Swim Speed Workouts Week 7-3: “She-Ra for Strength, or: All-Out Arm Fatigue”

The Swim Speed Test Team is a group of volunteers that is reporting on their newfound swim speed earned over 16 weeks of the Swim Speed Workouts program.

Here’s what testers thought of this workout. You can try out the first six workouts of the Swim Speed Workouts program for yourself! (See below)

Swim Speed Workouts Test Team logoTEST TEAM SUMMARY OF WORKOUT 7-3:

Rich R. (“PR”): When Sheila says I can swim easy, I want to swim EEEEEEAAAAAASSSSSSYYYYYY. I was gassed at the end of the sets today, especially after the fly, the pulls, and the pull outs and then the sprints… This was the first workout for me where I felt like my muscle memory was in play more. My easy 200 at the end probably took 5 minutes… : ) But I think things are going great. I’m feeling good and getting faster.

How fast you ask? Well, let me tell you.

When I started before week 1, I did a few 100s on repeats all out to see where I was.  My repeats were on 1:50, and I barely was holding on to them.  My best 100 time was 1:30, and I was exhausted after it, unable to hold that time during repeats.

Now I am at 1:20 from a water start, and I can do my repeats on 1:30.  My new personal goal is 1:15 flat out from a water start by the end of summer.

Catherine L. (The Number Cruncher): The She-Ra workout this week was meant to build strength with some bursts of speed. I modified the warm-up on this one as suggested in the small print to do a total of 1000 yds for that instead of 1600. I know I usually struggle getting through an entire She-Ra sometimes and I have been feeling really tired lately so thought this was the best. I found the strength set butterflies very challenging and had a hard time keeping it together for sure. I did do all the 16×50 pulls on 1:00.  Had I been not feeling so fatigued, I think I could have pulled them at :45 but I was afraid I might die at the end.  Surprisingly… all 16 I hit the wall at the exact same time.  PHEW!  The 6×100 press outs however, did in fact kill me.  I found that after the pressouts I had no speed where I was supposed to go all-out. I fizzled for sure and could not do all 6 of them because I wasn’t able to press out after the third round. Progress? I definitely can feel the muscles around the scapula engage and I think this is possibly why I was fatiguing so quickly—those muscles haven’t developed full strength for this duration of a swim.  I know they are there, there’s awareness for sure and I could feel the knots during the tubing sets too.

Jenn D. (The Ocean Ultra Swimmer): I’m still finding the She-Ra workouts a bit specific to masters swimmers rather than triathletes. That being said I can easily alter it to fit my abilities. I actually did one full length of butterfly! I am surprised the lifeguard didn’t come in to resue me as I am sure my butterfly resembled someone having seizures.

Chad L. (The Sprint Speed Racer): First off, I had to chuckle a bit to myself doing 1600 yards as a “warm up”.  Seriously, my entire workouts used to go about 1500 which says a lot. I did take more rest between sets, about 15 to 30 seconds.  Unfortunately, about half way through the strength set I had a serious cramp in the bottom of my foot.  I didn’t even try to work things out. I got out of the pool and called it a day. Progress? The fact I got through the warm up of 1600 yards and was ready to hit the hard stuff tells me that I have improved. Anything else? I’m making an adjustment to my cleats on my cycling shoes as well as a saddle change.  Stay tuned as I have a feeling this has been part of my cramping problems, at least strains with my feet.

Jennifer M. (The Coach): Always when I first glance at the She-Ra workouts, I think that there is no way I am going to be able to complete it—and then I do! I was even able to do a nice run and lift some weights after my swim!  I think that I have really started to love the press-outs as they seem to engage good form right after I do them.  They were a great way to finish the set, especially after doing some fly in the beginning.  A great strength building workout!

Rebecca B. (The Open-Water Swimmer): We altered the She-Ra for my morning swim group.  We did 2×100 free, 2x 200 free and 4 x 100 75 free/25 fly. I probably cut too much off the warm-up because we had extra time at the end. As as always, the fly was tough. I would prefer more rest in between 100s.  It think the group was sending off on the 2:00. The 50s seemed pretty easy until we asked our arms to sprint in the next set.  We could tell we had done something! I particularly enjoyed the press-outs and all out 25s.  Something about diving in always thrills me.  Ask my friends, the selling feature of any boat is whether or not it can be jumped from and climbed back aboard easily.   We all thought the whole workout was fantastic.  We did indeed feel good at the end not beaten down as the goal stated.  Goal accomplished!

TRY THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF SWIM SPEED WORKOUTS YOURSELF! Based on our Test Team feedback, you will be swimming noticeably faster after two weeks on the Swim Speed program. You’ll have developed a high-elbow catch and a better feel for the water. You’ll have begun to strengthen your core and your swimming fitness will be rising rapidly. Click here to learn how to try Swim Speed Workouts.


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