LGBT Masters Aquatics Club

Glossary of Terms

  • ‘A’ Stroke - Your best stroke, often FC, but can be others
  • Aerobic    Longer distance, moderate intensity, short rest period swimming sets that focus on building endurance
  • Anaerobic - Shorter distance, high intensity, long rest period swimming sets that focus on building power
  • Ascending - Getting slower (i.e. the time taken increases)
  • Back - Backcrawl
  • Backstroke - Backcrawl
  • BBM - Beats Below Maximum (Heart Rate).  
  • BC - Backcrawl or Backstroke or Back
  • BPM - Beats Per Minute (Heart Rate)
  • BR - Breaststroke sometimes also BS or Breast
  • Breast - Breaststroke
  • BS - Can be Breaststroke or Backstroke – check context!
  • Catch-up - Drill where on FC one hand stays at full stretch ahead until the other meets it then it begins the stroke
  • Descending - Getting faster (i.e. the time taken reduces)
  • Dive Start - Diving entry from the blocks in the deep end (usually either a grab start or a track start)
  • Dolphin Kick - Simultaneous leg kick used in Butterfly
  • DPS - Distance Per Stroke
  • Drag - Drill where on FC fingertips drag through the water on the recovery (also known as trickle)
  • Drill - A controlled form of stroke designed to draw attention to a particular aspect of that stroke: Catch-Up , Drag, Salute, Elbows High, Zip-up, Doggy Paddle, Duck, and many more
  • Duck- Drill where you keep the elbows tight to your sides and move the forearms back and forth (like duck legs) to propel yourself through water
  • Easy - Usually swim down or warm up, a slow easy stroke focusing on stretching out the stroke and warming up or down.
  • Elbows High - Drill where as it sounds on FC you keep the elbows bent and high out of the water on the recovery
  • FC - Frontcrawl often referred to as Freestyle or Free
  • Fly - Butterfly occasionally BF
  • FR - Freestyle or Free (normally Frontcrawl, but any stroke will do as long as you can maintain speed)
  • Free - Freestyle - normally Frontcrawl, but any stroke will do as long as you can maintain speed
  • Freestyle - Normally Frontcrawl, but any stroke will do as long as you can maintain speed
  • Gala - Competition (also called a Meet)
  • Go off - Time in which you have to complete a swim or set of repeat distance/times inclusive of rest time
  • Grab Start - A type of Dive Start.  Can also refer to starting from in the pool holding onto the side
  • HR - Heart rate
  • HRT - Heart Rate
  • HVO - High Velocity Overload – Swim part of the length (no more than 15m) at full speed without breathing, rest of the set distance swim easy
  • IM - Individual Medley (all four strokes together in order Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Frontcrawl)
  • Intensity - Run on a scale from 10 – 20 with 10 being easy and 20 being as hard as it gets 
  • Kick - Legs only (no pulling)
  • Kickboard - A flat float used for doing kick 
  • Lactate    Lactic acid is produced in the muscles during anaerobic sets.  Swim down & stretching help disperse lactate.
  • Long Course - 50m pool (term used for describing competitions)
  • m (e.g.25m) - Metres – Our training pools are generally 25 metres so 50 metres is 2 lengths, 100m – 4 lengths, 200m – 8 lengths, 300m - 12 lengths and 400m 16 lengths. The ULU pool is 33 metres, so 100m – 3 lengths etc.
  • Masters - Name used for our category of adult swimming at Meets  
  • Medley - All four strokes swum in a specified order  
  • Medley Order - Butterfly, Back, Breast, Free, Medley Relay Order is always Back, Breast, Fly, Free
  • Meet - Competition (also called a Gala)
  • Negative Split - Go faster for the second half of the set distance than the first half
  • Number 1 - Your best stroke, often FC, but can be others.
  • Open Turn - The two handed touch turn completed for Breaststroke and Butterfly
  • PB - Personal Best - this is your best time to date for a particular stroke and distance, remember that long course (50m) times will be slower than short course (25m) so you will have pb's for each
  • Percentages - Usually refers to the effort or pace being completed for that swim set. i.e. 80% is pretty hard but not maximum effort or sprint.
  • Pull - Arms only (no kicking)
  • Pull Buoy - The figure of eight style float that goes between your legs for pull 
  • Recovery - On FC when the arm is out of the water being brought back up for the next stroke.   Can also be a recovery swim when you slow down to bring the HRT down after a high intensity set
  • Regeneration - A set where you swim to regenerate after an intense competition
  • RI - Rest Interval - How much rest (usually in seconds) you get after a set swim e.g. 8 x 50m FR RI 20s (20 seconds rest after each 50 metres Freestyle) - sometimes also called simply Interval
  • RPE - Rate of Perceived Exertion
  • Salute - Drill where the hand touches head prior to entry on FC
  • Set - A self-contained part of the swimming session as ‘set’ by the coach e.g. a ‘main set’ might be 10 x 100m free
  • Short Course - 25m pool (term used for describing competitions)
  • Sprint - All out as fast as you can go, breathing as little as you can.
  • Steady - Swimming at a pace which is easily maintained (not easy or too hard, aiming for consistency of pace)
  • Streamline - Underwater body position after diving or pushing off the wall which maximises swim speed and efficiency
  • Stroke - The stroke you are completing (usually not FC)
  • Stroke Count - Number of strokes per 25m or 50m (FC and BC every 2 arm pulls - a cycle - BR and Fly every stroke) abbreviated as SC
  • Stroke Rate - Number of strokes per minute (measured by stopwatch or calculation) abbreviated as SR
  • Swim Down - Swimming slowly and steadily at the end of the session to warm down
  • Track Start - A type of Dive Start 
  • Tumble turn - The flip (somersault style) turn used for Frontcrawl and Backcrawl
  • Turnaround - How much time it is expected to complete a set swim e.g. 4 x 200m FR on 3.00 (You have 3 minutes to complete each 200 metres - if you do it in 2m50s you have 10s rest)
  • U/W - Underwater (usually refers to kicking, using Dolphin kick)