Saturday, January 08, 2011

Saturday Swim Workout: The AMRAP

I learned of the term AMRAP in the Crossfit gym, perhaps it originates there, or maybe it predates Crossfit. In any case, it's a very useful tool to have in your arsenal. AMRAP stands for "As Many Rounds As Possible" and a typical AMRAP workout has a time period (20 minutes or 30 minutes) and a list of exercises (with the number of reps of each) that makes up one round. One great thing about the AMRAP is that you know how long you're doing it for. Usually not more than 30 minutes, so you know you have a defined ending point. Another great thing is that AMRAPS are very trackable and measurable. If you did 15 rounds this time, and 18 rounds in three months with the same AMRAP workout, you know you're faster, stronger, etc.

If you know me, you know I'm all about things that are measurable and trackable. I like know if what I'm doing is making an improvement in my fitness. And if I'm coaching someone, I want to know if I'm helping them to get better. So the AMRAP is a perfect tool. Plus, they make you push yourself hard, and that's usually a good thing.

So today's Master's Swim workout was an AMRAP. And just for kicks and grins, I made my swimmers get out of the water and do pushups in every round. A lot of our team is going to be training for some long swims this year, including a 10k competition. The pushups in this workout help simulate the type of arm fatigue that you feel in very long distance swims. I was pleased to note that a lot more of the swimmers could do decent pushups than the last time I inflicted something like this on them!

Here's the workout:

DRILL: One-arm crawl. Emphasis on keeping the non-stroking arm straight and steady, turning head to breathe instead of picking it up, and hand entry on the stroking arm.

Warm Up
4 x 75 D/S/D (that's 25 Drill, 25 swim, 25 Drill)
100 Slow Corkscrew – concentrate on Body Position
4 x 75 IM Order Drills
100 Corkscrew
4 x 75 S/D/S

Starts and Turns

10 x 50: Start Hard, good push off the wall, underwater dolphin, Good turn, cruise back

30 Minute AMRAP:

Swim 100
Pull 75
Kick 50
Pushups on deck: 5

Cool Down

EZ 100

6 x 50 Starts and Turns

EZ 100

Total Yardage:  2100 + AMRAP (8 rounds would be 1800 for a total of 3900 yards)


tinaparker87 said...

What is a corkscrew?

IM order meaning butter, back & breast?

Robin said...

Oooh, sorry I forgot to explain my second drill! A corkscrew is where you take 1 - 3 strokes on your front, transition to your back, take 1 - 3 strokes, transition to front. It should be done smoothly and you should keep turning in the same direction so you are "corkscrewing" through the water. A slow corkscrew means take several strokes instead of just one.

IM Order on the 75s would be butter, back, breast by 25s. Hope that helps!

Robin said...

Adding: the purpose of the corkscrew is to focus on body position - keeping head and feet level.

tinaparker87 said...

Thank you.