Swimming Science and USRPT

Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice dive into swimming science. Credit: Ben Ratner.

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About This Episode

Clean your goggles, grab your swimsuit, and make sure it has been thirty minutes since you’ve eaten because on this episode of Playing with Science, hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice get a swim lesson from some of the sport’s most influential minds. To start, Gary and Chuck chat with Dr. John Mullen, physical therapist and author, considered a swimming science guru, to help us understand the development process of an elite swimmer and how to bring out the best in their performance. You’ll hear about the importance of core strength and why the definition of a good swimming body, historically long and lanky, might be shifting given the increase in bigger, stronger athletes on the world’s stage. John also explains why understanding the repetitive nature of the sport can help prevent muscle imbalance. Find out which swimming stroke uses the most energy. Explore how to increase mobility in a swimmer and how to deal with a swimmer’s hypermobility. John also ponders how far we can push the development process. Next, we hear from Dr. Brent Rushall, Professor Emeritus at San Diego State University and original developer of the Ultra Short Race Pace Training (USRPT) method for swimming. You’ll learn all you need to know about the USRPT method – a program that involves training in a high intensity environment aiming to achieve race-level results each time in order to achieve optimal performance during actual race events – and why it’s received backlash from the racing community. Lastly, we interview Peter Andrew, father and coach of Michael Andrew, the 19-year-old swimming phenom. Discover what’s it’s like to have a swimming phenom in the house – and what it’s like to coach your own child. All that, plus, we ask Peter how Michael’s continually growing body factors into setting goals, and Peter tells us why Michael turning pro at 14 has helped him cope with the intensity of his budding career.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Swimming Science and USRPT.

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