SBP 001: Warm-Up In The Shower (Transcript)


Hey! Welcome this is the wimmingwimBrain Podcast and I’d just like to welcome you. My name is Denaj and I’m gonna be the host for this podcast and I want to go ahead and introduce myself to you. I’m a person who loves podcasts; not podcasting, I’m just getting into podcasting, but I like podcasts. I really like listening to podcasts. While I listen to podcasts though I can’t just sit still, I have to go and do something else.  I have to play 2048, I have to cook, clean, do  something, go for a walk, whatever it is I  know that I just have to do something while I listen to podcasts. And I can multitask most of the time, but one of the things I really like about podcasts is that I don’t have to go looking for the contenet, the content actually comes to me on my computer or on my iPod or whatever. I don’t have to go and pursue it all the time because after you get a certain amount of podcasts and they’re all coming towards you it’s really kind of nice to have that information coming towards you.

One of the things I also like doing is swimming or I like teaching swimming and coaching swimming. SO one day I went on iTunes and I figured hey, let me see if I can find a swimming podcast…a good one. I was searching through and I couldn’t find anything that I liked and so I figured hey I’ll create a swimming podcast and obviously I did that, you’re listening to this right now, but after I created the podcast then I figured out that I’m gonna need something to talk about. Because swimming…okay we’ll talk about swimming, but swimming itself isn’t exactly an exciting topic. It’s either you go up the pool or you go down the pool. You can circle on the left or you can circle on the right or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can swim down the middle of the pool. I mean this is thrilling stuff right? Not quite.

So I was perplexed. And whenever I’m perplexed I talk to myself out loud (and I’m not kidding you). So I said to my self, “hey self” and my self said “sup?” and I said “what should I talk about on a swiiming podcast?” and then my self said something to me that we thought was extremely wise, he said “why don’t you talk bout something that nobody else is talking about?” I was like, that’s a genius Idea! So I thanked myself and set out to create a podcast to talk about things that nobody else is talking about related to swimming.

And as a result, thanks to my self you are now listening to episode 1 of The SwimBrain Podcast where we’ll talk about swimming topics that nobody else talks is talking about. Like I said, I’m Denaj and I’ll be your host and we’ll occasionally be joined by our co-founder and co-host my self.

So this is episode 1 and the topic we’re talking about today is warm-up, but not just any kind of warm-up. Like I said, we’re talking about things nobody else is talking about. So what is nobody else talking about with warm-up?

Nobody else is talking about warming up in the shower.

So I was talking to my self to plan for this episode and I said, “self. Do you think it’s possible for a swimmer to warm-up in the shower?” We pontificated for a bit, sat down, scratched our beards and then did some research and as it turns out, I wasn’t the first person to ask this question. The first person to ask this question was a young Aussie coach by the name of Forbes Carlile. Well actually Forbes, probably wasn’t the first to ask that question either, but he was the first person to test it out.

In 1947 Forbes set out to figure out if his swimmers would perform better if they took a hot shower before their races. I don’t know about you, but don’t you wish that your coach would do experiments like that? Man I wish my coach would’ve tested if doughnuts made us swim faster. Actually on second thought that could get pretty messy.

But anyway Forbes didn’t just analyze a couple of swims or a dozen swims, he analyzed over 400 swims! I mean the guy was determined to find out if hot showers benefited him or not And what did he find out? Well here’s what he said about it later in his book Forbes Carlile on Swimming. So I guess you can say he literally wrote the book on warming-up in the shower. But after analyzing all of the swims, here’s what he said:

“It is an advantage for the body temperature to be raised before racing. For this a hot shower or hot bath should be used either at home before going to the pool or at the pool, or in both places.”

Okay, so far so good. Personally, I think I’ll have the double-hot shower option to go please. I mean hey it’s a hot shower. You can’t deny that.

But Forbes didn’t stop there, he went on to tell us exactly how it should be done, but unfortunately we are out of time for this episode so I will tell you next time.

Sike, just messing with you! Here’s what he said:

“The water should be just about as hot as the swimmer can bear, then thorough warming up (enough to cause sweating) needs about five minutes in the bath or seven minutes under the shower. The hot water treatment should be followed by a short cold shower to close the skin blood vessels.”

So just in case you missed that, here’s the recipe:
Step 1: Turn the oven to 350º….just kidding. Step 1 is to turn the water to as hot as you can handle without wimping out.
Step 2: Get in and stay in until you are thoroughly warm which will be five minutes if you’re in a jacuzzi and 7 minutes if you’re in the shower.
Step 3: Turn the water to cold for just a few seconds to seal th.e pores and get the blood vessels away from the surface of the skin
And then step 4: go kick some…tail.

So why does it work? Well it’s actually pretty simple. Warm muscles hop into gear quicker than cold muscles, and you bypass that adaptation phase where they start to warm-up and it also makes it much less likely for you to get injured. Which means that every time you do anything whether you’re running down the road or whatever, you want to do that with warm muscles. So you want to start of gradualy and warm-up your muscles, but we don’t have that luxury in the race. At the race we need to just start going so before the race we go ahead and get warm and we con do that with a hot shower. Now of course the effects of a hot shower wear off in about 20 minutes or so, so you need to take that shower within 20 minutes of racing.

So there it is. The next time you’re about to swim, here’s what I want you to do: Go hop in the shower or go hop in a jacuzzi and if anybody looks at you really weird or you get any weird questions, just tell them that you’re conducting some research.

This was the very first episode of The SwimBrain podcast which you can find at On behalf of myself and I. Thanks for listening.

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