The following article and workout was originally submitted by former Pepperdine University Head Coach and former FINIS Vice President, Tim Elson to the FINIS swim blog.
When I think about the Tempo Trainer Pro, I think about what I call the “Holy Grail of Swim Coaching”, which in my opinion is knowing how many strokes you’re taking and how fast you’re taking them. After discussing this with hundreds of swim coaches over the years, I found little if any disagreement. That said, when coaches work on stroke counts they inevitably run into to the problem of needing to increase power. For instance most world class 50-meter freestylers have a stroke rate that equals roughly half a second or .5 per singular arm stroke. Imagine keeping all things constant and in a particular rate, and then trying to figure out “How can I take one stroke less?”. So, what can we do to take one stroke less?
Well, several things come to mind. I can make my kick more powerful. Kicking with a weight belt, more squats, run stadium stairs, the list goes on and on. I can also work on a more powerful pull. More dryland cords, more pull-ups, more push-ups, rope climbs, whatever. And now, there is the Drag+Fly™. I call it a “swim chute on steroids.” It’s an extremely durable resistance swimming device that has several distinctive advantages over the average swim chute.
First, is the ease and convenience of the adjustable resistance. It has two zippers on the side, with indicators to easily measure the level of resistance. It also is engineered with a unique towline buoy that maintains proper body alignment without interrupting a natural kick cycle. And finally, the chute is made of the same type of material that they use on multi-million dollar sail boats! Pretty cool!
Working Together: Tempo and Resistance
So, here’s how they work together. Let’s say you have a swimmer, and you’ve figured out that they’re best stroke rate is .56 seconds and they take 13 strokes per 25. So, how can we get to 12 strokes while still going the same speed?
Well, immediately I would grab my Drag+Fly™ and the Tempo Trainer Pro. Set the Tempo Trainer Pro at .56 and the Drag+Fly™ at it’s highest level of resistance (zip system fully closed). What will likely happen is your swimmer will do something like 16-18 strokes, and that will become your starting point. While training with the Drag+Fly™ over the course of the season, you can see measurable improvements with endless permutations. Try out this set to increase power, while decreasing the number of strokes.
1 x 25 FAST for time (Remember the time you went!)
4 x 25 FAST with Tempo Trainer Pro set at race pace COUNTING number of strokes (:20 seconds rest)
4 x 25 FAST with Tempo Trainer Pro and Drag+Fly™ at lowest level of resistance taking same number of strokes as first 4 x 25s (:20 seconds rest)
— 2:00 seconds rest —
1 x 25 FAST for time (See if you beat your time from the first one!)
PRO TIP: If you successfully complete the same number of strokes per 25 on each round then slightly increase the resistance and repeat until failure!
The Drag+Fly Resistance Swimming Trainer is a device used to increase endurance and strength with normal swimming form. With the advanced Resistance Zip system, users can easily adjust the level of intensity to take strength and endurance training to the next level.
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FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro (Yellow)
Develop consistency and avoid lulls with a personal pace coach, the Tempo Trainer Pro. The small, waterproof device easily secures under a swimmer’s cap and transmits an audible tempo beep. Swimmers use the beep to train smarter and discover their perfect pace
Excellent - Review by JamPay
Really great simple to use product. Perfect for pacing but also stroke development, cutting out dead spots in fly also. So also great for all strokes, all races, pacing for stroke cadence and wall to wall split consistency. After one session my daughter dropped 5 seconds on a 200m. Great service and care as always from Pro Swimwear.
(Posted on 07/07/2016)