DEC 2016 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

Sometimes we use strange things as motivators; this week it is the horrible weather. Fear not, to battle the demons that won’t allow you to go outside, turn all your energy into the rain, water, pool, and swimming - see the connection? I had a solid swim workout today, but truthfully, this time of year inspires me to just try and keep up with all my AWESOME swimmers !! We are lucky to have all the indoor pools here in the USA. Need something else to be THANKFUL for ~ there it is ! Many athletes around the globe struggle to find what we take for granted. Enjoy the bad weather, get wet inside :-)

I promised you a SPECIAL EDITION of our monthly newsletter, so here it goes:

Serapes Effect is our monthly topic :

From their book on Kinesiology:

Logan and McKinney studied the connection between the trunk of the body and the limbs while observing ballistic activities (e.g., kicking a ball) and overhead activities (e.g., throwing). Their study of the throwing movement revealed an interaction between the pelvic girdle (the hips) on one side of the body and the upper core and throwing limb on the other side of the body. The ribs on the side of the throwing limb rotated one direction and the hips the other direction. McKinney and Logan discovered that this diagonal rotation prestretched or “loaded” the core with tension that could then be released and transferred to the throwing limb, increasing the overall power of the throw. They concluded that the diagonal/transverse movement noted in the thrower held true in all overhead activities and that the core should be trained and strengthened on diagonal planes and in rotational directions so as to take full advantage of the benefits it can deliver.

This topic was discussed at length during the Olympic Swim Coach’s Conference in October. It took me a while, but I think I can finally FEEL it and am beginning to understand it. Swimming is a FORWARD and CORE DRIVEN activity. The reason why times continue to drop in a sport that you really have no technological advantages (swimmers are basically all alone with a few ounces of nylon fabric and a pair of googles that only allow them to see better, not go faster) is that our study of kinesiology has led us to engage the CORE. As I am fond of saying, “fish have no arms” and yet they swim much faster than us. It begs you to ask WHY? Core propulsion and a tail for a motor = perfect system. Humans have parts hanging off all over the place: neck, arms, legs, joints, etc.

If you can get your recovery elbow up high enough and rotate just right, you will begin to FEEL the drive cutting across your body - and it feels wonderful/easy. FEEL the connection run from the opposing hip through the shoulder. If you swim slow enough to feel it, you begin to understand WHERE power comes from. Once you feel where it comes from, you can seek more of it and at faster speeds . Yes, there is a reason that the top tier swimmers are so much faster than the level below. Olympians are the best for a reason. What can you do to engage more core power?

Swimming is a lifelong study…. I encourage you to step up and learn more than you know today; Darwinism suggests we adapt.

And just in time for your holiday gift giving:

I picked this special edition of Sports Illustrated Magazine up at an airport a little while ago and could not put it down.
Part 1 is : Rising to the top and has plenty of history of young Michael all the way back to age 9.
Part 2 is: Troubles to triumphs and chronicles the ups and downs of a very real person.

This magazine has plenty of pictures, stories and tidbits you may not know about the kid from Baltimore who became the greatest swimmer and most dominant athlete of all times.
Michael has set 39 World Records and as of today, 7 of them remain standing to this day ~ not bad for an over 30 guy !!!
Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy, there will never be another athlete that put it all together and lasted as long as Phelps.

Year End Housekeeping:

Many of you have found that my O2 NUTRITION side has helped you in some way. As of TODAY, my naturopathic dispensary has undergone an upgrade !!! For anyone wanting to get the best supplements from the best companies, I think you may now find it a little easier if you follow the link below:

O2 NUTRITION direct Link

If you need any help, just let me know and I will guide you a bit. As you all know, I recommend the following to ALL my athletes:

1) Gender specific multivitamin and mineral
2) Vit D
3) EPA/DHA (fish oils)
4) PROBIOTICS *****chlorine is a huge toxin and we are pickled in it *****

You can now get me on the WHAT’S APP on your smart phone.

Keep in mind that as a member of O2 SWIMMING, you are entitled to all our team discounts listed on the web page:
***I only offer what I use, as it is proven in the heat of battle - bounce me with any questions on swim product or nutrition.

Keep in mind that all 2016 tri packs must be redeemed before year end ~ standard policy since 2001, no carry overs…sorry. ****Call NOW with any issues.

O2 SWIMMING is booked out 1-3 weeks year around, but it is worse in swim season - call early for the best slots for you or your swimmer.

And last, THANK YOU for all you have taught me, inspired me, and generally kept me on this path.

The pool is open, see you soon….:-)

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


OCT 2016 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

It’s been a whirlwind 10 days for me, sorry this newsletter is a bit late, but I AM READY ! There is a reason I go to the Olympic Swim Coach’s Conference and 2016 did not disappoint :-)
First off, for those of you who do not know - Jason Leak was there:

Jason was 32 years old in Bejing when he laid down THE FASTEST 100 free in history - a record that holds to this day (split a 46.06). In case you really never saw the most exciting race in the history of swimming:
Men's 4 X100 free relay - Best Swimming in history !!!!

The boy is 6’4” and weighed in at 220 in the 2008 Olympics. This weekend, I’d say his is within 5+ lbs of his peak fighting weight ~ still loves to swim and has picked up riding a bike…

The real theme of his talks were on intensity. REAL intensity - no holding back, no saving some for the rest of the set/day. Give it all and get stronger! He started with a quote from our long standing head of USA Swimming, Mark Shubert : “A 1:03 is a 1:03, and no amount of bullshit is going to make it a .59” Let that sink in.. I think he was talking to many of us.

As a 30+ year old pro swimmer, Jason swam 5 days a week (no 2 days off together) and averaged 3500 - 4000 y/m per session. YUP, that’s it. But, he went hard. He was repeating 100s on a 1:05 interval and had time to rest at that pace (in a 50m LC pool). It inspired me to try harder not to “last” through my practices, but to GO HARD and let the chips fall where they may. Very cool.

Body Line ~

Body line was the overall theme this year and coming off one of the most successful medal hauls in US Swimming history, I was paying attention! Body line, streamline, hitting corners; there are many ways to look at it, but it all comes down to the simple science that streamline is worth more than power - A LESSON for every triathlete out there reading this :)

Hands must enter directly in front of the shoulder joints

Head must remain low and neutral in the breathing cycle

Feet must stay as tight as a propeller - at any/every speed

Ever hear of the SERAPES EFFECT? The SE is when an athlete is so connected to their CORE, that the shoulders and hips LINK. Each coach that spoke about this emphasized equipment to strengthen and dial in this connection. Highly recommend equipment by the US Olympic Team:

agility paddles
instinct paddles
freestyle snorkel
PDF fins
Edge fins
Axis buoy
Tempo Trainer

2) Michael Phelps MP line:
alpha pro swim fins

Now you have it, pretty much everything they use, you can use :-) ***Can’t help you with MP’s line, but remember, we get a hefty discount from FINIS through my web page!

Well, between the Olympians: Lezak, Kelsi Worrell and Jessica Hardy and the coaches: Mark Shubert, Bob Bowman, David Marsh and Chris Plumb…it was an amazing weekend.


Longevity was another concept that rang true with me this weekend. STAYING POWER. DRIVE. DETERMINATION - often in the face of adversity…. How bad do YOU really want it, because guaranteed, you are not alone in this pursuit. Winners don’t always win. Actually, only ONE person wins.. HOW and WHY on that given day did THAT INDIVIDUAL win? It actually has a lot to do with longevity. Are you willing to do what it takes to attain YOUR goals - whatever that they may be?

Guaranteed ~

It is now guaranteed that O2 SWIMMING will continue…… I have new ideas, new concepts, new drills, new inspiration.
Can’t wait till I see you again !

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


AUG 2016 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

Perhaps the heat and humidity has gone to my brain, but this month, we will delve into the Cerebral Aspects of swimming :-)

2016 has been a heck of a year, here are some of the highlights I can recall:

- The JO cuts and ZONE times have been pouring in as if they give them to everyone - they don’t, kids EARN THEM
- In July, we had 3 kids at USA Olympic Trials….one even got to the semi finals in the 100 fly in M Phelps’ heat. Same month, one of our kids was Top 16 in his 3 events at Canadian Nationals !

- All 2016 IM have come out of the water successfully, including a 65 year old age grouper landing in 1:12 - good enough for 2nd in age group :)
- 2016 has already had as many NEW swimmers as any of my 16 years coaching in the Endless Pool Studio…even I am amazed…thank you.
- We had many adults swim their first MILE ever = congrats !!!

So, just what is O2 SWIMMING, who is O2 and WHY do any of us do this?

First, I would like to thank ALL people who compete in sports instead of the violent ways most of the world solves their problems. In a few days, the Olympics will reignite and the torch will bring the world together again - for healthy competition. Every athlete has put blood, sweat, and tears into their life of training to reach their goals of making an Olympic team. At the end, everyone will go home. No religion. No violence. SPORT.

Sport is a great thing. It gives us a healthy and focused place to let out physical, mental and emotional needs. I am never more productive at work as when I am “fit” enough to compete.

Swimming is a completely aquatic challenge - UNLIKE anything on land. Gravity, friction, air; think of the variables…. Man is a land animal and nothing in his physiology was meant to be under the water. It is not easy. One has to LET GO of many human emotions and specific DNA hard wiring issues ~ like breathing in liquid, eyes in a cloudy environment, changes in movement friction and gravity. WOW, how do we ever get it done !!!!

I think my addiction started early because of HOW I felt suspended, supported and FLOWING in the water. I grew up in a Great Lakes town that not only had plenty of swimming, but my High School was an all boys ultra competitive school with so much tradition - there was only ONE WAY anything could ever go - the winning way, the right way. By the end of high school, I was happy with my swimming, but not done.. I continued to swim and play water polo in college. Still not done. I swam as an adult. Still not done. I built my own pool - the only option where I could swim 12 months a year in Pennsylvania, the Endless Pool. Still not done. I fell into coaching by showing some friends the pool. And what happened next was YOU said I could not be done. You taught me an even better way - to give back. And in so doing, continue my journey and my improvements. You pushed me further. You wanted more information. Better answers. Higher validation. I found the Olympic Coach’s Conference and fell in love again - with yet another higher level we could peek into. Throughout this, I continued to swim and to compete.

So, as you can see, it is because of YOU that my cerebellum is on fire all this time and why I could never stop doing this - not until you tell me I am done. For this, I will be forever happy and grateful. At my age ( over 30 ) getting faster is hard, but getting smarter is not. I swam 2 minutes faster this year in my annual Steelman Race, but that only validates my life theory that it is not over until I say it is… It is you who challenge me to be my best, use my brain to try and stay ahead of you and be forever engaged. The mind is so much stronger than the body. Never loose your edge.

Go swim tomorrow.
Be happy. Swimming is cerebral; there are a multitude of variables, most of which run deeply counterintuitive to upright human brain function… ENJOY THAT CHALLENGE! Embrace what you can not master, but what which you can gain knowledge.

70% of he world’s surface is covered in water - go kick someone’s butt and let em know YOU are a real swimmer !!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


JULY 2016 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

I would hope that by now you are fully engaged in summer fun ~ between the US Olympic Trials and outdoor racing season, life couldn’t be better !! Since it is only once every 4 years that we are privileged enough to watch THE BEST that swimming has to offer, lets take a look at what we might learn and adapt from the best…..

For my money, HAND position was phenomenal due to the head on HD shots of swimmers coming towards us. We have often spoken about your hands and here is what O2 SWIMMING has taught during my history with you:

- position is : open, relaxed, and facing slightly down
- a relaxed hand comes off a relaxed arm from a relaxed shoulder
- a relaxed shoulder and arm can move much faster than a tight or controlled muscle group
- an open hand absolutely and scientifically CATCHES MORE WATER than a closed, cupped, or flat hand

Although I could not find the shot I wanted to send you with his hands landing exactly where they should, and showing a soft open FEEL of the water….this will have to do ! NB the proximity to the surface, i.e., no wasted motion or unnecessary height.

Are these FLY hands?

NO. These are SWIMMING hands.

The better you can relax and FEEL the water, the more of it you will control !!

Notes on each of the 4 strokes that I saw in great detail during our US Trials:

FLY = coming out of lane 7 because YOU WILL NOT LOSE YOUR LAST RACE IN US WATERS only proves what we already know ~ champions always find a way to win !! #1 is all about his CORE STRENGTH and you can clearly see it during his surges to win. This comes from ALLOWING power to modulate throughout the body. Swimming with full power, not swimming with a front half and a back half…too much disconnect for pure power and speed. Take note of the energy profile running tip to tail. Get your hips engaged people and swim like a winner !!

BACK = head position VERY neutral, but around the spine, we have a full and powerful ROTATION. Are you too flat to dig and gain traction? Tuck the chin a bit, kick, and move through the water. ***HUGE opportunity here to really win of the walls. Lochte show us every time he swims that you CAN win off the walls. I saw many swimmers (yes at this level) who “die” during their breakout…Missy Franklin… etc. The wall is your friend, get used to pounding it make them chase you down.

BREAST = how long have I preached: height = power? Even during the IM’s, you can clearly see the dominant players UP and OUT more than most. The force equation clearly favors the FORWARD thrust more than the backwards pull down… ***I have so many solid breaststrokers this year, I hope you were paying attention.

FREE = I really love the DIFFERENCE in swimmers as the races went form 50 to 100 to 200 to 800 to 1500…… You can swim the 50 ALL OUT and let what come what may. But, the really great swimmers CAN swim the 100 and the 200. I noticed some of the swimmers get a real stiff straight arm AT THE FINISH - to lengthen the reach TO THE WALL. However, most do not swim with this style, it is more of a primal throw to the wall. Don’t get confused here…. A couple old boys are still in the sprints - WOW !!! a 35 year old Olympic Bound ! All in all, we are a real mix of young and old this year. It will be interesting how it plays out…:-)

And for you TRIATHLETES: I hope you are paying attention, we actually had an open water swimmer take 2nd in the 1500 = very cool. It DOES matter what you do in the pool; as you translate that to open water. Many advantages are gained in a clear pool with a straight back line. Use it. Learn form it. ***Be more focused on longer events in Rio as they relate closer to how you need to swim. It is a blast to watch the 50,, but you can learn more from the 800…. Recognize WHO you are and WHAT you are capable of - then make a plan.

See some of you at Steelman this weekend.
All of us will be going to RIO, thank God for TV !!!

Get happy.
Remember what it says in the next line…..

PS. We had about 6-7 local swimmers at trials :) Special shout out to one of our LaSalle boys who made it into the semi’s during Phelp’s 100 fly heat… very cool. Can’t wait to see this current group as they leave our area and get into some LC pools in college. David Nolan (Hershey, PA) wrapped up his career from Hershey to Stanford by placing a distant 3rd in the 200 IM, about 3+ seconds back of Phelps/Lochte. We wish him well too… 12 National Records and just could never get it done in LC. A true champion, but I wonder everyday how our kids would really do - if they had a LC pool around here. I’m all in if any of you have ideas…. :-)

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


JUNE 2016 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

Today is a very special day ~ my first day of swimming outside in 2016!! I am very excited. It always amazes me how much more I can do when the lungs are clear and full of fresh air; as opposed to the stuffy/chlorinated swim chambers we swim in for about 9 months a year. If you are still hiding indoors, FIND AN OUTDOOR pool this summer - you will not regret it :-) There are options more places than you think. I am a fan of Fanny Chapman, the Doylestown Borough pool complex due to location and the fact that both of my kids grew up there, swam there, taught there, and even helped manage it as they transitioned on to adulthood. Village Two in New Hope is another awesome complex for those of you who live further north. So, do yourself a favor and GET OUTSIDE this year !

June’s theme for us OUTSIDE & LONG !

If you are “Under 30": Enjoy the summer and keep your mind right. You want to be rested, but mentally prepared for the fall season. Get/keep your stroke perfect - that is mostly mental work. Rest up and race hard !

If you are “Over 30”: Hopefully you have followed along with the O2 SWIMMING Facebook page workouts and have a nice base under you from the colder season… Now, it is time to stretch everything out and go long. By long, I mean most workouts will have nothing less than 500s in them :-) Stay mercilessly focused on a long front end. Keep (or improve !!) your stroke count (SPL).

To help with turnover and pacing, I recommend the FINIS Tempo Trainer:

Careful now, this will be a real LOVE/HATE relationship ! If you know anything about CSS training or any higher order swimming, you will find this little device tucked under swimmers caps all over the world. Keep in mind our TEAM DISCOUNT on all things FINIS available through my website:

If you are not familiar with this little “helper”; let me tell you: The tempo trainer is a swimming pace beeper. There are 2 modes; one beeps every arm stroke, the other can be set to beep at every length or half length of the pool. You will be surprised at how (once you have set it up for your pace) easy the first half of your swim is at “your pace” and how “fast” the back half may feel. Keeping in mind, like the Endless Pool, the beeps are electronically perfect….it is YOU who is suffering (or not) from lack of consistency.

The other thing the TT is used for is lowering times. This is easily done by reducing your pace by one click each progressive set. The unit is stupid simple. Basically an up the pace or down the pace button.
Maybe you find that a 0.7 interval gets you right on 1:30 pace. Click the down arrow and go to 0.6/stroke and watch your time drop to 1:25 (for example only).

The Tempo Trainer is especially useful if you lack motivation or just don’t have a training partner to keep you honest….

***CSS training is finding your Critical Swim Speed and directly relates to your lactate threshold and potential of your longer races…. The TT will help you improve pacing !!

I would also like to note that this is a TOOL and not an everyday / all the time training aid. Your summer workouts will still need variability: some faster, some perfect, some longer…

Let’s check in on the Facebook page now that we are over 200 + swimmers and triathletes all helping each other get better. Many of you have contributed recently and made great comments = THANK YOU !! There is a wealth of information on the internet, but none any more helpful than that posted directly by people you know in your area :-)

LAST: My 19 year old daughter is available again (for the last time) for private coaching in the Endless Pool Studio. Miss Summer has finished up her career this winter as a Team Captain at CB East and will be moving on to Northeastern University in Boston in the fall. So, if you have smaller children who need some private attention, we charge 50% off my rate for her services. She is also available for some travel and guards pool parties, etc. Call her, she needs the money !!!

See you on deck.
Enjoy the summer - it starts TODAY !!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


MAY 2016 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

What better to discuss and participate in this week, as it rains out some of our plans - than SWIMMING !!! The water in the pool is clear and inviting and swimming will keep you in shape as you take a day or two off from running & cycling. Fear not, I have a plan :-)

1) Swim more
2) Swim faster
3) Have more fun !

Our theme this month is: Joint articulation and improved CATCH dynamics !

Now I have all the science people’s attention !! Don’t worry, swimming is part art, part science - so we can make everyone happy and involved.

Over the last few weeks, I have traveled far and wide and continually noticed one over-riding issue: poor catch resulting is slow speed and increased struggle. Let’s be honest, in the animal kingdom, humans are slow swimmers in general. We have way too many parts and pieces compared to any aquatic dweller - they pretty much all have one tubular body and a tail to move it forward….no arms….no neck….just a front to back tapered into a tail. As such, we need a plan to get moving in the water; trust me, your strength is not enough. If that was all it took, all my big studs that do the IM and high level triathlons would kick my little 12 year old girls butts all the way down the pool. No contest as to who is stronger ~ my adult tri gang. Also, no question who is faster ~ my 12 year old girls (would not want to embarrass anyone by comparing them to a fully grown high school girl :(

I teach the O2 SWIMMING 4 LAWS to everyone - no deviations. However, the CATCH is more elusive than I thought for many of you.

To put this simply: The only place in the stroke where humans are efficient is when the body is horizontally balanced (LAW #1) and the arm is exactly perpendicular or vertical. Close your eyes and picture this… It is very much like a paddle on a canoe. Maximum thrust is only achieved when the paddle is exactly vertical. Now picture a stiff arm (as if you had no wrist or elbow). As the arm comes forward and slaps the surface of the water (one stiff looking board), then descends toward the bottom and then completes its circular path to the rear of your body - consider all the forces NOT pushing the body forward. Up = yes. Down = yes. How do we even this dynamic out when we are only in the “perfect” spot for a split second during the arm’s stroke path?

JOINT ARTICULATION !! Now, picture the hand entering first (ahead of the remainder of the arm). Now slide the arm forward under the water and allow the wrist to be loose (this takes NO ENERGY). As the stroke initiates, the loosely bent wrist gives way to a loose elbow and a rounded curve begins to take place EARLY in the stroke cycle. You ARE now catching water way in front of you and not just underneath you….

How do the arms feel during this process? LOOSE. What do World Record holders say after they win a big one? I felt loose and easy today !!!! (Not: I CRUSHED it :( ). I felt like I was swimming downhill…. Why? Because you are !

So, as you enter the water - FEEL loose and ALLOW your wrist to drop in a little. Let the elbow bend/hook slightly as you initiate your pullback. FEEL the ease of speed occurring because you have a much longer stroke that is sliding you forward, not pushing you UP, then level, then DOWN…..

How do you know when you have it right?
*****ALL good things shall be reflected in your LOWER SPL**** Now say AMEN ! I will help you, but the SPL never lies….. FEEL the water, don’t think you can just beat the crap out of it, for if you do…I have a whole bunch of 12 year old girls I’d like you to meet !

Enjoy the rain this week - be in the pool !

Thank you for posting on the O2 SWIMMING Facebook page! We are all in this together.


PS. My schedule will fill up a lot faster the day school lets out… Right now, life is good…hint…..hint….

PPS. If you are looking for an aid to help you FEEL a better catch, my top choices are all from FINIS (where we get our best discount on my web page):

1) Finis Forearm Fulcrum
2) Finis Instinct paddle
3) Finis freestyle snorkel - so you can really focus on just the catch with no rolling to breath interruption

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


APRIL 2016 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

Not entirely sure why, but I am getting very excited this year :-)
It is an Olympic year !! *** With all the political unrest around the globe and the total BS here in the USA surrounding the elections…. THANK GOD (and the Greeks) for the GAMES !
I have 3 brand new swimmers tonight !
This month, I have 3 BIG IDEAS - in addition to my regular monthly focus tip.


As you can see, the fish tank swimmers are all doing well. We just gave them another upgrade to keep them happy too….:-)


1) I think we have more athletes on the periphery than we might imagine…. As you know, I coach swimmers and triathletes; but ALL of them have close family/friends who support them. Maybe it is time that we support them !!
So, here is the deal for April and May: If you are a “swim parent” and haven’t been in the water in a while (no one can tell…! ) or are a spouse/partner (always politically correct here :) that might like to try out this whole human water propulsion thing - then call me and get a 50% discount off your first session at O2 SWIMMING !! I have never done this before, but I see lots of people “looking in” and wondering… YES, you can do it AND you might even like it. No restrictions, let’s talk :-)

2) Since it is an Olympic year, I would like to do my/our part to support the US Olympic team. From today until the Olympics in August, come swim in the Endless Pool Studio and I will not only donate your entire $20 ticket fee, but I will match it ! Fair enough?
If you have a big race this year, try some “on your own time” in the endless pool - no coach, just swim. What I typically do is set motor #1 at the pace you want to swim your big race in and set the 2nd motor at 25% less…. The deal is that you can toggle between the 2 speeds if you need to “catch up” on your fitness; while NOT landing on the bottom or stopping. It is a VERY EFFECTIVE swim session - trust me !! I can tell you with all the IronMen in this area and all the IM that I have coached over 15+ years, the grand total of swimmers that have “ SWUM OUT” the motor is 5 and 2 of them live in my house !! A motor ‘ swim out’ is swimming until the motor automatically shuts off (a safety feature) - this is around 32-34 minutes. By comparison, a solid half IM is about that long…. Amazing how few people have this honor… Intrigued?

3) Summer’s Swim School is fully open already and booking immediately! Summer is my awesome daughter who also coaches in the Endless Pool. She is in her 3rd year and is perfect for the younger kids - tiny ones up through early swim team age. Summer has swam and taught at Fanny Chapman for several years in addition to right here in the EP Studio. She can swim, she is my daughter :) She finished up this year at CB East as a team captain and is headed to Boston as a Northeastern University student in the fall. So, this is her last hoorah! She has been getting phone calls ever since the day she stopped swimming for CB East. You can call me, or reach out for her directly at: Summer = 267-994-0816.
More good news…. She charges exactly HALF of my posted cost !!! Please keep her in mind, as Summer’s summer fills fast !

See why I am so excited?

So, what am I doing for YOU this month…..

I want to revisit the concept of : FLOW

It seems that whenever I observe a swimmer struggling a bit, one of the main issues is they have very little FLOW - they are ALL WORK. Water is, by nature, slippery. Don’t fight that or pound it - FLOW with it. Most of us spend a lot of time confined by concrete walls ~ USE THEM to get your FLOW started. Stay long and keep your air speed up. Be vigilant of any “ dead spots” in your motion. By nature, a FLOW has no stops…. Think about that during your warm up. Can you FEEL the FLOW? If not, use the free speed off the wall and move the recovery arm (the one in the air) a little faster. Be sure your catch up style has NO STOPS IN THE BACK END. *****This is a natural FLOW/SPEED killer. FLOW can be fast, medium, or even slow; but it never STOPS.
Observe both the better swimmers and the “ to yet” swimmers… What do you see?

See you soon.
Thank you for all the support since 2001 :-)

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |

MARCH 2016 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

Can you feel it…? The days are getting longer and life is returning; all the fun kids will be outside soon enough :-)

This is the heart of CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON !! This weekend, we have PIAA District and the Junior Olympic meets. I feel very confident all my kids are ready. They have worked hard and just as importantly, they have learned to work smarter. It is a pivotal moment in an athletes life when they begin to see the power of their brain and thus the brain/body connection. Very few get far on just raw guts. Stay engaged people !!

Good luck ALL O2 SWIMMERS this weekend.
Warm up YOUR way.

And now, time for our monthly theme:

Full Body Swimming Synchronicity

I have observed far too often this year, a lack of overall body coordination in the water… Swimming was taught for too many years under the theory that the swimmer has 2 halves: front (shoulders) and back (legs). I am here to remind you that this is outdated thinking. We need to swim with our whole body in synch from tip to tail. Most people have a reasonable shoulder turn, but it can die just under the rib cage and never get to the hips. The hips stay flat. The kick is inefficient. Drag is increased. Speed suffers.

What is he answer?

ALLOW, not force, your hips to do exactly what the shoulders are doing. The full length of the body needs to rotate in unison to give you a longer and heavier drive train. If you get this feeling, you will never want to give it up!!! This is why some people swim in a 13-14 SPL and some are 20… Drag is a killer of speed and efficiency.

Swim SLOWER in the beginning of your warm up. FEEL the whole body easily spinning gently in the water as you reach fully forward. Make it easy. You will always know how you are doing - without anybody telling you, simply by checking in with your SPL. If it goes up, you are doing something wrong. If it goes down, you are doing something right. Any questions?

Maybe it will help you to observe other swimmers…. What are the faster ones doing that looks good to you? What are the slower swimmers doing that looks wrong? Do you do some of these things….? I can honestly tell you that coaching each of you has made me a better swimmer. One can learn a lot from observing :-)

This is an OLYMPIC YEAR people go out there and stake your claim!

Last, thank you for all the great feedback last month on probiotics, vitamins,, proteins, etc. Many of you and especially the younger swimmers are doing better due to healthier bodies that have been boosted a little with exactly the right supplements.

EVERY swimmers should be on probiotics.
Almost everyone (over 95%) could use a real supplement - not the ones that have the RDA doses in them. RDA is the recommended dose to avoid disease, NOT OPTIMIZATION. My recommendations are to help you perform at peak…

Keep smiling, you are doing great !

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


FEBRUARY 2016 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

What are you planning to do with the extra day provided to you by the 2016 LEAP YEAR ?
This morning, I ventured out of the Endless Pool wednesday workout and arrived at LA Fitness with a plan for a fast practice. It worked !! Maybe it was the culmination of some good work put in previously, maybe the sun the moon and the stars just lined up, but today I was fast (for a boy in the “over 30” group). No telling, but it inspires me….

This month, I have a variety of topics in my mind; so a slight change in format….

LAW #1 = Balance: This is the first of our 4 laws of swimming - for a reason ! Humans are not genetically built to be horizontally balanced in the water - like a fish or aquatic animal is. Your mouth is in the wrong place for starters - who would build an animal that swims face down in the water…. How does it breath?
The results: we pick up our head (especially when tired) to obtain air. As the head elevates, the tail drops - fish don’t do this. Fish are faster. We could learn a thing or two, as water weights 8lbs/gallon. As your tail sinks, the weight of the water pushes you down further compounding the “out of balance” spiral.
Ever wonder why it feels so easy in the warm up and rough toward the end? ***This is why I place BALANCE as the number one law of swimming ~ with streamline coming in second.

The plan: Monitor your SPL 3X every day in practice. Stay within +1 every day. You will KNOW what is happening by this simple math equation.

Best FAST Workout: I post my workouts on our Facebook page 3 days a week and today’s was a solid set for all of you tri kids in the Olympic to IM range:

****A huge key to doing this well is to BUILD ~ that means start slow.

Warm up: 300 EZ free, keep the SPL low with an easy long stroke
300 drill/swim, as always we do a drill up and swim back format. Catch up is mandatory, reach out for me if you need a custom plan
300 kick/drill, this is with fins and maintaining a super long line off the walls - like half pool underwater :)

100 free all out test and record ( went 1:05, happy dance for the old man….)

Main set: 400 pull - this whole set is serious and only 1500 (one mile), so race pace (kept right under 1:30 pace today and was not stressed:)
6 X 100, descend to #3 and #6 - went 1:18 on #3 and 1:14 on #6, Try to swim slow enough initially to get a full negative split
10 X 50, descend to #5 and #10 - went .33 on #5 and .32 on #10

Longer cool down, as the most rest I had on the main set was 20 seconds throughout the entire 1500….

100 free
100 back - get this done to unwind the shoulders
100 free
100 lazy IM
100 free - be sure to check in with your SPL. I held 13 all day and was never above 1:30 pace even in warm up / cool down

ONLY 3,000, but exactly half is the real workout.

Best Sprint Set: My all time favorite because it doesn’t matter who you are or how you swim - do them just until it becomes junk. STOP before you swim stupid !
25 all out
3 bobbing breaths is the rest interval…no clock in this set, just breathing
25 for SPL
3 bobbing breaths

****Some of you may do 3 at max effort and start swimming poorly. EXCELLENT. Others may do 10 (or more), EXCELLENT.


As you all know, I negotiated a full 30% off at FINIS and give YOU my coach’s discount !!!
If you are in the market for a tech suit upcoming champs, here is what I found as of today:

FINIS HydroSpeed Velo suits
MALE: $199 list, $99 on sale, add your coach’s override discount !
FEMALE : $299 list, $119 on sale, add your coach’s override discount !

***All codes are listed on my web page. Best of luck everyone at Districts, JO’s, Zones, etc

And finally, an inspirational video to all of you who have not swum your fastest ever…..yet !

A Very Fast short course 100 !
Watch lane 5

For those of you who may have never seen anyone swim a 41.08 outside for a short course 100. Get pumped !! Your best days lie ahead……

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


JANUARY 2016 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

Very excited about 2016…an Olympic year and we might just see some of our own kids in Rio !!! I started my year off with a solid 4,000 swim today ; just long enough that I learned something AGAIN that I will share with you later on in this years opening note.

I feel my first order of business this year is to see how O2 NUTRITION can help you perform better in O2 SWIMMING. I had more cancellations in December 2015 than I have had in the last 2 years combined :( Lots of sick people out there that need to be swimmin ! Let me give you a run down of some of my routines and general knowledge from my pharmacy and nutrition background:

1) Chlorine is a TOXIN. It is designed to kill bacteria, so ignoring your exposure is just plain silly…..

- I have HIGHLY recommended ProBiotics for my entire career. The gut is your first line of defense and a well organized good bacteria colony is absolutely essential to maintaining health - especially in the winter when those around you are getting sick and spreading the plague.

- Here is my web access for RX grade supplements:

  • Emerson Ecologics - medical professional vitamin and supplement line
    accessed via sister company o2 NUTRITION 15% off with us
    Promo code: o2nutr
    Zip code: 18902

Supplements are just like food - the better the quality, the better your performance! ******Keep in mind any time you see my “o2” codes , it is the letter “o” and the number “2” as in the symbol for oxygen.
While we are on the subject of Emerson Ecologics, here is the rest of what I take and recommend for all my nutrition and swim clients:

* gender specific multi vitamin and mineral supplement
* fish oils (listed by most of the better companies as EPA/DHA)
* Vitamin D 1,000 iu (over 90% of all people north of Atlanta are deficient in this…)
Done. Simple. Effective. Have not been sick in so many years I can’t remember…… way more than 20…..!

2) Basic Nutrition for all swimmer athletes ~ Keep it simple. Eat mostly homemade foods that are single ingredients ( eggs, vegetables, chicken,etc.) as opposed to packaged foods that have 35+ ingredients in their description ( store bought soups, nuclear burritos, fast food).
The more color - the better. Brown rice beats white rice. Dark looking leafy vegetables versus iceberg lettuce. You get the idea.
All athletes need protein - do not be afraid. That is to say, not a ton, but some is critical. A gatorade and a candy bar does not a snack make - try Accelerade and a cliff bar, both of which have some protein.
More upon your request here…..

3) Skin defense: nose, ears, etc must also be protected so chlorine does not eat through mucous membranes and degrade your outer most defenses. I have swabbed the inside of my nose lightly with Aquaphor for many years the night before I swim to protect the nasal membranes. Post swim, I have a $2 bottle of nasal saline (completely non drug) in my car and use copious amounts in each nostril to flush out any residual stuff immediately after I swim (more critical in the winter when the air is so dry).

I truly hope this helps us all to make it through the next 2 months - where swimming matters….championship season !!

And now onto actual SWIMMING :-)

My discovery this morning while working through the first 4,000 solid of the New Year was : HIP DRIVE

Most swimmers even “newbies” have a reasonable shoulder turn as the stroke goes through its evolution. I am here to tell you on record that a shoulder led rotation is outdated and slow… Not to say, I don’t get there myself somedays :( I felt the hips lagging as I transitioned off my first 1,000 yard swim into the next 2 X 500s. A flatness occurred that felt bad. It “felt bad” because it was abnormal for me. Lazy. Out of swim shape. However, once my brain (never lazy !) registered it, I corrected it throughout the remaining sets. It was impressive how my speed improved. OK, “impressive” for an old guy, but you get the idea :-)

So, as we enter a new year, work to CONNECT your whole body in one unified force - led by the smaller, quicker, and centrally located hips. The big, slow, top heavy shoulders are critically important for overall power; but think about your hips next time you swim…. Do a nice long slow 500 engaging your hips as you rotate easier. FEEL it. Keep me posted.

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |

Archived Newsletters

Kenneth W. Holland
A unique, exciting innovation in health and nutrition

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