USRPT, short for Ultra-Short Race-Pace Training, is an evidence-based training program/stroke curriculum developed by Dr. Bent S. Rushall specifically for the sport of swimming.
It is crucial to note that USRPT is evidence-based and not a theory. While theories are mere speculation, the results of USRPT have been proven to be consistently superior to that of traditional swimming training.
The term Ultra-Short refers to the brief and strictly monitored work and rest intervals that USRPT swimmers are required to hold. Swimmers training with USRPT are never allowed to rest for more than 23 seconds on any set. Training on such short intervals allows the swimmer’s body to maintain a low level of lactate in the blood while keeping a high level of glycogen in the muscles. This key feature gives the following benefits to USRPT swimming:
- Neuromuscular patterning – Traditional swimming training focuses on high yardage at lower intensity. This depletes glycogen levels, drastically hindering the neural learning needed for quality performances. USRPT remedies this flaw.
- Shorter recovery times – With shorter work intervals, the body is able to sufficiently repay accumulated oxygen debt (AOD) and restore the body’s energy systems in a relatively short amount of time.
- Traditional yardage programs average 25 to 70 miles per week over 16 to 29 hours according to a June 2019 peer review of the method published in The Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. By contrast, an elite swimmer on USRPT may train 9 to 11 miles per week. The reduced amount of wear and tear on joints and other body parts is significant.
- The description of VPT provided by Rushall: “For a swimmer to take a stroke without some directed mental activity is a stroke wasted”, is also consistent with the concept of deliberate practice. With the aid of our coaches, swimmers monitor their performance carefully and receive accurate, immediate feedback on their progress. Such deliberate practice is challenging and effortful but is also inherently enjoyable and a key component in developing maximum athletic potential.
The best way to train the body for an activity — especially one as complex as swimming — is to replicate that activity as closely as possible. This is known as the principle of specificity. With this principle in mind, our USRPT swim coaches, Sean Emery and Lauren Robinson, design sets with a very specific pace and race in mind which allows the swimmer to develop an innate understanding and feel for specific races and it trains their body’s energy systems accordingly.
How USRPT Sets Work
Curious about USRPT and want to find out more? Come train with us FREE for your first week when you contact Coach Sean.