Today’s workout was, as Tim Boyd said this morning in the pool, “I think you should use the word unconventional.”
Yes, yes, that’ll work just fine.
Like Monday ,we were met with a ton of dry-land and some pool work, but whatever we were doing we were working hard. After practice I went back into the locker room and picked up the t-shirt I had been wearing during the dry-land stuff. I knew it had been tough, I knew I had been sweating, but my shirt felt like it had been dropped in a big bucket of water and felt like it weighed seven pounds. Gross, I know, but evidence of the work we put in this morning.
We knew that our coach, Jeff King, was planning some dry-land in the workout because of the e-mail warning he sent out a couple days ago requesting that we bring tennis shoes and a jump rope to practice. (Some people forgot and did the workout in nothing but a speedo, coughcoughSeanSpatacoughcough) So we knew some jump rope was a given, but there ended up being so much more.
Buckle up, I’m giving you a play-by-play because it’s so much fun to recount all that we did today. Today won’t be much about lessons or stories, just straight up information.
Practice started with five laps around the pool, which sounds like a nice easy jog but is actually longer than I thought it would be. A good warm up for sure. After the laps we were told to pair up, actually to get into groups of three, and the workout really started.
In the groups, one person was doing 50 situps, the other two minutes of jump rope and the final person was doing 30 squats with a medicine ball held behind their neck. We went through that rotation twice.
After that, we switched with the people off to the side working on just jump rope and worked through a set of jump rope that broke down simply: 30 seconds jump, 30 off, 35 jump, 25 off, 40 jump, 20 off, 45 jump, 15 off, 50 jump, 10 off, 55 jump, 5 off, 1 minute jump.
When the set was finished we went into pairs again and once again grabbed a medicine ball. This was a set I was used to from workouts with my soccer teams in the past. Here, one person would be doing situps with a medicine ball in their hand. As they came up, they’d toss it to the person standing in front of them, who would toss it back. Each person took two turns of that, rotating in another where you’d toss the ball up straight in the air from your back to work your arms a bit.
When that set was done, we got into a circle of six or so and stretched our legs straight out in front of us and lifted them six inches off the ground as we tossed two medicine balls around the circle. Somehow, the stupid 10-pound medicine ball was following me wherever I went. The worst part of this was the final minute-long session when Jeff attempted to get us to flutter kick. This was basically impossible and made the lower back pain increase and the faces of some people as they attempted the feat was hilarious.
After the tossing session, we took some more laps around the pool and headed into the showers before coming back out for some work in the pool. Half the group headed to the deep end with some flotation belts and floaties and did some water-walking. It was kind of like a senior-citizen type workout.
Meanwhile, a few other people including yours truly headed over to the shallow end where we ran through the water for five black lines before pushing off the bottom and sprinting the rest of the way until Jeff whistled for the set to stop. I don’t know how long it lasted, but it was a while.
After that we headed back over to the deep end where we did vertical kicking while tossing around a 10-pound medicine ball. This was probably the worst part for me, as I eventually started to take on water. It was made worse when Balazs Kiss decided to copy Pat Sullivan’s directions of reversing the toss, only he did so with little warning. Usually as we tossed, Pat would call out, ‘Okay, switch directions,” and whoever had the medicine ball would turn it the other way. Balazs was not as perfect. Here’s how it played out.
Ball comes from right to Paul, who turns to his left and tosses to Balazs, going underwater as he throws because it’s been five minutes of this and Paul is tired and trying not to drown. As Paul comes up from the water, the 10-pound ball is in his face as he hears Balazs quickly say, “Backwards!” Paul barely catches the ball and nearly drowns/breaks his nose.
After the oh-so-fun session in the deep end, most people got out of the pool while a few of us remained back and did a kick set. It started with a set of 12 25s sprint kick with fins and finished with six more sprint kicks without fins, a nice finish to the week that made sure I’d feel the workout for the next few days.
I have so many pictures to share from the day, and I tried to splash a few through the entry to show us working out. The videos themselves are great (most photos are screen shots from videos) because of Jeff’s commentary. He’s like an undiscovered Howard Cosell.
Looking back on the week, Jeff simply kicked our butts…but in a good way. I mean, anyone that walked away from this week not feeling tired didn’t put in enough effort and didn’t get everything they could out of it. I’m sure we’ve got more in store in the weeks to come.
Finally, a quick update on Pat Sullivan, who earlier this week committed to the University of Virginia. Congrats to him, I know it had been a tumultuous process after UC-Irvine dropped its swim program, leaving him without a college and putting him back into the recruiting mix. He’s been taking tons of visits regularly and finally was able to make the decision so congrats again to Pat.
Washington Post reporter Paul Tenorio will train with a swim club over the next few months and chronicle his journey as he attempts to transform from regular guy/sports reporter to competitive swimmer — everything from his waistline to his best times.