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Thread: Masters swimming vs club and college

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    Active Member abc's Avatar
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    Masters swimming vs club and college

    As a new person to masters swimming, I thought I would share some differences I have noticed between club/college programs that I have participated in and the masters environment. I was wondering if many of you have had similar experiences. First, masters swimmers are an incredibly friendly bunch. It's nice to see the friendships despite the competitive nature. Second, masters swimmers are more competitive than I thought; they will use fins, buoys, and any other equipment to get by (excluding things like syringes filled with HGH). Third, there are a lot of fat dudes in masters swimming . You'd think everybody would be ripped, but they're not. Fourth, workouts are geared more for the sprinter--there's just not enough time to do long sets. Fifth, stroke work is marginal at best, most everyone focuses on freestyle. Sixth, it's a much more relaxed atmosphere than a club or college team.

    I guess if I were to stereotype, the typical masters swimmer is male; very friendly; has a considerable gut; has weird training suits; loves to use a pull buoy, fins, and paddles (all at the same time even); while taunting the swimmer next to him in a jovial manner. What do you guys think?

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    Re: Masters swimming vs club and college

    Quote Originally Posted by abc View Post
    Fourth, workouts are geared more for the sprinter--there's just not enough time to do long sets.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member scyfreestyler's Avatar
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    Re: Masters swimming vs club and college

    Given the number of USMS clubs and the diversity of the membership, your stereotype is not going to be terribly indicative of the general population of USMS swimmers and their workout habits.

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    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
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    Re: Masters swimming vs club and college

    Quote Originally Posted by scyfreestyler View Post
    Given the number of USMS clubs and the diversity of the membership, your stereotype is not going to be terribly indicative of the general population of USMS swimmers and their workout habits.
    I definitely agree. At my particular group, we tend to be more distance hounds, but there is usually both distance/sprint options offered on most days. I probably average about 13-15k yds/week. I do see guys using pull buoys (rarely the gals tho), but not too many fins. I bring fins, pull buoy, paddles, but it is rare I use any of them. We have quite a few triathletes, not many do swim meets, but they don't fit the look stereotype either (many of us lift and/or run in addition to swimming).

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    Very Active Member Paul Smith's Avatar
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    Re: Masters swimming vs club and college

    Quote Originally Posted by abc View Post
    I guess if I were to stereotype, the typical masters swimmer is male; very friendly; has a considerable gut; has weird training suits; loves to use a pull buoy, fins, and paddles (all at the same time even); while taunting the swimmer next to him in a jovial manner. What do you guys think?
    Have you been training with Sam Perry?

    I suggest you Google the following and I wish you much success at achieving the same physique and swimming as fast when you are their ages:

    Adam Conway
    Gary Marshall
    Jeff Commings
    Michael Ross
    Jeff Erwin
    Jon Blank
    Dan Stephenson
    Jim McConica
    Richard Abrahams
    Tom Landis
    Jeff Farrell
    Graham Johnston
    Frank Piemme
    Andrew Holden
    John Merrill

    Or maybe visit a few more teams....?
    I crack myself up. It is jealousy. It is Boredom. I Did not accomplish enough when I was young, and I hate anybody faster/younger than me.

  6. #6
    Active Member abc's Avatar
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    Re: Masters swimming vs club and college

    It's funny to hear Jeff Commings even talk about distance swimming. First of all, his name is Bear, only his Mama called him Jeff. Second, the dude would get light headed and almost pass out just watching the distance swimmers at Texas . Bear is a great swimmer and great person, but just dipping his toe in the distance lane would've killed him. As for physique and speed, I'm just generalizing. There are exceptions to the rule, and I'm digging swimming with the masters group, it's just different is all. Besides, I like messing with Bear.

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    Re: Masters swimming vs club and college

    Why would anyone think all Masters swimmers are ripped?

    So many Masters swimmers enjoy the finer things in life - like good food and drink! And most of us have to work and many of us have kids - all competing for pool and gym time.

    What amazes me is how fast some of these less than ripped people swim.....
    From the Rolling Stones "Mother's Little Helper" - "What a drag it is getting old....."

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