Loretta’s Workout Lingo:
Here are some common abbreviations/short-hand that you may see on weekly workouts. Take a look so you have an idea what these stand for in case you come across a term you haven’t seen before. I have also included several drills for you to take a look at and incorporate into your workouts during any drill portions.
25 yards= 1 length; therefore, 50 yards=2 lengths, 75 yards=3 lengths, 100 yards=4 lengths, etc.
warm-up: typically 200-600 yards of easy to moderate swimming to get body prepared for the day’s workout.
cool-down: typically 100-300 yards of easy swimming to calm body down/decrease heart rate after the main set
PS: “Pre-Set”; this is usually a 200-600 yard set after warm-up to get heart rate up in preparation for the main set.
MS: “Main Set”; this is anywhere from 500-1000 yards of higher intensity and/or stroke-focused work for the day.
CH: “Choice of Stroke”; if you see “CH”, you can do any stroke you wish for that portion of the workout.
FR: “Freestyle”; BR “Breaststroke; Fly “Butterfly”; Back “Backstroke”.
K: “Kick”; this can be with board or streamlined on your back/stomach; with or without fins, unless noted on workout.
Pull: Pull sets always entail using a pull buoy; Paddles are optional, unless noted on workout.
IM or IMO: Individual Medley (Order) - Fly, Back Breast, Free.
Free IM: substitute Free for Fly - Free, Back, Breast, Free.
:10sR or :15sR or :20sR, etc. - :10 seconds rest after each interval (i.e., each 50 or 100 swim), or :15 seconds rest after each interval.
“@ 1:30” or “@ 1:40” etc…this means that you repeat the designated distance every 1 ½ minutes or every 1 minute/40 seconds using the pace clock.
At the top - this means to leave the wall the next time the clock reads XX:00 (such as 12:00 or 14:00, etc.)
At the bottom - this means to leave the wall the next time the clock reads XX:30 (such as 12:30 or 14:30, etc.)
Reading brackets - 3 x [5 x 50] means that you do 5 repeats of 50 yards, then do those 5 repeats a total of 3 times. 10 x [2 x 25] means that you do 2 repeats of 25 yards, then do those 2 repeats a total of 2 times.
No Walls - means you do not complete flip turns at the wall; instead you turn at the “T” at the bottom of the pool and propel yourself via leg kicking.
FAST - quick, speedy swimming, but NOT at race pace.
RACE PACE - as fast as you can possibly go for the designated distance.
EZ - easy pace, focusing on stroke technique
Vertical Kicking - body is vertical in water (with or without fins), while kicking for a designated period of time.
Streamlined - When pushing off walls or after dive, hands on top of hands above head while squeezing ears; straight elbows.
Dolphin Dives - Dive down to the bottom of the pool, push off with your feet back toward the surface, take a stroke and get a big breath of air, and then dive down to the bottom again.
Descending Time - each progression of distance gets fast (i.e., 5 x 100’s descending time would mean that the 1st would be the slowest progressing to the 5th one being the fastest).
Descending Stroke Count - have each subsequent length of a designated distance have fewer strokes than the preceding length.
DPS - Distance per Stroke
Build - start out the designated distance in a smooth pace and work up to sprint pace by the end of the distance.
Catch-up Drill - arms outstretched in front, shoulder-width. Take one stroke at a time, meeting your hands at this same outstretched position before taking another stroke.
Fist - swim freestyle, but with hands clenched in fists; emphasizes the use of forearms in the catch process.
One Arm Only - swim either an entire length with right arm or left arm, or switch arms every 3 strokes. Non-stroking arm is stretched out in front.
Shark Fin - Use a pull buoy or a kick board between your thighs. After the finish of each stroke, reach back and tap the part of the buoy that is above water. This drill emphasizes finishing your stroke all the way to mid-thigh.
Sailboat - Hold a kick board between your thighs. Make sure 1/2 of the board is sticking below your body when you swim freestyle. Use your core muscles to control your hip rotation (while the board tries to prevent rotation).
Spear Drill - Kicking on your side, switching sides with a freestyle pull. Bottom arm extended out in front, top arm is resting on your thigh. Head is down and stationary; your eyes are looking straight down at the bottom. When you need to breathe, pop your head up in between switching sides. This is a balance and body position drill.
Tarzan - swimming with head above the surface
Overkick Free - swim freestyle, but with 70% kick/30% effort on arms
3-6-3 - take 3 freestyle strokes, then pause on your side for 6 kicks. Emphasizes rotation during the freestyle stroke.
Rotisserie Drill: Can be done with or without fins. Arms extended in streamline position, head tucked between arms. Kicking for propulsion and turning the body as slowly as possible from prone, to side, to back to opposite side, back to prone and continuing around. Try to roll as slowly as you can with control. This is a core-strengthening balance drill.
Underwater Recovery Drill - Swim freestyle but do not let your arms exit the water at the end of the underwater pull. As your hand reaches your thigh, bend your elbow and slide your hand forward along the side of your body. This is very similar to doggy-paddle but with an entire underwater stroke. Keep your head in the water and breathe to the side like normal.
Extra Wide Hand Entry Drill: Swim freestyle, but with a REALLY wide entry. You want to exaggerate this, so go EXTRA wide. As you continue swimming, keep moving your hand entry slightly narrower with each stroke. By the end of 25, hands should be entering at shoulder width or a little wider.
R/L: swimming with right arm only with left arm extended or left arm only w/right extended
3R/3L: alternate 3 strokes with right arm using a straight arm recover, 3 strokes left arm with a straight arm recovery
2R/2B/2L/2B: 2 right strokes, 2 both arms (regular strokes), 2 left stroke, 2 both arms
4-1: 4 undulations, 1 pull – focus more on using the body to undulate rather than kicking hard – alternate 4 undulations with a light kick/1 pull
R/L: swimming with right arm only, left at side with shoulder popping out of the water with each rotation or with left arm only with right arm at side.
3R/3L: alternate 3 strokes with right arm with left arm at side, 3 strokes left arm with right arm at side. Work on rotating so that the shoulders pop out of the water.
6-1: 12 kicks on one side with body facing side of pool and top arm resting on side, bottom arm extended, then take one pull to roll to other side and repeat 6 kicks. Focus on keeping head still and not letting it roll when the body does.
9-1: same as 6-1 but with 9 kicks before taking a pull and rolling to other side
8-3-8: 8 kicks on one side, 3 arm strokes, 8 strokes on other side. Focus on keeping head steady as rotate to the other side.
Miss America: when recovering arm is perpendicular to the body, reach toward the sky and wave hand back and forth before finishing the recovery by letting arm fall into the water pinky first.
Double arm: recover both arms at the same time. This removes rotation but is helpful for those who tend to over reach on their entry.
R/L: swim with right arm only, left arm either extended straight ahead or at side trying to drive forward once hand touches foot or vice versa for left arm only.
3R/3L: 3 strokes right arm breaststroke with left arm extended (can take small sculling motions), followed by 3 left arm strokes.
2 kicks/1 pull (2k1p): with head tucked between extended arms, take two kicks. After the legs are fully extended and feet touch, take a pull. Keep repeating.
Dolphin kick: swim breast stroke but use a dolphin kick instead of a breaststroke kick focusing on getting up high and shooting forward with an undulating motion.
2 dolphin kicks/2 breast kicks: swim breaststroke, alternating 2 dolphin kicks with 2 regular breast kicks while trying to carry the undulation over into the 2 breast kick strokes.
Free kick: swim breaststroke but use a freestyle kick and work on hand speed.
Long glide: hold glide – fully extended body position – for a count of 2-3 after each stroke.
- Pull-outs: at the wall, act as if you are getting out of the water; place hands on gutter and, with high elbows, pull yourself up and above water (think vertical push-up).