Don’t Expect Every Workout To Be Better Than The Last With A Note On Stretch Cords


Hi folks,

When it comes to endurance training or just safe exercise for better health, motivation is both critical and fragile, so beware. Today Rick and I had a standard 5000 yards of long pulls at the pool, but my times were off by 4-5 seconds/100 yards, and my lats were aching the whole time. It felt as though I wasn’t making any progress, but I’ve been there before, many times. This feeling was exaggerated by seeing my swimming partner and coach, Rick Fee, waiting for me at the end of each set as if he had been there for ages (which he had!). But I soldiered on because that is what you do. You don’t give up, you fight to make your sets, and then you chalk it up as another workout well done. You can’t expect to do better every time. This is just not realistic, because you will have ‘good days’ and ‘bad days.’

I attributed my sore lats to the fact that I have recently been doing Ricks killer stretch cord workouts – they sure exercise your shoulders and lats in addition to improving the final push component of your power stroke. I suspect that my recent addition of cord workouts left me tired, resulting in slower performance in the pool today (that’s my excuse, anyway). If I stick to it, I’ll adapt and my speed will return.

Chez Ollie to see Rick, my patient swim coach, demonstrating his stretch cord technique.

For beginners, a few poor workouts can be all it takes to cause them to throw in the towel – DON’T DO THAT! Better performances will come if you are patient. It is just a matter of training for a while on a plateau, and then all of a sudden your times improve when you least expect it, and then you settle in for a while at a higher plateau. That is just the name of the game.

The real key to all of this is consistency. Just do your workouts, for heaven’s sake, and you’ll do great if you persist.

-k @FitOldDog



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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.