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hoodoo7
June 22nd, 2014, 05:48 PM
Hi,
Have been a masters swimmer for about 5 years now. Was wondering if experienced masters swimmers (or even newer ones) have found any benefits in the 'total immersion' technique. Have watched several YouTube videos and read articles but was thinking the video evaluation and pool instruction included in the workshop might be helpful.

Have noticed recently that my form/technique seem off and ineffective - was looking for some new insight and direction to help me with my efficiency.

Thanks!

mmlr38
June 22nd, 2014, 07:51 PM
I actually took a TI workshop shortly after getting into swimming. If you're looking to be more efficient, I think it definitely helps with that. I had no prior training at all, so I found it pretty helpful. And another person in my workout group who attended the TI clinic changed his stroke completely after swimming his whole life. So yes, I think it could be worth it for some people. Of course, results vary from individual to individual.

DeniseMW
June 23rd, 2014, 08:16 AM
Thanks for asking this, hoodoo7. I wondered the same thing. I started swimming only about six months ago, but watching some of the free TI online videos and reading the book did help me get started, and it helped me a lot with breathing and just relaxing in the water, which was important for me as I was getting over a water phobia. I've looked at the camps. They sound like fun. I hope you'll post when you decide and if you go, please let me know what you thought of the experience.

thewookiee
June 23rd, 2014, 10:15 AM
hoodoo,

To be honest, it depends on what you goals are in swimming and who you get a coach at a workshop. There are a few coaches that coaches masters and age groupers, so they understand the needs of competitive swimmers. There are some that only work with newbies or triathletes. They don't always know how to help competitive swimmers progress for different distances and strokes.

If you send me a pm, I will give you a list of coaches that I would recommend for masters swimmers.

DeniseMW
June 23rd, 2014, 03:57 PM
thewookie, have you taken a TI workshop? I'd be interested in your thoughts if you have. And which coaches you liked best. Also, if you felt it helped you improve. The same people seem to teach the workshops in New York, which are the ones closest to me.

I'm intrigued because the way Terry Laughlin explains it, TI teaches a different way of moving through the water entirely. From comments I've seen online, some people really like it and say it's helped them a lot. Others not much. It probably isn't for everyone. I haven't heard of a masters coach nearby who uses it. I've emailed one of TI's local coaches for some private lessons.

Debugger
June 24th, 2014, 06:44 AM
I agree with thewookie. It depends on goals as well as on specific part of your training season. TI is useful to improve stroke technique, to stretch and increase DPS but for competitive swimming you need to transform that technique into speed so it is only part of the approach for competitive swimmer, specially sprinter. You should understand that no speed gonna come without working on it.
I apply though TI principles even during period of most intensive workouts while preparing to the meet. After top intensity sets you build much lactate and muscles become stiff and sore, so taking some easy swim (possibly some drills) in TI style concentrating on DPS helps to stretch muscles and remove lactate and that makes it easier to swim the next workout.
So TI is a single tool in the training tool-set but not the tool-set. You also need interval, speed endurance, speed and explosive speed sets, working on strength, on core, on flexibility, on such technical elements like starts and turns.

DeniseMW
June 24th, 2014, 09:51 AM
I can tell you that TI lessons with a private coach are expensive - $50-$65 for a half hour compared to $35/half hour for regular private swim coaching at the rec center. I don't know what the camps are, but it probably works out to be a lot cheaper. FYI, here is a link that might help you. The opinions vary, of course.
http://www.trifuel.com/forum/topic/total-immersion-495-worth-it

And from someone who took a camp, details of how the sessions went and what she learned:
http://bluegrasstrichick.blogspot.com/2012/02/total-immersion-swim-clinic-recap.html

Swimspire
June 24th, 2014, 11:16 AM
As Debugger said, there are many components to swimming training.

While representing drills and proper technique as easy and relaxing swimming may be a good marketing tool (and has appealed to a wider audience) my swimmers will tell you that drills are anything but easy - and they are not meant to be! Drills are meant to isolate specific muscle groups and specific parts of the swimming stroke in order to improve overall technique, increase strength and therefore improve the speed of your swimming. Completing drills properly can be fatiguing due to the fact that the swimmer is repetitively working on individual areas of the stroke and using targeted muscles in the process. Drills should be used as part of the workout, but not exclusively so.

As a final point, I would add that one workshop, one clinic, or one lesson will generally not make you a better swimmer; rather, it is a longer-term, individualized coaching plan emphasizing proper technique and speed work that is the key to success.

DeniseMW
June 24th, 2014, 11:45 AM
As Debugger said, there are many components to swimming training.

While representing drills and proper technique as easy and relaxing swimming may be a good marketing tool (and has appealed to a wider audience) my swimmers will tell you that drills are anything but easy - and they are not meant to be! Drills are meant to isolate specific muscle groups and specific parts of the swimming stroke in order to improve overall technique, increase strength and therefore improve the speed of your swimming. Completing drills properly can be fatiguing due to the fact that the swimmer is repetitively working on individual areas of the stroke and using targeted muscles in the process. Drills should be used as part of the workout, but not exclusively so.

As a final point, I would add that one workshop, one clinic, or one lesson will generally not make you a better swimmer; rather, it is a longer-term, individualized coaching plan emphasizing proper technique and speed work that is the key to success.

Wow, lots of good information and opinions on this. The blog writer said she improved a lot from that one workshop, but she kept at it. Just watching the drills on the dvd makes me tired.

thewookiee
June 24th, 2014, 01:03 PM
As a final point, I would add that one workshop, one clinic, or one lesson will generally not make you a better swimmer; rather, it is a longer-term, individualized coaching plan emphasizing proper technique and speed work that is the key to success.

One and two day clinics are not a magic bullet, but they are used as a starting point. Anyone offering swimming improvement services are selling their brand. You, TI, Swim Smooth, are all offering similar services but each one is promoted and packaged differently. In the end, the best service is in the mind of the customer.

Swimspire
June 24th, 2014, 01:45 PM
One and two day clinics are not a magic bullet, but they are used as a starting point. Anyone offering swimming improvement services are selling their brand. You, TI, Swim Smooth, are all offering similar services but each one is promoted and packaged differently. In the end, the best service is in the mind of the customer.

I don't think we are in disagreement about the fact that clinics/workshops/lessons are certainly a starting point. However, to see real improvements you need to practice what you learned consistently. This could be difficult for the swimmer who practices on a team that takes a dramatically different approach from what he or she learned in the clinic or workshop. That is why I would suggest that swimmers who are frustrated with their progress choose a long-term coaching plan, allowing them to implement what they learned in their daily workouts.

Also, in terms of branding, I post on the forum to share my experiences as a USMS swimmer and a coach. And as a veteran of this forum, you know that is what it is all about - sharing our knowledge and helping fellow swimmers and the swimming community.

DeniseMW
June 24th, 2014, 03:03 PM
I realize this is a US Masters forum, which implies team, but there are a lot of us who don't swim as part of a team and can't afford a long-term coaching plan.

ElaineK
June 24th, 2014, 04:43 PM
:Lurking: :popcorn: Good dialogue on this thread! All of you have made excellent points worth considering. :agree: This is why I find the USMS Forums a valuable networking site for improving my swimming. :applaud:

Debugger
June 25th, 2014, 01:11 PM
Wow, lots of good information and opinions on this. The blog writer said she improved a lot from that one workshop, but she kept at it. Just watching the drills on the dvd makes me tired.
A stopwatch is the best judge on this. All improvements should pass this test. My teammate got excited on TI too. His stroke became smoother he started to swim longer distances, improved endurance, but... his time on 50 LCM free became 3 sec. worse. Considering that 50m free is his main event I cannot call all mentioned above as improvements, not from the competitive perspective.

thewookiee
June 25th, 2014, 02:00 PM
A stopwatch is the best judge on this. All improvements should pass this test. My teammate got excited on TI too. His stroke became smoother he started to swim longer distances, improved endurance, but... his time on 50 LCM free became 3 sec. worse. Considering that 50m free is his main event I cannot call all mentioned above as improvements, not from the competitive perspective.

Did your teammate continue to train for sprints, while swimming longer distances?

DeniseMW
June 25th, 2014, 02:17 PM
It sounds like a good method of training for endurance. Terry Laughlin, in his book, claims competitive swimmers can improve their time using TI, and to be honest, in the world of competition 3 seconds is probably a lot but to me it sounds like he's still a pretty darned fast swimmer.

Sojerz
June 25th, 2014, 03:01 PM
:Lurking: :popcorn: Good dialogue on this thread! All of you have made excellent points worth considering. :agree: This is why I find the USMS Forums a valuable networking site for improving my swimming. :applaud:

I agree with Elaine, Swimspire, and Wookie. For a novice swimmer without having much coaching or instruction, a well organized program like TI is very likely to be very beneficial. If nothing else it provides an organized approach and plan, instead of random trial and error. The program may help a lot or it might not work for you. I think its more likely to help with longer swims by improving your efficiency - very important. I don't think sprinting and endurance conditioning are goals of these programs, but once you have basic efficiency adding these goals, adapting your workouts to meet them, and modifying stroke for them should be much easier. Sprinting and endurance swimming are not mutually exclusive, but the training for each is very different. At some point "you know you have to finally decide and say as to one and let the other one slide."

For intermediate and advanced swimmers (been at for a long time through lots of coached workouts maybe 5-10 years and more) these programs might not be as beneficial. At this point the swimmer has an approach and system and its a question of tweaking or revising things that have gone south. Individual coaching from the pool deck during workouts or private coaching sessions is more likely to be more effective for these swimmers. My :2cents:.

Swimspire
June 25th, 2014, 05:08 PM
Well said, Sojerz! I definitely agree with your analysis.

Also, to reply to Debugger's comment, the stopwatch may not be the only factor that you should use to determine the value of a swimming program, at least initially. If a stroke analysis reveals weaknesses in the swimmer's technique, implementing a newer and more efficient style of swimming may save him from future injuries, which could be worth an initial decline in performance. As the swimmer adjusts to the new stroke, and incorporates speed work into his routine, he will likely see improvement over the long-term. If he does not see any improvement, then of course he may want to reevaluate his progress with the swimming program he has chosen.

thewookiee
June 25th, 2014, 05:30 PM
[COLOR=#222222]Also, to reply to Debugger's comment, the stopwatch may not be the only factor that you should use to determine the value of a swimming program, at least initially. If a stroke analysis reveals weaknesses in the swimmer's technique, implementing a newer and more efficient style of swimming may save him from future injuries, which could be worth an initial decline in performance. As the swimmer adjusts to the new stroke, and incorporates speed work into his routine, he will likely see improvement over the long-term. If he does not see any improvement, then of course he may want to reevaluate his progress with the swimming program he has chosen.

I agree 100% with your comment about the stopwatch. That is just one tool to measure improvement. You are spot on about injury prevention, as well as being patient and reevaluating performance over time.

No method is a magic bullet for faster swimming. Improvement takes a lot for work, both mental and physical. People expect immediate results but that isn't always the case. There are instances where a change in mechanics may provide immediate improvements but that isn't normally the case.

Regardless of what school of thought a swimmer follows, all of them have similar goals. They want to help people become betters swimmers and enjoy this great activity that we can do for a lifetime.

Swimspire
June 25th, 2014, 09:05 PM
Exactly! I absolutely agree.

__steve__
June 25th, 2014, 10:06 PM
I have improved my swimming a good amount just from the advice by other forum members.

ElaineK
June 26th, 2014, 01:54 PM
I have improved my swimming a good amount just from the advice by other forum members.

So have I! Where else can you get free advice from the best USMS swimmers in the world and country? I am so grateful to King Frog, Ande, Fortress and so many other elite swimmers who have taken the time to answer my relentless questions and video postings over the past 41/2 years since I joined USMS. :bow: Even Wookiee gave up :duel:and gave me excellent advice! :smooch:

DeniseMW
June 26th, 2014, 02:45 PM
I'd like advice on how to politely kick the walkers out of the lap lanes. Yeesh.

I tried to get a swim in today and remembered why I don't bother going in the late morning.

I find this an interesting discussion. Still don't know if TI is the best way for me, but it sure is fun to read everyone's opinion.:anim_coffee:

ElaineK
June 26th, 2014, 03:47 PM
I'd like advice on how to politely kick the walkers out of the lap lanes. Yeesh.

I tried to get a swim in today and remembered why I don't bother going in the late morning.

I find this an interesting discussion. Still don't know if TI is the best way for me, but it sure is fun to read everyone's opinion.:anim_coffee:

See if you can politely enlist the help of the lifeguards in giving them the boot. :D Lap lanes are for swimming laps, not walking laps! :bitching:

Meanwhile, you have landed on a good thread with polite, diplomatic and worthwhile dialog. Everybody here has made valid points. :applaud:

The only thing missing from this thread is some That Guy humor.

aquageek
June 27th, 2014, 05:40 PM
There are too many firms out there trying to peddle online coaching solutions. People show up at pools with their "customized" internet workout that some dude eating Cheetos has put together. The value of coaching is in person. This is why I'm a huge fan of TI. For years TI has practiced what they preached and their results are impressive. They have a dedicated following and a founder who is the real deal. There will be detractors of every program but TI does not oversell their product and they get people in the water.

I also like how the TI website links to USMS. The Swimspire site shows a swimmer prominently in a USMS cap, which implies a relationship that I'm not sure actually exists.

I'd also suggest that if you want a quality weekend workshop drop-in on Crazy and Demented Paul Smith at Mesa Aquatics (https://www.facebook.com/paul.smith.5030927?fref=ts) or Mad Sprinter Leslie Livingston at Team Pittsburgh Masters Swimming (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Pittsburgh-Masters-Swimming/107045796017344).

Swimspire
June 27th, 2014, 09:32 PM
There are too many firms out there trying to peddle online coaching solutions. People show up at pools with their "customized" internet workout that some dude eating Cheetos has put together. The value of coaching is in person. This is why I'm a huge fan of TI. For years TI has practiced what they preached and their results are impressive. They have a dedicated following and a founder who is the real deal. There will be detractors of every program but TI does not oversell their product and they get people in the water. I also like how the TI website links to USMS. The Swimspire site shows a swimmer prominently in a USMS cap, which implies a relationship that I'm not sure actually exists.I'd also suggest that if you want a quality weekend workshop drop-in on Crazy and Demented Paul Smith at Mesa Aquatics (https://www.facebook.com/paul.smith.5030927?fref=ts) or Mad Sprinter Leslie Livingston at Team Pittsburgh Masters Swimming (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Pittsburgh-Masters-Swimming/107045796017344).Sad to see that the dialogue on this thread has suddenly become decidedly impolite and undiplomatic.

ElaineK
June 27th, 2014, 10:09 PM
Sad to see that the dialogue on this thread has suddenly become decidedly impolite and undiplomatic.

Leave it to Geek... :shakeshead:

aquageek
June 28th, 2014, 08:30 AM
Sad to see that the dialogue on this thread has suddenly become decidedly impolite and undiplomatic.

I offered an experienced opinion on three quality programs in the US, TI, Leslie's and Paul's/Laura's teams. Because you didn't make my cut does not mean your program is any less reputable. I have a general bias against internet coaching as I have rarely seen much benefit from it. I will also state my coaching has been far harder this year not being able to steal from Leslie's and PWB's USMS workouts.

DeniseMW
June 28th, 2014, 10:33 AM
So going back to the original poster's question and from what I'm getting out of the debate here, a TI workshop is worth it. But it's not magic and will not make you the fastest competitor on your team. It will build stamina and endurance and make you a better swimmer if you keep up with the drills and are patient.

I have to agree with aquageek and others here that online coaching programs can only do so much. Terry Laughlin has implemented an online coaching program that requires a membership, so perhaps there are people who learn that way. He offers free online videos, but probably they won't do much for experienced swimmers.

What it seems to come down to, IMHO, is that no one program/coaching technique works for everyone. TI helped me get back in the water, and it also gave me some clear idea of basics like body position. I've only done a couple of masters swims, but the coaches tell me I am a good swimmer, just need to get more relaxed and confident, so TI did help me to some degree.

thewookiee
June 28th, 2014, 11:01 AM
Sad to see that the dialogue on this thread has suddenly become decidedly impolite and undiplomatic.


Leave it to Geek... :shakeshead:

He was pointing out his reasons for not liking online coaching and the reasons why. He wasn't stirring anything up, just pointing out why to be cautious of paying for someone that may never have seen you swim.

If you would like to see Geek be impolite to someone, you should see how he talks to me. :-)

Swimspire
June 28th, 2014, 11:46 AM
He was pointing out his reasons for not liking online coaching and the reasons why. He wasn't stirring anything up, just pointing out why to be cautious of paying for someone that may never have seen you swim.

If you would like to see Geek be impolite to someone, you should see how he talks to me. :-)


As I mentioned earlier, I post on this forum based on my experience as a USMS swimmer and coach. In this thread, I never mentioned my program nor did I attempt to invalidate or call into question other programs. Despite this, it appears that others have chosen to call my program out by name and question its legitimacy. The customized workouts were specifically mentioned in the previous post. Unfortunately, the poster obviously did not do enough research or s/he would have discovered that Swimspire does not write random workouts; rather I request that clients submit videos of their swimming if I am unable to meet with them in person. I analyze their technique, and provide workouts that are specifically geared towards correcting their technique and increasing their strength and speed. I also provide instructional videos that subscribers can watch, and I offer the possibility of an online stroke analysis. I also offer on-deck coaching, locally.

I think Denise made great points in her previous post, and we would do well to return to the spirit of the original poster's question.

ElaineK
June 28th, 2014, 01:49 PM
If you would like to see Geek be impolite to someone, you should see how he talks to me. :-)
That's ok, Wookiee, I saw plenty of it myself in my earlier Forum days directly from the source. :rolleyes:

I will add, however, that Geek has :chillpill: lately and was the perfect gentleman when he came up to introduce himself to me at Greensboro Nationals. :applaud:

DeniseMW
June 28th, 2014, 04:34 PM
Julia, not to continue the debate, but I didn't think aquageek was questioning the legitimacy of your program, just mentioning the programs he's familiar with. Your program is as legit as any other, and having looked at your website, probably better than many. For me, I need someone standing over me because I don't know proper technique enough to look at a video and see what I'm doing wrong.

ElaineK
June 28th, 2014, 04:51 PM
Julia, not to continue the debate, but I didn't think aquageek was questioning the legitimacy of your program, just mentioning the programs he's familiar with. Your program is as legit as any other, and having looked at your website, probably better than many. For me, I need someone standing over me because I don't know proper technique enough to look at a video and see what I'm doing wrong.

Denise, this is a bit of a sidetrack, but do you have anybody who can video your swimming? If so, upload it to YouTube and post the link on the Forums on either Ande's threads ("Ask Ande" or "The Freestyle Lane") or on your own thread. There is always somebody, including Julia, who is willing to offer constructive criticism of your stroke and make great suggestions. It's an excellent way to supplement your TI training and other coaching.

If you look over the Forum threads at several other video critiques, you will pick up on a lot of great tips and get to the point where you will actually be able to watch videos and spot the flaws yourself. I've posted a bunch of videos over the past four years and have gotten GREAT advice from the best swimmers here. Now, when my husband shoots another video, I don't even have to post it to know what I need to work on. I can watch a video of my breaststroke, for example, and make an educated guess as to what King Frog (Allen Stark) would say about it. I'm getting better at self-coaching through video! :agree:

Swimspire
June 28th, 2014, 05:06 PM
Denise, this is a bit of a sidetrack, but do you have anybody who can video your swimming? If so, upload it to YouTube and post the link on the Forums on either Ande's threads ("Ask Ande" or "The Freestyle Lane") or on your own thread. There is always somebody, including Julia, who is willing to offer constructive criticism of your stroke and make great suggestions. It's an excellent way to supplement your TI training and other coaching.If you look over the Forum threads at several other video critiques, you will pick up on a lot of great tips and get to the point where you will actually be able to watch videos and spot the flaws yourself. I've posted a bunch of videos over the past four years and have gotten GREAT advice from the best swimmers here. Now, when my husband shoots another video, I don't even have to post it to know what I need to work on. I can watch a video of my breaststroke, for example, and make an educated guess as to what King Frog (Allen Stark) would say about it. I'm getting better at self-coaching through video! :agree:Elaine, I just PM'd Denise on the same topic!

ElaineK
June 28th, 2014, 05:14 PM
Elaine, I just PM'd Denise on the same topic!

Two like minds! :D

DeniseMW
June 28th, 2014, 07:41 PM
Great suggestion, ElaineK. Though I don't really like to be flaunt myself in a swimsuit lol.

Swimspire
June 28th, 2014, 07:43 PM
Two like minds! :D:)

Allen Stark
June 28th, 2014, 08:36 PM
Great suggestion, ElaineK. Though I don't really like to be flaunt myself in a swimsuit lol.

Masters Swimmers come in all sizes and shapes.Post a video and the people who count will be watching your stroke.Anyone else,its their problem.

ElaineK
June 28th, 2014, 10:32 PM
Masters Swimmers come in all sizes and shapes.Post a video and the people who count will be watching your stroke.Anyone else,its their problem.

:applaud::applaud::applaud: You tell 'em, King Frog! Ribbit! :cheerleader:

jgale
June 30th, 2014, 08:22 AM
I have read a couple o the TI books and have one of their videos. There is a lot of good, sound material and advice. I have also relied on other swimming technique books and videos. To be honest, there are many more similarities than differences across the various swim programs, books, and videos. I recognize many of the drills in TI from those used by the coaches of the two masters program I have belonged to. There may be a slightly different emphasis as well as different names for drills but, at the end of the day, most are not that different. More than anything else, it is important to find an approach that works for you.

I have been in a few races with Terry Laughlin, the creator of TI, and he clearly applies what he teaches. He is a very strong swimmer. There is a lot that can be learned from him and his programs. To be honest, I do find some of they hyperbole in his materials to be a bit off putting. Then again, he is only trying to promote his product (as all business people do) and clearly many find it to be helpful. I have learned from his books and videos.

I agree with the other posters, a clinic can be helpful only if the lessons learned are applied consistently over time. Frankly, I get more benefit from working week in and week out with our masters' coach (we are fortunate to have an excellent coach who is also an excellent teacher).

I have done a couple of different clinics, although not a TI clinic. I did watch a TI clinic offered at our local Y and it seemed solid. At the end of the day, my suggestion is to find a clinic program that is consistent with your needs, philosophy, and where you are with your own swimming. TI is certainly a solid program with much to offer. That being said, there numerous other programs that offer similar benefits.

DeniseMW
July 2nd, 2014, 11:03 AM
I've tried to find swim camps and there aren't that many, at least around here. I don't think there's been a TI camp in the DC area, though we have a couple of TI teachers who charge a lot, IMHO, for lessons.

Most brands come with some level of hyperbole, but I think Terry Laughlin really believes in what he's doing which is, ultimately, get more people swimming and enjoying the benefits of regular exercise.