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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-01-2005, 10:29 AM   #1
Woody Davis
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I mix my my own WOD and today I tried a new one. First I warmed up with a few jerks with the 32kg kettlebells. Then I did two 5 minute cycles on the rowing machine. Hard as I could go. Then 10-15 minutes of hard swimming. I'm a good swimmer but my swimming looks spastic to those watching. Freestyle down the pool, the breast stroke on the way back. Underwater some. Half a lap crawl then breast. Whatever I can do to keep going hard. A few things I learned.
1. Rowing doesn't bother the swim so I think it was a good combination.
2. The more you swim, the more efficient you get. You start only kicking a little and using mostly upper body. BAD! BAD! BAD! The key is energy expenditure. Kick hard all the time. Like when you were a kid.
3. When kicking, think of generating power from the hips.

My workout caught the attention of a girl in the pool who asked about my workout after asking: "You row before you swim?" I explained CF, she asked more about it later as we were both leaving the pool, I gave her the website, and hopefully we can convert another person.
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Old 05-01-2005, 12:58 PM   #2
bill fox
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I'm telling Katie
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Old 05-01-2005, 07:02 PM   #3
Eric Moffit
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Woody - sounds pretty hardcore but i dont think you should just be concerned w/ energy expenditure when it comes to swimming. one of the goals of CF is to develop skills, and swimming can be one such skill. that being said the more skilled swimmer is the one who uses his/her energy most efficiently. kind of like an Oly lifter...the gold medal goes to the lifter who can lift the most weight, not the one who worked the hardest. and thats what much of their training focuses on...skill in moving external weight. (of course, the Oly lifter and the swimmer alike must be properly conditioned as well.) if all you want is 'a good workout', i would say keep on kicking like mad for 15min. if you want to train yourself to be an efficient and (more importantly) fast swimmer, dont simply go 'balls to the wall' in the water. work on stroke efficiency (and read CFJ 31 from Mar 05). you can look at Olympic swimmers, too...the distance swimmers simply dont kick like the sprinters...its just not effective for the longer distances.
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Old 05-02-2005, 06:57 AM   #4
Woody Davis
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Eric, while I agree with the importance of skill development, I think there is a point of dimishing returns, especially when CF Fitness is your goal. I consider myself a competent swimmer, and when working out I’m not using poor form, but its not Olympic form either. I think the best way to discuss this point is to use a kettlebell example. You can snatch the KB in two ways: GS and RKC. Girvoy Sport (GS) is an efficient snatch the uses a medium pace and rolls the KB around the wrist to minimize the height of the pull. The tempo is optimized to never pull harder than you need. On the contrary, the RKC-style (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) is all about power production. The tempo is fast and there is no corkscrewing the bell around your arm. Both are good techniques, they just have different goals. One allows you to minimize energy expenditure to maximize the # of reps, while the other is a conditioning tool used to develop max power and speed. For CF goals, the RKC style is best.

I’m not using poor form when swimming, it’s just that I’m trying to maximize power output not minimize it. Thus, a harder kick is used although I get tired faster. Actually, while doing swimming sprints I think my form is getting better because I am pushing for every ounce of power.

Second, when using less of a kick, the weak link is localized fatigue in my upper body. When I use more kick, the fatigue is general and can be cardiovascular. Since I’m using swimming as a conditioning tool and not to become a competitive swimmer, I think the whole body effort is best.

I’ll also freely admit that since I have never had any formal swim training my technique may be atrocious and I just don’t know it.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:19 AM   #5
Grady McDonald
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Total Immersion by Laughlin. If you're swimming, you gotta read this book. Hips, yes.

Mix 50s & 100s with pushups/burpees/situps/whatever inbetween.

Swim with tshirts in your hands. Gut check.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:28 AM   #6
Don Woodson
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Grady, what do the tshirts do? Resistance?
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:29 AM   #7
Woody Davis
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Eric, I want to point out one more thing. I do believe that I should continue to develop skill in swimming and have considered the Immersion Swimming program. It’s just that at my current level, I don’t think self teaching is going to yield any major improvement so I’m more interested in the fitness gains.
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Old 05-02-2005, 09:37 AM   #8
Eric Moffit
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Woody, good points...if i lived closer, id swim w/ you and give you some tips for you to consider (i coached for 5 years) but im closer to the left coast. i know people around here really endorse Total Immersion, so you might want to give that a chance. however, even if you dont want to get into that, you can spend 10-15min after your conditioning to focus on less intense efficiency work. ive swum since i was 2 and competitively since i was about 9 and i still spend time working on my efficiency in the water. plus, being more efficient doesnt mean your going to get less of a workout...it means your going to get farther faster for the same amount of work. just because Olympic swimmers are the most efficient in the world does not mean they dont get a good workout. this is much like CF where the sky is the limit for fitness.

Don, ive never done teeshirts but a common drill we would do when i swam and coached was swimming w/ fists...its rather disheartening. your hands just fly through the water w/o providing much thrust. what your training yourself to do is increase your turnover rate. as for teeshirts, it seems it would make swimming more difficult for two reasons. 1) you cant effectively use your hands to provide thrust and 2) you have to drag the shirts through the water...probably not the most fun you could have.
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:06 AM   #9
Don Woodson
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Last year I experimented a little with towing my waverunner up the Mississippi, with fins, which worked well. With fins on I could tow it upstream. Without fins, it was a losing battle. Either way wore me out. Then I tried a slightly different approach. I anchored the waverunner and swam downstream. The current coming from behind me put a lot more resistance on my arms with the waverunner holding me stationary. Of course people looked at me like I was nuts, but I'm pretty used to that.
Anyone care to briefly explain the Total Immersion thing without me buying the book?
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:01 PM   #10
Eric Moffit
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check out CFJ 31 from Mar 05. Terry Laughlin, the founder of TI, wrote an article that provides a nice general description that is enough to get you started.
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