should such that some water travels over the swimmer’s cap, in correctly-postured crawl-stroke. What do other coaches believe is most optimal for fastest/efficient freestyle swimming technique? What evidence do you have to support your position?”

    Look at the bottom of the pool, takes tension out of the neck and allows the shoulders to stay in the scapular plane and lets the joint work as designed. “Posture-Line-Balance” actual came from synchronized swimming back in the late 60s and I’ll say adopted/introduced by Bill Boomer and Milt Nelms to the swimming community in the late 80s. Create your shape before movement. We try and bring land based posture to the aquatic environment and it doesn’t work/play with the water well.

    I think swimming is as bad as golf with the over analyzing of every little detail. Think of it as walking. Your hand is your foot and your shoulders are your hips. Did some one “teach” you to walk?

    Didn’t want you to feel like I ignored your buried post.

    Just thoughts,


    ? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂

    #3084
    Avatarlipearse
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply Doc,

    I take it that by “training system” you mean the conditioning aspect of USRPT. For USRPT to be fully effective it needs to be implemented exactly as described. That not only includes race-specific conditioning, but also pedagogically sound race-specific technique instruction and mental skills training. If interested others are asking about USRPT, then technique and psychological factors should be emphasized more than any other feature of USRPT. Physical conditioning in the USRPT format is solely a means of providing an appropriate platform for velocity-specific techniques and velocity-relevant thought processes to be developed.

    I would assume that conditioning has become a bigger issue in this forum because USRPT is somewhat still in its initial development and for coach’s to begin implementing it the introduction of compliant USRPT sets (conditioning) is the first priority to learn accurately, as ultra-short race-pace training is the format in which all other factors are practiced. That should not be construed as suggesting conditioning is the most important feature of USRPT.

    Just because swimming technique can be less objective than conditioning principles, does not mean that it should not be discussed less than other aspects of performance enhancement. I’m sure you agree that biomechanics is the most significant feature that differentiates Gold medallists/better swimmers from non-medallists/lesser swimmers in mature-age competitions. However, it can be challenged that swimming techniques can be scientific (as outlined by Rushall). I.e. they have to 1) conform to known laws and principles of physics and mechanics, 2) be demonstrated at least in part by elite champion swimmers, and/or 3) be the product of acceptable scientific research. I would have thought these three points would provide significant grounds for in-depth discussion about swimming technique (especially in a forum such as this).

    If USRPTIA was to be accredited (I don’t know in what capacity) by another organisation, what additional recognition or meaning would you think it would be given or required?

    The point about USRPT not being implemented fully, is that stakeholders may be misguided and deceived by a partial program. In true USRPT programs, the activities to which competitive swimmers are exposed to should have direct effects on their competitive performances. If a program only offers a “partial” USRPT program (for example, just the conditioning feature), then less than expected performances/results of its participants may the reflect poorly on the training model (despite it not being implemented correctly), and participants may not reap the benefits that should be observed from a complete USRPT program.

    For a swimming program to adhere to the USRPT model, training items/sets should incorporate ALL of the following features:
    • A technique feature to be changed or retained (at race-pace)
    • Race strategy content to accompany, or race situation to be imagined each repetition
    • (Ultra) short repetition distance
    • Swum at race pace
    • Short rest interval
    Of particular note is the short rest interval. USRPT only allows for 20s rest between repetitions and 15s for repetitions of 25 m/yd.

    Any deviation or modifications from the above protocol is NOT USRPT. USRPT is specific. It is quite the “all-or-nothing” training model. This is something Rushall has expressed time and time again in his papers. It could not be more clear.

    (Not-for-profit organisations are allowed to make surplus revenue to cover expenses and run the organisation. Administrators or members of USRPTIA won’t receive any profit. I think it was unfair to insinuate Rushall would be making a gain out of the organisation.)

    #3085
    Avatarlipearse
    Participant

    Thanks again for your reply Doc,

    That is very interesting about the history of the head position in freestyle. I didn’t know about that. Thanks for teaching me something!

    I tend to agree with your point about looking directly at the bottom. It seems logical that looking down would require less energy and adhere to bio-mechanical principles. Havriluk argues however, that it is a misconception for the head to be submerged for the legs to stay behind the shoulders. He suggests, that although lowering the head may help to raise the legs, breathing then requires excessive head motion that distorts the body position and increases the body cross-section. Since the spine is closer than the head to the legs, arching the back is a much more effective way to control the leg position.

    Does his argument have any weight? What evidence is there to suggest otherwise? I intuitively believe the features of body position he his suggesting would require a greater amount of energy to maintain the body in such a position than would keeping the head down and inline with back/bottom. I believe it would also minimize body rotation (effectively increasing the cross sectional area).

    #3086
    Avatardoc
    Participant

    lipearase,
    The “training system” is really any program that follows the principles of progressive overload, specificity and technical training. There are a couple of varieties out there. Dr. Rushall did not invent nor discover the principles of training or interval training. They have been around for a very long time. He did put them into easier and more understandable form for coaches. Interesting side note is track. I speak with the track coaches all the time here and they say they shut things down when runners lose form. No form, no speed. The technical issue is always the number 1 priority.Here we adhere to once technical skills breakdown the set is over (failure of two in a row and they stop). Not sure why three in a set is relevant. You have any clue how hard that is for swimmers that have been pounded with “volume is what makes you fast” They are under the impression that 9k per workout at 80%, of race pace is somehow the reason they swim fast. I spent the better part of last season trying to convince these swimmers that that’s not the reason and they need to swim at race pace and I’m at a DI college program. Can you imagine a club coach trying to introduce this with the “all or nothing” attitude. I hope they have a second job. It’s obvious from your posts you don’t coach a club of any size. Otherwise you would understand that introducing any thing new, especially USRPT is better done in segments.

    Really who cares whether it’s partial or whole? Who are these “stakeholders” you talk about? Have they invested money in this system? So much for non-profit. I’m just thankful that the coaches on this site are trying to get better and I’ll take that any day. Slowly, but surely we will move forward and I’ll help them any way I can.

    The blind adherence to rest intervals is mind numbing. If your race splits don’t line up with what you are doing in practice then what are you going to do? There are correlations from practice sets to race speed. You may want to take the time and search “doc or oldschool” and see what has been posted. It’s actually rather spooky, if you are paying attention.

    Technique in freestyle.
    We tell the swimmers to keep one eyeball or goggle in the water when they breathe. All this shoulder rotation of 45, 33 or whatever is nonsense. Swim in a straight line and use the tension that you would use in jump rope. It’s not a crunch, it’s a firmness and it doesn’t require 45 minutes to an hour of dryland to accomplish. How strong do your abs have to be? If you just spent an hour and a half thinking about core tension, staying connected and focused on technical skill.

    We have over thought this. But it makes for some great opportunities for people to make money.

    Again, just thinking out loud.


    ? I child proofed my house and they still get in 🙂

    #3088
    Avatarlefthanded swimmer
    Participant

    Doc has been very helpful to me! He has given information based on his implementations and answered numerous questions. Read what he is saying when your race data doesn’t line up with USRPT because it’s going to happen and you better have a plan! What do you do? USRPT doesn’t have an answer. USRPT states an expected volume based on 3 to 5 x the race distance and expected rest to work ratios. Do you just keep rest intervals at 2:1 on 50 repeat fly and stop at 4 or 5 “made” repeats and call it a set? That’s not even close to 600 yards. I think the bottom line is how do you get the most race pace relevant training in a practice and that takes adjustments that often aren’t “pure” USRPT. I also have a problem with the 3 fails. I can often tell my swimmer is about to fail. I often tell him, give me 2 more awesome repeats and lets call it a set. I think this is better than 1 fail, 1 good and another fail. Fail number 2 or 3, especially with fly, is quite ugly and negatively impacts the next set. I have data to back this up.

    Technique and USRPT: You tell me how much a kid hears in 10-15 seconds at the wall on 25Y repeats after the 15th repeat. They are dying and they don’t hear you. Guess when their technique is most likely to falter? It’s when they are exhausted. It seems to me that USRPT sets work best with a more refined swimmer. I couldn’t imagine trying it with someone who has a noticeable technical flaw that you are trying to correct.

    USRPTIA: I don’t think the new site is great. There’s no case study info. Coaches forum. It’s just not user friendly and that was disappointing.

    #3098
    AvatarRick
    Participant

    I did go to this site a couple of times. I must admit I, too, felt like this was a money-making deal. Did not see anything useful that didn’t involve a fee that I couldn’t get elsewhere. Not saying that’s the goal of it, but that was my reaction. This forum, however, has helped me tremendously in my coaching. I started as a strict usrpt format advocate and have since adjusted. I am still all about swimming at desired race pace, but I have gotten more specific in training different parts of the race.

    I will admit that I was not able to get 400% to 500% on 15 or 20 seconds rest for any of my swimmers. Maybe that was my fault for not motivating properly, but I just couldn’t get those numbers of reps on that rest interval. I started adjusting/adding greater rest between each rep, while making sure we were training a goal time that would match the target times for their events, and I got better results. In that respect, I guess I’m not a true usrpt and probably just a guy training my swimmers at race pace. I can live with that!

    This year, I’m going to spend an extra day and establish front end/back end target times where I simply adjust the rest interval between reps to try to simulate what they would be feeling in that race.

    Pretty much everything I am doing with my team has been the result of some thoughtful feedback I have received on this forum along with questions I ask myself to keep complacency at bay. To that end, I can’t thank Doc/Old School enough for the very focused and useful feedback he has given. Over the last three years, our team has improved year over year from the previous year with these tweaks. I will continue to monitor this forum, and I hope it doesn’t shut down because I’m not sure if there is another forum where I can get the good, useful information and opinion that I get here.

    9

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