Whenever we have a chance to work with a great athlete, we always learn little tidbits that keep the sport fun. Jason Lezak shared with us a story of his training at Rose Bowl Aquatics in which they did 10 x 200 meters, with "pullouts" (wallouts) at the end of each length. With this in mind, we took the short side of the pool and created something along those lines. Thanks Jason and Rose Bowl Aquatics.
Why Do It:
Incorporating strength training and technique focus into the same set challenges not only the body, but also the mind. Staying engaged physically and mentally is key when trying to reach your potential.
How to Do It:
1. We’re using the short side, or deep end, of our pool to turn this into a push-off, underwater pull, and strength-building drill. This means we can do more "pull-outs" in a shorter span of time, and not have to worry about anyone jumping off the bottom. You need some deeper water for this.
2. We swam 8 widths of this pool, with a descending number of "pull-outs" at each end. Each time we did this, we had a different focus.
3. Set 1 incorporated a breaststroke underwater pull, and then 8 "pull-outs" after the first width, 7 "pull-outs" after the second width, 6 "pull-outs" after the 3rd width… and so on until you do one "pull-out" after the last width.
4. Set 2 followed the same pattern, but after each "odd" width, the swimmers were required to do their assigned "pull-outs" and then climb out, and perform 5 push-ups, then dive back in and continue the process.
5. Set 3 followed the same pattern, but after the "pull-outs" the swimmers had to climb out, dive back in, and GLIDE across the pool to get to the other side, no strokes allowed.
We went through the set a few times, and you’ll need to make up whatever mix works best for your pool.
How to Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
While it’s always good to race, remember: Swimmers with shorter arms may be able to do the "pull-outs" a bit quicker. Make sure everyone is reaching full extension under water, but also make the "pull-out" strong.
How you get OUT of the water is also important. If you really want to do it well, don’t use your knees. Explode out of the water to a standing position, rather than just climbing out.